Keywords can be classified as long tail keywords and short tail keywords. The long tail keywords are a string of three or more words that make up a phrase. Using long tail keywords we can target less competitive niche markets rather than the hugely competitive short tail keywords. If one can’t compete with most popular phrases then should aim for little further down the longer keyword phrase. These long tail, short tail keywords are otherwise termed as Broad and Narrow keywords.
Why & when to target long tail keywords?
When launching a brand new website, you have to face much competition in the wide market place. The sites that are competing with you may be a older trusted site, has years of conversion data, lot of organic content and thousands of quality inbound links. We cannot compete with these sites until we have created a huge brand, age(old trusted site), network of sites built off and strong domain name. Also there is little use in ranking 2nd or 3rd page of search engine engines with low traffic and there is no value for ranking in these pages. In that case you should target long tail keywords which are easier to rank top. I encourage you to read further Why it Makes Sense to Target Longtail Keywords First.
Ranking – Long tail keywords are less competitive and hence it is much easier to achieve top search engine rankings than short tail keywords.
Conversion – Long tail converts better. If the searcher who has made his thinking before the search and if he finds the exact phrase what he is looking for then there is a higher potential for buying also. The people searching using long tail keywords are further along the buying cycle than the people who are making generic searches.
Traffic – We may not get huge traffic for the site but we can target a highly targeted visitors using long tail keywords. It provides potential exposure to your target audience and the conversion rate is higher opposed to short term keywords.
Ways to find long tail keyword phrases
One approach to find out the long tail keywords is by using popular Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Select ‘Website Content’ option in the above tool and enter the website address. This will give all the relevant keywords relevant to the site. Putting these keywords with “Descriptive words or phrases” option in search will list the expanded results with associated long tail keywords list. After the several long tail keywords are identified, we can include these keyword phrases in the website content.
Monitoring the progress
The advantage of targeting long tail keywords is the fact that it will tend to show quicker results in terms of Search engine ranking as well as traffic. It may show results even overnight in some cases but we should ensure not doing so quickly. So We can test with various combination of keywords in a shorter period of time.
There are various tools available online to monitor the performance of the keywords. We can track the performance of keywords using “Top search queries” in “Google webmaster tools” or “yahoo site explorer”. Google webmaster tools provides 6 months span for user top search queries and this is very useful tool for better optimizing the site for specific keywords. Google Analytics is one of the powerful tool for monitoring all aspects of your websites traffic, from referral’s to search engine activity. With the availability these excellent tools we can easily determine the where the traffic is rising and gaining for specific search queries.