By now you must be up to your ears in posts about how important keywords are for SEO – you get it – they’re essential for being found online. But maybe you haven’t seen enough on how long these keywords should be to really drive traffic to your website.
Long-tail keywords are three to four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you’re selling and want to get found for. There are a few reasons why long tail keywords are more effective for SEO, the main one being that people searching for something online usually have a very specific thing in mind, or want to find it in a particular location/color/size/etc. So using the keyword “diving gear” won’t narrow their search down to your website as well as a more specific phrase would, such as “professional diving gear california”.
SEO expert Neil Patel frequently mentions how he generated 173,336 qualified visitors from long-tail keyword phrases in the past year – a 91% increase. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?
Now I know you’re itching to know how exactly you’re supposed to find these magical long-tail keywords for your own content. So here are a few ways you can find them (for free!):
Find organic keywords with Google Webmaster Tools
You can find these using two of Google’s Webmaster tools: Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Ideally, you should have both, and they’re both free so if you don’t have them yet then now is the time to create one.
In your Google Search Console account, you can find the keywords you are currently ranking for by clicking on Search Traffic in the sidebar and then on Search Analytics.
For example, in our case our top queries are these:
You can use the top queries and expand on them so that more pages on your website are found using that same keyword phrase or to similar keyword phrases. Using the Console filters you can also check which pages are ranking the highest for each keyword and you can focus on optimizing those pages even further with related keywords.
Now to find this information using your Google Analytics account, in the sidebar menu click the option Acquisition followed by Search Console and then Queries.
You’ll see a nice graph and a list of what people are searching for which gets your website clicked on. If you’re already ranking first for a keyword then great, but if you’re lagging behind in positions 3 onwards then those are the keywords you need to focus on refining and then injecting into the relevant webpages. Remember to look for keywords that are 3 to 4 words long.
Use Google’s auto-complete to find keywords
If your plan is to find long-tail keywords from scratch or keywords which are related to the ones you’re already ranking for, then manual Google searches are a great way to do this. First of all, use Incognito mode so the search doesn’t filter your results by location (unless that’s what you want). Now type in your target keyword phrase and see what comes up.
Further down in this post I mention a couple tools that can do this process for you, so hold on for that.
Check the related searches for more keywords
Whenever you search for a keyword you’ll obviously get a page full of search results, but you’ll also get a nice group of related searches right at the end of the page, so make sure to scroll all the way down and take a look at the bolded keywords. These are the ones you can use.
You can also take one of these related keywords and then type that into Google, check out the related search results for that keyword for even more keywords. Rinse and repeat until you have an awesome list of long-tail keywords.
Get keyword ideas from forums and boards
Forums are the best place for people all over the web to ask specific things about anything, which makes it the perfect place for you to gather ideas for good long tail keywords. Go into Google (or Bing if you’re desperate) and using your chosen keyword, follow any of these formulas:
“keyword” + forums
“keyword” + board
“keyword” + blogs
What you’ll end up with is a bunch of keyword hubs where the very thread titles and forum categories will tell you what you should be using in your content.
Use free keyword search tools
There are more than a few keyword tools online, many of them offering a ‘sneak peek’ unless you pay up. But most of the time a sneak peek is all you need.
Google Trends is a personal favorite. It’s free, it’s straight-forward to use, and it works.
You can search for a single keyword phrase or compare it to other similar phrases to choose which ones you should be using to bring in more traffic. It will also show you a bunch of other stats like the countries that search for it the most (maybe you need to translate your website?), regions, and related queries. You can also tweak the filters if you’re targeting a specific country or region.
Soovle.com is an easy to use, free tool that shows you keyword suggestions results from Amazon, Wikipedia, Ask.com, Google and YouTube. It ain’t pretty, but it delivers.
Answer The Public is another free tool which I find amusing (once you enter you’ll see why). Here you can type in a broad keyword and it’ll show you what people around the web are asking about it. This is also a good way to find subjects to blog about, if you’re looking to generate more content to help with your website’s visibility.
UberSuggest is a relatively new keyword search tool which takes your keyword and adds letters of the alphabet next to it to collect all the queries Google suggests for it. Remember when I said there’s a tool that will do your autocomplete searching for you? Well this is it.
When you type “what is s” in the search bar then Google will show a list of suggestions, right? Well you don’t want to be there all day typing “What is a”, “What is b”, etc. So UberSuggest does this for you. Soovle does this too, but UberSuggest produces significantly more keywords.
Finally, I’ve also used this free SERPS tool and this free keyword tool which both give lists of the top keyword phrases people search for, related to your product or service. Cross-referencing them with Google isn’t really necessary, but if you’re using both keyword tools and they give conflicting results then Google Trends would be a good way to define what’s what.
Try to get about 10 of these long tail keywords, prioritize them and start inserting them in your page and post titles, URLs, headings and link texts. If you’re using WordPress then most of this will be done automatically once you set the title for your content. There are also plenty of SEO WordPress Plugins available, my personal favorite being YOAST SEO Plugin. If you need help installing and setting up WordPress plugins or even to completely do WordPress SEO for you, then you can ring us up and we’ll take care of it for you!
Long tail keywords are much more effective at optimizing your webite for SEO and will help you significantly increase your web traffic. You can easily find the long tail keywords your content needs using an array of tactics and free tools, and you will definitely need to block out a good portion of your time to find then inject them in all the right places across your web pages. My only warning to you is not to abuse keywords, don’t stuff keywords in pages that have nothing to do with what the keyword implies. Misleading users is a no-go in SEO and also in user experience! So now you have two choices: you can go off into the world wide web and find your long-tail keywords then inject them yourself into your website, or you can click here to message us and we’ll do it all for you. Take your time, we’ll be here if you ever need us.
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