What Are Long-Tail Keywords and Why Should You Care?

what are long tail keywords and how to use them - earnings engineer blog

If you’re a new content creator trying to make a name for yourself online, long-tail keywords are going to be something that will help you gain traffic as soon as possible. You should be thinking about these types of keywords for every piece of content you create, that is how important they are to know. So the sooner you understand them, the better.

Keeping up with my recent blog posting theme of understanding the different types of keywords, today I’ll be giving you a rundown of what long-tail keywords are, and how to make use of them properly.

So how about I skip the introductions and just get into it already?

What Exactly Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Let me explain first by giving you an example.

Imagine you’re a new blogger writing about vegan recipes. If you were to target a keyword like “recipes,” you’d be competing with the big guns like Food Network or whatever the big food recipe content creators are these days. Good luck with that!

But what if we dug a little deeper and targeted a phrase like “quick vegan recipes for college students”? Now we might have some luck with actually competing. That’s a simple explanation to what a long-tail keyword is. Less people have made articles that cater to those more specific needs and most likely the big brands out there have chosen to ignore these words because they’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Long-tail Keywords Are A New Content Creators Special Weapon

Not only are these long-tail keywords easier to compete for, but generally they tend to fall further down the marketing funnel and are more often people that are closer to making a purchase or a decision on something.

Here’s why you should care: As a new content creator, you’re the small fish in a big pond.

You’re competing with established websites that have been around forever. With long-tail keywords, you’re picking battles you can actually win.

These keywords might not get as much traffic, but they’re less competitive and more targeted. It’s a win-win for you. The faster you can get traffic, the quicker you can start making money from your blog.

Long-tail Keywords Work Well With Informational Keywords

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent posts, you I’ve already went over transactional and informational keywords.

Now, let’s connect the dots by talking about how long-tail keywords synergize with informational keywords.

Like I said in that previous post, informational keywords attract folks who want knowledge on a subject. Now, if you sprinkle in some long-tail specificity – think “how to potty train a three-month-old puppy” instead of just “puppy training” – you’ve got a recipe that is even more likely for SEO success.

By merging these two, you’re achieving two things:

  1. You’re competing in a niche space, sidestepping the heavy hitters in your industry.
  2. You’re pulling in readers who are super interested in what you have to say, which means they’re more likely to stick around, read more, or even convert.

Practical Steps to Find and Use Long-Tail Keywords

So we now know the importance of long-tail keywords, now how do you more easily find them?

Here’s a simple roadmap:

Step 1: Brainstorm

Before jumping into any tools, brainstorm topics or questions that are related to your niche. Let’s say you’re in the fitness industry; consider what specific problems your target audience is looking to solve. It could be things like “home workouts for busy moms” or “how to get fit without a gym.”

My extra tip: Using ChatGPT and AI to help brainstorm ideas can make things so much easier.

Step 2: Use Keyword Tools

Use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to search for long-tail keywords related to the terms you’ve brainstormed. These tools will give you a better estimation for traffic volume and competition and help confirm if a keyword is a good idea to target.

Step 3: Check the Competition

Type your chosen long-tail keywords into Google and see what kinds of articles or pages come up. Is it something you can compete with? If all you see are big brand names, maybe go for something even more specific. If you see things like Pinterest pins, product listings, and Amazon coming up, you can more often than not compete fairly easily.

Step 4: Create Value-Driven Content

Once you’ve chosen your long-tail keywords, craft content that fully answers the queries related to them.

Remember, you’re not just stuffing keywords; you’re providing value. Your content should be detailed, well-structured, and most importantly, helpful.

Step 5: Track and Adjust

After publishing, keep an eye on how your content is performing.

Use tools like Google Analytics to track your rankings, traffic, and user behavior.

If you’re not seeing the results you want, don’t be afraid to go back and tweak your content, or target even more specific keywords in the future.

Summarizing Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases relating to a topic, that are less competitive and more targeted. They are your secret weapon as a new content creator.

Not only do they help you rank faster, they also build trust, and allow you to target the right audience without going head-to-head with internet giants.

I highly suggest you start incorporating them into your content strategy today!

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