If you’re a business owner, part of a marketing team, or own a web domain, you know that search engine optimization is key to driving traffic to your website. Unlike paid search ads that bring instant, short-term results, SEO is a long-term game requiring months of hard work and patience. However, if you want long-lasting success and continuously climbing organic traffic, you need to create a long-tail SEO keyword strategy.
Why is Keyword Research Important? Can’t I Try Ranking for all the Keywords?
Sure, ranking for all the keywords sounds like the perfect plan. However, considering there are more than 3.5 billion searches on Google each day with over 400,000 search terms, that’s a pretty far stretch.
Keyword research plays an essential role in microtargeting your unique audience(s), creating content with a data-driven purpose, and tracking the progression of your site’s search visibility.
How do you choose the best keywords for your website’s SEO efforts? Your first reaction is probably to track all your product names, maybe your company’s name, and a few location key terms here and there. Well, you’re not wrong but you’re not right, either.
Product and Brand Key Terms are a Starting Point
If you’re a marketing executive for a shoe company, going after the keywords “shoes” seems like a great idea. Everyone is searching for shoes (aren’t they?).
You’d be right. In fact, there are over 1.2 million searches for “shoes” each month. Unless you’re Zappos, Nike, or another footwear powerhouse, the chances of organically ranking on the first page of the SERPs are slim.
See, the biggest difference between paid search and SEO is that you can’t bid for organic keywords. You must be crafty and creative with your keyword research if you want to increase organic traffic.
Although you can’t wager on organic keywords, you can use your short tail keywords (product, product names, brand names, etc.) as a starting point to create more narrow, long-tail keywords.
How to Find Long-tail Keywords
These long-tail key phrases will play an essential part in gaining eager, new users through organic traffic. In fact, you can create an incredibly effective long-tail keyword strategy in just three easy steps:
- Determine your unique selling point.
- Get into your consumers’ mindset.
- Breakdown your consumers’ questions into fragments.
Determine your Unique Selling Point
You know everything about the technical aspects of your product. But, do you know your unique selling point? No matter how similar your product is to another, no matter how similar your brand is to the competitors, there is a reason why people prefer your product over another. To determine your unique selling point, go beyond the technical aspects of your product, and ask:
- Who does this product help?
- What are the different ways this product can be used?
- When will people use this product? What is the seasonality and why? Is there a breaking point that produces a need for this product or service?
- Where are people finding a need for this product?
- Why would someone seek something like this product or service?
- How can this product improve lives?
Get into your Consumer’s Mindset
Now that you’ve determined your unique selling point(s), it’s time to break out your marketing personas and get into the psyche of your potential consumers. Determine what common problems your prospects are having and what solutions they’re searching for on Google.
Figuring these questions out can be difficult, especially if you aren’t a social butterfly or haven’t spent much time on the consumer research side of things. If you need a little kickstart, there are plenty of API tools available to get you started. However, the data and search intent on these tools aren’t always completely accurate, so remember to only use these tools as a starting point.
Sticking with the shoe company metaphor, say your creating keywords for an eco-conscious brand that creates trendy, Instagram-worthy footwear. you may come up with questions such as:
- What shoes should I wear with a graduation gown?
- Can I wear flats to prom?
- Are shoes biodegradable?
Breakdown your Consumers’ Questions into Fragments
Your long-tail keyword strategy is just within reach. Can you see your brand ranking for the top 3 positions yet?
Since you know what problems your consumers are facing, you likely already have a solution for those problems – your product or service, obviously. Simply breakdown the questions you’ve complied into fragments you can use for tracking and content planning. Don’t overthink this step. It’s completely optional but may better help to track your search visibility progression.
Once you’ve found your long-tail keywords, you can start tracking your visibility more accurately. You can also use data-driven research to create better content that better resonates with your audience. Who said you can’t put data behind your content?
Creating a long-tail SEO keyword plan isn’t an easy task. It can be overwhelming and incredibly time-consuming. If you find yourself in this position, you may consider partnering with a skilled digital marketing agency like Statwax to get your brand to the top of the search results page.
Interested in finding your best long-tail keywords and a customized SEO content plan? Let’s connect.