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Why & how to target high-intention keywords

Why & how to target high-intention keywords

Independent broad-matched keyword strategies are a thing of the past. In 2021, the combination of Google’s focus on user experience and intent along with the rise of conversation search and applications such as voice search means that long-tail SEO strategies are more crucial than ever.

Many years ago, the search for long-tail keywords with low search volume could have been a waste of time and effort.

According to ThinkwithGoogle:

“The long tail could provide an untapped opportunity to get in touch with potential customers. Invest in these areas and watch volumes grow. ”

If you do not have an SEO strategy with a long tail, you will miss it.

Exploring long tail keyword matching options, targeting low competition with high conversion rates, and using long tail keywords to increase your content has never been easier.

This guide will show you how to do just that.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are highly targeted search terms that specifically serve the intent of the searcher. These keywords typically have low search volume, low competition, and high conversion rates.


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We call these keywords long tail because if you plot your keywords by their search volumes, these will be in the “long tail” at the end of the search requirements curve, which means few people search for these terms each month.

Despite the lack of search volume, long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for and result in higher conversions than keywords.

This is because long-tail keywords communicate a clear customer need that you can address – they are purpose-driven.


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Once you understand search intent, you can create content that specifically addresses queries and converts.

For example, a user searching for [Nike Air Max 270] indicates a clear intention to buy. Compared to a search for [shoes or trainers] is much less clear.

The user may be looking for more information on what is being offered, searching for different brands or just searching by interest.

Note that the actual length of these keywords technically does not matter. Long-tail keywords tend to be at least three words long due to their specificity, but accurate, low-volume searches that are only one or two words (e.g., many brand names) are also considered long-tail keywords.

Why Long-tail Keywords Are Important In SEO

Let’s do a social experiment: sign in to your Google Search Console account right now and scroll through the search terms. What do you see? I’m willing to bet that most of the terms you rank for are long tail.

According to Backlinko’s analysis of 306 million keywords, 91.8% of all search queries are long tail keywords.

Now imagine what you could do if all these highly targeted queries drew new leads directly to your high-converting assets.

There are three main benefits to targeting these exact keywords.

Less competition

Long tail keywords are specific to your business and your niche, and as a result, search volume is low.

The downside to this is that it does not take nearly as much effort to rank well for your targeted long tail keywords.

Some simple on-page SEO and link building should catapult your landing pages to a place where your targeted expressions are specific enough.

2. Higher conversions

A little keyword grinding with keywords will help you discover search intent.

Search intent allows you to identify queries that indicate the buyer’s intent (e.g. [buy Canada 150 collector’s coins]) and a need for additional information (e.g. [how to target long-tail keywords]).

You can use this knowledge to incorporate highly qualified leads into your sales funnel and complement your marketing efforts.


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3. It helps you optimize for semantic, conversational and voice search

Long tail keywords are an integral part of semantic search optimization.

We live in a time where 55% of millennia use voice search daily.

When these users query these platforms, they use long-tail keyword phrases such as questions ([what are the best sushi restaurants nearby?]) and clear intent commands ([compare the price of the dresses from Blush and Sherri Hill]).

Try to predict the intent behind naturally spoken and voice search questions so you can provide answers about your business and services and better target those long-tail keyword phrases.


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Keep in mind that if you target high-converting long-tail keywords, even when the search density is low, those keywords can still be incredibly valuable to your business.

How to find keywords with long tails

Ranking for the right long-tail keywords can be better than hitting gold.

Finding new keywords with long tails is easy, and you can create a significant list in minutes.

First grab the long-tail keywords that you know you rank from your Search Console.

Now download the same information for your PPC campaigns, Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube videos, Instagram, and other polls you can think of that may reveal new terms.

Then try to find new keywords with long tails in your niche that you can rank by. To manually create a list of potential long tails:

Prepare a list of seed keywords. Use a keyword planning tool to generate a list of keywords, but try to stay away from Google AdWords. While this free tool is excellent for developing a list of commercial terms to target, it deliberately steers away from long-tailed terms with lower search volume, making it not very useful for our purposes.


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Take a look at Google’s suggestions for auto-completion. Write each seed keyword in Google and write down the suggestions for auto-completion.

Sort Google’s related search suggestions. Scroll to the bottom of each SERP and write down the related searches.

Rinse and repeat for Bing search suggestions and other search engines you want to optimize for.

Add these potential long tails to your goal list. Group all your terms and get ready to start cropping your list.


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Advances in SEO technology make this whole research step easy!

The best programs sort even more search engines for you, and they may discover long tails that you have overlooked. Many other programs detect and sort intuitively long-tail keywords on your behalf. Now that you have a comprehensive list of all your potential keywords, it’s time to start trimming your list. Exclude any terms that do not clearly communicate the user’s intent. Eg. If the “long keyword related search results” listed above, the query “short tail keywords” is not specific enough.

Once you have trimmed your list down to the strongest candidates (ranging from half a dozen to a few hundred long tails), you are ready to start optimizing your pages and adding them to your content.

How to build content around long-tail keywords

Now that you have a list of keywords with long tails that you can optimize for, what do you do with this information? The answer depends on how many long tails you target and how closely their subjects intersect.

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should create a dedicated page per page. Long tail, if you can, amazing! But this is not always possible. When you have hundreds of long tails to target, you need content other than dedicated landing pages that you can optimize for your long tails. Break down your list of potential long-tail keywords into an easy-to-understand list organized by the searcher’s intent.


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For example, if you want to re-target keywords [noise canceling headphones], your list might look like this:

Keywords Intent noise reduction headphones walmart

noise canceling headphones amazon

find places to buy noise canceling headphones buy noise canceling headphones for sale

where to buy cheap noise canceling headphones

Find Cheap Noise Canceling Headphones Noise Canceling Headphones For Sleep

best noise canceling headphones for kids

the purpose of noise-canceling headphones

Organizing your keywords by topic allows you to find natural places where they can live.

If this content already exists on your site, you may be able to insert these long tails into your copy naturally. If not, you now have ideas for what your following pieces of content should focus on.

When publishing new content, do not forget about internal links. These are some of the best places for you to include some of the long tail concepts you have so thoroughly researched.

Concluding thoughts

Now you know how to spot long tail keywords and use them to your advantage. But remember: Your long tail targeting is only as strong as your content.


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In 2021, if you are not recognized as an authority in your niche, it’s time to start creating valuable assets, blogging about your industry and rewriting your web copy to communicate your unique value proposition (UVP) to your customers.

As you create your content and optimize your pages to include your new long-tail keywords, do not forget to measure your ranking and traffic.

When you do, you can find even more keyword phrases to target, and it will help you continue to build your reputation and improve your SEO on the page.

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Image credits

All screenshots taken by the author, June 2021

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