What are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are simply multi-phrase search queries which visitors use on search engines to arrive at your website. These long tail keywords are much more targeted than the general or main keyword topic and they literally embody a visitor's need for specific information.
Here is an example. "Credit Cards" is the general keyword topic and long tail keywords within this niche includes terms such as the following:
credit cards for people with bad credit
list of low interest credit cards
benefits of small business credit cards
good canadian credit cards for students
These long tail keywords are actual search queries, therefore optimizing your site and creating content or PPC ads to match these search queries will allow you to attract visitors who search for information via these and similar search terms.
When applied to websites and search engine marketing, it simply means that most websites are likely to receive most of their search engine visitors through a variety of low-volume search queries instead of a handful of major single or two word keywords.
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Why Long Tail Keywords?
Here are four main reasons why you should consider optimizing your website or pay-per-click campaigns for long tail keywords:
Long tail keywords lead to higher conversions. Visitors arriving through multi-phrase search queries might be more likely to make purchases or convert on affiliate programs or recommendations. By targeting these long tail phrases, you are effectively targeting a market of potential buyers.
Long tail keywords are easier to rank and less expensive to bid on. It is much easier to make your website rank well on search engines for long tail keywords because of the generally weaker competition.
More visitors to your website. Targeting long tail keywords will gradually lead to more search engine traffic because you'll have a lot of pages indexed and ranking for specific phrases related to your website/business. You can also expand your pay-per-click campaigns significantly. This means increased visibility and therefore a much larger amount of search engine traffic.
Higher monetization potential. Search engine visitors are very valuable because they are targeted individuals who are seeking specific information and hence are more likely to click on contextual ads or subscribe to your site newsletter or blog feed. This grows your audience and allows you greater monetization potential in the long run through product sales or the use of third-party ad networks.