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What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords are phrases or terms consisting of three or more words strung together to create a very specific search. When properly matched up with a website’s focus and market, they can be much more lucrative than the more popular, broad keywords you may think you should be focusing on. While the focus is very narrow, it’s generally believed that the long tail has a much higher conversion rate overall. A specific and exact search seems to indicate that the searcher has already done their preliminary research and knows precisely what they want. Long tail terms will not bring a ton of traffic, but the traffic they bring is much closer to buying.

If your website is new and in a particularly competitive field, long tail keywords may be your best bet to grab spots in both organic search results and PPC. Yes, the long tail terms are much less popular, but they are still being searched.

To determine what the longtail keywords for your niche are, you’ll need to do some brainstorming and research. Start with the broad and obvious terms and gradually make them more and more specific. Suppose your website sells Christmas decorations -start there.

Christmas decorations

becomes

Christmas tree ornaments

becomes

glass Christmas tree ornaments

becomes

handblown glass Christmas tree ornaments

The first term is extremely competitive, the last is not. But they are both being searched. If the searcher types in “handblown glass Christmas tree ornaments”, clicks your result, and is taken directly to a page on your site featuring them, your chances for a sale are pretty good.

Discovering the long tail niche terms for your business and optimizing your website to go after them can allow you to grab several first page spots in the search engines. If competing for the most popular and lucrative terms, either organically or through PPC, is not possible for your site right now, going after the longtail is.

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