While many people spend thousands to get to #1 for elusive and highly competitive keywords, smarter companies are looking at optimizing for long tail keywords instead.
Recent studies and statistics show an increasing growth in traffic and sales conversions generated by long tail keywords used in Search Engines when searching for a product or service. Research shows that four word, five word and even six-word searches are becoming increasingly more popular. Here are three steps to improving your ranking, traffic and sales conversions through a long tail keywords SEO strategy.
So what are long tail keywords exactly?
Google.com analytics specialist Avinash Kaushik says that put simply, long tail phrases are lots of key phrases that may individually account for low volumes of traffic by themselves but collectively could account for a huge amount of traffic.
The high ranking keyword phrases such as ‘digital cameras’ are known as the ‘head’ and the longer keywords such as ‘Canon 350D digital SLR camera’ are known as the ‘long tail’.
Popular, higher volume keywords are search terms that consumers typically use to do research prior to making a buying decision but specific searches using long tail keywords are far more likely to convert to sales.
Why would you want to optimize for long tail keywords?
Trying to rank on page number one of Search Engines for highly competitive keywords such as ‘gym’ or even ‘Sydney gym’ can be difficult but by analyzing your business, you can break down the keywords into longer tail keywords that your target market may use to search for your business.
So instead of targeting the page for a trophy keyword like ‘gym’, you may want to target the page for a niche phrase like `women’s gym eastern suburbs Sydney’ or ‘personal trainer women’s gym eastern suburbs Sydney’ and be in the running (pun intended) to obtain traffic from long tail keywords combinations.
Highly specific multi-word phrases tend to be far easier to rank well for than more generic single keyword or double keyword phrases. However, the traffic will be better targeted as people who search with long tail keywords are far more likely to become buyers. Remember, the end goal of SEO is not to increase traffic but to increase your number of conversions.
What are the key steps to optimizing your pages for long tail keywords?
1. Finding long tail keywords
Search Engine tools: Search Engine tools such as the Google Search-based keyword tool can help you identify long tail keywords that are being used on your website. Type in your website URL and find long tail keywords that are being searched on www.google.com that are relevant to your business.
Website data: The best ways to source keyword data is look at your own traffic and analyze what the combination of long tail keywords users have used to find your website. With Google Analytics, there a couple of reports you can pull to get this information (most analytics packages will provide you with similar capabilities).
Keyword research tools: Aside from your own data and traditional Search Engine Tools, you can also use keyword research tools like focus groups, social media networks, competitive analysis or usability tests to find out what long tail keywords are best to use to optimize your website.
2. Optimizing the on page content
Page title, descriptions and headings: Place the long tail keywords in the title tag, header and meta keyword descriptions for your page. Each page must have a unique title, description meta tag, header tag, and body content.
Placement: Long tail keywords should be in proximity to one another. Where possible, try having a sentence in the first paragraph with the long tail keyword in it and also in the last paragraph. Use modifiers and synonyms throughout the page.
Synonyms and variations: Use variations and synonyms where possible in your content. Search Engines, especially Google, can recognize different words as meaning the same thing. For example, ‘fridges’ and ‘refrigeration’ can be found as one and the same.
Modifiers and variations: Use modifiers and variations in your headline. A modifier is a word that works in combination with your core keyword and creates your long tail strategy such as ‘best SEO company’ with the modifier being the word ‘best’. This will help avoid duplication of keywords on your website and missed keyword opportunities.
3. Link building strategies for your landing pages
Anchor text: When linking in your on page copy, it is important to include long tail keywords in your link building activities as well to help you rank for mid to low-competition keywords. Include long tail keywords in your anchor text when including internal or external links in your document.
Variation of links: To avoid keyword spamming or stuffing, use variations of long tailed keywords throughout the page that contain the head keyword with modifiers to help rank for that key term.
Directories: When adding your website to directories or social bookmarking sites you should include your “primary” long tail keyword phrase. In addition, also submit the page to bookmarking sites with the long tail keyword phrase as the header/link.
Find out more about link building strategies to build your link profile with Search Engines.
So what do you choose – heads or tails? Long tail keywords can bring you long term profit if used strategically. Cast your net wider and focus on creating landing pages with long tail keywords to bring you more qualified traffic to pages that are aimed at a niche in your market to increase your conversion rate. Contact us to find out how we can optimize landing pages for long tail keywords to boost your sales conversations, build your online business and maximize your return on investment.