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A Short Explanation of Long-Tail Keywords


Keywords have been the almighty decider of how well your content ranks on Google for a while now… like years. But times are a changin’ and so is Google’s algorithm. Single keywords are out and long-tail keywords are in. What is a long-tail keyword you ask?

What is a Long-Tail Keyword?

A long-tail keyword is a longer more detailed search phrase that guides searchers to information more specific to their needs. Long-tail keywords are swiftly taking over one or two word searches as voice search continues to rise in popularity. Long-tail keywords may not bring in as much traffic as short-term keywords, but tend to have higher conversion rates because of their specific nature. Here are some examples:

Playing the Long Game

Depending on your market, ranking on Google can be quite the task to undertake. Competition for that top spot, or even a spot on the first two pages is fierce. If you don’t have the budget to pay your way into those top spots you can get creative with long-tail keywords and target a more niche audience.

This may take some content strategy adjustment, but it can be done. Let’s say you are an event planning company, you will want to figure out what your niche is. Do you know how to throw together an over the top kid’s party in a week? Roll with that. Find something that makes your business unique and figure out what long-tail keywords you can work into your copy and content.

Long-Tail Keywords and Content Writing

Making your content sound natural and authentic is very important. Long-tail keywords can either help or hinder you depending on how subtly you include them in your content writing. Overusing them can make your writing sound forced and Google might even move your rank lower on the search list. Let’s look at a good example and a bad example:

You can tell that the bad example doesn’t read naturally at all, it almost sounds computer generated. Take some time to wordsmith and work with your editor on carefully choosing when and where to use long-tail keywords.

Why Does This Matter?

Voice Search is Becoming Popular

Voice search and virtual assistants became huge in 2017 and will continue to grow according to 2018 trend reports. This means that instead of typing in 2 or 3 keywords into a manual search, Google searching is leaning more toward the form of a question. For example, instead of “vacation deals Florida,” people are searching, “What are the best vacation deals in Florida?” It may seem like a slight change, but not having a good strategy to adapt to this change could leave you low on the Google index.

Long-tail Keywords Bring Higher Conversion Rates

This is extremely important to keep in mind when creating your content and keyword strategies. Let’s say someone is searching for a stuffed animal to give to their niece as a gift. They probably will not just type in “stuffed animal” they will be looking for something more specific and you are likely to pop up higher on their search list if you are specific with product descriptions and content.

If your product is a handmade purple elephant say that. “Cute handmade purple stuffed elephant.” This could be exactly what they are looking for and even though your traffic may be a bit lower, your customer conversion rate will be higher.

How will you be implementing long-tail keywords into your content writing?

Joshua Schaper is a Content Specialist at RSM Marketing who focuses on blog strategy and production. He has worked at RSM since 2020 and is passionate about delivering high-quality, relevant search traffic to our clients. When he's not writing, Josh loves to play basketball, listen to hip-hop music, and play video games.

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