Most of us would love to rank at the top page of Google for extremely popular keywords. But that coveted spot, in most cases, just isn’t possible. There’s a tremendous amount of competition out there when it comes to most keywords, and those popular, high-volume, short tail keywords are almost impossible to rank for.
When it comes to ranking for keywords, your best option is going long tail. Long tail keywords are those longer keywords that are more specific, and therefore have less competition. As a bonus, these keywords are often tremendously valuable, they tend to be more targeted and since they’re often phrases your audience is searching for, they can help to draw in relevant traffic; people who are interested in what you’re selling and therefore more likely convert.
As Search Engine Journal puts it,
“Instead of targeting keywords or topics that have high volume, we need to target keywords and topics that we actually have a chance to rank for, making the best use of our time and SEO efforts.”
In today’s ultra-competitive online landscape, targeting high-volume one-word keywords alone just won’t cut it.
The average person doing an internet search uses at least three words in their search query, highlighting the value of longer keyword phrases. And with voice search becoming increasingly popular, ranking for longer keyword phrases and questions is becoming even more important.
The type of keywords that your audience is using can give you a pretty good idea about their intent. For example, longer, more descriptive keywords tend to indicate that they’re lower in the sales funnel and more likely to convert. Additionally, many people today are using questions instead of just typing in one or two keywords. Instead of “painter San Antonio,” they’re searching for, “who is the best exterior painter in San Antonio?” A question like this can indicate that someone’s who’s more interested in buying. By targeting long tail keywords, you’ll be able to capture this valuable, more targeted traffic.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips that will help you to find high volume, low competition keywords –allowing you to optimize your website’s performance –without breaking the bank.
Strategies to Find Long Tail Keywords
Driving traffic to your site is a real skill. Fortunately, it’s one that can be learned. Analyzing and approving your website to meet these successful metrics is something that should be done at all stages in your business, whether you’re a startup or a long-running company looking to improve your sales.
So how to find long tail keywords?
Here’s a look at some strategies for finding keywords with low competition.
Get Clear On Your Goals
First things first, you’re going to want to set content marketing goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog content? This will help you to sift through potential keywords and determine what type of content you want to create in the first place. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re clear on your target audience and have created buyer personas for your customers.
Google Search and Autocomplete: Google understands keyword search as you’d expect, but you may be surprised how many ways you can use Google to find keywords for yourself. Just type in a keyword and see what other queries Google suggests.
(Just make sure you’re using a private browser or else your search history could skew the results).
You could also type in your keyword and a letter to bring up different queries. Or just type in the word “and.” That works too! You can also use Neil Pate’s handy tool: Ubersuggest for an easier way to find these keywords faster.
Google Related Terms Search: At the bottom of every Google page is a related terms search function. This is a useful tool for developing keywords as well.
Customer Support Requests
Another way to find keywords is by looking for popular questions that your customers are asking about your product. Keep track of your customer support requests and create helpful articles to answer the quetions they’re searching for.
Check Your Site’s Internal Search History
If your website has a search function, you can check to see what users are searching for. Visitors may be running similar searches on Google. This can be a good opportunity to find long tail, relevant keywords.
Research the Competition
Take a look at your competitors to see which long-tail keywords they’re using to rank well for general search queries. To do this, take note of the keywords that appear on top-ranking pages. You’ll be able to get ideas on keywords that you can work to incorporate into your own content as well.
Here’s a look at a few more long tail keywords that you can target:
- Search Queries: Add in descriptions that feature search queries that your target audience might use when searching for the product that you offer. Try to think in terms of search queries that your audience might use, not how you would search. Not sure what your audience is looking for? Take a look at websites like Answerhe Public or AlsoAsked to see what they’re searching for.
- Local Long Tail Keywords: You can use long-tail keywords to target local customers. For example, anticipating that a potential customer might write, “Best bookshop in Vermont ” and leading people to your website or e-commerce store. If you sell locally, then targeting your city and state in the keywords can help to draw local customers in.
- Typo Keywords: Another type of keyword that you can use is misspelled or typo keywords. Sometimes anticipating how someone might misspell a word may also work in your favor for search engine optimization. These little hidden keywords can be put in the metadata description of your images so the spelling errors don’t show up in a public space but still show up in a search query.
Keyword Research Tools
Now, let’s take a look at some keyword tools that can help.
Keyword Tool.io is free to use with paid-for add-ons. Use it to find and select up to 750 long-tail keywords. Choose any segment, market, or niche you can think of, add to the search bar, and find a stream of potential keywords. You can then broaden your search using low or high-volume metrics to produce a great picture of your product or business or markets nearby.
