Optimize for long-tail and middle-tail keywords





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Optimize for long-tail and middle-tail keywords

Optimize for Long-Tail and Middle-Tail Keywords

In the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization (SEO), one crucial factor that often gets overlooked is the power of long-tail and middle-tail keywords. While many marketers fixate on the shiny, high-volume “head” keywords, the true gold mine lies in the long tail of search queries.

As an SEO agency in Manchester, UK, we’ve seen time and time again how a strategic focus on these often-neglected keyword categories can unlock a treasure trove of traffic and conversions for our clients. It’s time to dispel the myths and uncover the secrets to leveraging long-tail and middle-tail keywords for optimal results.

Debunking the Myths of Long-Tail Keywords

Let’s start by clearing the air on some common misconceptions about long-tail keywords. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not just about length or specificity. As WordStream points out, the true definition of a long-tail keyword is simply one that has a lower search volume compared to the “head” terms.

I’ll never forget the time I was chatting with a fellow marketer who confidently declared, “Long-tail keywords are anything with more than five words.” Bless their heart, but that’s not quite accurate. Yes, many long-tail terms tend to be longer in nature, but the length isn’t what defines them. It’s all about that elusive search volume.

Uncovering the Hidden Goldmine

When you plot real search data on a graph, the picture becomes crystal clear. As Practical Ecommerce explains, the keyword spectrum takes on an inverse square curve, with a few high-volume “head” terms at the top, a moderate number of “middle” terms in the middle, and a vast expanse of low-volume “long-tail” queries stretching out to the right.

Think about it this way: If you sell cowboy hat bands, your head term might be “cowboy hat bands,” with 3,600 searches per month. But if you sell “Stranger Things” merch, your head term (“stranger things”) could drive a staggering 1.5 million searches monthly. The long tail, however, remains ever-present, accounting for the vast majority of searches.

According to Terakeet, a whopping 85% of the 8,400 content strategy-related keywords they analyzed had zero monthly search volume. Zero! That’s a lot of potential traffic and conversions just waiting to be tapped.

The Power of Middle-Tail Keywords

Now, before you dive headfirst into the long-tail abyss, let’s not forget about the equally valuable middle-tail keywords. These terms, sitting comfortably between the head and the tail, often strike the perfect balance of search volume and competition.

As BrightEdge explains, middle-tail keywords typically have a few hundred monthly searches and are much easier to rank for than their high-volume counterparts. Think “dewalt battery charger” versus the broader “battery charger” – the former is a middle-tail gem that’s ripe for the picking.

The beauty of middle-tail keywords is that they’re specific enough to attract qualified traffic, yet not so obscure that no one is searching for them. And as an added bonus, they often serve as natural stepping stones to help you eventually rank for those elusive head terms.

Incorporating Long-Tail and Middle-Tail into Your SEO Strategy

Okay, so we’ve established that long-tail and middle-tail keywords are the hidden gems of the search landscape. But how do we actually go about incorporating them into our SEO strategy? Here are a few key steps:

  1. Keyword Research: Leverage tools like MCR SEO, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to uncover a goldmine of long-tail and middle-tail keyword opportunities. Don’t just focus on search volume – pay attention to relevance and competition as well.

  2. Content Creation: Crafting content around these keywords isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Long-tail terms often require shorter, more focused pieces, while middle-tail keywords lend themselves well to more comprehensive, authoritative content.

  3. Optimization: Seamlessly weave your long-tail and middle-tail keywords into your page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and body copy. But don’t force it – make sure the content remains natural and engaging for your human readers.

  4. Internal Linking: Use your long-tail and middle-tail pages as stepping stones, linking between them and your higher-level category and product pages. This helps search engines understand the relationships between your content.

  5. External Outreach: Don’t forget to promote your long-tail and middle-tail content through guest posts, industry forums, and other outreach efforts. This not only boosts visibility but also helps build valuable backlinks.

The Time is Now

While the rest of the SEO world is busy chasing those elusive head terms, savvy marketers like us know where the real opportunity lies. By embracing the power of long-tail and middle-tail keywords, we can unlock a steady stream of qualified traffic and conversions that our competitors are simply leaving on the table.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to dive into the long tail, uncover those hidden gems, and watch your search engine rankings – and your bottom line – soar. The future of SEO is in the details, my friends. Let’s get to work!

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