When asked “Which keywords do you want to rank for?” . . the answer is usually a handful of very short keywords (as in 2-3 word phrases) because these are the most general and carry the highest search volume. Long tail keywords are often overlooked but this is a huge mistake, let me and this insightful infographic explain why:
Firstly shorter keywords generally carry a much higher competition meaning it will take a lot longer to rank for them and a lot more work to stay there. Long tail keywords generally have much less competition so are far easier and quicker to rank for. If you are not on the first page then no matter how high the search volume, you will get little to no traffic from that keyword. By quickly ranking for lots of long tail keywords you gain multiple first page listings quickly and start to get relevant traffic to your site much quicker.
Another thing about long tail keywords is they usually convert at a much higher rate than their relevant shorter keyword equivalents. This is because the searcher is closer to making a buying decision. For example someone typing in “books” might want a book but might not know which book they want. Someone typing in “Lee Child One Shot Book” knows what product they want so are much more likely to buy. Startng to see the power of having lots of rankings for long tail keywords? . . Let me spell it out just in case . . lots of BUYER traffic to your site!
The final point I’m going to make about long tail keywords in this post is that a good long tail keyword strategy will really help you to rank for shorter, more competitive keywords and your overall SEO. The reason is that the long tail keywords will be relevant to their shorter equivalents so by having lots of good content on your site around the long tail keywords along with strong offsite and social activity throughout the site (targeting the long tail keywords and pages), you are increasing the footprint of the site in this area and the deep linking and social activity will help with the authority of the site making it easier to rank for more competitive terms.