One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is trying to target broad, generic keywords. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that such keywords will yield more traffic since they have a higher search volume. While it’s true that broad keywords usually have greater search volume than narrow keywords, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll reap the benefits of increased traffic by targeting them.
What is a Long Tail Keyword?
Long-tail keywords are usually three or four keyword phrases that are more specific than a single keyword. One of the benefits of using them is users who enter more specific keyword phrases are usually closer to making a purchase since they already know exactly what product or service they are seeking.
The problem with trying to target broad keywords is the massive amount of competition they have. For instance, searching for the broad keyword “health tips” on Google will reveal a whopping 876 million results. If you narrow down your niche to a keyword such as “health care tips for middle-aged women,” however, you’ll notice there are only 49 million results. That’s a pretty substantial difference, attesting to the power of a narrow, long-tail keyword.
With fewer sites competing for the respective keyword, you’ll have an easier time achieving a top rank in Google and other search engines. Many bloggers and webmasters invest countless hours of hard work into building their websites, only to discover that it’s not ranking well in the search engines. In cases such as this, the root cause of the low rankings isn’t caused by a low-quality website or lack of content, but rather it’s caused by too much competition. You have to remember that competing sites have probably been sitting comfortably in Google’s index for quite some time, and in order to boost your site above them, you’ll have to spend a great deal of time, resources and energy on SEO.
Another reason why you should target long-tail keywords is because it yields more targeted traffic. If you run an e-commerce website that specializes in aftermarket truck parts, for instance, you’ll have a higher conversion rate and generate more sales by targeting keywords like “aftermarket truck parts” instead of “car parts or “auto parts.” Users will see your website listed in Google after searching for “aftermarket truck parts,” at which point they’ll click it to check out your inventory. If visitors click on your listing after searching for “auto parts,” there’s a lower chance of them making a purchase since they probably weren’t shopping for aftermarket parts.
So, how can you identify profitable long-tail keywords for your blog? Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your blog and choose keywords that are relevant to your blog’s demographic. Ideally, the keywords should have a moderate amount of searches with minimal competition. But most importantly, they should flow cohesively with your blog’s content and objective.
Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Too
I also recommend using Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Tool. Found at https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner, this free-to-use tool will reveal a plethora of information about prospective keywords for which you are trying to rank, including average bid prices, competition, and other related keywords. Note: you’ll need an Adwords account to access the Keyword Planner Tool, but you don’t have to actually spend money. Sign up for a free account and you are good to go!
Do you target long-tail keywords with your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!