Sounds complicated, right? Wrong. These days, most highly searched terms have become too hard to rank for. What if there was a way to target niche terms yet get more traffic in the long-run?
This article aims to show you how targeting niche, long-tail keywords could be what your business needs to succeed. Forget those highly competitive terms and make yourself a micro-niche, long-tail expert.
How can targeting terms with fewer searches be better?
This one does seem hard to make sense of at first. But that’s until you start thinking about simple cost-benefit analysis. Yes – those broad, highly competitive terms do give you more visitors. But they’re also much, much harder to rank for.
Research shows that if you’re not on the first page of Google results, you might as well be nowhere.
That’s right – 11th place on Google might only return you about 1% of the total monthly searches for that term. In stark contrast – 1st place on the first page could net you a whopping 34% clicks.
Now think about how many people are trying to rank for those terms with hundreds of thousands of monthly searches. Some of the competition will have budgets of thousands. It can be hard to compete. Thankfully, there’s an alternative.
Instead of targeting those highly competitive terms and ending up nowhere near the first page of results, you can be more productive by making yourself an authority for terms that are much easier to rank for.
Forget those terms with 100,000 monthly searches and try looking at something with around 10,000. These terms should be much easier to rank for.
If you can get to the even just 2nd place for such a term – you could see 1,700 clicks according to the stats we already looked at. 17% of 10,000. Compare that to 1% of 100,000. That’s 1,000 hits. This doesn’t even include the theory that these niche terms should be much easier rank for as they’re simply not as highly contested. You could throw up ten targeted niche sites in the same amount of time it could take to rank for one long term.
So how can you fine-tune these terms and give yourself an easier route to more traffic? With long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
Instead of only targeting “keyword” – try adding something at the beginning or end of the term to filter your results. One good example is “smartphone.” That’s a highly contested term with a huge amount of traffic.
Well, what about “Sony smartphone?” Or, you one step further: “Sony Xperia smartphone.” You can take this example as far as you like to try and give you the results you’re looking for. How about “refurbished Sony Xperia smartphone review.” That’s probably too niche even for this example, but you get the idea.
The great thing about long-tail keywords is that you’ll be able to set yourself up as an authority on EXACTLY the thing your visitors are looking for. This will already put you a step ahead of the competition.
What are some good long-tail keyword additions?
You want to try and use “active” keywords that people use just before they’re about to buy something. “Review” can work well, and so can the current year. People like to add the year to their searches to find as relevant information as possible, as the internet has lots of old reviews out there. Make sure you update it when the year changes.
Even things like “scam” can work. This suffix might seem counter-intuitive and negative – but people use this search when they’re close to purchasing but just want to make sure the product is legit before they do so. If you can be there to reassure them, you could make a sale quite quickly.
One of the best useful keywords to use for highly filtered traffic that’s super-close to making a purchase is “discount.” People only use this when they know they’re going to have to pay something, but they want to see if they can make a saving. If you can be there to offer them the discount they’re looking for – you could make the sale.
Try avoiding long-tail additions like “free” or “download.” Those are for people who are looking for a free ride and aren’t about to spend any money. Don’t waste your bandwidth on them and fine-tune your results by only targeting visitors who are motivated to spend money.
By targeting long-tail keywords, you could set yourself up as an authority in many micro-niches in a fraction of the time it takes to rank for one competitive term. Combine that with the highly motivated visitors you’ll be getting – and you can see how long-tail keywords could be what your business has been looking for.
Peter has a strong background in internet marketing and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those just starting out. He also writes for a private tuition service, Smile Tutor.