Learn to unlock your long-tail keywords.

Learn to unlock your long-tail keywords

For those, a little in the dark, let’s start with the basics. What are long-tail keywords (LTKs)? LTKs are detailed words and phrases that describe exactly what you offer.

The organic traffic you get from them is less but it’s the right kind of traffic. If you’ve spent loads of time focusing on general (broad) competitive keywords, chances are, they’ll yield next to no traffic.

Just think how many people are targeting the same words. Unless you’ve spent a fuck-ton on ads, or happen to be one of the first ‘graphic designers’ or ‘photographers’ to grab a website, you won’t make the second page of Google, let alone the first.

This is why I bang on about having a niche within your industry. It will help you get the traffic you want and that means the clients you want. But the niche can be anything, it doesn’t have to be related to your industry.

Say, what?

Take me for example. I’m offering a certain kind of content for a certain kind of business. I’m attracting a personality type I want to work with, I couldn’t care less what they do.

LTKs and your unique selling proposition (USP).

In normal English, your USP is the thing that makes you different from all the other businesses in your industry.

Perhaps you don’t do anything wildly different, so maybe think about this – why should people choose you over a competitor?

USPs and big brands.

Large organisations will often have a USP that will become their company slogan. And they’re nearly always short and memorable:

“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” FedEx Corporation

You might think that’s a rubbish slogan but as USPs go, it’s pretty good. Some business slogans are just that, I dunno why, I’m not a brand/marketing/advertising guru but for example, McDonald’s and their “I’m lovin’ it” is utterly useless as a USP.

If you’re like everyone else in your industry, what’s the point of your existence?

Listen, maybe you haven’t given it much thought. If you’re a freelancer, this kind of thing is often something you don’t involve yourself with. Hell, you might only have just realised what it means because of this helpful post. The truth is, you probably already have one, you just never bothered to write it down.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I do?
  2. Who is it for?
  3. How does it benefit my audience?
  4. What’s different about it?

You’ll end up with a tasty little paragraph from those answers. And what you’ve done there, is not only start to figure out your USP but you’ve begun to build some detailed keyword phrases.

Isn’t that exciting? Yes, it’s more exciting than the most exciting thing that happened on the 12th of exciting, in the year – exciting.

Build a USP phrase.

And the LTKs will write themselves.

Well, they won’t, you’ll have to write them. For example, my business USP (content with more bite) tells you that I create content that has a bit of a kick. 

Let your unique thingy guide your content writing. It will soon become really clear to your prospects what you do for them. It will also help you decide what you actually want to offer and maybe get rid of stuff you really fucking hate.

Research your LTKs.

I’m going to continue to use myself as an example. It allows me to add keywords and phrases relevant to my industry – what a sneaky bastard I am.

My business name and USP work well together – The Sarky Type, content with more bite.

(And, it nearly rhymes.)

With my USP in mind, I start to think about the kinds of things ideal clients are going to be searching for so that they find me. 

Using your location will help get you seen by the people in your area, especially if what you offer is only available regionally. When you develop your LTKs you’ll get found by the prospects you crave and all those looking for a broad brush, in terms of your industry will leave you alone. And once you have those LTKs, add them to your meta titles and descriptions, page content, and image titles.

But wait…

That’s not the full story.

Brainstorming your LTKs is one thing, seeing if anyone is actually searching those terms is quite another.

When using a keyword tool, keep these two values in mind: the keyword volume and the keyword difficulty (KD) score.

It’s no good ranking on the first page of Google if no one is interested in those keywords.

Check the volume of your LTKs. Are they worth targeting? Is the KD score in that sweet spot? If it’s too high, you’ll struggle to compete, if it’s too low, chances are the volume of searches is pretty low too.

Final thoughts.

Create your own USP phrase or slogan and if you can’t define what you do in a single line, hire me to do it. Even if you reduced your offering to a couple of sentences, you still have the basis to build your LTKs. And that’s a pretty impressive start.

And remember, SEO is for life, not just Whit Sunday (or any other Christian festival).

Freelance SEO writer

Sarah Wilson-Blackwell

I’m a freelance business content writer at The Sarky Type®. My thang is SEO-informed blurb that sets your words on fire (ablaze with LOLs and engagement not to be confused with real fire that destroys everything in sight. Metaphors are better when they don’t require explanation. Note to self).

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