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If you want to rank prominently in the search engines, which will ultimately bring all that coveted organic search traffic to your website, you need to conduct adequate keyword research. Keyword research describes the practice of finding highly-searched-for keywords with low competition. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not until you actually get into the research part that you see how keyword research can be a little more difficult than it sounds. With all the competition out there, how can you possibly hope to find a keyword or keyword phrase that people are using, but that doesn’t have any competition? The answer is to always go for the long tail keyword phrase.
What Is A Long Tail Keyword Phrase?
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A long tail keyword phrase is a keyword phrase that has more than two words attached to it. To help explain it better, let’s use an example. Let’s say we’re conducting keyword research for a travel website.
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The keyword ‘travel’, as you can imagine, is pretty saturated. As of this writing, there are nearly 4 billion search results for the keyword travel. Now, let’s think broader. What if you found a keyword term like, ‘Traveling by myself for the first time’? That term only has about 24,000 results, which are much better odds.
So you see, the longer the keyword term, the more targeted your audience and the less competition you will theoretically have to put up with.
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Let’s take another example. Let’s say we’re researching keywords for a weight loss site. The term ‘weight loss’ has 259 million results. A much better search term would be ‘weight loss for men in their 50s’.
Do you see how much more targeted the long tail keyword is? Instead of focusing on global weight loss, you’re going to be targeting overweight men who happen to be 50+ years of age.
Another reason you will want to focus on long tail keywords is because more people are using them when conducting online searches. Internet users have learned that when you type in the term ‘car insurance’, you’re going to get bombarded with millions of competing websites that are all trying to sell you something. These users have learned that if they type in ‘car insurance in Houston’ or even ‘Car insurance in North Houston’, they’re going to get much more targeted results.
So when you are conducting your keyword research, pay attention to these types of searches. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to imagine what you’d type into that search box if you wanted to learn something related to your business or industry.
These long tail search terms may oftentimes lead your customers right to you if you’ve done your research correctly.
You’ve done your research and you’ve come up with a list of long tail keyword that you’re confident your customers are using. The next step is to see how much competition is out there. You can do this by searching in Google with the keyword term in quotes, as we did above. You’ll soon see how many competing pages there are for each keyword term on your list.
A good general rule is to stick with long tail keyword terms that only have 15,000 or fewer competing pages. Of course if the keyword is really hot and it only has 20,000 or so competing pages, you might find yourself bending the rules. Do not just go on that number, however. The number of pages is important, as you don’t want to focus on keyword terms that are too heavily saturated, but when you do find keywords that have a competing pages number you can live with, the next step is to visit the first three to five listings on the page.
You always want the pole position when it comes to search engine results pages. That number one listing is what all business owners want. When you visit the first listing and the two underneath it, see what works and what doesn’t, take that information and use it to expand your own online presence. This is how you can dominate your competition with long tail keywords.
What you’re trying to do is find a long tail keyword term that has a lot of monthly searches, that has low competition and where the first few search results are weak in content and design. If you’re fortunate enough to find an entire list of long tails just like that, you’ll soon dominate your field no problem. Then just sit back and watch as your website is flooded with new and hungry traffic.