How To Use Long Tail Keywords In Your Blog
You’ve all heard of keywords right? What about long tail keywords? These are a string of words that people use to search online, and if you’re not using them in your blog posts you could be missing a trick.
Here’s an example. A straightforward keyword (sometimes known as a ‘head’ keyword) for a recruitment company might be “jobs”. This is a popular keyword, and therefore lots of people are using it. The chances of your blog post about ‘jobs’ appearing anywhere in SERPs (search engine results pages) is therefore very slim. However a long tail keyword for the same agency such as “London design jobs” isn’t quite as popular; therefore if you use this, and variations of it, throughout your blog post you are more likely to appear in SERPs.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
As you can see from the above example, a long tail keyword is generally over 3 words long – and can be much longer. “How to find a design job” is a long tail keyword, on average 10 people a month in the UK search for this. That might not sound like many, but if your business needs 5 people p/m coming through your doors looking for design jobs, it’s not a bad long tail keyword to use.
The difference between standard keywords and long tail ones is that they are a lot more specific to your business. This means they are very useful for catching those people further into the buying cycle: people who have already identified a service or product they need, and are looking for more specific information about it.
For the blog writer this is useful information because it helps define what your content should be about. Use a long tail keyword to frame your blog post and give the potential client an answer to their problem.
How To Find Long Tail Keywords
Another advantage with long tail keywords is that you can often get ahead of your competitors by identifying ones that they’re not targeting. Long tail keywords are great for niche and local businesses, because of their specific qualities. For example, the “London design jobs” long tail keyword is not only sector specific but also location specific, making it a less targeted keyword phrase than the obvious, such as “jobs”.
So, how do you identify good long tail keywords for your business?
Google Autosuggest: Pick a primary keyword for your business and start typing it into Google. Look at the auto suggested options:
These options highlight alternatives to your primary keyword: long tail keywords that people are actually searching with. You can also scroll down to the bottom of the Google SERPs page and see further suggestions that are related to your search. Again, these are actual keywords and long tail keywords real people use!
Google Keyword Planner: There still may be a lot of competition for these keywords, and therefore to really dominate a niche and drive your target audience to your site, look for variations on these. Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent tool to do this research.
Type in your long tail keyword suggestion into Keyword Planner and “get ideas”. You’ll get a list of related long tail keywords that you can then test in Google Autosuggest to see how competitive the market is:
From this research you’ll be able to generate several long tail keywords that you can then use regularly in your content.
Writing Using Long Tail Keywords
To really dominate the market for a particular long tail keyword you will need to write lots of content using it. The good news is that many long tail keywords lend themselves effectively for blog titles, and of course they will also give you a clear idea of exactly what you should write.
From your research you may have several variations on your long tail keyword that you can blog about separately. For example, “ The Ultimate Guide To London Design Jobs”, “How To Find A Graphic Design Job In London”, “What’s The London Web Design Job Market Like?” etc.
Use your long tail keywords, variations of, and related keywords consistently throughout your blog posts, and your site will begin to dominant this niche. It won’t happen overnight but it’s an excellent strategy to increase your blog traffic long term.