Are you trying to keep up with the latest and best SEO practices? If so, you’re surely aware of long tail keyword research.
You’re also aware of how quickly trends change. The minute you nail down a strategy that works, the Google search algorithm changes. Or a new piece of technology is introduced. And suddenly, you’re at square one all over again.
But if you think long-tail keywords are just another passing trend, you would be wrong.
For countless reasons, long-tail keywords are the future of online search. And they could be the best SEO investment you ever make.
Here are 9 reasons why:
1. Long-tail keywords account for 70% of all searches. Still not convinced? Let’s break down the statistics even more. According to research from Ahrefs, 41.7% of all keywords are five or more words. 22.8% of them are 4 words. One-word keywords accounted for only 2.8% of all searches. Websites that are optimized with long tail keywords move up an average of 11 positions in the search results. And they have 2.8 times the conversion rate as do short keywords. Long story short: if you’re not using long tail keywords, you’re missing easily two-thirds of your potential web traffic.
2. They are less competitive. With a keyword like “office furniture,” you will be in competition with many others. But if your keyword is “ergonomic office chair with lumbar support,” that is specific enough to yield far fewer results competing with yours. What does that mean? Simple. Competition with fewer websites increases the odds that yours can rise to the top. It’s just a matter of numbers.
3. They cost less. This point is important to remember if you are using any form of paid advertising. As we noted above, long-tail keywords mean lower competition. That translates into a lower cost per click. So ultimately these keywords can bring you some serious bang for your buck, getting plenty of traffic with little cost. With an AdWords campaign, that means your ads will rank higher even if you’re not paying top dollar. If you are a small startup with a limited SEO budget, long-tail keywords could be your saving grace.
4. Long-tail keywords lead to better quality of traffic, with more conversions. We mentioned earlier that long-tail keywords convert at almost three times the rate of traditional keywords. There’s a good reason for that. Let’s take our example of the ergonomic chair. If you optimize for the term “office furniture,” you will get lots of traffic. But most of these visitors will not stay on your site longer. They won’t buy anything either. With the longer, more specific keyword, visitors will be fewer. However, these visitors came to your site with a definite purpose: to find an office chair with lumbar support. That leads us to our next point…
5. They are closer to the point of sale. There are three main reasons why people search the Internet: to go somewhere, to learn something, or to do/buy something. You want to attract Internet users who will buy your product. Long-tail keywords ensure that searchers find what they’re looking for. Shorter, broader search terms are less likely to attract those who want to make a purchase. By using long-tail keywords, you’re narrowing your audience. The specificity of these search terms brings you closer to making a sale.
6. They are good for mobile optimization. Mobile search has been steadily on the rise in 2017 and 2018. The data shows that 69% of online shoppers worldwide use their mobile devices for research before buying anything. And 78% of mobile searches end in a purchase. But many websites are missing out on this trend. Mobile users become frustrated when sites load slowly. They leave if a site is too complex to navigate. Then they go somewhere else that’s mobile-friendly. Long tail keywords are one of many strategies to optimize your site for mobile.
7. Long tail keywords sustain you through changes to the search algorithms. Panda. Penguin. Hummingbird. Just when you got used to having one animal around…Google sends around another. No, it’s not an eventful day at the zoo. It’s the never-ending parade of changes to the algorithms. Some of these changes are so disruptive that they merit an animal name. Sites that were at the top find themselves at the bottom with no warning whatsoever. These changes are not arbitrary, though. They are implemented with an explicit purpose, to make search results more relevant and the online experience more rewarding. So as long as your content matches up with what users search for, you have no reason to fear these algorithm changes. The specificity of long tail keywords is the best way to make sure of that.
8. They assist voice searches. Echo, Alexa, and Google Home are turning the SEO world on its head. The latest research says that 50% of all searches will be voice-activated by the year 2020. During the 2017 holiday shopping season, 1 in 4 shoppers used a voice assistant. A voice search differs dramatically from a traditional online search. Instead of several pages of results, users now just get one. This one result is highly specific to what the user asks for. Results are narrowed down based on location and the specific kind of product or service. In this context, one-word or two-word keywords don’t stand a chance.
9. Long tail keyword research improves the quality of your content. The ultimate goal of search engines is ensuring that Internet users can easily get what they came for. Long-tail keywords add value to your content, making it more relevant to user searches. In addition, if you’re optimizing blog content, long-tail keywords provide better context for your blog posts. If readers find something of value on your blog, they will keep coming back.
Long-tail keyword research is not just the future of SEO. It’s truly the here and now…and it’s here to stay.