Whatever business you are in whether it is product or service based, you can enhance your online conversions or sales by paying more attention to optimising for long tail keywords. In this blog I will explain why it is important and how to do it. If you are in a competitive space, this SEO strategy will give you a distinct advantage over your competition.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Very simply, they are keyphrases with more than just a few words, usually indicating that the searcher is narrowing down their query as they are being very specific about what they want Google to show them. As an example, a search for:

“Brown Boots” will most likely not produce the results on the first page of what they are looking for so the next search they make will be much more specific and contain many more words, so perhaps something like this:

“Ladies brown leather knee high boots size 5”. This is a long tail keyword. The lady knows exactly what she wants! She may then go on to refine the search further:

“Ladies brown leather knee high boots size 5 with 4 inch heel and tassels”.

As the internet has become more and more saturated with products and services, people know that they have to search long tail to get a closer result to what they had in mind. With voice activated search now very widely used, we see longer and longer keywords used to search the net (with some very interesting spellings!).

Why should I care about Long tail Keywords?

The difference between the two searches is obviously the length but more importantly it is about the intent:

1. “Brown boots” – the searcher is still in what we call ‘research mode’.
2. “Ladies brown leather knee high boots size 5 with 4 inch heel and tassels” – She is now in what we call ‘buying mode’.

A common mistake I have seen many times is that a business owner will become fixated on ranking for their ‘vanity phrase’. By this I mean, it is a phrase they see as being very important, but when you delve down into analytics you find that the phrase has not once produced a sale. Usually a vanity phrase will be a very competitive, short keyword like “ladies boots”.
Whilst it is good to rank for that, it is also a very competitive phrase and you will be up against the giant brands who dominate this space.

***Small pause whilst I just got lost looking at ladies boots*** ;)

And as indicated above, wouldn’t you rather drive traffic to your site for very much more specific phrases where the searcher really knows what they want – people in ‘buying mode’? With much more targeted traffic to your website your conversions will increase.

But surely less people search long tail?

A common question – so I understand why you thought to ask it.

The term ‘long tail’ also refers to the shape of the graph that is produced when looking at the numbers of searches around a certain theme. Using the same boot example, if you collect all the keywords containing ‘ladies boots’ and then plot the graph showing the length of the phrase (1, 2, 3, 4, more words) against the number of people searching you will see the very long tail like shape that is created. Infinitely more people search using 4 or more words:

seo long tail keyword graph by All Things Web


How do I Optimise My Website for Long Tail Keywords?

If you are selling a product like ladies boots, you will need to optimise every product page on your website in the following ways:

• Use a good length, quality description of the product on the page which is unique to your website. (Don’t copy the manufacturers’ descriptions). Add other unique related content on the page which is relevant to the customer.
• Be sure that you are not duplicated content from your own site – for example just plonking the same descriptions on many product pages as well as the category pages.
• You will also need to optimise the Meta description and the title tag to encompass the words that best describe your product. Think about the features of the product that will be searched for (size, colour, specifications, brand, functions etc).
• Make sure that these elements are also used in the H2s, H3s etc on the page.
• Optimise the images/videos of the product using the same principle.

“But I don’t sell Ladies Boots!?” I hear you cry…. “I am a consultancy, serviced based business!”

Long Tail Keywords for Service Based Businesses

If you don’t have product pages to optimise, you can use the same principle above to optimise your main service pages. However, this will probably not be enough, you will need to research and think about the sorts of long tail phrases that your potential customers might use to find you. For example, instead of thinking:

“IT services”

Think about their challenges, issues, questions and problems that you can provide the solution to:

“Why should I move my servers to the cloud?”
“Do you replace your server or go to the cloud?”
“Tell me how to move local servers to the cloud?”
“What is the difference between a server and the cloud?”
“Moving to cloud servers: What are the pitfalls?”

You can create some informative and helpful content around the above ideas, either in the form of fact sheets, blogs or articles. How about creating a graphic to explain the above – some people prefer a visual explanation especially if they are not techy.

Need Help with a Long Tail Strategy?

Here at ATW® we have been helping businesses with SEO strategy and CRO for over a decade. We can help you in a consultative way with a strategy for you and your team to use, or we can implement the plan for you. If you want to know more about how we can help, give one of our friendly team a call on 01285 50 55 50.