Using Long Tail Keywords to Get Results

by Valerie Lauer, Copywriter - 06/15/16

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Long tail keywords attract traffic that converts by focusing on specifics. 

If you want to make the most of your site’s search engine optimization (SEO), it’s time to grab your keywords from the tail.

At first glance, using long tail keywords may seem counter intuitive. They attract fewer visitors overall than short, general key phrases. But the traffic they do attract is the right traffic, ultimately leading to more visitor actions, whether it’s scheduling an appointment, taking an assessment, setting up a screening, or other actions that can improve your organization’s bottom line.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Let’s back up and explain exactly what long tail keywords are. A long tail keyword is a specific phrase that relates to your products or offerings.

Instead of being short one- or two-word terms such as “heart health,” they’re longer and precise. For example, trans aortic valve replacement surgery in Biloxi would qualify as a long tail keyword.

The shorter keywords are known as head words. They cast a wide net and are more likely to be searched for.

Long tail keywords are searched for less frequently. On a keyword distribution graph they would appear in the thinner, tail-like portion of the data. But underestimating the power of long tail keywords phrases would be a mistake.

Consider ROI

From a pure numbers standpoint, long tail keywords cost less. There’s less competition for them, so the cost per click is lower.

The real power of long tail keywords is in their return on investment (ROI). Head words such as health care or immunizations will have a lot of overlap with major national organizations. Not only is it hard to rank against heavy hitters, if you do show up in a search, the people using those terms aren’t the ones you need.

Long tail keywords are more likely to be used by people who are looking for specific types of services. Fewer people will be searching for them, but those who are tend to be closer to making a purchase or taking action. At the end of the day, 10 visitors who take action are more profitable than 100 who just use your site for research.

Using Long Tail Keywords

Choosing the right long tail keywords is an art and has to do a lot with understanding your audience.

Use your research. This could be internal data from surveys or service line utilization, or simply a record of the terms that typically bring visitors to your website. Couple that organization-specific information with keyword research for long tail keyword terms that have the best results.

Unleash the power of long tail keywords with custom content. Create unique pages and content for each individual long tail term. Your articles and graphics need to be useful, interesting, and easy to understand. Always include an action step that assists these very motivated searchers to take the next logical step.

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