Keywords are one of the most important tools in your arsenal – without them; you can’t focus your copy, or work with your writers to really laser target results from everything from organic search to PPC campaigns. They are absolutely essential to the smooth running of any site or project online and should be something that everyone knows how to use.
But, long tail keywords specifically can make the difference between an amazing site and a mediocre one. There are several reasons, but we’ve targeted the top five, to give you tips and tricks.
What are they anyway?
Long tail keywords are the narrow focus keywords that typify the topic – they are keywords that talk about specific areas of your site. For example, if you sold websites – your long tail keywords could be PHP (as you program in it – or offer support for it), Ruby, Web design, Fantastico, or even things as mundane as whether you host windows or Linux only. It’s these specific words that become your ‘long tail’ keywords.
The idea of ‘long tail’ keywords comes from the concept that as you look at a chart that shows people searching, you’ll get a tail of increasingly more focussed, and increasingly more specialised words, but because these words are so specialised, in any niche, they are far easier to monetise, as people are specifically searching for them.
TIP: When looking at your list of long tail keywords, consider what your most focused customers are looking for. In the example above, the answer may be ‘Wordpress’ or ‘Forum’ hosting. You should focus in on these for optimal success.
Long tail keywords spread you out through your niche
If there’s 1000 fans in your specific niche, and 400 are interested in the general stuff, or are beginners or are looking for information that’s ‘generally’ about the hobby, a well-adjusted and targeted site should already catch these people. But what if you could interest the other 600?
Long tail keywords generally attract a more focussed market, but in most cases these 600 more focussed readers are actually looking for something specific, something YOU can provide. Catering to smaller, narrower subjects is exactly what long tail keywords is all about.
TIP: Generalization is great when you start a site, but you should have one or two areas, areas of expertise, or resource, where you can go deeper and attract specific searchers.
Use your knowledge wisely
In hobbies, we’re all experts at something. Long tail keywords play on this – and while it’s true you’ll attract less general browsers this way, your expertise may help others. It’s the main reason there are so many niche sites online, and there’s always room for one more. But in sharing your knowledge, you may also be able to monetise it – and that’s where long tail keywords come into their own. By monetising your content, you’ll find that your income stream becomes more secure, especially if you expand your site in several directions of depth.
TIP: Consider offering some of your content for free, and using the really deep keywords on the long tail to create a report, ebook or other piece of fee generating download. Not only will you establish yourself as an expert, but you’ll protect your own keywords for longer.
Know what your clients really want
Knowing and understanding what your visitors are searching for can give you some solid keywords to work on. If you can’t access stats from your webhosting dashboard or don’t know what to do with the stats, then you should consider using a program that is user friendly, such as Analytics, or similar. Once you know what people are searching for you can target your content more effectively. Understanding search patterns will also help you plan for content, especially if your site is seasonal or has a busy period and a quieter period.
TIP: In most web hosting sites, you can see what people are searching for, along with any pages that are missing and more. Using this information, you can build content in case they search again in the future. WordPress and other sites also offer plugins to do exactly the same thing.
Don’t be too obscure
It’s important not to be too obscure with keywords – it takes a bit of practice, but focusing on providing content for one lone searcher isn’t going to be as cost effective as providing content for five or ten searches. It’s important to keep perspective on your content – but equally important to follow your heart. Your passion should be reflected on your website, so if you’re interested in talking to that one person who shares exactly the same interests as you, go for it. While other people may not search for this content, anyone that sees it will see your content as more authentic.
TIP: When all is said and done, make sure your content is as comfortable and conversational as you are. Always share passion; just make sure your passion has a moderation of content that can pay for it!
Do you use Long tail keywords on your blog or use generic keywords? Do share your experience or if you would like to add a tip, you can add a guest post here at ShoutMeLoud.
No matter what type of site you have, long tail keywords can give you the answer, and the traffic you need. When used appropriately, they are one of the best weapons in any writer’s arsenal and can turn an underachieving site into a super one with ease.
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