To achieve the best results for your website, it’s important to really structure your keyword searches using tools like this one.
Always record your searches in a spreadsheet so that you can review how keywords in your market and potentially hundreds of related niches, segments, industries and product categories, change over time.
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Wordtracker is a platform to undertake high volume searches for keywords. Although you can only submit a small number of free searches before you have to pay, it’s a handy tool to analyze keyword volumes, keyword classes, and keyword comparisons.
- Surfer SEO
Another good pay-for option is Surfer SEO.
(Source: Surfer SEO)
This program isn’t free, but it’s tremendously useful for identifying long-tail keywords. It contains a built-in content editor tool that makes it easy to optimize website content and blog posts. It analyzes more than 500 on-page signals in one sweep and then gives you a simple keyword recipe that you can follow to improve your rankings.
Ahrefs offers to find your low competition high-volume keywords in a single platform. It has a fee, but the results are worth the cost. When looking to upgrade the power and function of your keywords with search engines, you may want to consider this tool.
Ahrefs is a power-user tool for the SEO amateur and experts alike. It’s well-regarded in the SEO professional community. It can be a great way to find your low competition high-volume keywords in a single platform.
It has a fee, but the results are worth the cost. When looking to upgrade the power and function of your keywords with search engines, you may want to consider this tool.
There is an extensive utility on this platform. We’ll just take some of the best tools from Ahrefs and see how you can use them to find low competition keywords.
- Content Explorer: The Content Explorer provides a measure of organic traffic to your site or any other. It delivers estimated monthly traffic from multiple search engines, and together these metrics give you a benchmark for your keyword performance. Content Explorer also identifies referring domains, or unique websites linking to a page, that you can use to benchmark your own site, as well as competitors’.
- Site Explorer: Through this tool, can see what keywords your competitors are ranking for and which pages bring the most search engine traffic. Site Explorer comes with a backlink checker to view links to your competitors’ sites and estimates backlink quality. You can also utilize paid traffic research, to find how and where your competitors are doing paid search advertising and where their advertising dollar is funneled. This is very powerful for comparing and improving your own keywords usage.
- Keywords Explorer: Keywords Explorer runs on a huge database of more than 7 billion keywords, updated with fresh data every month. By processing large amounts of clickstream data, Ahrefs estimates keyword volumes for major platforms and builds a picture for you on how a search would operate across the internet.
- Rank Tracker – Rank Tracker lets you monitor your Google rankings on desktop and mobile by region and selected geography. This means that as your keyword strategy develops you have a tool to always monitor your Google page-rank performance. Improving your keywords based on geography really lets you hone in on customer demographics more carefully.
Analyzing Keyword Difficulty
Once you have some potential keywords, it’s time to check them to see how difficult they are going to be rank for.
Check Your Keyword Difficulty – This concept identifies the level of competition – difficulty – for each keyword. Keyword difficulty has a huge impact on your search engine results page (SERP) score. Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty Checker can help you to see how difficult your potential keywords are to rank for.
Working Keywords In
So now that you have some long tail keywords to use, how can you incorporate them into your content?
Easy! Just start writing about the topic that the keyword’s all about. Okay, so it’s easier said than done, but creating high-quality content is an important part of ranking for different keywords. You can also create FAQ pages and other pages on your site that use these long tail gems. Of course, you’ll want to include them on your product pages as well, whenever possible.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, today, Google’s a lot smarter and prioritizes high-quality content. This is good news for those who re looking to produce helpful, high-quality content. So look to create informative, helpful pieces that address your keywords. Look to include the keywords naturally, try for maybe around 10-20 keywords for a 2,000-word article. Again, quality is more important than quantity, so don’t stuff. The longer the keyword phrase, the harder it will be to work it into your content, so don’t stress if you can’t fit a long keyword phrase in 20 times.
It’s a good idea to have your keyword as part of the title, and again sprinkled throughout in the headings in your sections. It’s a good idea to include them in your image names as well.
So there you have it! Now you know how to find long tail keywords! By now you should have developed a fairly good picture of how to generate low competition keywords and incorporate them into your content to improve your site’s performance. Remember: Google prioritizes high-quality content, so your goal should be to produce top-notch content, not just rank for keywords. So make sure you aim to create good content and the results will follow.
Want to get started with long tail keywords? Download your FREE worksheet for a round-up of the best keyword tools available today.
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