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Search Engine Optimisation

The Beginner’s Guide to Long Tail Keyword Research In 2018 to Get Better Rankings

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finding long tail keywords

Did you know that 70% of search traffic comes from long tail keywords?

If you’re not focusing on long tail keyword research, you’re doing a BIG mistake. The #1 blunder mistake most people make while doing keyword research is, they focus on broad terms instead of long tail keywords.

So if you’re someone who’s looking to get more search traffic by using long tail keywords, this tutorial is a treat for you.

In this long tail keyword research guide, you’ll find out everything about the tools that you need for long tail research to finding highly profitable long tail keywords. So are you ready to find them out? Let’s get started with the most important question.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are highly relevant and low competitive keywords and each long tail keyword usually contains 4+ words.

For ex: “long tail keyword research” is a 4 word long tail keyword.

The major difference between long tail keywords and short tail keywords is that long tail keywords are easier to rank for (even if you’re running a new site without having a ton of links).

For that same reason, getting #1 results for a long tail keyword like “best cars under 10,000 dollars in Atlanta” is easier than “best luxury cars”.

If you’re still wondering about why you need to start using long tail keywords, I’ve few strong reasons to tell you.

3 important reasons to target long tail keywords.

  1. Competition: You don’t want to compete with big brands like Amazon, Apple etc when you’re aiming to get 1st page results on Google. That’s why you need to find low competition keywords and long tail keywords are best when it comes to low competition. They are more specific and less people search for them giving you the chance to get better search rankings on Google really quickly.
  2. Relevancy: The focus on keyword SEO is dying (almost died!) regularly. Google is focusing more on giving rewards to relevant keyword phrases that keyword stuffed pages. That’s why focusing on long tail keywords can give you more relevancy as they usually contain 4 or more words. Even better, you can use relevant LSI keywords to start ranking higher on Google.
  3. Search volume: Search volume plays a crucial role while doing keyword research. Luckily for most of the long tail keywords, the search volume will be really less. Just make sure to pick those long tail keywords with search volume around 1000 to 1500 monthly searches to get higher rankings quickly on Google.

The above 3 factors are really the key to long tail keyword research. If you ignore those factors, you will have tough time in finding good long tail keywords that boost your search traffic and sales.

So there you go! That’s the importance of targeting long tail keywords to boost your rankings, traffic and overall website sales.

Now comes the most interesting question: how do you come up with profitable long tail keywords. Let’s dive into the details to find more about them.

How to find long tail keywords to boost your search traffic?

finding long tail keywords

Finding long tail keywords is NOT easy especially if you don’t know how to do keyword research.

Most people make a mistake of finding 2 or 3 word keywords (such as best cars in 2017) instead of aiming for really specific long tail keywords. So don’t make that mistake while doing long tail keyword research. Yes, you might find it intimidating at first to get more long tail keyword ideas for your sites but it will be fun when you start getting results.

So let me simplify the whole process for finding long tail keywords in 3 easy steps.

Let’s get started.

First step: Come up with keyword ideas

The first step for finding great long tail keywords is to brainstorm various keywords.

Make a list of all the potential keywords that you want to rank for. So how do you build a list of such keywords?

You can use these simple tips.

  • Analyse your competitors: By using tools like SEMrush, you can easily come up with a list of keyword ideas that are sending the most traffic to your competitors. This is one of the widely used ways to come up with high traffic generating keywords almost every single time.
  • Use Buzzsumo: So why use a influencer outreach tool like Buzzsumo? Not only it’s helpful for reaching out to the experts in your niche but it also helpful for finding great topic ideas so you can pick the best keywords from them. It also has a free version which is enough for most beginners to build a set of seed keywords that are relevant to their niche.

So why do you want to build an initial set of keywords list?

That’s a great question. The reason is, once you have a list of keyword ideas, finding long tail keywords becomes easy.

Not only that, by building an initial keyword list, you can easily eliminate all the bad or irrelevant keyword ideas so you can save more time while creating content in the future to attract more traffic and links.

Once you’re done with the first step, you can move on to the next step where the actual long tail keyword research starts.

Second step: Estimate their volume and relevancy

This is the most important step where you eliminate majority of the keywords from your initial set of keyword ideas.

So how you can eliminate the bad keyword ideas from the list that you build in the step 1?

It’s simple. Find out their estimated monthly search volume.

If any keyword that has more than 2000 monthly searches, simply ignore it (you can target them later when you attract more traffic).

Aim to pick those keywords with a monthly search volume between 300 to 1500. That way you can easily get top rankings for those keywords without having to build too many links.

And make sure to target those keywords that have at least 4 to 5 words in them (these are known as long tail keywords).

Once you are done with the initial elimination of high volume keywords, it’s time to start finding relevant keywords so you can serve your target audience even better.

If you’re finding it hard to estimate the search volume of any given keyword, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner.

Although it doesn’t give you accurate results but it’s really helpful for finding the search volume of any keyword. Just enter your list of keywords on Keyword Planner and it will give you the monthly search volume for each of those keywords. That way you can eliminate all the keywords with high search volume.

Final step: Build a list of highly specific long tail keywords

Now in the 3rd and final step, you need to pick only those long tail keywords which are highly specific to your target audience and easier to rank for.

How can you do that?

