It’s an open secret among SEOs that optimizing content for long-tail keywords can radically improve the ranking of a website. Long-tail keywords have many advantages over their shorter cousins, such as being optimized for voice search and semantic search, having significantly less competition, attracting visitors who are ready to buy, and offering a higher Return on Investment (ROI) for a much lower cost. Furthermore, short tails are already a part of long-tail keywords, so by using them you’re already killing two birds with one stone!
The only issue with long-tail keywords is that they’re low-search volume, so you have to carefully pick the ones you use. Here are eight ways to find great long-tail keywords for your site.
- Make a list
Before you open your favorite keyword research tool, you need to understand what your website has to offer. Grab a pen, a piece of paper, and take time off from your calendar to think about how you can translate your business’s offering into long-tail keywords. Make sure you list every product, and variation of it, that you can think of. Once you have everything listed, pick your best sellers and re-write your keywords to match the way your customers speak and write their queries.
- Google “Searches Related to…”
The “Searches Related to…” box is a useful resource that lies at the bottom of every Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP). You can use related searches to come up with many variations for your long-tail keywords in a matter of minutes. Just type a long-tail keyword you know would drive traffic to your website and scroll down to see the related searches. Take the related keywords and Google them as well, then repeat this process with their related searches. Once you have a good amount of long-tail keywords, you can use your favorite keyword research tool to pick the ones that best target your users.
- Questions in forums and boards
Modern-day customers spend a lot of time in online communities, where they can share their opinions and experiences with other consumers. These forums and boards are an excellent place to mine for keyword ideas because they’re full of hundreds of people asking or answering questions about your website’s topic. To use forums for keyword research, you need to find a place where your target audience hangs. If you can’t think of a name, try to Google strings like “keyword” + “forum” or “keyword” + “powered by vbulletin” to find them.
- Google Autocomplete suggestions
Google Autocomplete provides an easy way to come up with long-tail keyword ideas that come straight from Google. All you need to do is to take a broad topic or head keyword and write it into the search box. Immediately you’ll be able to see about a dozen popular variations of your search terms you can use as long-tail keywords. The only downside to this method is that it’s very time-consuming (especially if you’re typing a keyword + every letter of the alphabet), so you can save yourself a lot of pain by using tools such as Ubersuggest to scrape Google’s autocomplete data for you.
- “People also ask…” boxes
People also ask, or PAA, is another powerful Google SERP feature you can use to come up with long-tail keywords. A type of featured snippet, PAA has been growing in use and power since it first appeared in 2015. By entering a single question or search term you can get potentially infinite variations of it for the same, or a slightly different, topic. For example, querying for “Is white rice a bad carb?” and then hitting PAA could give you “What are the side effects of eating white rice?” or “Why white rice is bad for you.” As you can see, the possibilities are limitless.
- Google Trends
Keywords are never static, so their popularity rises and plummets through time. Google Trends free tool that allows you to see which long-tail keywords are trending at the moment. All you need to do is to go into Trending searches, look for topics relating to your content, and see which keywords are trending. Furthermore, you can also use Google Trends to look at historical data and find which topics and keywords are trending for the season.
Quora is a popular Q&A website full of useful questions and answers you can use to come up with keyword topics. Many of these questions are low-search volume keywords you can copy and paste or use to brainstorm new keyword ideas. Even questions in short-tail format can be used to create long-tail keywords with the help of Google Keyword Planner.
- Competing websites
Since it’s impossible to come up with all the possible long-tail keywords for a topic on your own, a good way to get new ideas is to check your competitors’ websites. Using a keyword research tool you can analyze your competitor’s URL to see which search terms he’s targeting, the position on which his website shows up when a user searches those keywords, and even the pages that rank for certain keywords. All of this should give you plenty of ideas to add to your long-tail keyword list.
Long-tail keywords aren’t as straightforward to use as their shorter cousins but, when well applied, they can have a much larger impact on your search traffic. So as long as you pay attention to details, as well as to what your competition is doing, you’ll get tons of traffic to show up for your hard work.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at 215-393-9787.