Long tail keywords don’t have to be a mystery.
What is a keyword?
In the world of websites and search engine optimisation a keyword is a particular word or phrase that describes what a particular website page or blog post is all about. So, for example in my post “How I Choose WordPress Plugins & Why you Can’t Live without Them” the keyword is “WordPress plugins”. That is probably one of the easier examples but hopefully it makes sense. Another example is the post called The 10 Most Important Things You Must Do After Installing WordPress. In this post the keyword phrase is “Installing WordPress”.
Why is it hard to find a good keyword?
So it does look quite easy then to choose your keyword phrases doesn’t it? Sorry to put a spanner in the works but as they say things are never that easy. If you read my post 5 Steps to Finding Powerful Keywords you will see that one of your biggest challenges in selecting keyword phrases will be all the other websites competing for the same keyword. You have to decide if you have the resources at hand to beat these other organisations.
Long tail keywords to the rescue……
What are long tail keywords?
A keyword probably consists of 1 or 2 words. However, a long tail keyword is around a 3 to 4 word phrase.
A long tail keyword phrase is very specific to what you are writing about. Let’s take an example: you are selling cat food. You might then think you should use “cat food” as your keyword. I am not saying that would be wrong. However, there is something special your cat food – it is vegan cat food (that does exist as I found out at the weekend when I went to a local vegan festival with a vegetarian friend). You will probably be more successful online if used “vegan cat food” as your keyword. then.
Why are long tail keywords important?
So a long tail keyword is more closely aligned to your particular product or service and is more focused on your specialty and your customers. And it will be easier to rank higher in Google for the longer phrase. “Cat food” is very general and when I look on Google there are lots of big businesses selling that. When I search for “vegan cat food” the results are more appropriate to what I am looking for and I can see that I can compete successfully for a high ranking page on Google.
How can you find long tail keywords?
The good news is that you don’t have to spend any money, if you don’t want to, to find long tail keywords to use on your website and blog.
The easiest way to find long tail keywords is to start typing your topic in Google and see what it suggests. I need someone to come and clean the oven ( I don’t “need” that you understand – I just want that particular job done for me :-). So I start typing in Google and this is what I see:
So if I cleaned ovens as a profession a couple of long tail keywords phrases are “oven cleaning services” and oven cleaning company”. There is another tool I use called Keyword Tool that gives me lots of other ideas for long tail keywords. And you can use Google’s Keyword Planner too. Other suggestions coming up in the Keyword Tool are “cleaning an oven”, “oven cleaning offers, and “oven cleaning forum” (I think I need to visit that one).
Please remember that although Google, keywords, long tail keywords and SEO are very important to having a successful business I always recommend that they are just part of a bigger integrated marketing plan.
But long tail keywords are a great opportunity to be more prominent online so don’t miss out.
ps. Feb 19th 2017 – I need to update this post already – see how fast things change.