How to incorporate longtail keywords into content writing

Incorporating longtail keywords into content writing

Incorporating longtail keywords into content writing

Here is an interesting fact: 57% of Amazon’s sales come from longtail keywords.

Long tail keywords is a slightly older concept in search engine optimization but it is often ignored.

Note: I’m just doing some SEO experiment so I will be repeatedly switching between long tail and longtail.

When I’m writing content for my clients, I naturally incorporate long tail keywords, sometimes, or rather, most of the times, these clients not even realizing it.

In fact, whenever they give me a list of shorter keywords like “mobile app development company” I encourage them to be more specific like “mobile app development company for retail business” or “native mobile app development company in Chicago”.

Many people think that users don’t use very long phrases, but they are mistaken. More so when an increasing number of people are using voice search and voice search can be quite conversational and hence, consisting of long tail keywords and search terms.

Effective content writing these days involves automatically incorporating longtail keywords into the text.

Related reading: How to double or triple your traffic by using long tail keywords in content writing?

The concept of long tail keywords has been around for quite a long time but online marketers and SEO experts started paying more attention to it when Google unleashed Panda and Penguin updates.

For many years long tail keywords are being used during content writing not just to improve SEO, but also to improve user experience.

I believe when you target longtail keywords instead of short, precise keywords, you are helping your users to find just the right content they need instead of throwing vague pieces of content at them.

Here is the Wired editor talking about the importance of long tail keywords as back as in 2006.


Getting good search engine rankings before these updates was quite easy: create lots of content covering all possible keywords and keyword combinations in your niche, get lots of back links from other websites, and your search engine rankings would improve.

This resulted in lots of junk content coming up in Google search results.

When people begin to manipulate their way into anything, crap is bound to gather, and the same happened with Google search.

Further reading: Link building with content writing

It’s a complete saga: many businesses were destroyed due to these unanticipated Google updates.

Long tail keywords reduce your dependence on high competition keywords and help you focus on the features and strengths of your business rather than random keywords.

Long tail SEO benefits explained

The power of longtail keywords lies in their collective performance. Individually, your main keywords may bring you more traffic, but if you add up all the traffic being brought by your long tail keywords, you will be surprised to know that they are collectively performing much better than your main keywords.

Also, they are more targeted. Traffic coming from longtail keywords converts better than the traffic coming from your main keywords or primary keywords. This is because searches carried out using long tail keywords are very specific.

What are long tail keywords and what are the benefits of using them?

Marketers have this obsession for coming up with peculiar-sounding terms to impress people. Common phrases or full phrases, or even full sentences don’t sound as cool as “long tail keywords”.

But, it’s the concept, it is a visual representation of the data traffic that is generated, that gives such keywords such a name rather than simply being a cool phrase.

Take for example this visual:

Longtail keywords – visual example

Longtail keywords – visual example

Image source

Right now, don’t worry about the extra information, figures and numbers present in the above image. Just focus on the “Long tail 70%” part.

It has been observed that 70% traffic from search engines comes from long tail keywords. Although, these figures may vary according to who is measuring the data, one thing is for sure: you can get more traffic by targeting longtail keywords instead of the main keywords.

Since traffic generated from longtail keywords appears like a long tail, hence, the name.

Ok, I still haven’t explained what these keywords are.

When you’re searching on the net, you don’t use very small search expressions. You try to be as specific as you can.

Take for example looking for a content writer for your business.

Although there may be a chance that you may search for “content writer”, most probably you will be looking for a “content writer for interior design website” if you want a content writer for your interior design website.

Similarly, you look for “experienced content writer for my dentist website” instead of simply “content writer” if you want a content writer for your dentist website.

If you want longform content for your website, you will look for “longform content writer”, or “content writer for longform content”, or any such variations. Or, “writer to write my leadership building e-book”.

While searching for a Samsung phone, you won’t simply search for “Samsung phone”.

If you’re looking for a phone with a good camera but you’re not sure of which model that would be, you will search for “Samsung mobile phone with best camera features”, or something like that.

These are long tail keywords.

