The 2 Step Guide to Brainstorming Long Tail Keywords for Content Marketing
Long tail keywords have been coming into focus as a powerful SEO strategy for a while now, but that doesn’t make it easy to generate a list of specific keywords to optimize for out of thin air.
By finding inspiration from the subject matter and content you already know and love (your business!), you can crate a solid foundation to kickstart your long tail keyword content marketing strategy.
Of course, it’s best to make things easy on yourself by following a few prompts to get your creative juices flowing. In this post, we’ll give you a few ideas on specific steps to take in order to achieve this.
Why Do Long Tail Keywords Matter?
Back in the old days, one would focus on a group of short keywords gain valuable rankings, but times have changed. Now, small businesses should focus far more on the ‘long tail’ rather than highly competitive keywords.
Long tail keywords focus on specificity. It’s not just “roofing” – it’s “roofing shingles approved by my homeowner’s association”.
While long-tail keywords have been around for a while, they’ve become a bit of a hot topic lately due to the language shift in online searches. We don’t mean Spanish or German, either. No, we’re talking about the way people phrase things when they search. People ask specific questions and search for entire sentences—as such, it only makes sense to target these types of phrases!
Things have changed, but thankfully, we’re here to make sure you know everything you need to know about long tail keywords.
Now that you’re convinced, let’s go over a few strategies to generate keywords that work for your market. We’ll keep it short and simple.
Step 1: Review Your Business’ Services
At their core, your marketing strategies should always be based around your business and the services or products it provides. It only makes sense to start your keyword list by reviewing your own business’ services and products.
The great thing about content and search engine marketing is that you can focus on your intangible services too. Your company may offer sink repairs, but you also save people a lot of time and stress. That’s an intangible benefit. Keep these in mind as you are writing down your ideas.
So, how do you find long tail keywords from this? Try each of the following methods and you’ll find yourself looking at a long list of them:
- Create a list of the categories your services fall under.
- Next, simply create a detailed list of your actual services, along with alternative titles for each one.
- Create a new list for each of your services, describing the main features of that service in bullet points.
- Add to each of those a list of commonly asked questions per service or product.
At this point, you’ll find that you already have several long lists of highly relevant keywords to start using for search engine optimization purposes.
Step 2: Consult Your Search Analytics
First of all, if you’re not running analytics, please take a moment and set that up first.
Now that you’re up and running with analytics, it’s time to start making use of the data. By referring to the search traffic you already rank for, you can understand how to build and strengthen your ranking for similar keywords.
This is great, because targeting for keywords that relate to what you already rank for will bolster your position for that entire topic range. Soon, you’ll be the master of the internet! Or at least you’ll start building your organic traffic more effectively.
Here’s a few steps to use your analytics to accomplish this:
- Log into Google Analytics and navigate to Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords.
- Work your way through the searches that brought people to your site. Write down similar, natural search queries based on these findings.
- Pick a few of your favorites. Enter these top keyword ideas into Google Keyword Planner to generate similar keywords.
You can use the Keyword Planner in three different ways to help you out:
- Search for entirely new keyword ideas based on one of your new phrases.
- Research volume and trends about certain topics.
- Take two different lists of keywords and see how many different ways they can be stacked together.
It won’t be long before you have more keywords than you know what to do with!
Bonus Step: Use Trending Topics as Inspiration
If you’re still not satisfied with your list of keywords, there’s another place that can help you on your quest. When you’re really feeling stuck, it can help to compare what topics are trending upwards in the grand scheme of things to help you focus on the right subjects.
Google Trends is a quick and effective way to get just that kind of information about what’s buzzing online.
Here’s how to squeeze a few more ideas onto your list:
- Fire up Google Trends and pick out a few of your ideas from the first two steps.
- Enter them in the search box separated by commas and hit Enter. You’ll see a graph that compares their search popularity over time (you may want to note which ones are heading up).
- Leave your search the way it is and scroll down towards the bottom. Find the Related Searches box, and the locate the queries column. Click on Rising to sort out a list of niche topics on the rise. Google associates these with the topics you were initially comparing, so they will bring in relevant traffic once you’ve optimized appropriately.
- Pick out a few new keywords from that column. You’ll use these to help you whittle down to finer points in a moment.
- Rinse and repeat steps 2–4 with your new search topics until you’ve found more specific keywords for your long tail strategy.
By this time, you should have a ‘mind map’ of long tail keyword ideas based around exactly what it is your business does.
From here, it’s up to you to take these ideas and translate them into your content marketing strategy.
When you first get started, building up a respectable list of long tail keywords can feel like an impossible task. However, all you need to do is get a little creative with the data already available to you.
It’s easy to generate a keyword list by looking in the right places. By relying on your business’ existing services, your website’s analytics data and trending topics, you can quickly create a list of highly relevant long tail keywords to optimize for in your SEO strategy!
Now it’s your turn. What tricks do you use to identify relevant long tail keywords? Share your tips with the rest of the community in the comments section below!