Pro Blogging Tip: Focus on Long-Tail & Evergreen Keywords
Why target long-tail keywords? These are the longer, more specific terms that have less search volume, but typically are less competitive, as well. If you’re an established site like HubSpot, you can probably get on the first page for some pretty competitive keywords, where there are hundreds or thousands of sites competing for the same keywords.
But if you’re not HubSpot, that’s going to be really tricky to pull off. It’s not enough to just write a good piece of content; you also need domain authority and a lot of links, things that take years to build. If you don’t have that much clout yet, you’re going to be much better off going for longer tail keywords, where it’s possible to rank with strong on-page optimization alone.
Another smart place to focus your efforts is on evergreen keywords. These are keywords that tend to have steady volume week over week and month over month.
For example, one of our top-performing blog posts of all time is called “12 Ways to Find Anybody’s Personal Email Address.” This drives traffic year after year after year, because the advice doesn’t expire and people are still interested in that topic. It’s both long tail and evergreen. Unlike trending keywords which spike and then die off, like “where to watch the World Cup,” evergreen keywords can drive regular, ongoing traffic to your site, and that’s how you can start to build a reliable traffic stream.
Tips & Tricks for Finding Long-Tail, Evergreen Keyword Ideas
One good way to find evergreen, long-tail keywords is to use Google Suggestions. There are the keywords that come up in a list under the search box as you type.
What these suggestions are showing you are popular searches that start with the words you’re typing. In essence, Google is trying to guess what you might be looking for based on popular search terms others have used. It’s a great way to see real search queries in action.
Keyword Referrals: Dig through your keyword referrals in Google Analytics (note that you’ll have to look at the lower volume keywords to find more specific long-tail terms) or Webmaster Tools.
Q&A Sites: Browse sites like eHow, Yahoo Questions and Quora for topics. Questions make amazing keywords for blogging! For example, another of our most popular posts ever is called “How to Find Your Old Tweets.” Another one answers the question “What are the most expensive keywords in AdWords?” These were both questions that I had myself and couldn’t find satisfactory answers to, so I answered them myself! If you’re an expert, you can probably create content to answer these questions better than most of these Q&A sites, where anyone and everyone can contribute.
Wikipedia: Check out the “table of contents” on any given page, as well as the “See also” section at the bottom,; these are full of keywords. In general, Wikipedia is a great model for SEO – they kill it with organization, internal links and other on-page optimization factors.