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Optimizing Long-Tail Keywords to Maximize SEO

Kayla Mejer |5 min Read

Optimizing Long-Tail Keywords to Maximize SEO

It seems as though SEO best practices are constantly changing — and they are. But one best practice remains the same: leveraging long-tail keywords to maximize your SEO initiatives. While we understand that long-tail keyword search queries receive less traffic, they still bolster your search engine results page (SERP) rankings.  

In fact, long-tail keywords have a higher conversion rate than commonly used keywords. By writing content around a specific search intent, long-tail keywords help you attract the most relevant visitors. For example, when someone searches for the keyword “marketing,” billions of blogs and resources will show up in the SERP. This means that your content — while it may be optimized and full of quality information — is likely to achieve a lower SERP ranking. 

Instead, try optimizing your content with long-tail keywords such as “inbound marketing best practices for 2022.” So when someone searches for a specific keyphrase like “inbound marketing best practices” your content is likely to jump up to a higher ranking in SERPs. In this article, we’re revealing the best practices for leveraging long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy. Let’s begin!

Why are Long-Tail Keywords Relevant?

Long-tail keywords are the foundation of an effective SEO strategy. As a matter of fact, long-tail keywords make up 70% of all web searches. We know what you’re thinking: how is this possible when longer keywords receive less traffic? The answer is simple, long-tail keywords are written in the way people think and look to receive information. 

Consider this example. When you’re searching for a pizzeria in your area what do you search for in Google? Odds are you don’t just type “pizza” into your search engine and hope for the best. No, you most likely use a long-tail keyword such as “pizza near me” or “best pizza in Greenwich Village.” These are narrowed long-tail keyphrases that result in more specific resources in SERPs. Thus, instead of searching for “pizza” and being bombarded with funny memes about America’s favorite food, searching for “pizza near me” will provide you with the closest pizzerias in your area.

How to Determine Which Long-Tail Keywords You Need to Optimize For

Finding and strategizing keywords for SEO can be a cumbersome process especially when it comes to long-tail keywords. However, there are tools that can help you find the right keywords that you can leverage in your digital content creation. 

For example, Google’s Keyword Finder is a tool that gives you insight into how often certain words are searched and also provides you with a list of similar keywords and phrases. Ultimately, Google’s Keyword Finder enables you to think like your customers — what are they searching for? How are they searching for it?

How to use Google's Keyword Finder

One other easy-to-use tool would be Google itself. This is one of the best ways to find long-tail keywords that your best-fit audience is using when searching the internet for solutions to their problems. Start by typing your keyword into Google’s search query. Then scroll down on the SERP until you find the “People also ask” section. In this section, Google will provide you with the most popular search queries on a given topic. Take a look at the example below. When searching Google for the term “Kubernetes container,” this is what came up in the “People also ask” snippet:

Google's People Also Ask Snippet

It’s best to take these questions into consideration when you create your list of long-tail keywords. Leveraging these questions will help drive your list of keywords. Plus, by creating content with long-tail keywords that address these questions, you’ll have a better probability of ranking higher in SERPs.

Creating Content Around Your Long-Tail Keywords

Now that you have your list of long-tail keywords, it’s time to start creating content. One thing to remember here is that your keywords are not your storyline. You still have to develop unique angles that will set your content apart from competitors. 

Headlines Should be Specific & Purposeful

For example, if your long-tail keyword is “How do Kubernetes containers work?” it’s best to juice up the purpose of your content. Create a title that will truly peak interest in potential readers and persuade them to open the blog or download the content with a title like “How Kubernetes Containers Work: The Top 4 Ways to Optimize Your K8s Clusters.” This title is even more specific and tells the reader exactly what they can expect to gain from this piece of content. 

Consider Your Reader's Buyer Stage

Additionally, consider the types of content users want to see when they search for long-tail keywords. Do they want quick answers? Lengthy blogs? To talk to an expert? This will all depend on where people are at in their buyer’s journey. When someone is searching for a keyword such as “What is Kubernetes?” It’s safe to say that they are in the awareness stage as they are trying to learn the basics about Kubernetes. However, someone who is searching for “Which Kubernetes orchestration tools are best?” is likely to be in the consideration stage. Here, they are researching options to solve their orchestration issues. 

Thus, when using long-tail keywords to create content, it’s important to think about where the people who will most likely read this content are in their buyer’s journey. Then, use your long-tail keyword to support and amplify the content you’re creating for all stages of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.

Final Thoughts