Most online marketers do not have the budget, expertise or even resources to rank for highly competitive search terms. It could take many months, even years to secure top rankings for these keywords. That’s why it’s a better idea to go for a long-tail keyword strategy and slowly work your way up to search terms that are more competitive.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
The long-tail refers to keywords that are more specific and are typically three or more words in length. These keywords receive significantly less search volume than broad search terms and thus, fewer competitors try to rank for them.
To give an example, a broad search term may be “wedding favors.” Long-tail keywords would include “beach-themed wedding favors,” “Japanese-themed wedding favors,” “classy and inexpensive wedding favors.” In addition to being easier to rank for, these longer phrased and specific keywords often convert much better than broad keywords.
Using a Long-Tail Keyword Tool to Uncover SEO Opportunities
Now that you know what these keywords are and why you should target them, it’s time to use an actual long-tail keyword tool for your long-tail keyword strategy. You can use Google’s free keyword research tool to research keywords, and there are a number of other commercial alternatives such as Wordtracker, Wordze and Keyword Discovery. Personally, I prefer Hubspot’s toolkit, because it is an umbrella service that provides everything you need for marketing, rather than just a keyword tool, but the choice is yours.
The first step in using any of your long-tail keyword tools is to start brainstorming. Start with the most obvious two- to three-word root keywords that best describe what you’re marketing and what your prospects are looking for. This should return a list of keywords that are related to the root keyword you’ve entered. If you’re new to keyword research, this article will help you avoid the common mistakes people make.
The Importance of Filtering Your List
The next step is to filter your results. Your keyword tool should return an estimated search volume and also tell you how competitive the keyword is. Download all the keywords and try to prioritize keywords with low to medium competition. These keywords should generated a hundred or more searches a month.
If you feel like you can compete, you can also go for keywords that are categorized as having high competition. Just make sure that the search volume on these keywords are still in the low-to-medium-range in search volume as the number of searches is a secondary indicator of how competitive it will be. For beginners starting with a long-tail keyword strategy, it will be the best way to get momentum for a search campaign.
The last step in using a long-tail keyword tool is to build out your list and move forward with your SEO campaign. Repeat the process of extracting long-tail keywords for each root keyword until you develop a big list. Analyze your list and start building your SEO campaign around keywords that have a high chance of producing a ROI for your campaign, receive a decent amount of searches per month, and are categorized as having low-to-medium- competition.
How to Proceed to the Next Level
From here on, it’s all about scaling your campaign. Use the profits generated from the rankings you’ve secured for the long-tail keywords to fund the other keywords on your list. Eventually, you’ll want to scale and build your campaign around keywords with higher search volumes and competition. For most online marketers with small budgets, using a long-tail keyword strategy is the key to building a successful search campaign.