What are Long Tail Keyword Phrases

Long tail keyword phrases are phrases that consist of between two and 5 words and are used when searching for a specific item. A long tail keyword is the exact opposite of a "head term".

A "head term" would be something like "digital camera". Don't get stuck in the rut of trying to win with a head keyword. Head keywords are so competitive, it'll take you years (if ever) to win the niche.

Using long tail keyword phrases on your website will provide you with more website traffic while not having as much competition for the keyword phrase.

While researching keywords for your website, you'll notice that that over half of the queries on the major search engines are for long tail keyword phrases. Long tail keywords turn words into website traffic leading to higher conversion rates.

Why Use Long Tail Keyword Phrases?

  • Using long tail phrases can bring you to the top of the search engine results for that query.
  • Long tail keyword phrases are typically used by an end user in the latter part of their search.
  • As an example, a user searching for "digital camera" most likely isn't ready to make a purchase just yet.
  • After the end user has done some research on digital cameras, they'll likely search for a long tail keyword phrase such as "Nikon - D3200 24.2 megapixel SLR camera".
  • At this point, they're likely ready to buy the camera.

Keyword Selection Process

  • When choosing keywords for your website, make your decisions around whether or not that keyword or phrase is in direct relation to the content on your website. 
  • Is the keyword you're researching relevant to the content of the website or web page? If you're the end user searching for that keyword, will they find what they are looking for on your site? Will they find the quality they are looking for on your site?
  • If any of the above answers are no, move on to another keyword.
  • While it's important to select low competition keywords to maximize your conversion rates in the keyword selection process, don't get so caught up in the keyword competition that you forget your visitors.
  • Keywords will drive traffic to a website but if you don't have the quality, unique content the user is looking for, the traffic doesn't convert.

Do your own Keyword Search

  • Using the keyword, do your own search. This will give you a good idea of your competition for the term.
  • Did you notice any advertisements running on the top or to the right side of the organic search results? If yes, it's a high value keyword.

Test Website Keywords

  • You may even want to "test" the keywords on your website. 
  • Using Google AdWords, you can setup a test campaign to see how well the traffic converts. 
  • By analyzing the impressions and conversion rate over the course of 300-500 clicks, you get a good idea of the value for that keyword or phrase. 
  • Basically, you buy traffic to your website to see how well traffic will convert. This also provides you with a glimpse of how your content is being received. 
  • If you have no clicks, you need to do some work on the content of those specific pages.

Long Tail Keyword Phrases versus a Broad Keyword:

Long Tail Keywords:

  • Big Sky Bear Family Red Rug
  • Nikon - D3200 24.2 megapixel SLR camera

Short (Broad) Keywords:

  • Red Rug
  • Digital Camera

The difference in using a long tail keyword

  • When a user does a search for a "digital camera", what exactly are they looking for? They really aren't sure yet. 
  • The competition already has the game tied up with a search for "digital camera". 
  • Let the competition use their time and effort to rank for the broad searches. You use your time and effort focusing on the long tail keywords and capture the high conversion traffic.
  • If the user does a search for "Nikon - D3200 24.2 megapixel SLR camera" they know exactly what they want which gives you the opportunity to deliver. 
  • Using long tail keywords is a win/win. 
  • You get targeted website traffic and rank at the top of the long tail search which results in higher conversion rates.

The Advantages of Using Long Tail Keywords

  • Using long tail keywords, you will achieve a better search ranking than by using broad keywords.
  • You have less competition and increase search engine ranking.
  • You may not find the keyword in a search database because the search volume is low.
  • You have a solid chance on good web traffic conversion.

To sum it up, researching and choosing keywords for your website will be the most important task for you to build a profitable business website. 

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