We all use short-tail keywords in our SEO campaigns, and they are effective – to a certain extent. However, they have their limitations. When you build content around certain short-tail keywords, hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites will be using these same words, and this means greater competition. If you rely only on short-tail keywords, you will be among these competitors, all vying for the same readers and, therefore, possibly getting lost in the process.
The solution to reducing competition in this arena is to get more specific. And, to do so, this involves the use of long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords enable you to tailor search items specific to your business, as opposed to those that would be common across your industry. For example, say you have a business that sells gourmet doughnuts. If you use a keyword like “doughnuts,” you are unlikely to get anywhere near the top of a search result list. However, if you focus on a specialty, say “air-fried doughnuts” or “Banting doughnuts” or “custard-filled doughnuts in Milwaukee,” you have now created a long-tail keyword and placed yourself into a far narrower search bracket. The word “doughnut” may have a search volume numbering in the millions, while any of the others may be searched less than 100 times in the same period. By using these keywords, you push yourself above your competitors in the rankings.
Long-tail keywords essentially come down to the principle of focusing on your unique selling point (USP), an old idea in marketing. The concept of the long-tail keyword takes the USP into the digital realm, enabling not only powerful differentiation, but also competitive marketing. It requires you to think deeper about your business and refine your offerings, an effort that is sure to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.