What is a Long Tail Keyword?

By Guest BloggerNov 09, 2012

Dave Crader explains what a long-tail keyword is and how it can be used to bring more traffic to your website. He'll review the many benefits of long tail keywords and explain why Google engineer Matt Cutts recommends new bloggers target them. If you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below.

Hi, I am Dave Crader Web Marketing Strategist here at Evolve Creative Group. Today we are going to be going over long tail keywords, what they are and why they are so powerful.

A long tail keyword can be defined as any keyword phrase longer than three words. Long tail keywords are very specific. Something like this would be considered a long tail keyword: "how to make a maple bacon milkshake?" it is much more specific than something like "bacon milkshake." In fact, over 70% of the keyword searches on Google are these long tail keyword phrases.

When you are optimizing for long tail keywords you can create blog post and web pages targeted specifically to these keyword phrases. If someone is searching for "bacon milkshake" it could be anything. They could want to see pictures of a bacon milkshake, they could want to get recipes on how to make it, they could want to see a video, you really don't know. But, with something like this it is very specific. If you make a blog post specific to that keyword then those visitors are going to stay on your site longer they are going to complete your goals and convert more. So, long tail keywords are very important, and they are less competitive because there are not as many websites that are making content for these long tails. There is a lot of websites making content for these guys.

Looking at it from Google's perspective, there is not enough web pages on the Internet currently, to cover every single long tail keyword. There are millions of these keywords that are undiscovered. So, to appease Google and to get rewarded by Google, if you make content that is going to help Google out, they are going to help you out. They are going to rank this content higher, because it is more relevant. They want relevant search results. They want to be able to provide relevant search results to their users. So, you help them and they are going to help you.

Looking at it from a different perspective, Google is making money from the content that you create. When you create content that is specific to its searchers, the searchers are having a better user experience and they are going to remember that great user experience and they are going to use Google more often. Matt Cutts, Google's distinguished engineer actually recommends that you start off all new blogs targeting long tail keywords. Over time, eventually, you will be able to pull from these shorter tail keywords but, to start off, you need to target the keywords that don't have a million sites already trying to pull from them.

In summary, a long tail keyword is any keyword longer than three words. It is a very specific search query that you can provide a very specific answer to. Users are going to stay on your website longer and they are going to convert more.

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