There was a time when people simply focused on keywords containing one, two or maybe three words: very short phrases.

Obviously, there was high competition for them and since there was high competition for them, people resorted to all forms of spamming and other black hat tactics to improve your rankings.

Long tail keywords allow you to gain an edge over your competitors, especially when your competitors are simply creating noise instead of delivering value.

Another, and perhaps, one of the biggest benefits of targeting longtail keywords is that most of the users using voice search on mobile phones use longer phrases, very specific phrases.

They won’t say “running shoes needed”; they will say “where to buy light running shoes of size 9?”

Since a mobile phone can make out where the person is, according to his or her location, it will bring up the shops selling running shoes of size 9 and if you have optimized for your locality, your shop should show up at the top.

Are you using Google AdWords to promote your business? Primary keywords are very expensive to bid but longtail keywords are not.

How difficult or easy is it to write content around long tail keywords?

Difficulty and ease depend on – in terms of getting good search engine rankings for them – your competition. If there are many websites or blogs ranking well for your chosen longtail keywords, you may have to work harder and use more creativity.

If there isn’t much competition, you can easily rank well for your chosen search terms.

Why is it easy?

Because every business is unique one way or another.

If you are selling Kindle Reader cases that look like books, you would want to optimize your content for “Kindle Reader cases like books” instead of simply “Kindle Reader cases”.

If you are selling Kindle Reader cases made of leather, then write about leather Kindle Reader cases instead of simply Kindle Reader cases.

The more specific you get, the easier it becomes to optimize your content.

How to find the right long tail keywords for content writing?

Finding longtail keywords

Finding longtail keywords

The best way of finding long tail keywords for content writing is using logic.

You know your business best.

In case you don’t, talk to people who are constantly looking for your business.

What search terms do they use? How do they often find you?

As mentioned above, write for specific services and products and be as specific as possible.

You can aim for complete sentences.

For example, there is nothing wrong trying to optimize your web page for “I need plumbing services during non-working hours”.

Having said that, it is always advisable to use tools that give you a clear picture of exactly what search terms people are using and how much traffic these search terms are generating.

On-and-off I have been using LongtailPro. As the name suggests, this tool helps you find long tail keywords for your business.

I know, I have repeatedly mentioned this tool on my website, but compared to other tools, I really find it good.

The benefit of using LongtailPro is that it doesn’t just find you the right long tail keywords, it also tells you, according to your domain’s authority, whether it’s worth trying for particular keywords or not.

Suppose there is already too much competition for particular keywords.

Right now, no matter how hard you try, your rankings for those keywords are not going to improve.

It will be a waste of time.

It is better to go for the low hanging fruits.

LongtailPro tells you which the low hanging fruits are.

You first optimize your content for these keywords and when you have started generating traffic for these easier keywords, you can start focusing on the more difficult keywords.

If you do a search in Google, at the bottom it also shows you Searches related to <your search term>.

For example, when I search for “content writing services”, I see these suggestions:

Longtail keyword suggestions for content writing services

Longtail keyword suggestions for content writing services

So, this is also a good way of finding related search terms which are much better compared to your primary keywords.

There are many other tools available, some are quite expensive.

For example, you can use BuzzSumo to find out what topics related to your search term people are writing on mostly.

It mostly uses social media activity to find which are the top keywords currently being used.

The Google AdWords keyword tool, which is free, also gives you lots of information.

In fact, LongtailPro derives most of its data from the Google AdWords database.

I’m a little bit skeptical about the Google AdWords database because its primary purpose is to advise you as many keywords as possible simply because the more keywords you bid on, the more money Google makes.

I’m not saying that there is something wrong in Google trying to make money, but you don’t need to bid on every keyword listed in the suggestions.

The best approach is creating a list of long tail keywords manually, and then using a tool like LongtailPro to find out whether it is feasible to optimize on them or not.

Incorporating longtail keywords into your content writing

Incorporating longtail keywords into your content writing

Incorporating longtail keywords into your content writing

Since the entire purpose of using longtail keywords is to use natural phrases used by your prospective customers and clients, you need to incorporate them into your content writing as naturally as possible.

