Long Tail Keywords Can Drive Steady Traffic

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 23, 2015

Any person who’s even remotely involved in internet marketing knows what keyword research is, but surprisingly, many don’t understand the complexity of it. In fact, there’s a lot more to selecting a good keyword than merely finding a popular search term with low competition. There’s growing interest surrounding long tail keywords, and if they aren’t a part of your marketing strategy, you could be losing out on highly targeted, valuable traffic.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

The Chekkt Blog describes long tail keywords as search phrases that are typically longer than three or four words in length. While longer keywords are less popular in usage, they make up for it with extremely powerful, targeted traffic. For example, a generic search term such as “pizza” sees anywhere from 8 to 10 million hits per month. On the other hand, “chicken bacon and ranch pizza recipes” sees an average 800,000 hits per month. While the numbers are clearly different, the latter will drive much more specific traffic than the more generic term.

According to an infographic released by HitTail, long tail keywords comprise more than 70% of all search term traffic combined. As you can see, there is quite a bit of value in these types of keywords.

How Can Long Tail Keywords Help Your Website?

To understand how a long tail keyword can help your website, let’s take another look at the comparison between “pizza” and “chicken bacon and ranch pizza recipes.” Users that merely type “pizza” into a search engine could be searching for a number of things. They might be interested in local pizza restaurants, pizza recipes, the history of pizza, pizza coupons, etc. It’s difficult to know because the term is so simple. On the contrary, “chicken bacon and ranch pizza recipes” is very distinct. You immediately know exactly what the user wants, and websites that offer these types of recipes are all that they’re looking for. You can rest assured that when a user arrives at your website from using a highly targeted keyword like “chicken bacon and ranch pizza recipes,” you can give them what they’re looking for.

While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with targeting a generic term such as “pizza,” you will still end up with lots of traffic that you won’t be able to satisfy. Targeting long tail keywords is much more valuable and worthy of your time in the long run.

How to Begin Targeting Long Tail Keywords

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a dime to unearth a heap of highly profitable long tail keywords. Locating valuable search terms like these is as easy as using Google’s Keyword Planner. You can easily get started with the Keyword Planner by using the Search options under “What would you like to do?” Be sure to use the “Keyword ideas” tabs on the results page, and always keep an eye on the average monthly searches. When searching for keyword ideas, you’ll see lots of generic terms, but you’ll eventually come across a few long tail keywords that you could potentially use. Never assume that a long tail keyword will be profitable; do the appropriate research before you go any further.

Identifying Profitable Long Tail Keywords

Let’s say you’ve found a long tail keyword that you want to use in your campaign. That’s great! However, you should assess whether or not using it would be worth it.

Using the Keyword Planner, find out the keyword’s “Broad and Exact” search volume. From the results page, you’ll be able to see metrics such as its search volume, average CPC, and how much competition you’re up against for that particular phrase.

Using these tips and hints, it should be easy to get started with identifying long tail keywords and incorporating them into your content. This will help your website climb the search engine ranks, as well as create conversions. Staying consistent and committed to your keyword campaign will pay off in the long run.