Trying to rank for the same high-competition keywords as your competitors can be very challenging. Here’s one solution you can try if you want to fix this problem.
Make use of long-tail keywords.
Regardless of the size, type, or age of your business, long-tail keywords should be integrated into your SEO content strategy.
Long-tail keywords can be used to title and write the main topic of a highly targeted blog post, article, video, infographic, or any type of content. You can also use them as variations to better optimise a longer guide or article targeting one primary keyword – for example, by including the long-tail keywords in subheadings and image file names.
As for niche marketing campaigns, you will be happy to have long-tail keywords that are very specific.
What are long-tail keywords?
In SEO and PPC, keywords are categorised into three main buckets depending on their popularity and specificity: the “head,” the “body,” and the “long tail”.
Head terms, sometimes called short tails, are often one or two-word phrases used in the search that do not have one clear intent.
Body phrases tend to be more specific and contain more words. More words in a search query can provide you with more insight into the searcher’s intention.
Long-tail keywords generally incorporate three or more words, have a lower search volume, and describe a particular situation or intent of the searcher.
Long-tail keywords are terms that receive low search volumes. Unlike what many people think, it has nothing to do with how long or short a keyword is, how well it’s likely to convert, or how specific it is.
Nevertheless, long-tail keywords can produce tons of traffic for your business and dramatically increase revenue. Organic traffic to your blog might skyrocket because of the keyword research strategies that take advantage of long-tail keywords to attract tons of search traffic with the least amount of effort.
So where should you go to find those long-tail keywords that would generate traffic and leads? Here are some helpful tips to get you started and find those hidden gems!
Using Google Suggest
A great source of long-tail keyword variations is Google Suggestions. Simply type your primary keyword into the Google search box and you’ll see what variations it suggests.
You can tell it’s a popular phrase if it shows up in a Google suggestion. While these suggestions aren’t likely to inspire your faith in humanity, they might inspire good content to start with.
Using Google’s Related Searches
Linked searches appear at the bottom of the SERP, below the organic results, but they follow the same principles as Google Suggestions that appear as you type your query. You may get slightly more suggestions here and they may also be slightly more personalized depending on your location and other information available to Google.
Forums and Boards
Among the best places to find keyword ideas are forums. There are hundreds of people asking and answering questions about your site’s topic all over the internet and you can find them in different forums.
In addition, you know that somebody on the internet is looking for that same question using Google when they post a message on a forum. Look for forums where your target audience hangs out and use them for keyword research. Several of these may already be familiar to you. If not, you can also try searching for them using the following search strings:
“keyword” + “forum”
“keyword” + “board”
You can also search for your keyword + discussions. Once you find an active forum, look at its thread titles. You should always pay attention to the words and phrases people use.
Exploring Your Analytics
Almost all of your analytics will show you the keyword phrases that bring visitors to your site. These referrers will show you a lot of long-tail searches that are driving traffic to your website. Keywords relevant to your business may not be highly targeted by a single page on your site but could be relevant overall.
Find your organic keyword referrals in your analytics and you will have your own private store of long-tail keywords. Depending on your traffic flow, you can scan through all the terms by using a long-tail keyword tool, or you can set a time frame of a few months so you’ll have a lot of data to analyze, and then look for patterns. Among the possible keywords you could use are “what,” “why,” etc.
Analyse Your Search Query Reports
When running a PPC campaign with AdWords, don’t forget to use your Search Query Report much like you would your analytics. This is just one way that PPC data can help you with your SEO strategy. You can find out which search queries brought people to click on your ads instead of your organic search results in your Search Query Report. You also get access to this data more comprehensively than you do for organic referrers in Google Analytics. Additionally, it is more straightforward to determine which keywords are converting, not just attracting traffic. Keywords with high conversion rates are especially worth pursuing.
eHow and other similar sites are fuelled largely by keyword research, in particular long-tail keyword research. In order to optimise its content for long-tail keywords, Demand Media, the company behind eHow, Cracked.com, and others, uses sophisticated algorithms to locate long-tail keywords. Use these sites to find keyword ideas. If eHow targets a keyword phrase, then you can assume it has a lot of search volume and that advertisers are interested in buying placement on those pages.
Moreover, whatever they’ve targeted with these keywords probably doesn’t deliver results. eHow doesn’t produce the quality content Google craves, as its content is created on the cheap by freelancers. You have a good chance of outranking the content farms if you create content with real value as well as being hyper-targeted.
The on-page optimisation of Wikipedia is a great example to copy. Make sure you check the Wikipedia page of a base term when doing research. Long-tail keywords are often associated with these headings. Alternatively, you can use Control+F to search the page for your primary keyword and see what other variations appear. Furthermore, many Wikipedia articles include a “See Also” section that can be helpful in finding clusters of related terms.
Taking Competitors’ ideas
You should always check out your competition when you’re pursuing a keyword term. You can start out by looking at the top 5-10 pages for the head and mid-tail terms you hope to rank for and see what types of keyword variations they use. Let’s say you’re chasing the keyword “holiday gifts.” Check out the Google page that ranks number one for that keyword and see what keywords it uses.
Using SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool
Keyword Magic is a powerful tool for developing keyword lists and for in-depth keyword analysis. Here is a quick walkthrough of how you can use this tool to align your content strategy with search.
Look for long-tail keywords related to your niche, and break them down into topic-specific subgroups. Start with a single seed keyword. Hit Search and get to work.
Discover long-tails and niche topics for your PPC ad groups by exploring the suggested groupings and subgroups of related topics. If you don’t need every group, exclude them with the eye icon. Sort groups according to their volume or keyword counts. You should keep in mind that all the advanced filters you have applied will also affect the list of topics.
Match Modifiers let you choose keywords that will help you broaden or narrow them down according to your needs. By using the Questions Filter, you can sort search terms based on questions. A high volume of quality traffic is generated by these keywords, and often featured snippets are displayed, allowing you to jump to the top of the SERPs quickly.
By using Advanced filters, you can further specify the scope of your key phrases based on word counts, search volumes, keyword difficulty, CPC, competitive density, and the number of results in the SERP. You can choose whether to show or exclude keywords with broad or exact matches and select SERP features to show the words that trigger them. Multiple features may be triggered by some words.
Using other keyword search tools.
You may be missing out on tons of long-tail keyword variations if you use only one keyword tool every time you do keyword research. Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start, but if you’re looking for more long-tail keywords, here are some other options to try:
Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs, Google Trends, Social Media Tools like YouTube’s keyword tool, and Twitter Search.
You’re likely to find more long-tail keyword variations the more keyword tools you use.
Long-tail keywords in general
Long-tail keywords are not as straightforward as many people think it is. Ranking for low-volume keywords isn’t always easier than ranking for high-volume keywords. Google shows the same results for these keywords as it does for the more popular “head” keyword if the long-tail keyword is part of a broader topic.
Understanding how Google treats long-tail keywords is still important and by focusing on these details, you will be able to target different kinds of long-tail keywords and get tons of traffic from search engines.