Taken individually, long tail keywords are nothing special. Generally consisting of between three and five words, most clock in at less than a hundred searches per month. As a result, many website owners ignore them.
The beauty of long tail keywords however is that they tend to be incredibly easy to rank for. And while ranking for one or two mightn’t have a major effect on a sites traffic, ranking for a few hundred of them certainly can.
Arguably the biggest challenge of ranking for long tail keywords is simply finding them in the first place. Here are eight simple tips for doing just that.
First off, we have Google Suggestions. Simply type your primary keywords into Google Search and check out the keyword variations that it suggests. All variations are exact search terms that people have searched for in the past. Google’s suggest feature is not only useful for finding long tail keywords, it can be a great indicator of what people care about in your niche.
Google Related Searches
The same logic applies to Google’s related search functionality. When checking out the competition for your niches primary keywords, get into the habit of looking at the related search queries displayed at the bottom of the page. While not quite as flexible as Google suggestions, I’ve found this to be a very useful technique for finding new long tail keywords to target.
Your Analytics Package
Provided your site is already getting a lot of search engine traffic, your analytics package is likely to be a great source of long tail keywords. Go through your keyword referrers and find out what long tail keywords are already directing people towards your site. If you’ve managed to rank for such keywords accidentally, you should be able to greatly increase your sites traffic by setting up pages that target them directly.
Your Comment Sections
Assuming you’re running a website with a relatively active comment section, your readers comments may well prove to be another excellent source of keyword ideas. Are there any questions that people keep asking you again and again? If you’re being asked something repeatedly, chances are people are asking the search engines on a regular basis also. And it follows that it would be a very good question to start trying to rank for.
Multiple Keyword Tools
While there’s no denying the effectiveness of Google’s Keyword Tool, there’s also no denying that it’s just one of many options when it comes to keyword research. If you’re serious about targeting long tail keywords, it pays to use multiple tools. Personally, I’m a big fan of Wordstream’s keyword research tool but WordTracker and Long Tail Pro are also well worth looking into.
Question and Answer Websites
Some of the best long tail keywords to target are those that consist of a question. And there’s no better way of finding them than to browse Q and A websites such as Yahoo Answers and Quora. The best thing about this keyword research technique is that every time you find a good question based keyword to target, you are also left with the perfect place to build a backlink to your site.
As you’re no doubt aware, eHow.com gets a ridiculous amount of traffic each month. What you might not have heard however is that it gets most of that traffic from long tail keywords. This is because the sites content is based upon the results of powerful algorithms that search for long tail keywords that can be ranked for with minimal effort. As a result, eHow.com is a veritable treasure chest of long tail keyword ideas. And thanks to its low quality content, it’s also a site that’s surprisingly easy to outrank.
Finally, we have your competition i.e. those ranking on the first page of Google for your primary keywords. If they’ve reached the first page, they’re obviously doing something right and in most cases, you’ll find plenty of long tail keywords by simply going through their content. And while you mightn’t be able to outrank such pages for your primary keywords, chances are the long tail versions are ripe for the taking.