Keyword optimization is still a huge part of any SEO strategy in 2018. That has never changed. Only the approach has evolved in recent years. Instead of building an SEO strategy around keywords, you should now be optimizing keywords themselves in addition to the rest of your content. Now that mobile-first indexing and voice search are the primary factors behind an SEO strategy, it is more important than ever that you are using the correct keywords and they are optimized properly. This means highly competitive one-word keywords do not a strategy make. You must use semantic long tail keywords to compete in almost any industry. The traffic is out there for the taking but you must understand how to garner your fair share of it. Here are some tips for optimizing long tail keywords in 2018.
Find The Right Keywords
Finding the right keywords takes some effort and some research but it is crucial to your entire SEO strategy. The number of tools available to help you find keywords is immeasurable. Many are free and easy to use. Don’t underestimate Google suggestions in your quest to find the proper long tail keywords for your niche. You also need to do some study to ensure that you understand the difference between keyword structures, such as head and torso phrases. If you don’t understand the evolution process that gets you from the keyword head phrase to the long tail keyword phrase, then there is certainly no way for you to clearly optimize it.
The best way to do this is to focus your efforts on the searcher’s intent. This should really be your primary goal, anyway. You want to provide relevant, valuable information which enhances the life of the end user in some way, shape or form. The purpose behind optimizing your keywords is for the end user to find your material. If you are focusing on their intent, you will be able to solve their problem. Yes, you must build an SEO strategy and optimize your keywords, but your long tail keywords need to mimic natural conversation.
Don’t Overlook Placement
You may be using longer more focused keywords to accommodate voice search and the modernization of internet queries, but keyword placement still matters. Density is not quite as important as long as you are not keyword stuffing. Do not overlook or dismiss the five key areas which should contain your keywords whenever possible. These are the title tags, subheadings, opening paragraphs, URLs and images. The long tail keyword phrase your strategy is focused around should appear in the first 150 words of your content. This is the body of your content in addition to the possibility of using them in title tags and subheadings. