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Content Strategy: The Importance of Long-Tail Keywords

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SEO beginners tend to focus on the “big keywords”; the keywords they think bring in all the money/traffic. But anyone who’s worked closely with SEO and content will be aware of the superior power of long-tail keywords. When you consider that around 70% of all search terms are long-tail searches, it doesn’t take an analytics ninja to work out how vital they are if you’re ever going to compete online.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about optimising your website’s content for long-tail search terms.

What are long-tail keywords?
Long tail keywords are just like normal keywords, but they consist of more words. It’s widely agreed that a keyword with three or more keywords is a long-tail keyword.
E.g.
“Normal” keyword = Cheap flights
“Long tail” keyword = Cheap flights to Barcelona Spain

Why you should care about long-tail keywords
Because long tail keywords tend to be far more descriptive, they also tend to deliver more targeted traffic. A person searching for cheap flights to Barcelona Spain already knows exactly where they want to go; they’re further down the buying path. Whereas, a person looking for cheap flights is not necessarily ready to get their wallet out – they’re still in the ‘browsing’ mind set.

There is less competition for long-tail search terms
The more specific your market is, the less competition you will have to compete with.

Consider this example: You’re trying to optimise a page for “iPhone cases” vs. “Hand-made wooden iPhone covers made in the UK”.

There are millions and millions of sites that are trying to rank for the term “iPhone cases”, but only a handful of sites trying to rank for “Hand-made wooden iPhone covers made in the UK”. There may not be as many people searching for the hand-made wooden cases, but because they know exactly what they are looking for, the conversion rate will be drastically higher.

Would you rather have 1% of a 100, or 10% of 50?

The big picture
The real beauty of long-tail keywords is that you can develop content that aligns your product or service with the needs and wants of people that don’t even know you exist. You can position yourself as the solution to all of their problems. Focusing on long-tail keyword also gives you a clear advantage in your industry, allowing you to capitalise on highly targeted traffic.