Way too many content creators and bloggers are focusing too much on their “content creation” and not their “content promotion”. While content is the foundation for your website or blog, it’s not going to work it’s magic on it’s own. With over a billion active sites on the internet and 300+ million of them being WordPress blogs, how is your site supposed to compete? Also, keep in mind that Google only list ten pages on their search results… which makes the concept of “Page 1” rankings seem even more impossible!
With all of this in mind, there are still plenty of ways your sole website or blog can stand out from the competition and rank at the top of Google. That little secret is called “long tail keywords”.
Long Tail SEO is actually one of the hidden gems of internet marketing and ranking in the search results. We’ve all heard of “long tail keywords” but not enough of us are actively using them within our content, linking structures and rank tracking. The common reason for this is that too many site owners are blinded by the flashy numbers of “generic keywords”, however… the likelihood of ranking for them is extremely low.
The Hidden Value of Long Tail SEO
Through the “Hidden Value of Long Tail SEO” infographic below, provided by HitTail, we can take a look at the true value of ranking at the top of the search results with long tail keywords.
To kick things off we should first explain what SEO is and why it’s such an effective method for ranking in the search results. HitTail descrives “Long Tail SEO” as”
A white-hat SEO process that involves targeting less competitive, highly specific search terms (a.k.a. long tail keywords). Since over 70% of all search queries are for long tail terms, there is incredible value in taking control of those keywords.
Here’s a perfect example of how such long tail keywords would prove more effective in content creation, ranking and online marketing.
Let’s say you wanted to create a website or blog in the financial or personal loan space. This is an extremely competitive space and if you were to try and rank for something like “credit cards” or “car title loans“, it would simply be way too competitive. Even if you wanted to pay to rank for these terms, you would be looking at several dollars per click. Instead, a better approach would be to either target a local audience or go with a long tail approach such as “best credit cards for bonus rewards” or “where to find car loan titles in new jersey”. Not only will either scenario help you rank higher in the search results, it will also allow you to know exactly what your audience is looking for as well.
In the infographic screenshot below you can see a typical scenario of what a long tail keyword looks like in reference to search demand and other top ranking keywords. You will also notice that 70% of all search traffic is based on long tail keywords, versus “fat head” and “chunky middle” keywords that many people focus too much attention on.
In the big scheme of themes, more people are now using long tail keywords in their online searches versus using generic one or two-word keywords. The reason for this is that not only are people getting smarter and more precise about what they are looking for, but Google is also getting better on delivering the best content for such search results as well. This also means that ranking potential and conversion rates are much easier to improve when using long tail keywords.
HitTail points this out in the infographic screenshot below when they state “Pages optimized for long-tail keywords move up 11 positions on average, compared to just 5 positions for head (generic) keywords.” and they also report “Conversion rates for long-tail keywords are 2.5 times higher than head (generic) keywords” — which makes perfect sense.
Here’s another example of how we are currently using this method on Blogging.org. While the main focus of our main page site is on “how to start a blog“, that’s a pretty generic topic. For all other phrases and topics around blogging, we have detailed sub-pages and guides that really drill down on each of these topics. A good example of this would be our “make money blogging guide“, which ranks for multiple keywords and phrases around the concept of making money with a blog.
Also with that in mind, articles using long tail keywords in their headlines and titles also tend to get higher click through rates as well. HitTail reports “Clickthrough rates increase as keywords become more specific”. So if someone was searching for “how to make money with a blog”, they would be more likely to click our article titled “Make Money Blogging: From Start to Business” versus a generic title like “Make Money with a Blog”.
You can also see in that chart below a comparison of 3, 4 and 5 word keywords, ranking based on their click through ratios.
Lastly, if you want to make the most out of your content creation and long tail keyword efforts, you need to know how to take action and put all of these key metrics to work. Here are a few recommended tips from HitTail.
- Add New Content on a Consistent Schedule
– Publish one targeted article of blog post for each underperforming keyword of at least 400 words in length.
- Use a Variety of Long Tail Keywords
– Search engines love sites that target a diverse set of keywords. Fortunately, there are plenty of long tail keyword to choose from! There are many sources for long tail keywords, but the best are those that you mine from your own content.
- Speak the Word
– Build a social media presence around your website or blog. Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube
No matter how you attempt to make long tail keywords work for your website, blog, brand or business — the two most important factors are your content and the type of links and social signals you point back to your site. You can focus on creating the best content in the world, but if you don’t have anyone pointing links back to your site, it will simply never rank or compete against the bigger players in the industry.
Implement all of these tips into your existing content creation and promotion methods, while also taking a look at what HitTail has to offer through their long tail recommendation service.