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The Importance of Long Tail Keywords for SEO

As a marketer interested in increasing your ranking on search engine result pages (SERP), you may have heard the terms “short tail keyword” and “long tail keyword” for SEO (search engine optimization). With 70 percent of queries on search engines containing long tail keywords, lets explore why they should be a critical part of your SEO strategy.

Short Tail vs Long Tail Keywords for SEO

Many start with smaller phrases known as short tail keywords. These are usually one or two words that are relevant to your business in a general sense. For example, someone searching for bakery services may begin a search with a short tail keyword like “local bakery.” Another user searching for a bakery could be looking for something much more specific and enter a query like “bakery near me with gluten free cupcakes.”

The type of keywords a customer uses in an online search usually depends on which stage of the buyer journey they are in. Early in the process, potential buyers tend to use general terms as they begin to research a product, service or problem. As they go further through their journey and gather more information and understanding, they begin using more specific keywords and longer, more descriptive terms, most of which we consider long tail keywords.

Advantages of Long Tail Keywords for SEO

Both users and businesses benefit from using long tail keywords. Searchers get more defined results that likely provide them (or gets them closer to) the information they need. Your organization gets important data to help you understand your website visitors’ needs, challenges and how you can help move them more fully through the purchasing funnel.

Other long tail keyword benefits include:

Less competition – Since long tail keywords are more specific, there tend to be fewer competitors using the exact same keyword. The chances of your site being seen by relevant audiences on search engines increases, especially with Google’s ability to personalize search results. Less keyword competition means they cost less to bid on, so you’ll optimize costs. 

Higher conversion rate– The people searching these types of keywords usually know what they are looking for and typically are further down the buyer path with an intent to buy rather than just doing initial research.

Higher ranking of short tail keywords– Most long tail keywords already contain short tail keywords, helping both phrases to rank higher in search engine results. Google looks at search intent when choosing which results to display. Keywords are a main part of how Google determines this. The strategic use of long tail keywords for SEO can keep your site from falling in rankings.

Voice search– With voice search gaining popularity due to devices such as Amazon’s Alexa® and Google Home®, long tail keywords more closely match the conversational tone used.

Talk to a Data-Driven SEO Marketing Agency that Drives Leads

If you want to further optimize your website with long tail keywords for SEO, or begin the SEO strategy process (an SEO audit is a great place to start), the digital marketing experts at Stifel Marcin are ready to help. Contact us and let’s talk.

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