Vivi Zygoura

Long tail keywords: What they are & why sites need them

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Nearly all online retailers know the power of search engine optimization and keywords. These simple terms are the manner through which much of your web traffic is generated, and in turn the impetus of a large percentage of sales.

This fact has not changed, but the way you select them has. As the population has become more technologically savvy, they have begun speaking to search engines not in simple, short search terms, but as they might talk to a friend. Searches are now mirroring natural conversation, with longer requests, and more details. In order to capitalize on this change, companies should consider utilizing long tail keywords — key phrases that consist of at least three or more words. Long tail keywords rank better on search engine results pages because they are highly focused. In turn they drive better quality traffic to websites, which leads to higher conversion rates than common short tail keywords.

Companies should begin incorporating these long tail keywords into their sites to take advantage of the currently low competition for these phrases. That means website content, blog posts, and even social posts – if your target customer is searching and ready to buy, you want to show up in those search results!

When searchers are ready to engage or buy a product, there is a list of words and phrases they typically will include in their search query, either before or after their main keywords. The following terms are commonly used as “long tail keywords modifiers”:

1. review
2. buy
3. buy cheap
4. buy online
5. best buy
6. where to buy
7. purchase
8. how to order
9. sale
10. on sale
11. coupon
12. discount
13. discount code
14. price
15. half price
16. best price
17. deal
18. best deals
19. free trial
20. free returns
21. free shipping
22. online free shipping
23. fast shipping
24. free delivery
25. free next day delivery

The web, and the way we use it, changes every day. Your website must change, too, to keep up. A modern efficient keyword strategy now should include a variety of unique, relevant long tail key phrases in order to target those searchers who are more likely to purchase. Each one of these key phrases will drive an average number of visitors; however combined, and the total increase in traffic will be impressive.

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How to get started

1. Determine your brand’s long tail keywords. Your biggest hurdle here is to stop thinking like a business owner and start thinking like a regular web searcher. If you wanted to buy your product, what might you search for? It may help to write down all the typical questions you receive from your audience on a weekly basis, or have a friend to describe what she thinks sets your product apart.

2. Integrate the above common keywords in varying ways to your long tail keywords to narrow in on interested and active buyers.

3. Begin working on blog articles, info graphics, white papers, and updating your web content in general to include or even center around these new long tail keywords. Try to keep them intact and position the most valuable keywords in your content headlines or blog titles combined with generic words in order to make them sound more natural.

By optimizing your content with long tail keywords, your website looks more substantial and complete, and reads with a natural flow to both your audience and the search engines. Take into account sessions’ metrics, average time on page, bounce rate, social reach, and other site metrics as outcome measures of the optimized content’s success. It works!

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