Long tail Keywords are all the rage these days and for a good reason. As the number of advertisers and content publishers increase in size, there is less and less of the high traffic generating single word keywords or head keywords left to compete for. If you are a content publisher, it is getting harder and harder to optimize for these keywords. As marketer you will see that the competition is high and you have to pay a high price to rank for them.
Apart from the competition and the high price, the one thing that differentiate between short or head keyword and long tail keyword is that the long tail keywords tend to convert better. In order to effectively target these keywords, you need to understand why it converts better.
what is a conversion?
Conversion means different things in different contexts. Your website and/or scenario will uniquely define what a conversion is for you. If you are selling a product, then a sale made can be considered as a conversion. If you provide a service, then you can consider a signup as a conversion. If you are just publishing a blog then a visit with more than 2 page views can be considered as a conversion.
why long tail keywords convert better?
There can be multiple reasons as to why a long tail keyword converts better than head keywords. Let’s see some of the reasons why you should specifically target and optimize for such keywords.
An user who uses a long search query is looking for something very specific and possibly has a clear intent of buying it. They are usually much later in the buying cycle and have already made the decision to buy a specific product.
A user who is searching for “nikon digital slr camera d5500” has better intention of buying that product than somebody who is searching for “digital slr camera“.
Specific Semantics in the Query
When there are more words in the search query, it is much easier to decipher the intent of the user. When the user searches for generic information using head keywords, it is usually or mostly for information about the product or niche.
For example, if a user uses the search query “dslr camera” it is harder to know what the user is intending to do. When a user is searching for “cheap nikon dslr camera“, we can decipher that he is looking to buy and is currently price shopping. If the user is looking for “canon dslr camera repair” then we know that he already has a camera and it is the repair services that we should sell him.
Better Landing Pages
From the earlier section, we know how to decipher long tail keywords to find the intent of the search. This allows us to better target the customer with exactly what they need.
We can better match the landing page content with the search query leading to better conversion rates. A user who is searching for “canon dslr camera repair” can be directed to your services page where you offer repair services with information on pricing etc. While a user looking for “cheap nikon dslr camera” will be directed to your product page offering sales or current promotions.
It is likely that you will end up with less traffic (compared to head keywords) but the traffic that you do get is better suited for your business niche. You will end up getting a higher percentage of customers that convert better.
There are a couple of factors at work here. One is the low competition for a specific long tail keyword, which means you will rank better for that keyword. Getting a higher ranking on the search page can improve your click-thru rate (CTR) and get a higher percentage of your “good” customers.
At the end of the day, it depends very much on your website and what you are trying to convert. You should do some analysis to make sure that the long tail keywords do in fact convert better on your website and in your scenario. It does in an overwhelmingly large amount of scenarios, but you could be the exception and it is important to know that.