One of the elements of site maintenance I’ve become obsessed with is long-tail keywords. When I first heard of this concept, I was rather naive about how to execute it. Over time, I’ve realized that it’s not just enough to write content that targets long-tail keywords. You need to devise and carry out a comprehensive long-tail keywords content plan.
In this article, I discuss how to create a long-tail keywords content plan. More importantly, I discuss how to execute that plan as part of your larger content marketing strategy. I specifically address the importance of maintaining your content over time and building backlinks.
Long-Tail Keywords: The Key to Organic Traffic
Others have discussed long-tail keywords in-depth so I’ll just give a quick recap here.
In order to get substantial search traffic for a certain keyword, your site needs to appear on the first page of search results. Unfortunately, for high-volume search keywords, this is usually impossible. Major Web sites with high domain authority (Google ranking) dominate such high-volume searches.
Fortunately, there are keywords that you can still obtain as a fledgling site. Users only search for these keywords anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand times per month.
The good news? There are tons of such keywords still out there. Taken as an aggregate, they represent billions of search queries every month. That’s why people call them long-tail keywords: in aggregate, they represent the majority of Internet searches.
You won’t get millions of users to your site by targeting a single long-tail keyword. However, by targeting dozens or (over time) hundreds of them, you can steadily increase organic traffic to your Web site.
Finding Your Long-Tail Keywords
Before you can write long-tail keyword content, you need to find long-tail keywords that work for your business. There are a number of tools you can use for this. Personally, I’m a big fan of KWFinder, which is part of the Mangtools suite. (Note: Link to Mangtools tools are affiliate links; I earn a commission if you make a purchase.) Mangools provides a full panoply of tools you can use to fine-tune your content marketing strategy – and at a very reasonable price!
Let’s see how we might use KWFinder to fine-tune a technical content marketing strategy.
Assume you’re creating a site about WordPress development. You might go to KWFinder and search for “WordPress”.
KWFinder displays a number of data points here. For our purposes, the two most important are:
- Search volume. How many searches for this term are executed on search engines every month. Here, we can see that people search for “WordPress” a stunning 2.8 million times per month. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?!
- Keyword Difficulty (KD). This is a custom KWFinder metric. It measures the strength of other sites that currently use this search term and concludes how likely it is that you can rank on Google’s front page for it. In this case, the Keyword Difficulty is 64/100, which KWFinder categorizes as “Hard”.
In other words, your chances of landing on Google’s front page for the term “WordPress” are somewhere between “snowball’s chance in hell” and “when pigs fly”. Bummer.
Scrolling Down to the Tail
However, all is not lost! KWFinder also shows you keywords related to your preferred search term. So you can scroll through the list and find other keywords that have a smaller Keyword Difficulty.
For example, if I scroll down the “WordPress” results, I see a batch of keywords that are anywhere from a 33/100 down to an 11/100 difficulty. These are all potential long-tail keywords.
However, even these are pretty high-volume and susceptible to encroachment by the Big Guns. Ideally, you’d plug in some WordPress-related keywords that have three or more words. These will have far lower search volume – but they’ll also be easier to place for!
By continuing your research, you can develop a full content plan based around long-tail keywords. Each article you add targeting a long-tail keyword means additional search traffic. And that, in the long run, means more leads and more sales.
Writing Your Keyword Content
It’s one thing to identify your long-tail keywords. But next comes the hardest part – writing the content!
Targeting keywords for optimal SEO is a lengthy subject. And, honestly, others have done it better than I ever could. My key advice here is to use WordPress in conjunction with the Yoast SEO plugin. Using Yoast and WordPress gives you several advantages when it comes to SEO:
- Yoast automatically detects if your post is optimized for a search keyword. E.g., it will ensure you’re using the keyword enough in your text, in your H2 and H3 headings, and in image ALT texts.
- Yoast also helps ensure your text is readable through a number of readability metrics. Creating readable text is crucial to keeping readers engaged.
- If you’re utilizing a team of writers, using WordPress in conjunction with Yoast ensures a level of uniformity in your keyword strategy and content creation.
In addition, you should make sure your articles are lengthy and authoritative. You’ll want your article to be at least as long as the average length of other articles that already rank for that keyword. And your content should be based on your personal experience and expertise.
In other words, what you write should provide value to your readers! Worry less about selling yourself and your business. Concentrate instead on providing advice, how-tos, reviews, and other useful information.
Maintaining Your Long-Tail Keyword Content
I’ve produced technical content for several major tech companies. And one mistake I’ve seen companies make over and over again is de-prioritizing content maintenance.
It’s not enough to write a post and never revisit it. Information changes over time. And if your article doesn’t change to reflect it, you’ll eventually see your search engine rankings slip.
For each of the properties I maintain, I create a spreadsheet of the posts that are targeting specific keywords. Once every two months or so, I make sure to go through the full list and see if anything can or needs to be updated. Sometimes, this involves just fixing a couple of typos I might have missed the first time out. Or, I may add internal links to relevant posts on my site that I published after this piece. In some cases, I may add new information to the post.
In other cases, I may rewrite the post entirely. For example, I had a bunch of posts on one of my sites that I’d written before I’d learned some important SEO tactics. I gave each article a complete overhaul according to the latest SEO tips and tricks. The resulting articles were much better! (And yes, several of the edited articles improved their Google rankings to boot.)
Not every piece of content you write needs to target a search keyword, long-tail or otherwise. Some posts should be aimed squarely at your existing customers and raving fans. But a comprehensive long-term keyword strategy and content schedule is a great way to bring in potential new customers you otherwise might never had reached.
Of course, creating a content plan and the resulting content both take time. That’s probably time you’d rather spend running your actual business. So why not leave the content creation to us? Contact UJ Media Services today about your content marketing and technical content marketing needs!
 Long-tail Keywords: What They Are and How to Get Search Traffic From Them. Ahrefs
 Domain Authority. Moz
 What are Long-Tail Keywords? Backlinko
 How to Use Yoast SEO on WordPress: Complete Tutorial. Kinsta
 How To Update Old Content For Improved SEO, Triple Traffic, Impressions. 39Celsius