In order for potential customers to find your business online, you must be showing up on search engines. In order to show up on search engines, you need a solid keyword strategy to develop content that is valuable to your target market. Long tail keyword discovery is one crucial element of your successful keyword strategy. Not sure how to get started with long tail keywords? This post will cover how to find long tail keywords for your business so you can rank higher on search engines.
Short, generic keywords like “wedding photographer,” “women’s clothing,” or “bakery” turn up thousands upon thousands of results. It is nearly impossible for a small business to rank highly for such a generic term, and even if they did, the people searching for these broad terms are actually far less likely to make a purchase.
Imagine you’re looking for a new insurance agent. Would you search broad terms like “health insurance”? Probably not. Instead, you’d use terms like “health insurance agent in san diego” or “how to get health insurance after losing my job”. These longer, more specific phrases are called long tail keywords and using them is an effective strategy for ranking higher on search engines. Compiling a list of the keywords your target audience is searching will help you build online content that appears in their search results when they’re ready to buy.
Long tail keywords are about quality over quantity. Each of these keywords will produce less traffic than more general keywords, but they produce much higher quality traffic: consumers ready to buy rather than barely-interested window shoppers. Creating a list of long tail keywords that fit your business and your target market increases the likelihood that potential customers will find you the next time they hop on Google, ready to make a purchase.
To a certain extent, choosing long tail keywords for your business can be somewhat intuitive. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What do you think they search when looking to hire a business in your industry? Brainstorm some ideas and even ask friends, families, or customers for some suggestions. The first keywords to come to mind are potentially the first keywords coming to your customers’ minds, too.
One thing to keep in mind throughout this process is how local Google rankings have changed the SEO game. Recent updates have allowed an individual’s search results to change based on their geographic location, so small businesses can now target competitive search terms that used to be out of reach. Knowing how to find keywords to maximize on local SEO will go a long way in reaching your target market.
Related: Local SEO Guide
When brainstorming your list of long tail keywords, start with basic industry keywords. Which words or phrases are customers likely to use when searching for a business in your industry? Next, add modifiers that could be used to either set apart a business in your industry or specify a niche you serve. This may describe your business as a whole or specific products or services you offer. Finally, include the town or city where your target market may be. Examples for a NYC salon and spa may include “best day spa in new york city” or “manhattan facial reviews”.
When beginning your long tail keyword research, it is also a great idea to research which keywords are already driving traffic to your website. Take note of high ranking keywords, but don’t ignore keywords lower in your traffic rankings. Remember, many of the most valuable long tail keywords won’t drive a high volume of website visitors, but will drive high quality visitors who are more likely to purchase.
Take a look at what is already working for your website. You will be much more successful in building on keywords that are already driving traffic than trying to rank for a concept that isn’t yet connected to your current content.
Once you have brainstormed a list of potential long tail keywords and examined what is already working, you can use online tools to dig deeper into what people truly are searching for when they are ready to use your business.
Try plugging in what you’ve listed into one of these online long tail keyword tools:
There are many free long tail keyword finders available online, and you can quickly access thousands of suggestions or options. Don’t mindlessly copy and paste suggestions. Strive to think like your target market and choose long tail keywords that make sense for your business, niche, and customer. If you start to feel overwhelmed by all the options, check out our free guide on local SEO for small businesses for more guidance.