Long Tail Keywords: Use Them To Rank Faster In The Search Engines

You want your site to rank higher in the search engines and you’re wondering if using long-tail keywords will help you get there.

Long-tail keywords are definitely a good place to start if you want to improve your site’s SEO. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss how long-tail keywords differ from primary keywords and you’ll learn what to do to gain organic traffic to your website.

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What Are Long Tail Keywords?

When you use search engines, like Google, the results of your search are determined based on your exact wording. 

Google’s algorithm matches your words with the content on different webpages to try and get you the information you are looking for. 

There are different types of searches. 

If you type in, “restaurant in north Portland,” you will get localized results on the first page. 

If you type in “house,” Google won’t have the faintest idea what they are looking for. 

You’ll end up getting results for the following websites:

  • A page about a TV show called House
  • A page for the U.S. House of Representative
  • A page from the dictionary for the word “house”

There are two main types of keywords: 

  • long-tail keywords 
  • primary keywords

Businesses use these keywords to try and gain traffic to their websites.

As a business, you can anticipate what your potential customers are typing into search engines. 

You can then use these keywords to make your website rank higher so that it will be visible on the first page of results.

The most important thing when improving your website’s ranking is to understand the difference between long-tail keywords and primary keywords. 

Long-tail keywords are more specific and less popular than primary keywords. 

A primary keyword might be “pottery” where the long-tail keyword would be, “handmade pottery in Portland.” Fewer people are searching for the long-tail, but it is very obvious what they are looking for. 

So, why would you want to try and rank for keywords that are less popular?

Long-tail keywords have lower competition so they are easier and faster to rank for. They also lead to higher conversion because of their specificity. 

The hope is that the person who types in a very specific phrase will definitely be in the market for your product.

You can use this important distinction to spend less time and less money, getting the right customers to your website.

As an example, if someone types in “where to buy an american flag,” you can be sure of what they want, versus someone who searches for “american.” 

“American” is a very popular search, so you aren’t likely to rank. Even if you do eventually rank, you aren’t guaranteed to convert the visitor to a sale.

How Do Long Tail Keywords Work?

Your customer is someone who needs what you’re selling. But how do they find you?

Use long-tail keywords in your SEO to help the right people find your site. 

When you target long-tail keywords instead of primary keywords, you get quality over quantity. The people who find your website through search engines will likely be your target customer.

Let’s use a handy pros and cons list to illustrate the way long-tail keywords work for SEO.

Primary Keyword Pros and Cons:

  • Pro – a lot of traffic
  • Con – traffic has a low conversion rate
  • Con – it’s expensive and time-consuming to rank

Long-Tail Keyword Pros and Cons:

  • Con – not as many visitors
  • Pro – visitors have a very high conversion rate
  • Pro – it’s inexpensive and easy to rank quickly

You can spend $100,000 trying to rank for primary keywords, and gain 8,000 visitors a month. But, only 1,000 of them want and need your product. 

Or, you can spend a fraction of the cost ranking for long-tail keywords. You may only gain 1,500 visitors a month, but most of them will convert to paying customers.

It’s more efficient to target your SEO efforts to your specific audience. This technique will save you a lot of time and money.

So, now you might now be wondering how to use long-term keywords. 

It’s simple. 

You just integrate these phrases into your web content. 

Whether it be a landing page, blogs, or articles, simply use specific long-term keywords so that google’s algorithm will know what your website is all about. 

Long-tail keywords can give you a launching point to create content. 

When you create pieces of content around long-tail keywords, you increase the chances of your page ranking higher.

It’s also important for your content to bring value to the reader. Content should be engaging to keep readers interested.

Why Are Long Tail Keywords Important?

Long-tail keywords are important because they help target your customer directly.

When you use long-tail keywords in your content, your website is going to rank faster on google, with less effort.

Let’s say you’re a company that sells inexpensive Halloween costumes for pets.

You try to rank for the primary keyword— “costumes.” 

It’s going to take a very long time to climb the ranks with this keyword. 

You’ll have to compete with all kinds of costume party stores, not to mention places like walmart and other big-box chains. 

Other websites will rank for “costumes” too, like pinterest and websites that are really for inspiration and not just for purchasing. 

