Optimizing all of your live web content with relevant keywords can help you show up in relevant search results. While keywords aren't the most important factor for SEO, they are a necessary part of a balanced SEO effort.
There's no getting around it: you need a strong search engine presence in order to gain more business online. Along with the content you produce and the links you accrue from outside domains, high-visibility keywords are essential in any SEO campaign.
Long-tail keywords are both longer and more precise target than general ones. Furthermore, they can help drive customers along in the purchasing process. Before you can benefit from these search terms, you have to discover which ones can benefit you the most. If you're trying to polish your SEO efforts with better keywords, here are a few quick tips:
1. Relevancy is key.
Let’s imagine for a moment we own an organic fruit stand in Surprise, Arizona. While popular search terms may increase potential visits to your site for a time, they don't tend to bring an audience interested in your company or its products. You need keywords that reflect your niche.
For example, long-tail keywords like “Movie Theaters in Chicago” probably won't earn you customers as effectively as a search term like “Fresh Fruit in Surprise”. Remember: relevance is always more valuable than page views. You’ll often have to go even further to ensure your message reaches the right crowd.
Case in point for this extended metaphor, the simple keyword “fruit” won’t carry much weight in terms of marketability. A far better keyword would be something like “Organic Local Fruit in Surprise, AZ”. Follow this simple rule when choosing between long-tails: when in doubt, draw it out.
The more specific you are, the more sophisticated your SEO efforts will be and the more qualified traffic you’ll draw.
2. Make use of keyword and SEO tools.
As if Google hadn’t saved your bacon enough times already, this behemoth of a search company has plenty of tools to help you find keywords. Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are two of the most powerful and versatile tools for determining what will define your presence online. What’s more, they’re both free.
Answer the Public is another free SEO tool that helps you find better keywords that are high-impact and long-tail. It also has an added bonus: it shows you a wealth of related long-tail keywords and it presents them in a beautiful way. When you use this tool, you’ll find long-tails that you wouldn't think of on your own. You'll also learn more about the ones you’re already set on.
Other companies offer similar packages, but only after you pay a subscription fee. For example, Ahrefs and Moz both offer huge suites of powerful SEO tools. Their cheapest subscription packages cost $99 monthly, however. It’s up to you to determine what kind of tools and analytics your company may need. In the beginning. It’s most cost-effective to base your strategy on the free tools available to you.
3. Find balance in your SEO efforts.
While focusing on a particular niche will always bring you qualified visitors, you want to find a balance between high traffic and high search volume keywords. If the words you use to define your business garner hundreds of thousands of search queries a day, you may want to define your market a bit more. However, if you’re only receiving 10-15 daily hits on each of your search terms, try to broaden the scope with more general keywords.
Your SEO efforts will only be as good as the keywords you choose to rank for. Don't hesitate to experiment and use any tools available.