What Are Long Tail Keywords?

May 14, 2018 Natalie Russo

 

Using selective keywords to target potential customers on search engines is a tried and true tactic. But while it might seem intuitive to base your search strategy around broad keywords that will reach a wide spectrum of searchers, in truth, the reverse is often most effective.

Instead of casting their nets wide, many businesses find that they generate more valuable leads by using very specific hooks, three or four word phrases that – though used by fewer people – are more likely to denote a potential customer who is actually poised to buy. These phrases are called “long tail” keywords.

When you spend a lot of time optimizing your website around broad keywords that reflect your offering in a not very specific way, there’s a good chance you’ll land in front of people who may be searching for content that has little to do with you. This means a good portion of your audience may be unlikely to ever become customers.

 

Why specific spells success

To illustrate, consider someone’s intention when they perform a search for "dry cleaning" vs. a phrase such as "eco-friendly dry cleaning in Toronto." In the first example, a person may be searching to understand how dry cleaning works, looking for information about which fabrics should be dry cleaned, or looking for a dry cleaner; the search engine has no way to tell.  

But in the second example, there's a good chance the person searching for "eco-friendly dry cleaning in Toronto" is looking for a business that offers just that. Fewer people may be searching for the more specific phrase, but those individuals that are much more likely to convert.

There's another reason long tail keywords may be more effective for reaching consumers. In the first example, you're competing for top search ranking against every website, everywhere in the world that has prioritized the word "dry cleaning." The second example, however, likely has a lot less competition for those top search spots.

Simply put, the more specific the keywords you use, the more likely you’ll have a higher ranking on search results and the more likely it is that your website or search ads will be seen by the audience that's most interested in your business.

 

Finding the right long tail keywords

There are lots of tricks for sleuthing out the best long tail keywords based upon your business type – and whether you’ve come up with a list yourself or need a little help in finding the right long tail keywords, a Yellow Pages expert can help you use those words to increase the amount of search traffic to your website.

These tools can help you zero in on useful long tail keywords:

  • Google keyword planner: Google’s keyword planner tells you how many people search for specific terms and will provide suggestions for long tail keywords based upon topics or landing pages.
  • Google related searches: When you perform a search, Google provides more specific related searches to help users zero in on more relevant results. This can yield some clues into long tail keywords that may be effective for your local business.
  • HitTail: This online tool analyzes your existing website traffic to develop a list of the long tail keywords you should be using.
  • Yellow Pages: Whether you are looking to target audiences using SEO or SEM, Yellow Pages consultants are an expert resource at every stage in developing your search engine strategy, including helping you find the most optimal keywords.

 

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