February 15

What are ‘long-tail’ keywords and how can they help your business’s SEO?

Search Engine Optimization


If you’re new to search engine optimization, you might not be familiar with the ‘long-tail’ keyword terminology.

SEO: What Are Long-Tails?

Long-tail keywords are longer search terms and variations of a ‘parent’ keyword. An example would be gym bags. A long-tail of gym bags might be ‘gym bags for women’, or ‘best gym bag 2019’. These keywords typically have fewer searches in a search engine like Google, but have far less other websites competing in the results for them. For that reason, long-tail keywords your business ranks highly for can actually bring quite a bit of traffic when you rank for tens or hundreds of long-tail keywords!

Where it all began

The “Long Tail” concept first gained notoriety when it was introduced to the masses by Chris Anderson, author of “The Long Tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more.” It’s a common SEO practice to target keyword phrases with more words because they’re typically easier to rank for and bring targeted traffic with specific intentions. Keyword phrases with fewer words generally are more competitive and the intent is splintered.

You probably think that’s why they’re long-tailed because they have more words in the phrase.

Typically phrases that have lower search volume tend to have more words. As a result, this definition became skewed over time, and people began correlating long-tail with the number of words used in the phrase rather than the search volume.

Source: https://searchengineland.com/back-to-basics-what-does-long-tail-keyword-really-mean-311910

So How Do We Use Long-Tail Keywords In Our Content And Search Engine Optimization?

If you’re writing a blog post, or creating a new page you want to rank for a keyword on your site, you want to think about what long-tail keywords would be relevant to your main keyword, and include them in your article.

If you were writing a page to target the keyword ‘Montreal Coffee Shop’, Then you might choose a title like ‘The Best Local Downtown Montreal Coffee Shop’. This title would help you to rank for a number of longtail keywords like ‘best montreal coffee shop’, or ‘downtown montreal coffee shop’, or ‘local montreal coffee shop’. A keyword like ‘best’ is also highly related to ‘top’, so you might find yourself ranking for ‘top montreal coffee shop’ as well.

How to build out your content with long-tails in mind:

  1. Target your main keyword
  2. Research and think about relevant long-tails (longer versions of that keyword)
  3. Structure your title, article headings, and content around those longtail keywords.
  4. Start getting rankings faster!

As you continue to write out your content, you would want to include some of these words in your content, and think of other related keywords to include in your headings (H1, H2, H3) which can also add additional relevancy to your content!

You might not rank for your primary keyword right away (montreal coffee shop), but you can start getting ranked for your long-tail keywords much faster!

Want to take a hands-off approach to your SEO and rankings online? We rank your website so you don’t have to!

About the author 

Bob Nelson

Robert is the founder of Boss North SEO, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Enigne Optimization, Social Media Management, and Digital Reputation Management.

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