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Too much competition? Increase your traffic with long tail keywords

By Alexandra Gavril - April 21, 2014

No matter what business or industry you’re in, you probably have an idea how competitive the search landscape is. Being in a very competitive industry means you are competing with hundreds if not thousands of sites that are targeting the same niche as you. This means they’re trying to rank for the same keywords as you.

So how can you send that traffic exclusively to your site?

Get your long tail keywords on!

If you’re selling “running shoes”, you’re probably targeting “running shoes” as a main keyword. That’s only normal but, at the same time, there’s probably a fair amount of competition for this general keyword. Not to mention that this keyword is probably targeted by big brands like SportDirect.com and SportsShoes.com so you can expect the top results to be dominated by these e-shops.

The thing is – if you take a closer look at your analytics, you’ll discover that people use so many different keyword variations to get to your site, such as “cross country running shoes”, “running shoes for men” or “running shoes for women”.

These are long tail keywords – 3-4+ word queries that do have a lower search volume than the general, shorter ones. However, these long tail keywords can bring in many of the previously untapped customers. So, just look at your analytics and do some research to find those long tail keywords that people are using to get to your site. And then optimise your content for these keywords.

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How to find long tail keywords

There’s a couple of efficient methods to find long tail keywords. My favourite and the simplest and quickest way is to use Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

Simply sign into your Google account and then load the AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

  1. Now add your main keyword. (In this case, we’ll go with “running shoes”).
  2. Under “Targeting” you should choose the country or city you’re targeting.
  3. Finally, click “Get Ideas” and you will be taken to the results page.

This page has two tabs – you want to click on the second one that says “Keyword Ideas”.

If you want more ideas, you can also use Bing’s keyword tool or Suggester, which gives you a huge list of keyword suggestions. While these two tools are good for keyword variation ideas, I highly recommend adding them into Keyword Planner to see if they’re actually worth using or not, based on their search volumes.

Now that you have a list with promising long tail keywords, it’s time you start writing some great content and optimising it for those keywords.

Optimising your content

Whether you’re creating a new landing page for a new product or writing a blog post, you need to optimise it properly: headline, subheadings, main content, images, meta data (titles, descriptions). It takes some effort but it needs to be done, otherwise all your research would have been for nothing.

Keep in mind that whether you’re optimising for short or long tail keywords, results don’t happen overnight. You need to work at it all the time and this doesn’t refer to only the content on your site or blog. You will also need to guest post to get some strong and relevant backlinks for those long tail keywords. This means writing solid, quality content that solves the searchers problem or answers their question.

Are you using long tail keywords to optimise your content? How much traffic have you been getting from long tail keywords? Let us know in the comments.