We have all read dozens of articles on the benefits of long-tail SEO, but once we understand what are long tail-keywords, in just 3 words we want to try to explain: Why a long-tail strategy is great?
In the case long-tail keywords have no secrets for you, jump to the 3 real benefits of a long tail strategy.
What are Long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are simply long search queries that can be contrasted with two other keywords groups, short-tail keywords and the medium-tail keywords.
Keywords, according to how long they are, can therefore be classified into one of these three groups
|Short-tail keywords||Short search queries|
|Medium-tail keywords||Medium search queries|
|Long-tail keywords||Long search queries|
A further characteristic that distinguishes long tail keywords from short and medium tail keywords is search volume.
Long-tail keywords have lower search volumes
It’s obvious, long queries tend to be less popular than short queries.
Usually, short-tail keywords search volumes are highly searched, while long-tail keywords have very low search volumes.
Knowing that, someone may think that long queries are less interesting to target than short and medium queries, but that would be a mistake.
First, targeting long-tail queries does not necessarily mean ignoring short keywords. Second, it’s now time to explain in 3 words the real benefits of a long-tail strategy.
Advantages of a long-tail SEO strategy
The benefits of a long-tail strategy can be summarized in 3 simple words : scale, target and sustainability.
If you want to make big numbers, long-tail is the best way to scale, and giving a look at your keywords can help you understand.
Within the Google Search Console, if you look at the keywords for which a website is getting impressions, you can notice that in terms of number of distinct keywords, the long-tail keywords group is huge respect to the others.
The long-tail familly is so big that it can bring the website the largest part of its organic traffic. Very few clicks for thousands of keywords can far exceed many clicks for just a few keywords. This is the main idea of scaling with a long-stail SEO strategy.
A long-tail SEO strategy gives another big advantage to marketers, it drives better targeted traffic.
Usually, short keywords hide several search intents. Two persons that are using the same keyword in Google search are not necessary looking for the same thing. What they need is not clear enough, moreover probably they themselves do not know exactly what they are looking for.
In opposition, as long-tail keywords are much longer, long-tail searchers that land on your pages, know exacly what they want and why they’re here. Consequently, the long-tail traffic is from far better targeted, so you can expect a much better conversion rate on that traffic.
Your achieved search engine rankings are not guaranteed. Google is constantly updating its own algorithm, and at the same time, your competitors are working on their SEO too. Since your environement is always moving and you ranking not guaranted, you have to deal with risk management and sustainability. The risk you have to deal with is traffic drop.
Following the best SEO practices, and working on your content to make it better is obviously something you need to do, but it wont be enough.
Keep in mind that even doing things the right way, you wont get good rankings on every single keyword. In SEO real life, you’ll improve your rankings for some keywords and lose some rankings on others (sometimes for reasons that you can’t even explain).
In order to be less exposed to a traffic drop, what would be the best choice for you? Ranking for few keywords that drives the biggest part of your trafic or having an organic traffic drived by thousands of different keywords?
As with your personal investments, a long-tail SEO strategy allows you not to put your eggs in one basket.
Fore sure, having a good long-tail traffic doesn’t mean being immune to a traffic drop, but it’s probably much better than doing “all-in” for few highly searched keywords.
Is competition (or keyword difficulty) another reasons to go for long-tail SEO?
Really easy keywords (low competition) are more likely long-tail keywords, that’s true. That being said, be aware that not all long-tail keywords are easy to rank for. Ranking on long-tail queries wont be necessary an SEO quick win.
When you find keywords that your competitors are not targeting, be careful. They are not targeting the same keyword, but they may target the same search intent (or customer need), using other keywords.
In some cases, trying to figureout the competition level for an exact keyword has no sense. Remember that Google is trying to rank pages that answer the user need (or solve the user problem), rather than pages that are well optimized for a given keyword.
So when you’re trying to understand the competion level, think about it in terms of search intent, try to group search queries that hide the same intentions and don’t be to much keyword centric.