Listed below are some ways you can use your longtail keywords within your content writing.

1. Use the long tail keyword in the title of your web page or blog post

There are two benefits of using your long tail keyword in your web page or blog post title:

  1. When people see the exact phrase as hyperlink in the search results, they are more prone to clicking it and consequently, improving your click-through rate.
  2. Search engine algorithms take the text within the title tag seriously when ranking your content. By including your longtail keyword in your title, you are telling Google that it’s an important thing to consider.

2. Use your search phrase within the first 100 words of your body text

This rule is not written in stone, but it may help you if the search engine crawlers can come across the main search phrase as early as possible.

Remember that the search engine crawlers don’t spend much time on your web page. They may leave without crawling the entire page. Hence, it is better to provide them as much useful information as possible – but make sure you don’t sound spammy.

3. Scatter your long tail keyword judicially throughout your content

Try to use various parts of your longtail keyword, contextually, at different places. You don’t always have to use the phrase in its entirety each time you use it.

For example, if I try to optimize my content writing for “content writer for web design business”, I may use the phrase in its entirety in the title or somewhere, maybe in the headlines, or a couple of times in one-two paragraphs, but other than that, I can also use the parts of the phrase: “content writer”, “writer”, “content”, “web design” and “business”, and so on.

4. Use LSI variations

Sometimes, even if you don’t mean to, you need to use your keyword repeatedly. Over optimization can be a big problem whether you’re using longtail keywords or primary keywords.

To avoid indulging in that, you can use LSI keywords.

Now, if you go by this article, it says that there is no use using LSI keywords because there is no evidence that they actually help your SEO.

Even if LSI keywords don’t directly help you improve your search engine rankings, I think it is better to use them than repeatedly using your longtail keyword and ending up sounding spammy.

If there is no good using LSI keywords, there isn’t even harm. In fact, as I have mentioned above, the benefit of inserting LSI variations is that you are not forced to repeatedly use your keywords even if you HAVE to.

5. Use your longtail keywords around your images

You can get lots of traffic through image searches.

Although regular advances are being made to enable software to identify individual objects contained within an image (a tiger sitting under the bush staring at a deer, for example), the technology still hasn’t reached where it can be used as an image search engine totally devoid of textual information.

This is why to enable people to find your images contextually, you need to surround your images with the right sort of text.

For example, if I want people to be able to find an image about content marketing on my website or my blog, I should first choose the most appropriate image representing the topic of “content marketing”, I should also surround the image with text that talks about content marketing.

bigger goal of content marketing

This way, when Google indexes the link to this image, the algorithm will think that the image has got something to do with content marketing.

6. Use longtail search terms with hyperlinks to your other webpages and blog posts

Hyperlinks on your website are taken seriously by search engine ranking algorithms.

The text in the hyperlink tells the crawler what to expect on the web page or blog post being linked to. This is why, it is very important that you use the correct text in your hyperlink instead of simply saying “this link”.

7. Focus on a single long tail keyword when writing content

Vertically focused content is ranked better than something in which you try to cram up everything. This gives Google a clear idea of what your link represents. It also clearly tells prospective visitors what to expect when they click the link.

For example, when you come to this blog post, assuming that you find it on Google or Bing, you expect that I’m going to tell you how to use longtail keywords when you are writing content for your website or blog.

Although all sorts of related information may do you good, primarily you want to learn about this topic. If you want to learn about some associated topic, you may look for that topic on Google.

Having said that, there is a concept called topic clusters and pillar pages that involves creating highly-detailed blog posts and webpages covering every possible subtopics under the main topic.

Personally, whether I’m writing for my own blog or for my clients, I try to follow a gut feeling and flow with the topic. If I feel more needs to be written about a topic, I write more, if I feel enough has been written, I put a stop.

Concluding remarks

Search engine optimization these days is less about repeatedly using your keywords and more about publishing quality content that helps people and provides them useful information.

A sure shot way of improving your search engine rankings by generating lots of content around your primary and longtail keywords is by providing as much information about your business as possible, on your website or blog.

Cover every topic.

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