Is the fierce online competition eating away at your motivation? Are you spending all your time trying to rank for those select few keywords and never really making it to the top?
I’m sorry to have to tell you, but you’re going about it all wrong.
You’re forgetting the long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific search queries consisting of 3-4 or more words. Or an entire sentence.
The monthly search volume is considerably lower for long-tails than for generic keywords. That is not a problem though because the majority of web searches are long-tail searches. Thus, there’s plenty of traffic to gain.
In addition, an increasing percentage of Google searches are voice searches and those almost always consist of a whole phrase or question. In other words, a long-tail query is much closer to how people actually talk.
Long-tail keywords are indispensable to your SEO. You should use them.
Why your content strategy needs long-tails
Before you started crafting content for your website, you did your keyword research. Keyword analysis lies at the base of SEO writing as it lets you know what words to focus on.
But could it be that your focus is too narrow?
Many content creators choose to focus only on high-volume keywords because they think those words are a sure way to get a whole bunch of visitors.
That is not always the case though.
If you make monthly search volume your sole criteria when picking out keywords to rank for, you’re in for a fight. And not only that. You’re wasting precious time and energy.
Rethink your approach to keywords
Say you own a Bed & Breakfast. Trying to rank for ‘bed and breakfast’ is going to send you right back to the scenario I sketched in the beginning. The travel market is highly competitive and way too many other BnBs are targeting this query.
Sure, making it to the top of the SERPs for a search term like ‘bed and breakfast’ will earn you more traffic. But it is not guaranteed to make your conversion rate climb.
People could have a ton of different intentions with a non-specific search like that. Some might want to know what a BnB is. Others are curious to know how to run a place like that. Others again might be looking for a place to stay – but at the opposite end of the country from where you are.
Do you see my point?
If you are not what people are looking for, ranking #1 for a keyword doesn’t matter. Traffic alone just won’t cut it. It has to be relevant traffic.
That’s why it’s time to fall out of love with impressive search volumes and develop an infatuation with search intent.
Long-tail keywords and search intent
The more specific the search is, the better the chance of guessing the search intent behind it. And when your content matches the search intent, Google is more likely to show it up top.
Let’s brainstorm here for a second.
If you ran an online business, local searches would not necessarily be a priority for you. But since you own a BnB, location should be one of your absolute top priorities. The more specific you can become, the better.
- ‘Bed and breakfast France’ is bad.
- ‘Bed and breakfast southern France’ is a little better.
- ‘Bed and breakfast central Bordeaux’ is good.
Why don’t we dig a little deeper?
I have a dog. If I were to plan a trip to Bordeaux, I would search for:
- ‘Pet-friendly BnB Bordeaux’
- ‘Bordeaux BnB where I can bring my dog’
I might also research the area for playgrounds and attractions that would be fun for my family to visit.
Others will be interested in great restaurants, cafes, museums, or whether your BnB is a good place to come and relax after a stressful period at work.
Cater to your audience by making them feel that their needs is the most important thing in the world to you.
If I found an article in Google called “Bring your dog: Pet-friendly BnB in beautiful Bordeaux”, you’d have my heart.
To clarify, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
What does your target audience want? What concent can you craft that will make them happy? How can you inspire them? What sets you apart from your competitors?
When you can answer those questions, your blog is in for some legendary content.
How to find long-tail keywords related to your business
As always, Google is a terrific place to start. Google has a dizzying amount of data that you can use.
When you type in a search query, Google will automatically suggest additional words that often go with your subject. Note that your search history, location, language, and device will influence the suggestions, but in general you can count on the suggestions to be very useful.
At the buttom of the SERP, you’ll find a collection of blue links called ‘Searches related to …’. There might be useful long-tails down there too. Remember to check out the searches related to each one of those keyword combinations.
Furthermore, Google has a little box of questions with drop-down answers called ‘People also ask’. Sometimes the box is at the top of the SERP, and sometimes at the bottom. That’s yet another place for you to find inspiration for long-tails and related searches.
When you’re done picking Google’s brain, try Answer The Public. A fun and timesaving tool that shows you all kinds of requests and questions that people ask about your business.
- Are bed and breakfasts still popular?
- Bed and breakfast vs. hotel
- Bed and breakfast with swimming pool/spa
You can almost feel the magnetic pull of your keyboard, can’t you?
Content marketing boosts ranking for generic keywords
All things being equal, you still long to rank for that one or two words that make up your topic or core product.
And by incorporating a collection of long-tail keywords, questions, synonyms, and related keywords into your content strategy, you’re well on your way. Actually, that’s exactly what content marketing is all about.
Every time you post an article, remember to link back to your most important content: the cornerstone content. This tells Google, what content is central and helps it understand what your site is about.
Thus, your long-tails and content marketing is what is going to pass value on to your landing pages, campaign pages, and your high-converting sites.
Besides, when you frequently post articles on your blog, you create hundreds, many thousands, of ways for people to find you in Google.
Generic keywords are not what’s going to get you and your superb company blog noticed. It’s the other way around. A blog created around long-tail keywords is a surefire way to gain the right kind of traffic to your website.
So get bloggin’.