In response to a post on long tail keywords sometime back, I got some queries on how to use them more effectively.
Before sinking into this question, let me make a few observations about long tail keywords. For starters, you need to understand that more often than not, you will not get substantial ideas on long tail keywords from the usual keyword research tools. The reason is simple: for most long tail keywords, there is not enough search volume to map out any data.
Let me stretch it out for you. If you search for generic keywords, like ‘socks’, the search volume available is astonishingly high. As you can well imagine, the competition to rank on these keywords is very high. Most number of searchers uses these keywords. However, when you get into specifics and try long tail keywords, like ‘polka dotted blue and white socks’, the number of searches is abysmally low, even on a monthly scale.
Because of such low data, keyword research tools cannot provide you any information or stats. This makes long tail keywords a kind of guesswork. You need to figure out for yourself what the long tail keyword can possibly be. Now the question popping up in your mind is, why bother? The search volume is low anyway! The answer is, the few searchers on long tail keywords are usually strong leads. The conversion rate is jaw-dropping high. So, you cannot ignore the mechanics of using long tail keywords.
The math is quite simple. With a landing page dedicated for each long tail keyword, you will be able to generate more sales than having hundreds visiting your site through generic keywords and more than 90% of them slipping away. I think it’s wiser to invite 10 potential leads and close the sale on 7 of them than bear the expenditure of marketing to 100 potential leads and then closing deals on just 20 of them. Long tail keywords give you this conversion advantage.
Not targeting long tail keywords mean you are gunning for the generic keywords. That demands an entire SEO machinery at work! It includes more content publication and leakage through the marketing funnel. With more people in the arena, you will be sorely hard-pressed to manage them all, especially when you realize that maybe none of them are particularly interested in buying anything from your portal. It is quite a sad situation to be in!
Instead, a better choice is to work in a niche marketing segment. You cannot have all. There is no point in proliferating matters when you cannot control them. Finding a niche can cut down on the number of searchers anyway. You can go into more specifics by opting for long tail keywords. Suddenly, the competitive arena has shrunk and you have fewer people on the deck but almost all of them are actually interested buyers.
Targeted marketing opens up like never before. You can try out PPC campaigns on these long tail keywords that belong to a niche market. The double whammy makes your PPC ads quite specific to users. It also cuts down your cost incurred because unwanted people are not even seeing your PPC ads on their screens through searches, let along click on them for no value addition to your business.
When I say that you have to steer clear of most keyword research tools for long tail keywords, I’m not asking you to abandon research completely! You can try the Keyword Explorer of Moz or KeywordTool.io. There are others like SearchMetrics. AdWords, the accepted keyword research tool cannot help you because it does not show you keywords with zero search volume, which is the case for long tail keywords. However, the tools I mentioned here provide you with keyword ideas, irrespective of their search volumes.
There is another tack that you can try out: targeting long tail keywords at random within the construct of your business domain. In this case, you can no longer going for specifics but through content, you are trying to cover everything under your business domain. A good way to do that is through user-generated content, where users end up optimizing long tail keywords without realizing it!
That’s it for now!