Before I explain how long tail keywords can change your SEO, let me put you in context!
Why is SEO still very important?
In 2021, SEO, or natural ranking, remains one of the major digital marketing techniques to deploy on your website. We are not going to lie to each other, even if word of mouth and traditional advertising remain valuable assets to accelerate the growth of your business, there is one key element not to be forgotten, and that is digital marketing.
“But Julien, it’s too late, my competitors invested in their web strategy years ago!”
False! It’s never too late, and it’s even more true when it comes to SEO. More than a strategy, SEO is a medium / long term investment that has advantages that most other techniques do not. We talk about its durability and its ability to bring you traffic – even if you cut your marketing budgets.
Alas, it is a more demanding technique to implement and which generally takes longer to bear fruit. Quite simply because it is a free method.
One thing is certain, if you hire an expert to develop an SEO strategy for you, this will represent a certain cost depending on the requirements of your project. When we talk about free, we are referring directly to search engines and other social media. If you’re talking about Google Ads or Facebook / Instagram Ads, you know keyword bidding comes at a cost. We do not appear on these segments without planning a budget. And we stop appearing there as soon as we stop spending.
The advantage of paying to advertise digitally is that you get short-term results. Subject, of course, to know the best practices to implement to compete with the competition (At Rablab, we know them, if need be …;)). It is for these reasons that a so-called 360 strategy has its “raison d’être”: we perform with paid advertising while waiting for free advertising to take effect.
If we’re talking in terms of timelines, let me give you an idea.
Depending on the competition, the efforts invested, the technical health of your website, we estimate on average that an SEO strategy worthy of the name begins to bear fruit within 6 to 12 months of its implementation. And then we maintain it like a beautiful plant that we water regularly.
That being said, if there is one technique to use to get results as quickly as possible and try to generate organic traffic in a minimum of time, it is the long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
In SEO, it’s all about keywords and content. Of course, there are other axes to work on when setting up an SEO strategy, and we will often talk to you about pagespeed, technique, Content Delivery Network, SXO, or even backlinks. We sometimes don’t really know where SEO stops because it flirts with the boundaries of other areas (UX, web development, etc.) but we know where it starts.
Indeed, an SEO strategy worthy of the name always begins with a keyword research and work on the content, so that each money-page (important page) of the website is unique and can drain its share of organic traffic. This is where we bring in short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords correspond to high volume generic keywords (1 to 3 words). They are generally characterized by an generic search intention on the part of the Internet user.
For example, if I Google “Shoes”, I search for a short tail keyword.
12100 monthly searches, it’s a lot.
But do you really think you’re going to convert a large percentage of those searches to clicks and then to sales?
What does the user doing this search really want? Shoes for men or women? Sports, walking, or city shoes? Red, black, or gray? Size 38, 39, or 47?
What needs to be understood at this point is that the user himself does not know what he wants by doing this search. His or her search intent is unclear. You have little chance of ranking yourself on this type of keyword in the short term because they are often very competitive.
And, at the same time, their CTR (click-through rate vs. impression rate) is generally low. This means that there are few clicks compared to the number of times your site is displayed by Google on this search.
In summary, short-tail keywords often coincide with an informational approach on the part of the Internet user, who is not yet in the stage to make the act of purchasing.
Long tail keywords each attract few visitors to a website.
But they still have many advantages:
- Their cumulation can represent a significant part of the organic traffic of the site
- They are often less competitive than short tail keywords.
- It is generally easier to get a good ranking in the search engines with these type of keywords
- They convert much better.
Generally speaking, they are composed of 3 to X words. The longer an expression, the more qualified it is.
If I stay in the world of shoes, here is an example of a long tail keyword:
We note that we are far from 12,100 searches per month on the keyword “shoes”.
You won’t be running your ecommerce business with one keyword at 90 searches per month, that’s for sure.
But let’s say you find 50 expressions of the same genre with similar volume. We would then reach a cumulative volume of 4,500 searches per month.
