A Little Longtail Can Go a Long Way
Grey carpet, grey carpets, grey carpets Swindon, grey carpets in Swindon – head term keywords can be so boring. Yes, they’re crucial, but they’re not the be all and end all. Longtail keywords are a whole different kettle of fish and can be just as helpful as head terms – and they can be much more inspiring too. They can even be more useful if you don’t have the budget to compete for the more competitive head terms out there – especially if you’re just start starting out online.
If you’re looking to increase relevant, organic traffic with a small budget and very little time, longtail keyword research is a very good place to start. If you already have plenty of Analytics data, it’s really easy, but if you’re just starting out you’ll need to try a few different techniques to really nail those less obvious terms. Once you’ve got a little data to play with though, this quick guide will teach you how to find your new keywords and how to use them properly.
How to perform simple longtail keyword research…
Right, it’s time to fire up Analytics. You’ll want to get hold of all of your organic search traffic, filter it by keyword and plonk it all into a nice spreadsheet. Pick the widest date range possible, open Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic and choose to show as many rows as possible. Then export the lot.
With us so far? O.K. now it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff. Filter the results in your spreadsheet by running through all of the key question words with a ‘contains’ filter: When, Where, What, How, Why, Which etc. If you’re being very thorough, it is worth filtering for words like Could, Should, Will, Can, Best, Top etc. Copy all of your results into a new sheet as you go and you should end up with something a little bit like this…
If, as in this example, you’re not working with a massive data sample and have a bit of time on your hands, it’s worth filtering by word count (greater than or equal to more than three) and then trawling through your results – there are always a few interesting terms in there which you would never have thought of in a million years. Searchers can be ever so creative!
How to implement your data
If your list looks a bit sparse, you might want to try popping some of the best terms into Uber Suggest for some variation and inspiration before running the whole lot through the keyword planner to get a sense of what has volume and what has no search at all. It doesn’t matter if just a handful of people are searching, that’s the whole beauty of longtail. Use a selection of closely related terms and turn them into one really relevant blog that gives those bounced visitors what they want next time!
For example, take a look at our list. There are a few clear groups appearing already:
- ‘celebrities tatoo eyebrows’
- ‘celebs with tattooed eyebrows’
- ‘bollywood actresses eyebrows…’
- ‘which celebrities have tattooed eyebrows’
- ‘which celebs get their eyebrows tattoo’
Other clear groups are regional local search terms for Cardiff/South Wales and for Bristol.
With this data it we would recommend creating three distinct blogs:
- 10 Celebs With Tattooed Eyebrows
- 7 Best Places for Beauty in Cardiff
- 8 Best Places for Beauty in Bristol
We’ve kept the celebrity blog specific and recommend using it on site as there is so much interest shown through the search. This probably isn’t an immediate converter, but it helps you engage with searchers who have an interest in the service you offer. Make the post (or series of posts if you’re feeling creative) as enjoyable, informative and inclusive as possible – encourage reader interaction – and the visitor could keep you in mind in future.
On the flipside, we have made the location posts more general. Nobody likes to be aggressively marketed to – and nobody will believe that you are the best on your say so. Instead, spreading a little of the love can be good online karma…
In this case we’d write a guest post or an offsite article using as many longtail terms as possible without compromising style or readability. Certainly include yourself as the best in your sector, but reach out to your favourite local businesses too (hairdressers, stylists, masseuses etc.) by linking out to them. This makes the post appear more objective, useful and, if the sites you link to have a high domain authority, it could actually bump the post up the rankings faster.
So, to recap:
- Get hold of as much data as you can and filter it for longtail inspiration
- Group the longtail terms into clear subject areas
- Work with these subject areas to create posts rich in sensitively used, natural-sounding longtail terms which also give visitors precisely what they’re searching for
- Et Voila! More traffic and more interaction! Just don’t expect miracles straight away. The secret to longtail is playing the long game. The more terms you use, the more dribs and drabs of visitors you’ll receive – in time these visits can really add up.
Terms with benefits…
This isn’t just about search volume. You’re not likely to be inundated using this method. Fortunately this is much more than that – it’s the beginning of a better approach to content creation. Instead of focussing on what you think your visitors want to read, a smart approach to longtail terms is about listening to your visitors and understanding their journey.
Whether it’s a case of providing fun, blog-boosting material which will give your brand some personality, or about answering qualms and questions that may stand between your visitor and their conversion, you can use longtail keyword research to offer the service your visitors are really looking for.
About the Author
Holly is the co-founder of To Your Heart’s Content, a top-notch web content crack-team specialising in SEO copywriting services that help burgeoning businesses flourish online.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.