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What are Long-Tail Keywords?

For small businesses, in particular, long-tail keywords are a fantastic way of generating traffic to your website. Now if you’re fairly new to SEO practices, you may be wondering what long-tail SEO is.

A great definition from Hubspot describes long-tail keywords as:

“capturing search traffic from a specific, often 3+ word search query. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences.”

As a general rule, these terms will get a lot fewer searches than more generic, shorter keywords.

So why should you bother targeting them?

To begin with, by finding these specific keywords that are relevant to your business, you have a better chance of competing with bigger brands. This is due to a much wider variety of combinations to choose from, meaning you have more opportunities for keywords which you can rank for on the first page on search engines. If you want to invest your time in some great long tail keyword research, we always recommend the Keyword Planner from Google or the Moz Keyword Explorer.

Keyword Planner on Laptop

Finding these niche long-tail keywords is a huge benefit to your website as the vast majority of traffic goes to results on the first page. In fact, a study from Chitika in 2013 shows that the top spot on Google gets a massive 32.5% of the average traffic share for the search and that the links on the first page of Google search results gets an overwhelming 91.5% of the traffic.

This means that although fewer people may be searching for these phrases, the chances are that those who do will be more likely to find your website and purchase your products because they’ve specifically searched for them. Therefore, these click-throughs are more likely to turn into conversions than they would be for generic terms.

So are you better off using a lot of long-tail SEO instead of generic key terms and PPC to gain traffic?

In short, no. To gain the maximum amount of visitors from search engines, you’ll need all three. As outlined in our previous blog post about SEO vs PPC, if you want conversions and traffic fast, PPC is a good solution. However, by investing your time into these organic SEO methods, you can receive more traffic at a much lower cost. In fact, a great study from Enquisite via Moz shows that “for every 1 click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks” even though expenditure on SEO is 1/8th of PPC.

A great example of successfully implementing long-tail SEO can be found on the site NeilPatel.com about a company called Alex Cooper. The website claims that “the site began getting more traffic from over 500 keywords” which is a fantastic achievement. Not only that, the company was also able to reduce its PPC spending by 50%.

Organic traffic might be free, but be aware that there is a lot more competition, and it can take much longer to see results. However, by investing a little bit of effort into areas of online marketing like long-tail SEO and by producing high-quality content for your website, in time, it’s sure to pay off.

How can we help you?

Zelst provides expert keyword research to help your website get found online. This includes using our knowledge and experience to find the best long-tail keywords for our clients, to help them achieve fantastic results and climb those tricky search engine rankings. For more information and advice, feel free to contact us.