Long-Tail Keywords

Common Misconceptions About Long-Tail Keywords

In our extensive work with digital marketing, we often find that people are not entirely clear on what long-tail keywords are – or indeed what they’re not, even though the expression is one that’s frequently bandied around our industry. So, we thought we’d use this blog to put that right and consider some common misconceptions surrounding these keywords.

What are long-tail keywords?

First, let’s start with a (hopefully) simple definition. Perhaps the first common misconception is that long-tail keywords are simply defined by the number of words or characters they contain. However, while it is true that they tend to be longer than standard keywords and are typically made up of multiple words, not all longer keywords can automatically be described as long-tail.

Essentially, long-tail keywords are highly specific search terms, meaning fewer people will typically be using them to search online. That means that often, although not always, there is lower competition when bidding for these keywords. So, as one example, ‘buy socks’ would not be a long-term keyword, but ‘buy breathable running socks’ would.

Another characteristic is that, given how specific they are, they often match what a searcher is looking for more closely than regular keywords and so generally have a higher conversion rate. They’re also more likely than their standard counterparts to drive those who are near the end of the buying cycle and voice searches.

Some common myths to be aware of:

  • Longer will always be better

Think of it in terms of longer rather than just long-tail keywords. Aim for variations with no more than four terms maximum, so that you identify the more specific, less competitive and cheaper keywords while avoiding those which almost no one uses.

  • It’s okay to only use long-tail keywords

This may be tempting if, in your industry, competition is so intense that all the popular keywords seem prohibitively expensive. However, you are likely to find you’re not hitting advertising targets if you confine yourself exclusively to long-tail keywords. You need a mixture to strike the right balance.

  • You will save huge amounts of money while retaining a competitive edge

It’s true that long-tail keywords can save website owners money. However, they’re certainly by no means a miracle cure or an easy, immediate solution. Above all, you will need a combination of short and long-tail terms to cast your net widely. At the same time, you should be monitoring performance constantly, using relevant search data and associated metrics, as well as talking to your digital marketing or SEO agency.

Finally, the last myth we’d like to bust is that you should abandon a poorly performing long-tail keyword straight away. Sometimes, some minor adjustments or reworking may be all that are needed. If you feel a keyword may have some potential, it’s worth persisting with it.

How we can help

Front Page Advantage has a vast knowledge of short and long-tail keywords and we can discuss in detail which ones would have the most impact on your brand’s campaigns. Get in touch right now for a chat and we’ll take it from there.