In any discussion on SEO, the phrase “long tail keyword traffic” pops up continually. Go after the long tail keywords for easy SEO results is an oft-repeated mantra. While long tail keywords can seem relatively easy to rank for, not all keywords are created equal. That holds for the long tail variants as well.
So what defines a long tail keyword? Long tail keywords are phrases with three or more words that are highly targeted and very specific to something someone wants to purchase. These are sometimes referred to as “late” keywords since they are phrases people use when they are closer to buying something online. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
forex broker with mt4 for mobile
“forex broker” is a very broad keyword. Anyone using that is tire-kicking. They’re just looking for general information on forex brokers. They may well be interested in opening a trading account with a broker, but they are still at the first stages of the buyer funnel.
“forex broker with mt4 for mobile” is a highly targeted long tail keyword. Anyone searching on that phrase is looking to trade with a forex broker offering a particular feature. Using the search term isn’t a guarantee of a sale, but searchers using the term are much further down the buying funnel and much more likely to actually register for a trading account with a broker.
The buyer funnel for pretty much anything is a series of steps:
- Consumers learn about a product or service
- Consumers search for information about the product or service
- Consumers examine the various options
- Consumers make their choice of product
- Consumers complete a purchase
“forex broker” is at around step one or two in the funnel. “forex broker with mt4 for mobile” is at step four. Long tail keywords target your potential clients when they are much more likely to make a purchase.
Broad keywords like “forex broker” will typically have much higher search volume (the number of searches conducted for the particular keyword phrase), higher competition (the number of webpages targeting that specific keyword phrase), and a lower conversion rate.
Long tail keywords like “forex broker with mt4 for mobile” will typically have much lower search volume, lower competition, and a higher conversion rate.
The type of search engine competition is essential, as well. Trying to rank for “forex broker” most likely puts your webpage in direct competition with the actual broker pages and the big, established portals. That’s a difficult club to join. Not impossible, of course, but ranking on the first page for the term will involve a pretty substantial investment in time and money.
One of the beauties of affiliate marketing is the ability to create webpages that zero in on long tail keywords. As an affiliate, you’re not confined to any particular type or theme of webpages. If you want to put a page up about “forex broker with mt4 for mobile”, then you’re free to do it. Search engines don’t rank websites; they rank webpages. Your one-page site about “forex broker with mt4 for mobile” could well outrank everything else out there.
Ranking for any keyword is a combination of effort and resources and the return on this effort. First of all, there are no guarantees when it comes to SEO results. There is absolutely no guarantee that you’ll end up with first-page results if you do xx hours of SEO work. It doesn’t work like that. SEO results come from presenting the search engines with better answers than your competitors. Every single search online is a question, and the search engines tend to reward the best answers with higher rankings.
It helps to keep in mind the data points the search engines have at their disposal. Google spiders billions of pages every single day. The volume of data Google collects on virtually every single topic, and every single day is vast. Think of the biggest number you know then double it. That’s still not close to the amount of data Google collects on every single topic under the sun.
The search engines already know the answers to the questions your target traffic is asking. They can and indeed do form their own opinion of what the best answers are. Google might not know anything about Forex, but they know how much time people spend on websites.
Let’s take an example here. Say someone is searching on a long tail keyword for “forex broker with mt4 for mobile”, and the average time on site for people reaching website A is five minutes, and the average time on site for people reaching website B is thirty seconds. Google measures and stores this time on site, so in their eyes, website A must be more relevant to the keyword search, so website A will tend to rank higher than website B for that particular term.
It’s important to realize here that any good SEO plan involves two sets of website visitors. On the one hand, the search engines, and on the other side, your human visitors, your potential customers. Your human visitors are the ones with the credit card. Google probably won’t sign up for a forex account! Of course, you need to cater to the search engines, but your affiliate commissions will come from human visitors.
No matter which keywords you target, the quality of your on-page content will determine your conversions and affiliate commission cheques.
Targeting long tail keywords can be a highly effective SEO tactic, but it’s not just about putting up a webpage themed around the long term. As we saw earlier, long term keywords tend to have much lower search volume compared to broad keywords. If the search volume is particularly low, then the search interest for that keyword will probably not be profitable. Long tail keywords are sometimes referred to as “low hanging,” akin to low hanging fruit in a tree. Easier to get to but probably not as tasty as the fruit at the top of the tree, the term “tasty” here is an analogy for “search volume,” of course.
Being easy to rank for isn’t necessarily a great indicator of how profitable a keyword phrase is. There are millions of keyword searches that get zero search volume, so probably not the best keywords to target. Getting the right balance of competition versus search volume is the basis for targeting any keywords, let alone long tails that can bring you right forex traffic with a good CTR.
The good thing with working as an affiliate with Forex Ads is that you don’t need a huge search volume keyword to make a very nice affiliate paycheck. With CPAs in the hundreds of dollar range, even a couple of conversions a week will see you bringing in affiliate commissions of over a thousand dollars a month. The higher volume keywords you can rank for, the higher your affiliate earnings will be. Still, starting with lower competition, lower volume keywords can soon see you making a very nice extra income!