How to use long tail keywords to rank higher on Google.
Getting your website to rank highly on Google can be difficult. The whole world is competing to produce the perfect page. One that Google can read easily, understand well, and consider to be high quality enough to rank highly. There are dozens of supposed easy wins to make your content rank higher than someone else’s. Are any of them true? To some extent, yes, but not any more than any of the other simple quick-fix solutions. In reality getting your content to rank highly is a long, slow and arduous process of measuring, fixing and measuring again.
Except… is it always? The answer is, it depends on what you are trying to rank for. If you are trying to rank first for a keyword like ‘insurance’, you may find that you have a tough time of it. However, if you are trying to rank for ‘cheap home insurance quotes in Macclesfield’, you might find it a lot easier. This is where long tail keywords enter the picture. Often the longer the tail your keyword has, the easier it is to rank for.
What are long tail keywords?
Long tail keywords are keywords of a greater length than a few words. Fundamentally, they are longer and more specific keywords that closer match a specific search intent, rather than a broader one.
Think about how you might search for something. If you are looking for a used car dealership, you might search for ‘used cars’. However, that could produce all sorts of national and international used car dealers, not one you might actually visit. So instead, you might search ‘used car dealer near me’, or ‘used car dealership Macclesfield’, for example. These are longer tail keywords – more detailed, more specific, and more indicative of a particular intent.
Why use long tail keywords?
Because it’s easier to rank higher for them. There we go – time to move on.
Well, there’s a bit more to it than that… long tail keywords are generally easier to rank for than shorter tailed keywords. This is due to the way that Google works. Think of it as like trying to break a world record. It’s much easier to break a world record for something really specific, like the most candles fit up your nose while unicycling backwards than it is for something common, like the most hotdogs eaten in one hour. The same is roughly true of search enquiries.
Secondly, long tail keywords tend to indicate a desire to act in a particular way. A person searching for ‘recipes’ might just be looking for inspiration. A person searching for ‘best way to make carrot cake UK’ is looking for something much more specific. If you want people to reach your baking blog (from which they might make an affiliate purchase), then targeting the long tail keyword is much more likely to get results than targeting a longer tail keyword.
How should I choose a long tail keyword?
Choosing the right long tail keyword to focus on is not an immediate process. You might need to test out a few options before you decide where you want to put your attentions.
There are a few potential ways to decide on a long tail keyword. Firstly, consider whether there are particular keywords that you already do well on and want to maintain – or whether there are target keywords you’d like to do better on. Secondly, start a search on Google. There will be a range of suggested search queries when you start typing. Many of these are appropriate for a long tail search query.
How to use long tail keywords
What is your objective with this content? Are you trying to build a rapport with customers? Are you trying to show your expertise in a particular field? Are you trying to spread awareness of your products? The long tail keywords you choose need to be built around the plans you have.
What is your customer trying to do? It’s important to focus your long tail keyword usage on particular user intents. Are your users trying to find specific products? If so, then their long tail search queries are likely to name products / ideas with a specifier – a location / area / price range / type.
Once you know the sort of keyword you want, you need to choose it. This needs you to be able to use a keyword research tool – like Ahrefs, Semrush, Ubersuggest or another. Choosing the right keyword means selecting one that has enough search interest, but not so much that you stand no chance of ranking for it. Many keyword tools also allow you to focus on how difficult a particular keyword might be to rank for.
Using your keyword in your content is not enough. You need to write content that is engaging, relevant to the search user, and keyword optimised. Google reads articles in a way that is intended to be like a person. However, it isn’t quite there yet. As a result, you need to match what Google believes high quality content to be.
Many website CMS tools have built in keyword analysers. However, these are of varying quality. Generally, aim for your keyword to appear about every 200 words. However, writing well and structuring your content in a clear way is more important than slavish dedication to keyword frequencies.
Using any kind of content marketing is difficult, and can take a long time. Many people find different parts of the content marketing process tough – whether it’s research, writing, or checking in on the results. Fortunately, Gumpo are experts in every stage of the content marketing process. If you are struggling to make use of content, or are curious about how it can help your business prosper online, why not get in touch?