Create a spreadsheet and list out all the keywords that you are come up with.

Now ask yourself, which of those keywords are commercial and informative.

If you’re running a commercial oriented blog (review site or deal sites), you can only focus on targeting commercial long tail keywords.

If you’re running an informative blog (much of blogging/seo related sites), you can pick both informative and commercial intent keywords to drive more traffic as well as sales.

Here’s the importance of both of those keywords.

keyword types

As you can see, commercial intent keywords mainly consist of keywords like;

  • Buy now
  • Discount
  • Top 10 alternatives etc

Whereas informative keywords usually contains;

  • Free
  • Ways to [do something]
  • How to etc

By knowing the difference between those two type of keywords, you can easily come up with great and highly profitable long tail keywords to boost your search engine traffic and sales.

So there you go. That’s how you can come up with a ton of highly potential and high traffic long tail keywords to increase both your search traffic and sales.

3 top tools for finding great long tail keywords

So how do you come up with great long tail keyword ideas to skyrocket your search engine traffic? I’ve a simple tip for you: get access to the right tools.

But the irritating thing is, there are way too many SEO tools out there so how do you pick the right one for keyword research?

Over the years I’ve used tons of tools and from my experience I got the best results by using the following 3 keyword research tools.

#1. SEMrush: This is one of my goto SEO tools when it comes to finding long tail keywords. Not only helpful for keyword research but SEMrush also helps you do backlink analysis, competitor research, site audits and many more.

Although it’s a premium tool but it’s worth every single penny. Just make sure to give it a try and try to find as many as keywords as possible by using their free trial. Focus on analysing your competitors top performing keywords and pick the relevant keywords that are suitable for your target audience. That’s how you can come up with a ton of high traffic long tail keyword ideas with SEMrush.

#2. Keywordtool.io: This is a better alternative than Google’s keyword planner. Yes, Google’s keyword planner is still widely used and comes for free but it doesn’t give you accurate results (i.e it’s really hard to find profitable long tail keywords using keyword planner).

This is where Keywordtool.io (free tool) comes into handy which gives access to over 700 keyword suggestions. That’s enough for anyone to rank higher on Google search results for a ton of potential long tail keywords.

#3. KW Finder: This is another great tool for finding really good long tail keywords. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, you can use KW Finder to come up with dozens of golden long tail keyword phrases.

This is although a premium tool but they also give you free access which is limited for 2 searches a day. If you’re just starting out, that’s enough for to come up with dozens of keyword ideas each week.

Final thoughts about long tail keyword research

There are a bunch of articles on Google about long tail keyword research so I tried my best to simplify the topic for you with this tutorial. Finding long tail keywords is not easy and takes time.

But when you’re just starting out with keyword research, don’t focus on mining a ton of long tail keywords. Instead, try to come up with 10 to 20 really good long tail keyword ideas that you can use as blog posts. That’s how you start increasing your search traffic.

So what are your thoughts about this long tail keyword research guide? Did you find it useful? Do you have any more tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Anil Agarwal is the guy behind Bloggers Passion blog where he blogs about blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, making money online and Black Friday deals like Bluehost related topics.. He also owns HostingMonks.com, a blog dedicated to web hosting solutions.

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Search Engine Optimisation

How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets

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Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.

With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.

How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:

1. Monitor Your Click-Through

The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.

Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.

To monitor your click-through from organic search:

  • Register an account at Finteza
  • Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
  • Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
  • Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:

Finteza

This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.

Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:

2. Use Semantic Analysis

Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.

Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.

All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.

Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.

When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:

  • Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
  • Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
  • Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.

Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.

Semantic SEO

Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:

Text Optimizer

[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]

Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.

3. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.

“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:

Here are the supported types of rich snippets:

Reviews

If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!

Reviews

Recipes

Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.

recipes

Events

Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.

Event schema

Business

There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).

These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:

Corporate Contact

Movies and Books

Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.

HowTo

HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:

HowTo

HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.

One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!

Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.

The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!

Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!

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Search Engine Optimisation

Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service

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According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.

When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.

All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!

Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!

Let’s get optimizing.

1. Topics & Keywords

An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.

To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.

Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.

This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.

That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.

2. On-Site SEO

Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.

Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.

Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:

  • Descriptive URLs
  • Keyword-optimized page titles
  • Compelling meta descriptions
  • Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
  • Good user experience
  • Structured data markup
  • Effective call-to-action language

As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.

3. Off-Site SEO

An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.

To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.

This includes your Google My Business listing as well.

4. Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Mobile-optimization
  • Website speed
  • Hierarchy

Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?

5. Content

According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.

Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.

This content should also add value to your business.

Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.

That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.

Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions

With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!

That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.

Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!

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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers

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I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.

With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.

This includes:

  • creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
  • making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
  • using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.

SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.

Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?

Yes!

SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).

No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask

This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)

How Has SEO changed over the years?

SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.

The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains

If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.

The future of SEO is in voice search, artificial intelligence, more diverse content types and channels.

Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?

WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.

Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?

What is The Most Important SEO Element?

Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.

Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.

Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.

Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.

Text Optimizer for content creation

While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.

You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.

What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?

  1. Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
  2. On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
  3. SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again

The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.

What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?

There’s a real human being behind each query.

Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).

This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)

On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.

Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.

answerthepublic

On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.

Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?

As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.

Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:

writing checklist

As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!

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