How Evergreen Content Helps Rank for Long-Tail Keywords

Recent research has shown that keywords are becoming less important in the age of Hummingbird, where semantic search can better serve user intent. This is no surprise, considering the says of moving up in SERPs by keyword spamming are long gone. Yet no matter how advanced AI research becomes, it’s hard to believe that keywords could ever become irrelevant in text based search. “Content is King” isn’t just a cute phrase in the SEO world.

Utilizing long-tail keywords throughout your content reveals hidden customer bases within your vertical. LTKs serve as the basis of content creation and determines the audience you’re attempting to reach and can help attract an even broader audience.  

Leveraging on-site and off-site long-tail keywords brings you and your consumer base closer in touch. Essentially, long-tail keywords are hyper-focused terms that customers use in a search query and campaigning on these keywords will drive them to your business. These terms then serve as the focus of either your organic SEO or PPC campaign.  

Advantages of Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are often sought over broad match keywords because they have a much greater ROI. If you’re not an established brand, attempting to rank your content for the search terms “protein shake” will be incredibly difficult and highly competitive. Opting to market your keyword research toward “organic strawberry protein powder” will land you in a less competitive sphere. You’re no longer competing against the peanut butter chocolates of the world, in that case.

Long-tail keywords have lower search volumes because of how specific their search terms are, but that’s actually a good thing. The amount of specific long-tail keyword searches are so high volume that it will drive more traffic to your website than you’ll receive from your targeted keyword. In fact, about 70% of page views are a result of long-tail keyword searches. If you’re targeting a super broad word like “show,” you get results about tv programs, concerts, local events, show and tell, and numerous definitions of the word itself. Even if your website does rank for a word like this, there’s a high chance that it isn’t what the searcher intended to find, anyway.

Long-tail keyword strategies don’t focus on traffic as much as conversions. People searching for a hyper-focused search term have a really high potential to make a purchase. While long-tail keywords drive less traffic to your website, the greater ROI more than makes up for that in many cases.

If you have strong technical foundations in place and strong thematic consistency, the next step is to produce a blog or content distribution strategy to uncover the market potential of your niche.

Gear content around specific search terms important to your audience and the visitors you encounter will immediately relate. Producing evergreen content around long-tail keywords will help establish your authority over your topical niche and allow your business and its brand to scale.

SEO Best Practices

Content That Provides Value

When undertaking your keyword research, it’s key to always choose quality keywords that suit your theme. Keyword distribution within your content should be natural and not hint at any sort of keyword stuffing practices. Consider using variations of the keyword you are targeting throughout your content in order to discuss as many aspects related to your topic as you possibly can. Even if someone lands on your webpage due to a keyword variation, they are more likely to find the information they are looking for when your content seeks to answer as many questions as possible. Position your content to rank for different keyword variations and drive more traffic towards it.

Optimize your meta-tags to reflect the content itself. Insert your targeted keyword at the beginning of your title-tag so search engines are immediately aware of your topic. A common mistake is to try to stuff keywords into the title, as it is an important signal, but anything after the 512 pixel mark is cut off and does not have as significant of an effect. Furthermore, not getting as close to that point while still sounding natural is often just a missed opportunity.There are different theories about how the length may change in the future and how the branding may still be included when over 512, but I prefer to keep it safe in most cases.

Optimize all links within your content with keyword sensitive anchor text. Keep in mind that the link text in the first link found in your source code is the link text that will be counted. Just like your child landing pages, authority will be transferred to all links present on that page and will position them to link for that targeted keyword. Of course, make sure the keyword is relevant to the link and is a part of its keyword research.

Keyword Strategies

Consider publishing user generated content for long-tail keyword ideas. Whether it be a comments section or a testimonial, customers will use long keyword phrases in relating to your products.

Within PPC campaigns, long-tail keywords are valuable because they present a low CPC. For businesses with small budgets, basing a PPC campaign around a long-tail keyword could be a much more affordable strategy to complement their organic SEO. Consider conducting a broad match buy for a generic keyword and using your AdWords campaign to discover new long-tail keyword ideas.

There are numerous keyword research tools available, the most notable being SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner. Typing in your targeted keyword phrase and seeing what Google suggests in its search bar or even related searches are a great way to discover what user searches are the most popular in your niche. Look at what the competition is ranking for and outbid or outdo them.

The Takeaway

Keyword research is the basis of any organic SEO and PPC campaign. For small, niche startups, targeting long-tail keywords for your research and content distribution channel is an effective way to drive a committed target audience. As you establish authority over your topical niche than you will be able to scale to execute a multi-niche marketing strategy until your brand becomes established.