Why Are You Hesitant to Incorporate Long Tail Keywords?

by Nick Stamoulis February 20th, 2012 

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I often find many site owners are reluctant to add the long tail keywords my SEO company has researched to their website and content marketing campaigns. The reaction is almost always the same"Why should I target a keyword that only gets 100 searches each month? This keyword gets 5,000 searches each month! Its very easy to get blinded by a keyword's search volume and overlook the fact that it might not be the best keyword for your website. Sometimes long tail keywords, even though they have a smaller search volume, can have the biggest impact on your SEO.

Here are four reasons you shouldn't be hesitant to target long tail keywords on your website and in your content marketing:

Long Tail Keywords Are More Relevant.

In my experience, keyword relevancy is more important than search volume for SEO. The keywords you target on your website should accurately reflect the content on that page as best as possible. Sure, you can tell Google what keywords you want them to recognize as the most important for that page in the Meta data, but if the content doesn't back them up your site will never rank well for those keywords.

Long Tail Keywords Drive More Targeted Traffic.

What's the point of driving more visitors to your site if they aren't your target audience? A huge spike in traffic doesn't mean anything without an improved conversion rate going along with it. Now there are many factors that can impact your conversion rate, but if the keywords you're targeting don't match user-intent than chances are you are driving the wrong people to your website. Long tail keywords are typically used by searchers that are nearing the end of their buying cycle. They know exactly what they are looking for and are looking to take action. You want your site to be found by those visitors and a long tail keyword is what is going to pull them in.

Long Tail Keywords Are Easier To Own In The Search Results.

The broader a keyword is the more search volume it has, which also means the stronger the competition is to own it in the search engines. For major keywords like insurance or mortgage, large, national brands are likely dominating the search results because they have the time, money and manpower to do so. A local business probably isn't going to be able to unseat those major brands, no matter how hard they target those broad keywords. But a smaller company can dominate the search engines with long tail keywords and build their online brand presence that way. A lower search volume means the competition isnt a fierce for that keyword and your site might be able to rank extremely well fairly quickly.

Long Tail Keywords Can Strongly Impact Visitor Growth Over Time.

Lets say you add 25 new, long tail keywords to your website. Even if those keywords only bring an extra 5 people each month to your website, that's an additional 125 unique visitors each month! What kind of business could you hope to do with 125 highly-qualified leads? Over the course of a year, that's an uptick of 1,500 visitors just because you incorporated those new keywords. While that may not seem like a lot, when you add those 1,500 visitors to the rest of the traffic earned through your SEO and link building efforts, you're looking at substantial visitor growth.

Site owners shouldn't be so hesitant to add long tail keywords to their website. I'm not suggesting that you forgo all broader keywords as some of them might still be very relevant, but understand that there is a significant opportunity for growth to be had in long tail keywords if you're willing to work them into your SEO.

Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a full service Boston-area SEO services firm and has over 13 years of SEO experience.

Brick Marketing

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10 Responses to “Why Are You Hesitant to Incorporate Long Tail Keywords?”

  1. Maneet Puri says:

    Very true, long tail keywords have more conversion power then 2-3 keyword phrases. Plus, as they are less competitive which makes it easy for you to get rank for them easily. So, chasing long keywords on search engines is far profitable then chasing short keywords.

    Cheers,

  2. Ejaz says:

    Yes, Nick you have very rightly brought out importance of long tail keywords topic. These days web surfers are getting into habit of typing there full question to search something they want. Sometimes we see almost same question answered by clever webmasters because they have used long tail keywords in their web pages. I was also thinking of using same tech but after reading your post I am fully convinced to do as you mentioned. Good luck and thanks for motivation.

  3. Sean says:

    Nick-

    Great article and I couldn't agree with you more TARGET LONGTAILS!! Like you said in this great article longtails have more targeted audience, they are easier to obtain and hold in SE and they help your growing SEM efforts. It's a no brainer for me! I always target longtails.

    thanks

  4. Brian Groce says:

    Nick, I'm right there with you. Speaking from experience, the long tail hits, while fewer, do tend to lead to greater action since they are very specific. It's the whole quality of the hits as opposed to the quantity of the hits.

  5. Chris says:

    Very good post! I have only recently realized this logic that you can build a business off of many long tail keywords in the same niche. Much easier to rank, and the combined traffic can makeup for not having a broader keyword that you are ranking for early on.

  6. Troy Jaggard says:

    I completely agree with this article. Nick, I've been reading your blogs from Brick Marketing's Android app for the past year. Thanks for all of the resources you have provided.

  7. One difficulty that you ate not mentioning in this post is the doorway page effect. Where these long tail posts or pages become really just a series of targeted doorways specifically aimed at getting traffic to the site by keyword seo targeting… for how long will Google accept this manipulation ??

    You need to make sure that each keyword target page is of good quality; relevant to your whole site; and to the visitor you attract, other wise Google may downgrade the whole site… or am i wrong about Google not wanting sites built of thin pages that all lead to a sales funnel in their main index?.

  8. Great post! Another thing to remember is that the root of a long tail keyword phrase is also usually a high volume keyword (e.g. costumes for kids still has the root word costumes), so you will still rank better for the high volume terms, while optimizing for the highly targeted phrases.