If you are not targeting long tail keywords, you are missing out on a lot of traffic. Out of the 262,169 visitors that came to Quick Sprout from search engines in the last 30 days, 238,195 came from long tail terms.
That’s crazy. Just think about it: 91% of my search traffic comes from long tail phrases.
Just a year ago, I was only getting 88,833 visitors a month from search engines. In a 14-month period, I was able to increase my search engine traffic, mainly from long tail SEO, by 173,336 visitors a month.
How was I able to do that? I optimized my blog for long tail SEO. Here’s how I did it, and here’s how you can too:
What keywords are driving your traffic?
I know that Google Analytics shows “not provided” for most of your keywords, but it still shows you a good portion of the keywords that are driving your traffic. At the very least, you can see all of your keywords through Google Webmaster Tools.
All you have to do is log into your Google Analytics account, click on “Acquisition,” then “Keywords,” and then “Organic”. You should end up seeing a list of keywords that drive you visitors.
From there, you can focus on some of the keywords that bring you larger volumes of traffic that are relevant to your business.
For example, if you look at the image above, you’ll see that I get traffic from the keyword phrase “business quotes.” I want more of such traffic as entrepreneurs are one of my biggest segments of readers.
I took that keyword phrase and typed it into Google to see what other keywords or phrases it might suggest.
As you can see, Google suggests that “inspirational business quotes” is another popular phrase to go after. So, I did. I optimized that blog post on business quotes for the term “inspirational” by placing similar words within the text of that page.
I found what words Google sees relevant to “inspirational” by running a search query with the “~” symbol in front of the word.
If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that Google bolds phrases that are relevant to “inspirational.” After digging through a few pages, I found that Google sees the words “inspire” or “motivational” to be relevant to the word “inspirational.”
Now, I rank on page one of Google for terms like “inspirational business quotes” and “motivational business quotes,” which helps drive more long tail traffic.
Don’t get too carried away
The big mistake I see marketers making with this tactic is that they are getting too greedy. You don’t want to modify your text so much that it makes your content unreadable.
For example, I didn’t stuff keywords within that business quotes page as it would ruin the post and cause people to bounce off, which would hurt my rankings in the long run.
So, how many times should you add in keywords? Well, that’s the wrong way to think about it. You should only add in keywords that you are pulling from “Google suggest” if you feel it helps readers.
For example, I added the word “motivational” more frequently than the word “inspirational” on that business quotes blog post because the feedback I got from a Qualaroo survey was that you felt the quotes were really motivational.
Nonetheless, if you want a ratio, there really isn’t a hard number to follow. But as a rule of thumb, make sure your keyword density is below 3% for any particular keyword.
You can find out your ratios by just putting in your URL on the homepage of Quick Sprout.
Don’t expect miracles without hard work
Now that you got this tactic down, you need to realize that this is a long term strategy. Making these keyword tweaks to your content won’t provide big lifts in the short run. For example, when I made the changes to the business quotes page, it took four months before I saw a 37% increase in search traffic to that page.
Another reason why I didn’t see big increases in my search traffic in the short run is because I had to go through hundreds of old blog posts and make similar tweaks. Making tweaks to one page typically won’t provide you the lifts you are looking for.
My recommendation to you is that if you want to increase your long tail traffic, consider doing this with a page on your website each day. After six months to a year you should start seeing nice lifts in traffic.
SEO doesn’t have to be hard. I could have shoved dozens of keyword tools down your throat and given you complex ways to try to squeeze more traffic out of your current website.
But I didn’t! Why? Because simple tactics like the ones above are very effective, assuming you are willing to put in the time and energy to implement them.
The only caveat I would give is that you shouldn’t abuse it. Don’t stuff irrelevant keywords on your pages or create a poor user experience. Only make the above changes if it helps both you and your readers.
So, how else can you increase your long tail traffic?