Organic traffic ensures sustainability for startups. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to procure. With authoritative domains in almost every niche to overshadow new website, every startup deals with saturation. The ones that stand out survive. Long-Tail keywords are the key to survival.
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Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic. Search engines undoubtedly can make or break a business. But you can’t expect much from them without showing up on top of the result page. As a matter of fact, the first organic desktop listing gets 19.3% and mobile listing gets 27.7% of clicks. Those numbers very well reflect the significance of ranking higher.
Positioning your startup on SERPs usually takes 4 to 6 months. It’s worth mentioning as new businesses often fall prey to shady practices seeking fast results. Apart from minor penalties, it can also get your domain banned from the search results.
Well, there’s no other way than playing by the rules. Although keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore, keywords standstill. Growing businesses can’t afford to pursue Short-Tail keywords in the beginning. Still, they eventually have to target these generic search terms after building domain authority.
So now you are left with one viable option – Long-Tail keywords.
Longer keywords have a high potential for bringing in traffic. Also, they are more accommodative with a high conversion rate. Why? Because longer keywords attract a certain audience. Also, by narrowing down the context, targeting prospects based on buyer personas gets easier.
Long-Tail Keywords 101
Search strings with more than three words (usually) are referred to as Long-Tail keywords. What makes them the holy grail of SEO for startups?
Well, suppose you own a restaurant in New York. You may instinctively try to target generic keyword such as ‘restaurant’ – a quick google search will show you that your keyword is way too broad. It won’t get you ranked and you’ll probably get buried in search results.
On the other hand, your odds to rank are much better with a longer keyword such as ‘restaurants in NYC’. This could be further modified based on the speciality. For instance, ‘sushi restaurant in NYC’.
Did you know, 70% of all the search queries use Long-Tail Keywords. That being said, targeting just a handful of these phrases won’t get you anywhere. Why? Being much more specific they attract limited traffic. Also, you might find it hard to come up with key phrases (more about finding keywords later).
Voice search is a convenient way to get quick results. It has witnessed consistent growth in the past years. People tend to add more details while speaking as compared to typing. Also, they prefer to ‘ask’ their voice assistant.
Going back to the previous example – people typing their query are prone to use ‘sushi restaurant in NYC’ but they might go for ‘which is the best sushi restaurant in NYC’ while using voice search. Check out these statistics to get an idea about the growth of voice search:
- By 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
- 55% of teen and 41% of adults use voice search regularly.
- Nearly 40 million Americans now own a smart speaker.
Make sure that your SEO strategy incorporates voice search. Simply think of questions that your prospects might ask – make sure it fits well with the natural language. Think of particular terms they might use.
Putting up an FAQ section and answering all the questions from your readers in the comment section naturally weaves in a lot of keywords.
In recent times, search engines have been focused on contextual results. Long-Tail keywords simplify their job. By narrowing down on a specific niche and serving a specific set of people you won’t compete with the big players. That’s a good thing while starting out.
Google consider numerous factors to rank. It’s worth mentioning that even if your content is stronger it might still rank low in the beginning as you’ll fall short on other components.
Going for longer phrases does make things easier but that’s not an excuse to compromise on your keyword research phase. Ask yourself, have I given enough time to keyword research? Starting out weak has a direct influence over your SEO strategy. It won’t be effective enough in later stages.
Internet is flooded with content and users can easily find information on particular topics. This is another reason search queries have evolved to be more specific over time. Make sure your startup utilizes longer keywords.
Out of all the perks that come with Long-Tail keywords, this probably steals the show. They allow you to target prospects in the later stages of the buyer journey. You’ll need to understand the buyer’s cycle to grasp this idea. Here’s an outline of the buyer’s cycle in case you missed it.
Quick internet research has become mandatory for most people before making a purchase. It usually goes something like this…
- They discover the product or service.
- They research it and look for the alternatives.
- Finally, they make the purchase.
As you can imagine search queries vary for these three different phases. They get more detailed as consumers proceed in their journey. Targeting precisely the keywords involved with the later stages of the buyer’s journey can have a great impact on your CRO strategy. In fact, long tail searches are often 2.5x more effective than short keywords.
Resources for Long-Tail keywords
Now that you are convinced – the next challenge is coming up with relevant Long-Tail keywords. A general piece of advice (for inexperienced entrepreneurs) – look for the highest traffic and lowest competition.
Here are some tools and tactics to help you out in your quest of finding accurate search phrases.
Let’s start with Google. Search for any of the keywords you came up with in your brainstorming section and scroll to the bottom. You’ll come across ‘searches related to’ section. These search terms were previously used by people and therefore holds value.
Take it even further by using these suggested phrases as your new search term. Google also predicts search queries while users type – this another great resource for mining keyphrases. Autosuggestions too comprise of searches made in the past.
A lot of longer keywords are part of ‘questions’ your prospects ask Google. Answer the Public is just the right tool for coming up with the question related to your targeted term.
This tool is easy to use – click on ‘get questions’ after typing your keyword in the search bar. It’ll give you a list of popular questions associated with your topic. Answer the public finds the common questions by combining data from both Google and Bing.
Quora is a social platform where people answer each other. With its growing popularity, it has become a one-stop destination for marketers to gain insight. Simply search with a broad term and look for keywords in the list of questions. Apart from coming across new keywords, Quora is also a great resource for new content ideas and discovering trends.
End of Story
Does your keyword align with the intent of your particular audience? Going after irrelevant terms will increase the bounce rate and that’ll have a negative impact on your ranking.
Search engines crave quality. They retain users by displaying the most relevant results. Instead of trying to please them – think from their perspective. All the SEO related advice on the internet is based on the speculations from experts. The only thing for sure is that quality content will find its way to the top.