SEO professionals often suggest not to chase rankings for competitive keyword terms. However, the truth is that you can create authority for these keywords if you focus on the long tail.
Let’s talk about a new or low-authority website. Here, it is tricky to rank for high-volume and short-tail keyword phrases. Competitive keywords are prone to pose a challenge no matter how well-established a site is.
Not Every Search is Unique
As per Google, 15% of all their queries are those that have never been used before. However, this doesn’t mean that this is something unique. Let’s clear this fact with an example that shows two queries that have never been entered into Google:
How to ensure safety while driving a car. What are some ways to guarantee safety while driving a car.
These examples show that even if two made-up phrases come under Google’s 15% ‘unique queries’ category, it’s only the query string that’s unique and not necessarily the view behind it.
Optimize for Intents, Topics &Needs
When any topic is searched, hundreds or thousands of keywords are uncovered.These keywords signify different things searchers are interested to know about that specific topic. With a single look at more than 100 keywords list, it gets easy to identify what’s holding you back from optimizing a single page for keywords on a given topic.
It’s fruitful to know that this is where there comes a need to segment keywords into groups where each group represents a similar intent. Appropriate SEO and usability tells that each intent needs a different page of content so as to meet the needs of the searchers.
Take a look at a simple set of short-tail phrases:
SEO services. Search Engine Optimization services.
Now these two phrases can alone garner a particular number of searches per month. Though these may not be the most competitive keywords, they are important and hence, competitive.
Breaking out the short-tail keywords into similar groups of long-tail keywords calls for good keyword targeting if you have pages and content for them.
Never Throw the Short Tail
It can’t be denied that many people advise ignoring the short tail. Reasons they give are that this is all difficult, competitive, expensive, etc. Of course, these are valid points; however, the key rule here is not concentrating on short tail only but also using the long tail to create relevance for the short tail.
You will be surprised to know that this is a very simple process. Let us discuss, ‘optimizing the long tail.’
Assume that you want to optimize not only for particular long-tail phrases but you want to optimize for each one of them. Now find all the keywords in a specific topic making sure these keywords have similar meanings. Group them together, find or build a page to customize.
Let us now take another example where you find some keywords for your product with qualifiers such as sale, discount, cheap, clearance, closeouts, etc.
If you notice carefully, you will see that all these words have similar meaning which means that they can be optimized together. All you need to do is creating a page where you can put all the discounted stock for rapid sale.
Here, it is good to know that no discount page will get complete without a link back to the main product page. Reason is if the item, a customer wants, is not in discount, they need to buy it at full price. Hence, add in the text link to the short-tail optimized page. Do it again with other keywords of similar intent and repeat it again & again.
You may also want to optimize one complete short-tail topic page before going on to the next short-tail topic. This means a particular number of or couple of dozen pages; however, each page that is optimized for a similar-intent long-tail group must provide a link and power back to the short-tail keyword you are looking forward to rank for.
Patience, Patience & Patience
Patience and realistic expectations are very important throughout the process. You can expect getting grip on the short-tail phrases you want by optimizing a dozen of long-tail phrases. Building authority to all the pages is vital. If there is no authority, you can’t expect ranking for short-tail phrases irrespective of the fact how well you have optimized.
Optimizing long-tail pages is rewarding for authority-building. Thrive to get those pages to rank due to their own merits. You will build on top of the existing authority with each page audition.
Marketing, promoting and providing value are all the important stuff you must do. Though this will take years but your efforts will pay off in the coming time.
When you optimize long-tail to achieve short-tail, traffic and sales will make their way. Not just this but even the less frequently searched long-tail phrases will also add up to 50 to 100 percent of the traffic from the short-tail phrases. As obvious, this makes long-tail an important part of the strategy. Though the traffic they fetch per term may be less but they will drive much traffic in total.