We’ve been playing the drum with How to Find Long-Tail Keywords for a long time. Focusing on long-tail keywords is a great SEO tactic. Long-tailed keywords are keywords or keyword phrases that are more specific, and generally longer than the most searched keywords. Long-tail keywords receive less search traffic, but will generally have a higher conversion value because they are more specific. They allow you to gradually get more traffic and be found by new and motivated audiences.
That’s why it’s important to target long and very specific keywords. In retail, long-tail keywords are especially valuable. Short keywords indicate that the user is only browsing, while long-tail keywords show that the user knows what they want and is ready to buy.
So where should you find these long-tail keywords that generate traffic and potential customers? Here are nine tips to get started.
Use Google Suggest
Google Suggestions is an excellent source for long-tail keyword variations. Start by typing your main keyword in the Google search box and see what variations Google suggests:
If it appears in a Google suggestion, you know it is a phrase that people are looking for.
These suggestions do not necessarily inspire their faith in humanity but they can inspire good content.
Use related Google searches
The same principle as the Google suggestions that appear when writing your query, but these suggested related searches appear at the bottom of the SERP, below the first page of organic results:
You can get a little more suggestions here (in this case, eight keywords versus just four above) and they can also be a bit more personalized (Google knows that I live in Colorado, hence the modifiers “Denver” and “Fort” Collins “).
Use more and different keyword research tools
If you use only one keyword tool each time you perform a keyword search, you are selling little and you are probably missing tons of long-tail keyword variations.
The Google Keyword Tool is an excellent basic tool and a good starting point, but if you are looking for more long-tail keywords, try other options as well:
- Google Trends: Find out what people are looking for right now (such as “Who will win the 2012 elections?”).
- Social media tools, for example, the YouTube keyword tool and Twitter search.
The more keyword tools you try, the greater the variations of the long-tail keywords.
Mine Your Analytics
Your analytics will tell you many, if not all, of the key phrases that take visitors to your site. When you search for these keyword references, you can find several long-tail queries that direct traffic to you.
These keywords may be relevant to your business, but they are not yet highly targeted by a single page on your site.
To find your own private long-tail keyword repository, access the analytics and locate your organic keyword references (in Google Analytics, the route is Traffic Sources -> Sources -> Search -> Organic).
You can simply search all relevant long-tail keywords that can become content or set the date range to something quite large (depending on traffic flow, try 3, 6 or 12 periods of the month), so It has a lot of data to analyze and look for patterns. For example, you can search for keywords in your questions (that is, terms that begin with “what,” “why,” etc.).
Review Your Search Query Reports
If you’re running a PPC campaign in AdWords, don’t forget to use the Search query Report the same way you used your analytics, just one of the many ways PPC data can inform your SEO.
Your search query report shows the search queries that led people to click on your ads, rather than on the organic search results.
As an additional benefit, you get more complete access to this data than your organic references in Google Analytics.
It can also be easier to see which keywords generate conversions, not just traffic. It is worth looking for high conversion long-tail keywords.
Sites like eHow are practically driven by keyword research, especially long-tail keyword research. Demand Media, the company that owns eHow, Cracked.com, and other sites, uses powerful algorithms to find long-tail keywords for which it can be classified with hyper-targeted content.
You may not have the incredibly profitable Demand Media data sources or content algorithms on your side, but you can still learn from this methodology. Explore these sites to get keyword ideas.
If eHow is targeting a keyword phrase, you can bet that it has search volume and that advertisers are interested in buying a channel on these pages. Another good bet?
Everything they have produced to target these keywords is probably very bad. EHow content is economically produced by freelancers and tends to be restricted content, the kind of things that Google post-Panda no longer supports.
If you can create solid content with a real value that is also hyper-objective, you have a good chance of overcoming content farms.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a useful (and free!) Long tail keyword research tool. Enter a keyword and generate common questions about that keyword. This will give you a good direction for your content.
Explore the question and answer sites
Like Demand Media properties, question and answer sites can be a good source of long-tail keyword ideas. I am talking about sites like:
- Quora (Here are some tips How To Drive Traffic From Quora)
- Yahoo Answers
- Askville by Amazon
- LinkedIn Answers
The questions are excellent long-tail keywords: it would no longer be obvious that these people are looking for answers and information.
Of course, you want to do a little keyword research to find the version of each question that has the correct search volume and proficiency level. Not all questions found on a question and answer website will be a keyword worth attacking.
Is Wikipedia the most optimized website on the Internet? It is definitely up there. You can learn a lot by copying the optimization on the Wikipedia page. When searching for a basic term, try to consult the Wikipedia page. For example, look at the index (this is for the “Quantum Mechanics” page):
Many of these titles are translated into long-tail keywords (“history of quantum mechanics,” “mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics,” “applications of quantum mechanics,” etc.). You can also do a search on the (Control-F) page on the main keyword page and see what other variations appear throughout the text.
In addition, the “See also” section at the bottom of many Wikipedia articles can be useful for finding groups of related terms.
Steal from competitors
For informational inquiries, Wikipedia is often your competitor. But always verify your competition when searching for a keyword term. Start with the main and intermediate terms you are trying to rank and see what types of keyword variations are used on pages with a rating of 5 to 10 points. For example, suppose you are chasing the keyword “Christmas crafts.” Reach the page that ranks first for that keyword on Google and see what keywords are used (keywords everywhere!):
Have you discovered other sneaky ways to find long-tail keyword terms? Let us know in the comments!