Why You Should Use Long Tail Keywords

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on November 15, 2009
Posted Under: Search Engine Optimization

The main reasons why you should use long tail keywords, is to be able to effectively compete in your market niche with the “big boys” for your share of the market.

Essentially, there are two groups of keywords that are used in search engine queries, to target types of information thelongtail-2that users are trying to locate on the Internet.

Short tail keywords, that are more frequently used; and long tail keywords, that are more specific.

These keywords can also be classified as broad keywords that are normally only one or two words; and narrow or targeted keywords, that are usually phrases over three words.

Several internet marketers claim credit to the term “long tail” however, no one actually knows who coined the phrase.

The term “long tail”, is used to describe the strategy of specifically targeting the sometimes less competitive niche markets with several keywords, rather than using the broad, often highly competitive, “short tail” keywords.

When website visitors search for specific information using Google, Yahoo, or the other search engines; they will normally input more than a single keyword, to describe the information that they are trying to retrieve.

For example:

If you’re trying to get information about obtaining a low interest business credit card, you could use keywords such as ‘credit card’, ‘low interest credit card‘, ‘business credit card’, ‘low interest business credit card’, or the plural of each keyword as a search query.

The main short tail keyword ‘credit card’, is broadly  focused, and has a relatively low volume of search engine results, at about 82,000,000.

A search for ‘business credit card’ is slightly more focused, and produces a slightly higher search engine result of about 113,000,000.

A search for ‘low interest credit card’ is long tailed, much more focused on what information is needed, and produces a search result of 17,500,000.

The long tail keyword ‘low interest business credit card’, is the most focused on what information is actually needed, is highly targeted, and has a search engine volume of about 1,010,000,000.

The long tail keywords queries indicated above, are the actual search results that were provided by Google as of today.

The abnormal search volume results can be attributed to the current economic conditions in our country surrounding small businesses, the banking, and the credit card industries.

As you can see, the more specific you make your search query, the better the information you will receive; therefore, optimizing your website, and creating content to match what people actually require from their search queries, will attract more visitors to your website.

People that search for information using these, and similar long tail keywords, expect to get information from your website, that coincides with their search engine query.

Here are some reasons why you should use long tail keywords to optimize your website:

  • Long tail keywords, being more targeted, provide higher conversions.

Website visitors landing on your website, that use long tail keywords in their searches, are much more likely to purchase your products, listen to your recommendations, and convert on your affiliate programs.  You are effectively targeting a focused market of potential buyers.

  • Long tail keywords rank easier.

Because you normally have less competition with long tail keywords, it is much easier to rank your website higher with the search engines.

With long tail keywords, you can attain the number one position in the search engine rankings and maintain it.

  • Long tail keywords provide a higher potential for monetization.

The targeted visitors, that are the result of long tail keyword searches, are more valuable than visitors who stumble onto your site.

They tend to click on advertising links more, purchase more products and services, subscribe to blog feeds or newsletters, become repeat customers, and in general are more consumer friendly.

  • Long tail keywords will funnel more traffic to your website.

When you target long tail keywords, you will gradually attract more search engine traffic.

Your website ranking for specific keyword phrases that are related to your business website will increase, as  many of your web pages are indexed, with the long tail keywords.

This results in more online visibility and a greater amount of search engine traffic.

If you want to more effectively compete in your market niche, you should use long tail keywords.

Reader Comments

Completely agree that targeting long-tails is an effective strategy. I recently did some research myself on the benefits of long tails myself, and although more from a PPC perspective, came to similar conclusions to yourself: that it is not only easier to rank for long tails, but they also provide a higher conversion rate.

I also found that since long tails are more specific in nature, they allow the advertiser to better tailor their ad or meta descriptions to better engage the searcher.

Written By Alan Mitchell on November 15th, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

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