If you’re a person who is big into SEO, whether you’re an owner of a small business, or the go to SEO guy in the company, you have heard that a good amount of traffic to your website is everything.  But traffic doesn’t really mean a darn thing if those that are coming to your site aren’t buying anything.  Really, which are you most interested in?  Traffic or actual conversion?

I think we know what most of us would pick.  To make sure we’re clear, traffic is certainly important in driving conversions and can be a key metric for in-house marketers and agencies to report on.  But when it came time to report to the big man, would you rather have him see 1,000 visits and 10 conversion, or 100 visits and 50 conversions?

Long-tail keywords is an incredible way to drive a high converting traffic to your site with the optimum amount of marketing effort.  With just a little research and a little bit more work, good results can be done with these keywords.

So, why are long-tail keywords so valuable?  Let’s break it down.

Sales Funnel

Every customer that comes to your site is going to be at a certain part of the conversion funnel.  Those at the top are the people who little to no knowledge of what you are offering.  There are those who are at the bottom of the funnel.  These visitors are on the edge of making a conversion.

Depending on the marketing strategy that you use, a holistic approach is something you may want to think about, where you try converting all of these visitors, or simply focusing on a particular segment.  This approach will obviously require an extra amount of effort on your part, and may not always be very efficient for your business.  On the other hand, if you are able to educate and convert those at the top of the conversion funnel, you may very well end up with new, loyal customers.

A Golf Example

As an example, let’s use golf for this blog post.  For the sake of the example, we’ve launched a new site about golf store, and it’s an e-commerce store where all kinds of golf clubs are being sold.  Now, we want to target some keywords to bring in traffic via SEO.

A quick search for the term “golf clubs” pulls up 18,100 exact match local searches.  Fantastic, I should optimize for that!  Let’s look at the SERPs for that term: http://i.imgur.com/ZPdT8ql.jpg

The problem that we are facing in this situation is that there is a huge amount of big competition from local search, strong backlink profiles, PPC and Google shopping suggestions.  By looking at the example, there are only 2 organic search results above the fold.

The other question you need to ask yourself is where do you put the visitors who came to your site in the conversion funnel when they did a search for “golf clubs?”  This can be tricky because some visitors may be late in the funnel and know what they want to get, or are they coming in near the top of the funnel, since they really don’t know much about golf clubs and have no intent to buy?

It could be that the keyword ”golf club” is too general and really isn’t such a great keyword after all.  In this case, what should you do?  One way to do it is to look for keywords that have much less competition.  This way, we can confidently place more of our visitors closer to the end of the conversion funnel.  This is where Long-Tail keywords come into play.

Use Those Long-Tails

There are several places that you can discover long-tail keywords.  Google Adwords has their own keyword tool that can provide them, but not always.  Sometimes, using this tool can be a little bit of a hit and miss.  Another tactic is typing in queries into the searc bar and getting auto-suggestions straight from Google.


Ubersuggest is fortunately one of those keyword tools that can really help you pull out some great long-tail keywords.  It’s pretty simple to use, just put in the keyword you are looking to expand on, and you’ll be given quite a few additional words to add to the term.  All of the results you get from Ubersuggest are all based on real searches.  It’s possible to get sub-suggestions of those suggestions by pressing any of the results you get.  You’ll find a “+” icon in front of each result that you can press that will expand for even more optional keywords to use.  It will allow you to copy and paste the suggestion back into the keywords tool and give them the once over.

If you’re looking to maximize your conversion for a site that’s been running for awhile, don’t neglect the data that your site has already been able to provide you.  Check out this article, and you could get inspired to check out your Analytics for your own site, and you may find some interesting results.  Since a lot of us aren’t really a regex expert, LunaMetrics have an awesome generator to give you regex code on the fly.  It’s called Regixinator, and you can check it out here.

Now let’s get back to golf clubs.  After a little searching, let’s say we finally find the keyword “best golf clubs for beginners.”  Naturally, it’s not in the exact same arena or search volume as “golf clubs,” but it doesn’t need to be.  Since we know logically that this keyword is late in the conversion funnel, you know that the conversion rate for this keyword is going to be high.  Here is the Google UK top ten results for “best golf clubs for beginners”:

Based on the results that we see, this seems to be a better search term to use, with a competition that’s a little easier to take on.  It’s found by the Moz Statistics that very few inbound links for the pages that are currently there. Since there is a presence of forum results and sites like Yahoo Answers means that pages that are fully optimized with some quality content and links could potentially rank quite fast for this new term.

Here’s What We Got Left

Because we took some time to do a little more in-depth research, we now have a keyword term that will grab the searchers we are ready to convert.  The work it takes to rank a landing page for this keyword on the first page of Google will be quite easier than using a super generic term like “golf clubs.”

Although search terms like this won’t have the same search volume as some of the more generic terms, they will be easy to rank and will have a greater chance of converting.  What’s more is that they are infinitely scalable.  It’s really easy to rank ten, twenty, or even fifty of similar kinds of keywords just as easily.  At that point, you are able to get to the same level of inbound traffic as you would with the generic terms, but with a higher conversion rate.