Stuck choosing long-tail keywords for your business’ SEO & SEM? We’ve put together a two-part guide with specific points to help with this process.
Below are steps 3 & 4 for Researching and Choosing Long-Tail Keywords for SEO and SEM Campaigns. Here are steps 1 & 2, in case you missed them.
3) Find the low-hanging fruit, build long-tail keywords
The keywords you initially defined should be expanded and made more specific in order to generate long-tail keywords. This is crucial for two reasons:
1) Long-tail keywords are low-hanging fruit, because they are more specific, which makes them less competitive.
2) Long-tail keywords have more accurate relevance for your business vis-a-vis organic searches, as well as lead generation with SEM (Search Engine Marketing, i.e. Google Ads), because they are more descriptive.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re a marketing firm, and you want to compete for the keyword ‘marketing firm’ (764M search results), or something more descriptive like ‘best marketing firm’ (697M search results). It’s going to be damn near impossible to climb these mountains. It’s best to hone that energy on more probable and relevant long-tail keywords.
Location is a good start as an added descriptor for creating long-tail keywords. Let’s say you’re in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Your keyword can become more relevant with that addition alone, ‘Kalamazoo marketing firm’ (582K search results) or ‘marketing firm in Kalamazoo Michigan’ (2.5M search results).
Additional descriptors also help build long-tail keywords. Let’s say your marketing focuses on a specific industry, such as medical professionals. Then the keyword further evolves to ‘Kalamazoo marketing firm for doctors’ or ‘marketing firm in Kalamazoo for medical professionals’.
Long-Tail Keywords Formula = Essential Business Services + Location + Additional Descriptors (Sector, Specialization, etc)
4) Keyword research
Once you have your list of long-tail keywords you are going to target, it is time to research them. We suggest simply using Google’s search to get initial ideas. Every time you type something into their search engine, there are two helpful data points: 1) “About ### results” above the results, and 2) the “Searches related to” section at the bottom.
Go down the rabbit hole of related searches and look at the numbers as well as the results that are given by Google. This will help you identify relevance and potential opportunities for words that can best describe your business activities and services.
We recommend doing more research, which can be done fairly quickly using online apps, such as: Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Uber Suggest by Neil Patel. These platforms give great statistics for search volumes and keyword difficulty. These are paid services, but Uber Suggest does have some freebies available.
To supplement this information, here's a little article that dives into Choosing a Unique Business Name: Branded Keywords. Furthermore, if you have the steps highlighted above down pat, here's a guide for how to apply your long-tail keywords to your website's SEO.