And best of all, 4,500 searches with a purchase intent this time around. That is, searches made in order to make a purchase. The kind of perfect terms for your e-commerce site.
Rather interesting, isn’t it?
From these long tail keyword research, it’s a whole content strategy that you will be able to set in place for your website. The goal is to provide one page per search term to draw as much traffic as possible.
Everything is possible from there. You can perform a mapping of the searched keywords with your category pages, or your product pages. If you have a blog, be aware that there are also possibilities for long-tail keywords in most cases. The questions that Internet users ask themselves are particularly interesting. For example:
This type of article helps attract customers who did not necessarily have an initial purchase intent. This is another use of the long-tail keywords.
The consumer can then reason as follows:
- How do I clean my suede shoes?
- I will ask Google and click on a well ranked result
- Hey! This website seems to be on point with the subject, they give lots of great tips on care for suede shoes.
- Oh, they give advice but also sell suede shoes, and many other types of shoes for that matter. I’m thinking of buying myself a new pair, let’s look at their products.
The best part is that the more you cover long-tail topics, the more you will solidify the overall semantic keywords of your website, the more you will position yourself on short-tail keywords at higher volume.
A site poor in semantic content with a home page and a title “Shoes online” has little chance of properly ranking itself on such a generic request.
But give it some love, make sure to add relevant pages, answer Internet users’ questions, create informative content at the crossroads of worlds between pure SEO and the desire to make life easy for Internet users, there is a good chance that you’ll get many more conversions.
When I talk about title, I’m talking about the number 1 tag in SEO. And inevitably, I also think of the meta description. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, I have a colleague who wrote an excellent article “How to Write Optimized Title and Meta-Description Tags” which I recommend you read.
How to define your “long-tail” keywords?
1 – Start by listing your themes
As a famous YouTuber would say, ask yourself the right questions: “What am I selling? What services do I offer? What will Internet users type in to find my products or services?”
This is the time to prepare your content according to the products you have in your inventory, or the services you offer to your customers.
The goal is to prepare yourself as well as possible so that Google understands that you are an expert and put all the chances of being well ranked on your side.
2 – Use a keyword research tool to find your long tail keywords
At Rablab we use SEMrush, one of the most complete tools to build SEO strategies. But there are alternatives, like the Google Keyword Planner which is free.
These tools allow you to find the expressions associated with a basic keyword. They give you valuable information such as search trends, volumes, level of competition etc…
This is when your ideas and the vision you have for your business meet the reality, in other words, how the world is looking for you.
This is the mistake most often made in the world of web marketing: relying solely on your vision of your brand internally to build your site.
Keep in mind that your brand is what is known as navigational intent: These are reputation queries that translate good branding. If you are famous, that is fine. You’re going to get a lot of SEO traffic because people are going to Google your name.
But, and this is the most important goal of SEO, what interests us too is to make people who don’t know you yet, find you. And this is where you have to put the effort into thinking from the consumer and their search habits.
It is by having this approach that you will become part of all the intents that we have mentioned earlier:
- Informational intent and short-tail keywords
- Navigational intent and your brand
- Purchase intent and long-tail keywords.
3 – Choosing the right keywords
As has been said, long-tail keywords often correspond to low volumes. But better 10 searches per month than 0. Make sure you choose keywords with minimum volume. There would be no point in being first on a never searched keyword (though, that’s not quite true, but that’s another debate).
Thus, among all the keywords that you will find, it will be necessary to identify the best of them as a priority: ideally those with the best search volume / search qualification / competition ratio.
If you want to know how to choose the right keywords, I’ll let you read the full article we wrote on the subject.
Don’t have time to do it? Not enough experience? Don’t have the tools? Contact us, and we will be happy to help you take your business to the next level!
Either way, remember: SEO is like a marathon. You get nothing by sprinting, nor without preparation. If tomorrow you set yourself the goal of going for a 50 kilometer run, you are not going to get there the same day, and without preparation you will fail for sure.
It’s the same with SEO: planning, research, experiments, analytics, work = results.
Are you ready? 3, 2, 1… go!