Long tail keywords in SEO refer to very specific search phrases that are usually longer than regular search terms. They often contain three or more words, and they're called 'long tail' because if you were to plot the frequency of keyword usage, these types of keywords would fall in the 'long tail' of the distribution curve.
Long tail keywords are crucial for a few reasons. First, while they typically have lower search volumes than more generic keywords, they tend to attract more qualified traffic - people who are likely closer to a point of purchase or conversion. So even though you might be attracting fewer visitors with this type of keyword, those visitors may be more likely to convert.
Second, because they're less competitive than broader keywords, it's often easier to rank well for long tail keywords. While you may not be able to compete on a short, broad keyword like 'shoes,' you might be able to build a solid SEO strategy around longer, more specific keywords like 'women's red running shoes size 8.'
Here is an example of how you could implement long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy:
Keyword Research: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to discover long-tail keywords associated with your business niche. For instance, if you run an online shoe store, rather than targeting 'shoes', look for terms like 'men's black leather brogues'.
Content Creation: Create high-quality content that answers questions or solves problems related to your identified long-tail keywords. For our shoe store example, that might be a blog post about how to style black leather brogues.
On-Page SEO: Incorporate your long-tail keywords into your page title, meta description, URL, and content. However, avoid 'keyword stuffing'. The use of keywords should seem natural and helpful to the reader.
Link Building: Backlinks from reputable sites can help increase your content's visibility in search results. Reach out to other websites or blogs that might find your content valuable, and ask if they would be interested in linking to it.