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Do you think targeting the most searched for keywords is the best strategy? That increased traffic and increased conversions go hand in hand? For small companies with small budgets, long tail phrases are a brilliant opportunity that can’t be missed. They are easier to target and bring users with an increased chance of conversion to your website. Read on to find out how you can use your long tail to increase profits.

What are long tail keywords?

The search path

When people are unfamiliar with a topic, they generally search for information or products using a path that looks similar to this:

  • A person begins searching for a microphone; they may start with the query “microphone”. After browsing the search results they find some useful information and decide they are more interested in a USB microphone.
  • A search “usb microphone” also gives useful information, however they feel it still isn’t relevant enough.
  • Now the user has more knowledge of USB microphones they begin to use longer queries such as “logitec usb desktop microphone”.
  • To get the most relevant results, they switched from using the head term “microphone” to a short tail search term, “usb microphone,” and then to a long tail phrase, “logitec usb desktop microphone.”

Head terms and short tail keywords

The allure of high traffic causes many businesses to target these keywords, and it is true, a high rank on these phrases will drive large amounts of traffic to your site. The downside to this strategy is that many of these visitors will have little chance of completing your goals. Due to the high competition for these terms it is also very difficult to get a decent ranking, these spots are generally reserved for large companies with massive search engine optimisation budgets.

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Long tailed phrases

These phrases are what people use when they’re looking for something very specific. They may have narrowed their query down using the search path above, or, have previous knowledge of the subject. If they are using such a specific query, there is a good chance they will be very interested in buying, looking at reviews, reading your sites information, signing up to your newsletter, etc.

Not only are these visitors more valuable to you, it is easier to rank highly for these search terms. There is very little value ranking on the sixth page for a head term, whereas good rankings for multiple long tailed phrases can drive useful traffic to your site.

How to find long tail keywords

Google AdWords Keyword Tool can be used to find out information about how often phrases and keywords are searched and the competition for these. A term with high traffic and low competition is the sweet spot you’re looking for. This tool also suggests other related keywords, from which you can build an impressive list. If your analytics has been running for some time you can learn what long tail queries people are using to get to your site. With these ideas you can form new long tail phrases to target in the future. It is also a good idea to keep track of all this data in a spreadsheet so you can tell which phrases you want to focus on.

Using long tailed keywords in your content

The content you write should flow naturally, without being stuffed with keywords. Long tail phrases can be easily used within content without ruining the user experience, whereas single words used constantly on pages can cause suspicion. When writing blog posts you should research all the long tail phrases related to the subject and pick the optimal ones to target.

Using these techniques, first to find the perfect phrases and keywords, then to use them cleverly in your content is a cost effective Search Engine Optimisation strategy. It is useful, however to remember it only makes up part of your successful SEO campaign. Search engine optimisation is something you must tackle from multiple directions to be successful.

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