Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Long Tail Keyphrases

Have you ever looked at a keyphrase research report and thought, “That keyphrase only gets 20 searches. It’s not worth it.”

Well, my friend, this article is for you.

Recently, I came across a great example of a long-tail search content strategy. I was looking for free ways to track my sales pipeline (because, yes, I am cheap,) when I came across this page by Salesflare. 

They were promoting a Free Sales Funnel Template, which was exactly what I wanted.

It was free. I needed a template. I was into it.

But then, as I dug in more, I noticed their SEO and conversion strategy was actually pretty brilliant.

Here’s how their long-tail conversion strategy went down — and what they did right along the way.

First, these guys were #8 in Google for [free sales funnel template]. You may think that a #8 position would equal no clicks — but this is where their Title sparked a conversion.

I clicked their link because their Title “Free Sales Funnel Template For Excel And Google Sheets” was exactly what I needed.

Conversion win #1: Top-ten ranking and a clickable Title

When I hit the landing page, I quick-scanned the page to make sure I wanted the download. Then, I happily gave them my email address in exchange for the freebie.


Conversion win #2: They have my email address and can remarket to me. 

Next, I scrolled down the page, looking for more specific instructions about how to use their template. The company does a good job breaking the how-tos into five short paragraphs, including how to customize the document.

But if you look down just a little further, a big subheadline jumps out. 

When you’re tired of using Excel

The follow up copy reads:

Excel templates are good but manually entering data gets time-consuming and unreliable. When you’re sick of wasting time manually entering data to manage your customers in Excel, try Salesflare for free. No more complex excel formulas and losing time. 

And then, readers are given the option to try their solution free for 14 days.

Conversion win #3: Calling out the pain points of the free solution and removing the risk of trying the paid version.

Now, here’s another cool thing about this page…

SEMrush shows around 50 keyphrases positioning top-10. The big winner is [sales funnel template excel] at 1,300 searches a month — and they position #8 for that term. 

The majority of phrases see a drastically different search volume. [sales pipeline spreadsheet] only sees 30 searches a month. Others, like [sales pipeline template xls] weighs in at 90 searches a month.

Combined, however, those other low-volume keyphrases see over 2,000 searches a month. Individually, long-tail search terms may not drive much sales volume. But, in aggregate, long-tail searches are a powerful force.

Plus that traffic is highly qualified and targeted.

Conversion win #4: Doing their keyphrase research and writing their page right.

So, let’s break down what Salesflare did right.

— They conducted keyphrase research and wove their keyphrases into the content.

— They created a compelling Title and meta description to increase click-through from the search engine results page. 

— They collected my email address in exchange for a free template.

— They brought up the pain point of using a free Excel template and…

— They offered a solution that I could try risk-free for 14 days.

Nicely done, eh?

It’s time to learn to love the long tail.

Sure, it’s tempting to want to spend your time chasing after those tasty high-volume head keyphrases that get all the clicks.

But, let’s face it. Sometimes, it’s impossible to position for a head term unless you’re a big brand site. Chasing after such a challenging goal is going to cost you time, money and your sanity. 

That’s why long tail is truly where it’s at. Especially if you’re looking for highly qualified traffic.

(Want to check out a blast from the past? I wrote about the long tail way back in 2011. Check out what Google’s search results page looked like way back then. Wow.)

What do you think?

Does your company leverage a long-tail content strategy? Do some of your clients insist on positioning for impossible head terms like [travel]? Leave a comment and let me know!

4 replies
  1. Kim says:

    Recently, I read this book “The long Tail, most likely because you said something about long tails here. The whole time I was reading it I was thinking “why am I reading this book? What does it have to do with SEO? As I am new to SEO Im working at getting up to current speed with an incredible learning curve. I read the entire book. I figured out my question about why by the end. I am happy to say that I understood everything you were talking about in this post because of that book. That little bit of knowledge has given me a big boost of confidence about being able to learn all the things I need to learn about SEO. Thank you for your blog and website.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] yes, even if you see a teeny tiny search volume. Remember, those searches typically represent highly motivated searchers. Plus, there are times when traditional keyphrase research doesn’t work for […]

  2. […] Here’s more about about long tail keyphrases. […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.