Using Long Tail Keywords Strategically

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chia pet statue of liberty by her seolf“Chia” has been in the news lately; it was a mainstay in the ancient Aztec diet and is currently popular as a supplement that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Google “chia”, and you’ll get 300 million results. Google “chia pet”, however, and you’ll get fewer than 2 million results. Google “chia pet Statue of Liberty”, and you’ll get about 21,900 returns. The longer your keyword, the fewer your results – but the more targeted, bringing you better-qualified buyers.

“Long tail” keywords often contain as many as five to seven words. This works in your favor: one- or two- word key phrases are costly to rank for and they don’t convert well. Longer key phrases indicate “user intent”, and if your page meets that intent, you’re on your way to conversion.

Consider the person who searches for “digital camera” (710 million results). Do they want to buy one? Take a class? Understand how they work? You don’t have a clue.

Now consider the person who searches for “canon digital rebel xti 10.1mp digital slr ef-s 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens” (54k results). That person is likely looking for reviews or pricing; either way, a pretty clear indication of intent to buy.

Jayson DeMers, writing on Search Engine Watch, says there is resurgence in long tail keywords, partly because people increasingly type in (or voice) longer, more specific queries. It’s now estimated that over 70% of Google search terms are long tail.

Long tail keywords:

  • Bring more targeted visitors to your site
  • Are less competitive
  • Clearly illustrate the searcher’s intent
  • Keep visitors on your site for longer (if you’ve met their exact needs)
  • Encourage conversions (if your landing page matches the searcher’s intent)

Map your keywords to the buyer’s journey

In general, use shorter and more general keywords to fulfill information requests in the early part of the buyer’s journey, when people are doing broad research. Use long tail keywords to reach people who are far enough along the buyer’s journey to have developed a specific set of requirements.

If you’re looking for tools to help you put your keyword strategy in place, check out Act-On Inbound, our new suite of inbound capabilities created to help you excel at search engine optimization on web pages, landing pages, your blog and AdWords, and see the ROI of your AdWords campaigns.