Long-tail: an SEO strategy with high conversion potential

The art of finding effective keywords that drive webpage traffic evolves and changes on a daily basis. However, the ultimate goal remains essentially the same, which is to attract visitors and, in the best cases, make a sale. Guiding a potential customer from the start of the buying process to choosing your product over a competitor’s is a very complex task. Long-tail keywords can be a worthwhile strategy since they can target consumers that are more far along in the decision-making process.

What is a long-tail keyword?

The term long-tail keyword refers to a precise sequence of at least three words that, when typed into a search engine, are likely to result in more targeted traffic than generic keywords. Moreover, these short expressions represent about 70% of all searches made by Internet users. They are so targeted that they have a low level of competition. This lack of opposition can help a website improve its SEO. A website can go from the tenth page of results to the top ten. Of course, popular terms like “travel” or “construction” can be effective for branding and brand awareness, but they also have the drawback of attracting an unqualified and irrelevant audience.

Creating long-tail keywords

There are several ways to choose long-tail keywords. If, for example, someone is looking for accommodations in the Laurentians, they may reflexively enter the word “hotel” into their favorite search engine. However, so many offers will appear that they will immediately want to refine their search. As such, they could add a geographical location, or a number of stars, to better find what they desire. Their new search might now be “4-star hotel Laurentians”.

In the same way, a woman might well enter the word “shoe” in Google and be quickly submerged in results. She will likely change her search to something like “blue high heel shoes 7.5” instead.

If a web page precisely meets these requirements, it can avoid a big part of the competition while ensuring the serious intent of the person performing the search.

Another effective way to design long-tail keywords is to take inspiration from the Google Trends tool that offers alternatives for a given search. These suggestions often use a slightly different vocabulary, which can yield interesting and relevant ideas.

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The conversion potential of long-tail keywords

When the term conversion is brought up, its often in reference to a final sale. However, a consumer who just made a purchase has rarely done so without first going through other stages of what is termed the buying process.

Without going into details, we can say that it can be divided into six distinct parts:

  1. The consumer becomes aware of the existence of a product that can meet his needs.
  2. The consumer looks for information about this product ahead of a potential purchase.
  3. The consumer examines possible alternatives to the product (characteristics, brands, prices, etc.).
  4. The consumer makes his decision.
  5. The consumer pulls out his credit card completes the transaction.
  6. The consumer judges the quality of the product once he has received it. He then decides whether he keeps it or returns it.

People who use extremely general search terms are often just beginning their search journey. They are looking for information and points of comparison, which basically corresponds to the first three steps of the decision-making process. For an online store in development, due to the strong competition that these keywords entail, it is almost impossible to position themselves at an advantage on search engines, especially against giant retailers.

Long-tail keywords are attractive in the sense that they are mostly used by buyers who know exactly what they are looking for. They therefore use a more specific vocabulary. These users typically correspond to the profile of a client at stage four of the buying process. As such, the chances that they have a product in mind and make a transaction as soon as they land on a webpage are much higher. In short, your page might not attract more visitors, but more buyers. This digital marketing strategy can be very rewarding.

Long-tail keywords therefore provide the opportunity to be well-positioned on search engines and generate higher quality website traffic, while increasing the ratio of converted sales. In sum, if the ultimate goal of your website is to close sales, would you prefer a keyword that brings you 1000 visitors per day, or 200 long-tail keywords, half of which send you a buyer a day?

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