How To Generate $2,000 Monthly Through Long-Tail Keywords
Search engines aren’t the only source of targeted visitors, but effectively targeting long-tail keywords in your content can greatly increase your monthly search visitors.
I’ve generated 173,336 qualified visitors from long-tail keyword phrases in the past year – a 91% increase.
Your long-tail keywords may not rank in Google’s top 10 results, and it’s true that 60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 search results, but that still leaves 40% up for grabs.
If you consistently publish in-depth content around long-tail keywords, you’ll see an increase in search traffic, attract paying customers, and grow your brand.
Now you know the potential impact of long-tail key phrases on your site growth, let’s dive in and learn how to sustain that organic traffic.
In this article, we’ll cover these four topics:
- How to research long-tail keywords
- Case studies on long-tail keywords
- Ranking elements for long-tail keywords
- Tools to help you pick the right long-tail keywords
Download this worksheetto learn the use of long tail keywords within your content.
1. How to research long-tail keywords
Many people think that keyword research is no longer important. But that’s not true. In fact, research – particularly of long-tail keywords – can help you craft the kind of content that engages and inspires readers.
A research study by Statista shows that successful on-page optimization requires 50% of your focus to be on long-tail keywords.
One of the questions I get asked weekly is: “How long should a long-tail keyword be?” And my answer has always been “four keywords or more.” The longer the keyword, the easier it is for you to rank well for that keyword.
To research your own long-tail keywords, follow these simple steps:
Step #1: Start with seed keywords. Let’s assume you want to target the keyword “copywriting.” To find long-tail variations on that seed keyword, go to the long tail Keyword Planner and type in copywriting. Then scroll down and click “Get ideas.”
Step #2: Click on the keywords tab to show all the keywords related tocopywriting.
Step #3: Look for the most relevant in-demand keywords. Make sure the keyword you selected is relevant, because you’ll be expanding on it for longer variations.
Step #4: Copy one of the keywords highlighted in red above, and plug it into the search box for long-tail variations.
Note: To use these keywords for a piece of content, write a single piece and use each long-tail keyword for your subtitle and bullet points.
Understand long-tail keyword intent:The intent behind any particular keyword is much more important than the keyword itself. According to Tom Fanelli, “when you think about intent, good keywords will follow.” Your content will improve as a result.
Long-tail keywords that address the need of the searcher or solve a definite problem will most likely rank well on Google, compared to similar head keywords.
When you use a keyword strategy, don’t be perturbed by Google’s algorithm changes. Focus on what really matters and you’re golden, says Search Engine Land.
Customers who type descriptive key phrases (long-tail) are generally more qualified than those who type head keywords. As a result, the conversion rates are higher for long-tail keywords as compared to head keywords.
But most customers aren’t ready to buy yet. Some prefer to browse, while others want to learn about the product before placing their order. What buying cycle does your keyword fall into?
If consumers haven’t made up their mind to purchase, they’ll probably search for “informational keywords.”
- how to lose weight workouts
- search engine optimization tips
- make money online with no money
- make money on the internet free
- free ebook download
- top 10 free plugins for WordPress
However, when searchers are ready to buy, they use keywords displaying commercial intent.
- survival knife review
- buy fire TV
- weight loss programs
Commercial keywords usually contain certain prefixes (words that appear before) or suffixes (words that appear after), which modify or qualify the long-tail keywords. Here are some of the popular ones:
You’ll usually find both informational and commercial intent keywords in your research. With consistency, you can improve your search ranking targeting these keywords with useful and detailed content.
2. Long-tail Keywords Case Studies
So many bloggers and website owners are now taking full advantage of long-tail key phrases because these search terms are low hanging fruit – easier to reach and pick. Long-tail SEO is all about filling a void, answering a question, and helping search users save time.
Case study #1: In 2013, Michael Aagaard wrote a detailed post about call to action examples.
Within a short time, that page started ranking at the #2 position in Google. The page continues to get over 1,000 visitors per month from the search engine.
The screenshot below shows the monthly traffic from a single long-tail search term (“call to action examples”):
Case study #2: Tresnic Media increased their website traffic by almost 438%, and then by 1,000% in eight weeks through blogging.
They published 50 highly valuable blog posts, each targeting a long-tail search query. Google recognized and rewarded them with high rankings and improved search traffic.
