How to demystify long tail keywords with a Freelance SEO Copywriter

Zia Sherrell Gravatar image

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Candid advice on all things health copywriting and marketing.
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Get yourself some Google love! 

The cold, hard truth is that it doesn’t matter if your website is pretty, color-coordinated, filled with videos that add value, or if you use a variety of attractive fonts. Google doesn’t care.

Yes, take it from a freelance SEO copywriter. Google cares that you provide value and a great user experience, but the key to higher rankings on Google and standing out among your competitors is using longtail keywords.

You need longtail keywords so people find you when they’re searching on the net for specific things. It’s key for your sales and marketing.

Think about this. You’re searching for the term “facelift.” You could be looking for one of the hundreds of different questions. Facelifts gone wrong, cheapest facelifts, why I shouldn’t get a facelift, how long it takes to heal from a facelift. There are multitudes of questions that may or may not relate to your business.

Now contrast that to a customer searching for the term “top-rated plastic surgeons for facelift procedure in New York.” If someone is searching for this term, they are more than likely interested in having a facelift in New York. And if that’s your website using that long-term keyword, it’s likely that person can easily find you in the search engine result pages (SERPS).

Let’s take a look at why longtail keywords matter and how you can use this search strategy to help you win clients.

What are longtail keywords?

Longtail keywords are phrases that have a high search volume and lower competition, meaning they’re more likely to help you rank for your desired keyword phrase.

Fewer people are searching for “Medical staffing agency providing nurses in Los Angeles, California” than for “Medical staffing agency.”

infographic demonstrating the competitively of long tail keywords

However, this doesn’t mean short-tail keywords with higher competition won’t help you win clients. It’s just going to take more time to rise to the top (if you can!) because there’s more demand.

Shorter keywords mean higher demand and low specificity. Conversely, longtail keywords have lower demand and higher specificity. Look at this handy graph.

You may even get fortunate and find a longtail keyword phrase with limited or no results to display on the first page of their listings. Woo! You’re virtually guaranteed to rank well, provided you’re clever with your product copywriting and bring value to your audience.

But if there’s no competition because no one is searching for them…

Why should I use longtail keywords?

I hear you, and it may seem a little confusing. The thing is, longtail keywords aren’t as popular. The phrase “medical cannabis” has wild numbers of searches, whereas “medical cannabis dispensary near me in Colorado” doesn’t.

But just because they’re the unpopular kids in class doesn’t mean they don’t have incredible value for your content marketing. Think of longtail keywords as low-hanging fruit. People who use them are further along the buyer’s journey, meaning they’re more likely to spend money with you, and there’s less competition, meaning that you stand out.

Not convinced yet? Consider that around 70% of all web searches in the known universe use longtail keywords.

OK, I’m sold. So, how do I find these longtail phrases?

Let’s say you’re a cosmetic surgeon in Los Angeles and want to rank for “cosmetic surgery” on Google. The first thing you should do is identify all the different ways people search for this term: “plastic surgery near me,” “cost of rhinoplasty,” or “surgery to reduce wrinkles.”

How? Good old Google has the answers. When you begin typing into the search engine field, Google will offer suggestions. Try different things and keep a record. You need to get into your clients’ heads and think about what they would put when searching for something. Have a brainstorming session with your colleagues. You’d be surprised how often the word “cheapest” crops up in these results!

Next, try the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. It’s powerful! You may find it tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. But as a B2B writer who uses the tool practically daily, let me help you!

Essentially, you’ll pop in the keyword or phrases you think your potential clients search for (e.g., “Cosmetic surgery”), then click search. It will provide keyword ideas, and you’ll need to filter through them to see which ones seem logical and resonate with your crowd.

Looking to jump right in?

If you need other free and fabulous ways to find longtail keywords for your biz, as a B2B writer, these are two of my favourites. First up, there’s Ubersuggest. This fantastic keyword tool is from the marketing guru Neil Patel. It’s simple to use, and you should get some good results.

Next up, there’s Answer the Public. It’s a rather clever consumer insight tool that combines info from Bing and Google and presents them in a rather attractive search cloud. It’s essentially an overview of the questions people ask on the web.

long tailed lema jumping on orange background

Will I still need a freelance SEO copywriter after all that?

Oh, how I would love to say no! The truth is, if you follow this advice, you will have a new set of shiny longtail keywords specific to your business that will help boost your rankings. However, people pay a pretty penny to specialist SEO agencies because they have sophisticated research tools.

However, for smaller health businesses happy with basic functionality, the tips and tools I’ve shared will get you on the SEO ladder and heading toward better rankings.

If you’d rather hand the work over to a professional freelance SEO copywriter, let’s talk. I can calculate search volume and competition for keywords for you and armed with that knowledge, I’ll craft superb content that satisfies both Google rankings and your readers’ expectations.

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