Using Long Tail Keywords

Using long tail keywords – How the little guys can still CRUSH it with Google.

Long Tail Keywords make up 70% of ALL Google searches (source: SEOMoz)

Have you poured your heart and soul into your blog or website only to have it just sit there… month after month, with little to no traffic?  If so, believe me, you’re not alone.  It can feel like you’re sitting at the bottom of Mount Everest—looking up.  Wondering, how in the world am I gonna make it to the top?

Lemme tell you… it’s not impossible.  And it’s not as hard as you might think.

But just like climbing Everest, it’s gonna take action and commitment to make it there.

In today’s post, I’m gonna talk about this blog’s namesake:  long tail keywords.

You see, there are a lot of folks out there tailoring their blogs and sites for keywords that have such high competition that they’re NEVER going to rank high enough on Google to bring in any substantial amount of traffic.

So, what’s a blogger to do?

You go after the low-hanging fruit.

Long tail keywords have far less competition and are a LOT easier to rank for.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

A longtail keyword is a more highly targeted search phrase that a user might type into a search engine.  Long tail keywords are search terms of 3 or more words in length, whereas a broader, more generic search term will be only 1-2 words in length.

Here’s an example:

Generic (or “Head”) Keyword:  computer

Long tail keywords:  buy computer parts, computer parts online, computer repair services, computer data recovery

Why Focus on Long Tail Keywords?

If you take a closer look at the examples above, you’ll see that the long tail keywords are much more specific terms.  Imagine you’re in the computer parts and service business.  If you ranked high on Google for those search terms listed, you could be making some serious bank.  Users who are searching for those terms aren’t just casual browsers—they probably have a problem that needs fixed.  They need to find computer parts, they need their computer repaired, or they need data recovered from some kind of computer or hard drive crash.

And if you think about it, someone in this business could CRUSH it by focusing in even tighter and including geographic areas and forming blog posts or website pages around those.  An example: “computer repair services in denver”.

The reason?

Competition:  The big boys out there aren’t usually gunning for the long tail keywords and it’s easier for you to rank for them.  These keywords are more targeted:  Everyone out there looking for “computer repair services in denver” is looking for “computer repair services.”   But not everyone looking for “computer repair services” is looking for “computer repair services in denver. “ That’s a smaller niche, and it’s easier to rank for.

Higher Conversions:  When a user lands on your site that’s searching for a term as specific as “computer repair services in denver,” there’s a damn good chance they live in Denver, they’ve got a busted computer, and they’re looking for someone to fix it.  They’re already in “buy” mode.  That’s why we call these types of keywords “buyer keywords.”

Now, not all long tail keywords are buyer keywords.  Choose wisely,

To do that, you need to think like a consumer.  Think about what you’d be searching for if you were in their shoes.   I dive DEEP into this in an earlier post HERE.

Stay on Topic

You need to be Laser-focused.  What you need to do now is build a blog/site around your topic.  I’ll use my blog as an example.  My primary vehicle for generating income is blogging about Empower Network, so I keep everything on my blog as closely on topic to that as I can.  You’ll see my posts are optimized for all sorts of keywords that revolve around Empower Network and blogging for profit.  Some of my most productive keyword combos are:

  • Empower Network Review
  • Empower Network Leaders
  • Empower Network Scam
  • And other similar terms

But none of ‘em stray too far off topic.

This is critical.

Google is constantly updating their algorithms and getting better at weeding out crap content.  So you wanna make sure you stay laser focused on your topic.  Google has to see you as an expert in your field, so don’t muddy the waters with a bunch of off-topic stuff that has nothing to do with your primary niche.  You’re better off creating a new blog or using Facebook to vent about those random thoughts.

Build your blog with well-written posts optimized for long tail keywords.  Come up with a keyword combination and write a killer 1500-word post about it, then come up with another on-topic keyword combo, write another post, and then rinse and repeat.

Once you start creating your content, you’ll be ready to move onto syndication.  That involves getting the word out about your content, building backlinks, and getting yourself noticed by Google.

I’ll dive more deeply into content syndication in a later post, so check back soon.  Or better yet, use the email opt-in drop-down box in the upper right to sign up to my content updates.  You’ll be one of the first to know about any new posts as soon as I publish ‘em.

Researching Long Tail Keywords

The quickest way to get a feel for what long tail keywords people are searching for is to type them into Google.  For example, type in “computer repair services” and see what Google’s autocomplete comes up with.

long tail keywords

This is a good first step, but it won’t tell you everything you need to know.  For that, you’ll need to use some sort of keyword tool.

Google’s Keyword Planner is free to use and will give you quite a bit of insight into how popular your keyword choice may be.  Be sure to use the “exact match” option to get accurate results.  The default search mode is “broad” and it produces misleading results.  Look for keywords with a volume greater than 1500 for local searches.

But… if you REALLY wanna get the edge over your competition, you’ll need a customized tool to get you started. Personally, I use a tool called Long Tail Platinum. There’s a free version you can try out, but the real benefit comes with the subscription service. You get a TON of info about keywords and competitors, and if you expect to succeed, you’ll need information like this to compete.

If you’re interested in learning more about long tail keywords, blogging, or partnering with me in Empower Network, check out the benefits on my Partner page.

Your Long Tail Blogging Coach,

Ken Mabry

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