Case study #3: Tamal Anwar also increased his search rankings and daily traffic by targeting longer variations of certain keywords.
He now generates 80-90% of his monthly visitors from search engines as a direct result of writing highly useful content on trending topics.
Case study #4: Marcus Sheridan, founder of River Pools and Spas, wrote an in-depth blog post targeting the keyword “Problems with fiberglass pools.”
Even though he’s not ranking #1 for the head keyword (fiberglass pools), this single web page ranks #1 in Google for the long-tail keyword. It also generated over 5,000 views when it was published.
Currently, my goal is to build this blog to 100,000 monthly visitors. In February, this blog generated 46,134 visitors and I know it’ll definitely increase in March.
Some of the in-depth articles I wrote in the last four months rank highly in Google results. For example, I targeted a long-tail search term in October. Check out my current search ranking position:
Some of the benefits of targeting long-tail keywords are:
1). Boost your search rankings: On average, Google’s top result gets 36.4% of the clicks. But that leaves a lot of traffic up for grabs.
Spend your time crafting the best content possible for your target audience, then promote it to the right people. You can even repurpose your content so that people will continue to benefit from it.
If you’re struggling to achieve good rankings in search results, there could be why that’s happening. One of the most common reasons is duplicate content on your site.
Once that has been done, focus on your audience. Write content that solves their problems, and optimize it properly for search. Instead of focusing on long-tail key phrases just for the fun of it, focus on user intent.
On-page keyword usage is still one of the major ranking factors for content and can’t be ignored in today’s SEO.
That’s where easy rankings lie. It doesn’t matter how competitive a long-tail keyword is; if users are happy after reading your content, watching your video, or listening to your podcast, they’ll be happy to share it.
Get more search visitors: At the end of February 2014, I was surprised to learn that my blog had attracted 238,195 search visitors. 100% of them came from long-tail keywords.
Since user intent is more important than the keyword itself, Google will reward you with more search traffic, as long as your content is helpful. For example, let’s say the long-tail keyword you’re targeting is:
weight loss guides for beginners
As you write and publish detailed articles of at least 2,000 words, you’ll gradually start showing up in Google for related long-tail search terms, such as:
- best weight loss guides for beginners
- beginners weight loss guides
- free weight loss guides for beginners
- download weight loss guides
And so on…
So to reiterate: when you start ranking for several related long-tail key terms, your search traffic will increase.
Ogio Golf Bags gets lots of organic traffic from more than 50 search queries. But the author (a friend of mine) targets less than ten long-tail keywords.
Some of the long-tail keywords that are performing well for him are:
3). Improved conversion rate: SEO and CRO can play well together. When you target that low-hanging fruit, your conversion rate will definitely improve.
Everything has to work together. That includes your content, site load time, call to action etc. Everything is important, because on-site conversion begins from site design.
Search users usually convert across different industries. But as Marketing Sherpa noted, you have to focus on the most effective keywords for each stage of the buying cycle.
In other words, make sure that your landing page is designed with the user in mind. Otherwise, nothing else will matter – not even your content.
G3 Group increased their conversion rate by 14%. They used a blend of SEO and PPC, and they now average about 5-10 qualified requests per day. This shows that targeting longer variations of profitable keywords on both free and paid search increases your conversion rate.
Alex Cooper was faced with the challenge of attracting a national audience to its shopping site. Of course, if you only ship goods within your own country, there is no need to target a global audience.
But as soon as Alex Cooper researched long-tail key phrases and created useful content around them, the site began getting more traffic from over 500 keywords. Most importantly, the company reduced its PPC spending by 50%.
Take Me Fishing focused on content optimization, which increased their traffic by almost 1,000%. The site began ranking #1 in Google for a profitable and in-demand keyword, “best fishing spots.” They also reduced the site’s bounce rate and enjoyed an increase of 946% in organic traffic, year in and year out.
Long-tail keywords myth: Since the release of Google Hummingbird, many people have been laboring under misconceptions about keywords. Some even advised against keyword research.
I’ve shared several success storiesfrom individuals and corporate sites that increased their search rankings and traffic simply by focusing on long-tail key phrases.
However, there are still some SEO myths that you should ignore:
i). Myth 1: Target long-tail keywords only. A typical keyword that your target audience is searching for usually comes in two variations: short and long keywords.