You may spend a lot of time and money trying to rank for “costumes” and when you do start to get traffic from the keyword, the conversion rate will be low. 

This is because not all people who type in “costumes” are looking to buy a costume. 

The next time, you wisely use long-tail keywords instead. 

The keyword you target is “cheap halloween costume for dogs.” 

Now you’re getting somewhere. If someone types this keyword into google, they are most likely going to want the dog costumes you’re selling. 

It will be much easier to rank for this keyword as well, since it’s less popular. Less traffic, but more conversions.

How Many Words In A Long Tail Keyword?

You might think that “long-tail keyword” refers to the longer phrase that makes the keyword. It seems like the phrase would be “longer” than primary one-word keywords. 

Actually, “long-tail” has nothing to do with the length of the phrase in the keyword. There is not a minimum or maximum number of words in a long-tail keyword.

Here’s how the misconception got started:

Chris Anderson authored a book called, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.” The “Long Tail” that Anderson referred to in his book is the tail on the search demand graph. 

On the graph, you can see how very few searches are hugely popular, and the majority of searches are not.

Did you know: 70% of all online searches are made up of long-tail keywords?

This is precisely why you should not waste your time chasing after hugely-popular primary keywords, and instead focus more on the specific searches that are going to drive the right traffic to your site.

How To Choose Long Tail Keywords

Before you start improving your site’s SEO, you’ll want to do your long-tail keyword research. 

But, what is long-tail keyword research?

You won’t get good results by guessing what your customers are typing into the search engines. 

You will need to utilize different programs like a long-tail keywords finder, to know for sure which words to target.

There are many sources you can use to learn how to find long tail keywords. 

One option is to buy a long-tail keyword generator, or use a long-tail keywords tool. SEMrush and other websites have many different tools you can use to identify potential keywords.

If you don’t want to purchase expensive programs, and spend a ton on SEO research, then Portland SEO Growth can help

We have 25+ SEO experts who can pinpoint the exact keywords that your company will benefit from using. 

We’ll write and optimize content that will drive tons of traffic to your website and convert your visitors to customers

Portland SEO Growth clients have had some pretty remarkable results – here are a few examples.

Long Tail Keywords Examples

What happens if you type into google, “what is the cheapest electricity company in Texas?”

The first organic search result is one of our clients, Power Wizard. 

Power Wizard uses Portland SEO Growth to drive traffic to their website organically. 

We find and utilize high-value long-tail keywords to make sure that the right customers find Power Wizard’s services when they are using search engines to look for an electricity company.

This means Power Wizard can avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for google ads. 

We save them money on advertising, and help them gain thousands of new clients.

Power Wizard: Primary Keyword Electricity Company

Let’s say instead of targeting long-tail keywords, Power Wizard tried to rank organically for a very popular keyword like “electricity company.”

This would be a seriously futile strategy. 

What happens when you type “electricity company” into google? 

Google’s algorithm tries to figure out what you are looking for. They want to get you to the website you need.

First, you’ll see a few location-based results. You’ll find the utility company in your area. Then, you will get a wikipedia article about electricity, in case you were looking for some specific information. 

You might not find Power Wizard until the 10th or 12th page of your google search.

People who are searching “electricity company” aren’t necessarily in Texas, and they don’t necessarily need a product like Power Wizard. 

The primary keyword won’t help us for this reason.

Businesses are almost always better off targeting long-tail keywords for SEO. Primary keywords don’t pinpoint customers, and they take forever to rank for.

Power Wizard: Long Tail Keyword

The best part of using Portland SEO Growth is the lightning-fast results you will see from our SEO strategies

When we started using the long-tail keyword “what is the cheapest electricity company in Texas” for Power Wizard, they hit the #1 spot on google in only four months. 

There are 1,300 searches for this keyword.. every month.

Here’s what that means, for just ONE keyword:

  • 1,300 potential customers are searching google each month
  • 1,300 people see Power Wizard as the #1 website for their search 
  • 1,300 people click on the first link they see on google
  • 1,300 people are likely to see the value of Power Wizard’s product

Now that is valuable traffic, and is exactly what our SEO experts can do for your business. 

Click here for your Free SEO Audit.