The Strategies Of SEO Are Changing.
Due to the different technologies that are now employed such as RankBrain, Latent Semantic Indexing and voice search, SEO is changing to more solution led content rather than keyword led.
Short tail (2-3 words) keywords have been the focus of SEO agencies and campaigns and this is still the primary focus of clients who have done a little research into SEO techniques and strategies. However the power of long tail keywords is finally being acknowledged on either side of the fence.
The amount of posts and videos by industry leaders and influencers such as Rand Fishkin and Neil Patel along with the rise of content marketing taken up by bloggers and content writers has helped to encourage people to understand that this is the future of on-page SEO.
The complex nature of Google algorithm means that Google has an ever increasing understanding of the users intent behind the search that they are performing, and rather than match the words in the search to the webpage that has those same words, Google can match the search intent with the best suited webpage to provide an appropriate resolution to the request.
Does this mean that keyword research is dead? Not at all. It in fact makes it more important than ever before! But how do we adapt keyword research in relation to this focus on identifying great long-tail keywords?
Focus on searcher intent
This should always be in your mind as the primary goal for all your activities. What is the searcher really trying to find out? How is your content going to help the user reach their goal?
Ultimately, the tools listed below are there to help you speed up this process and to provide ideas, but you can’t fully rely on them to produce an outstanding long-tail keyword strategy.
Take a bit of time to understand your target market, the length of the sales cycle or what factors influence their purchasing/conversion decisions.
You will be able to understand the type of search terms that can be targeted to provide the most value for your users. Better yet, you can understand the intent behind relevant searches and provide solutions.
Google’s Keyword Planner
This is a great tool to use, but it comes with a few restrictions of use. First, you need an Adwords account with at least one active account in use.
The Keyword Planner may have less specific data in comparison to the former ‘Keyword Tool’, but it does have some useful additions to help you with identifying valuable long-tail keywords.
The ‘Keyword ideas’ and ‘Ad group ideas’ function provides related search terms, helping you save time thinking of all the different variations. Sift through the tabs (there were 700 keyword ideas in this example) to gain data on potential long-tail keyword ideas.
Using the filters available such as only looking for low and medium competition and searches that generate over a certain amount of searches per month will also help find potentially great new keywords that are not being utilised by your competition as good as they can be.
Even if you don’t find the perfect match for your strategy you should be able to acquire new idea ‘streams’ which should lead to more fruitful long-tail keywords.