If you over-optimize for either of these keywords, you risk getting penalized by Google. Next thing you know, your traffic trend starts looking like this:
Another problem is the excessive use of either type of keyword as anchor text. Focusing on just the longer keyword variations in your content is an SEO myth.
Of course, if you include content built on long-tail keywords based on user intent and designed to help your reader, instead of manipulate your rankings, you won’t have to worry about Google Panda or Penguin updates.
The major reason why you should target short-tail keywords in addition to long-tail key phrases is because the longer the keywords, the lower the search volume.
This also means that it’s going to take a lot of time before you see significant results for both traffic and rankings.
ii). Myth 2: Always use the exact long-tail keywords in your headline – This advice may seem harmless, but it’s not the best approach. Sure, there are several benefits of targeting this type of key term, but there are also drawbacks.
Be exceedingly mindful of what you add to your headlines. They’re the first thing users see and they’re what motivate or discourage clicks.
The rule of thumb is this: If you research and discover a keyword that flows smoothly and naturally when you read it, then feel free to use it in your headline. Otherwise, it can result in keyword stuffing and a low-quality content penalty.
For example, these keywords flow smoothly:
- buy kindle fire hd
- affordable NY SEO expert
You can use these keywords in your headlines. For instance:
- Buy a Kindle Fire HD: 5 Things You Should Know
- Where To Buy a Kindle Fire HD and Get Free Shipping
- How To Find An Affordable NY SEO Expert
- How to Hire an Affordable NY SEO Expert In Your City
In contrast, the keywords below look spammy and should not be used in your headlines:
- Kindle fire hd buy free shipping
- SEO expert NY affordable
The above keywords have commercial intent, but they don’t look or sound natural at all. If you add them exactly as they appear in your headline, you’ll confuse users and chase them away. You could even get a Google penalty.
iii). Myth 3: Long-tail key phrases are less expensive – Most PPC advertisers think this is true, but it’s not necessarily so. Dig deeper and you might find some expensive long-tail phrases.
Bottom line: SEO is a long-term practice. Don’t expect sudden overnight increases in rankings and organic traffic. However, it is possible to achieve tremendous search results in a matter of weeks.
For example, Brian Dean increased his search traffic by 110% in just 14 days. Of course, social sharing, trusted inbound links, and editorial citations contributed to this huge success, but the most important factor was the quality of his content.
iv). Myth 4: You should aim to be on the first page of Google results. Even though SEOs, bloggers, website owners, and content marketers want that #1 Google ranking for their most profitable keywords, that’s just not a good goal to adopt. It’s not an actionable metric.
In fact, in today’s SEO, it’s possible to grab that #1 position and still not generate enough clicks, leads, and sales.
There is really just one reason why most headlines aren’t clicked: the headline doesn’t inspire searchers to click.
Headlines not clickable: Getting users to click your link on those result pages is crucial. If your headline doesn’t inspire search users to click it and visit your site, you’re doomed.
Headlines that begin with “How to” or that contain a number tend to get more clicks, all things being equal (assuming the link is on the first page of results).
For example, let’s review two headlines. Both target the same users. Both are currently sitting at #1 and #2 positions respectively.
Be honest: if you knew someone suffering from arthritis in the handand you wanted to help them find the right solution, which of these headlines would you click?
The first search result isn’t clickable – but the second is. Optimizing your content to captivate people and appeal to their emotions is the best SEO approach.
When your headlines don’t inspire, people won’t click. Or, sometimes they might decide to click, but quickly click the back button in order to check out the catchy headline that’s been calling them.
When that happens, your rankings will gradually drop, because Google will conclude that users aren’t satisfied with your content.
Note: A great headline catches people’s attention, but it can also motivate you to write in-depth content. It can even give you ideas for subtitles, bullet points, and calls to action.
Finally, write your headlines in sentence case. Don’t capitalize every word and don’t write in lower case. Research shows that 64% of search users will respond to relevant headlines that are written in sentence case.
Sentence case looks like this:
But not like this:
3. Long-tail Ranking Elements
In this section, we’ll discover the important elements that will give your long-tail keywords a boost in the search engines.
When users type a particular keyword into the search box, Google uses up to 200 factors to determine how relevant, useful, and authoritative your content page is for the given term before ranking it.