If there was one thing you could pick out and focus on alone to archive better rankings, it surely must be long tail keywords – also known as kaypharses.
Kaypharses are really just exact match search strings that people often will use to find your site. Its not hard to figure out, that this may be an area where you can easily gain an advantage, since not a lot of people are optimizing in this specific area of SEO.
Most armatures will will instantly resort to linkbuilding, instead of focusing on what can be done on-page to increase their sites performance. Often you can even archive better results on-page than you can off-page – that is without resorting to blackhat techniques – such as massively link spamming. On-page SEO has either been neglected entirely, or not been performed very well – if this is you in action, then it may be time to consider some newer SEO techniques.
The Place of Long Tail Keywords
You might be wondering about where long tail keywords could make a difference in your existing on-page SEO efforts. Its about how search engines determine that a page is important for a given kaypharse that a user types in. Often it is possible to somewhat guess how you should write an article to make it rank high in the results, its not a first position guarantee, but it should at least get you up there in the top 10 of the results – unless its a very competitive kaypharse.
If you have read the SEO Tutorial on Brugbart, then you should know about at least some of the important areas:
- The HTML Title
- The first section headline on the page
- The content in the first section
- The second section.
This is not intended to be a complete list of things to consider, but it should give you an idea. When we are talking about keywords or long tail keywords, it can be important to repeat them somewhere throughout your entire content. Many of us have tried to hit that first or second article that made it to the top, simply because we put some thought into how we wrote the article – of cause we shouldn't write for search engines, but we also shouldn't ignore that search engines are stupid, they usually need a helping hand to understand what a page is about.
What are you up Against
If you got a nice keyphrase with the potential to bring you lots of traffic, then it may be worth the effort to write a separate article, using an exact match title, and where you also mention the keyphrase in the URL itself. After having these important optimizations in place, its time to write the article – simply mentioning the keyphrase once on the page might not be enough, but more on this later!
Before you write the article, examine the top competition for the keyphrase. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the top competing pages for the given long tail keyword you are targeting?
- How much textural content do they have?
- How much PageRank?
- What are their Traffic rank?
Knowing these things can give you a feeling about how you need to write your article, for it to archive acceptable rankings. If the competing pages are short, with little textural content, chances are they will be easy to beat. Sadly the reason why they are ranking so high, is often due to a higher pagerank and authority – the pagerank is clearly visible trough browser plugins, while the authority is something we have to guess at.
Of cause links can be important, but there is a lot more than links effecting a sites placement. That a given page has more incoming links, does not necessarily mean that it will rank better.
Long Tail Keyword Research and Discovery
One of the best ways to find important keyphrases to target, is to carefully monitor your your incoming search traffic – this can either be done in your own server logs, or trough Googles webmaster Tools and Analytics. Another way is to simply think creatively, make them up on your own! It sounds harder than it really is!
Using long tail keywords tools and generators is another option, some websites offer them for free – google trends can also help you examine the potential of known keyphrases. But to get the most relevant data, nothing beats your own server logs.