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How to Rank in SERPs with Long Tail Keywords

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 11 Oct, 2016
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Proper use of well planned long tail keywords is key to SEO success

Long tail keywords are about more than squeezing that last bit of traffic from an overused search engine. They are the closest thing to reading minds outside of a comic book. A long tail keywords is any search of 4 words or more. Since they make up about 70% of all searches, it pays to learn how to use Google to read minds.

Other People’s Problems

Understanding the long tail keywords related to your business is the first step to getting a higher ranking on Google. Search engines are so popular because people want information for solving a problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s curing an illness, buying the right camera or learning to dance the polka. The stronger the need, the more specific the search. The more specific the search, the more likely action gets taken. We use search engines because we want our problem solved.

The goal of Google is simple. Give the people what they want. Whenever people write into a search engine, Google’s goal is to get them as close to what’s in their mind as possible. If Google can't do that, the user gets frustrated and tries a different search engine. That means less money for Google. So if Google is all about giving people what they want, a business is all about BEING what they want. A first page ranking in a long tail keyword search is one of the most profitable ways to bridge that gap.

Talk To The People

One problem with becoming more knowledgeable in a field is how amazing we become at talking about it... to other people in that field. For instance, once you understand digital marketing you see that every time you mention “SEO” to your mother, she asks you what it means. This is the same with any business. You get good enough at it to start using words folks outside that field just don’t get. If you build a long tail keyword strategy from only your own knowledge, you'll see more traffic from competitors than customers.
For this reason, it is important to do research. Talk to people and find out exactly how they relate to your company and your offerings. Open dialogues with customers and non-customers alike. Listen to how they talk about what you do. Understand not only their problems, but how they are asking Google to solve it. Once you have the language together you can take advantage of tools that display what's happening in your corner of the search world.

Google Keyword Planner:

See first-hand how many searches certain words and phrases get per month along with other ideas you can use.
Pro tip: Don’t be too impressed by the big numbers. “Camera” may get 4 million searches a month, but those people could want anything. Meanwhile, “best wide angle lens for nikon” only gets 1,900 searches. If you sell Nikon lenses that's 1,900 potential sales a month.

Power Words:

Words like "buy," "compare," and "features" can give you an edge in finding who is closest to buying. People that use these words likely have a problem they want to solve right now. A long tail keyword strategy will give them a greater ability to find you.
Talk To The People (A Lot!)

Once you understand how your specific customers talk about their problems, you can pretty much read their minds. Don’t shave your head just yet, Charles Xavier, because you now have the awesome power of suggestion at your fingertips.

Average content length in top 10 results
The great Bill Gates once said that “content is king.” Perhaps even more importantly, consistency is queen. All the long tail keywords in the world mean little without a platform to push them. And for that you need content. You need to write and write well.
Getting to #1 in a long tail keyword search is going to take more than a 500-word post once a month. Getting a better ranking is all about quality, unique word content with some meat on its bones. Just see for yourself...

Whoever says the people don’t read nowadays doesn’t know any people.

The more you write, the stronger your position. The more often you write, the more opportunities you create for your long tail keywords to be crawled by google.

Consistency is queen and she types from her throne upon a shiny golden keyboard. She may find knights to assist her, but she understands that only through effort and perseverance can the kingdom rise to greatness.

“The days of fly-by-night-snake-oil-salesmen SEO agencies are long gone. If anyone promises first-position rankings, run the other way. There are no guarantees in the world of SEO.” - Neil Patel

Share With The People

The final piece of the long tail keyword puzzle, is sharing your work. Take advantage of all your social media. Post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and whatever works best for your brand. Make videos and podcasts, and use your long tail keywords throughout all content and promotional materials. As you climb the rankings to the top, you’ll reap rewards of greater sales and a stronger bond with your customer base.
By then, you'll have been reading people's minds and fixing their problems for so long they'll think you are utterly superhuman.


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Keyword planning

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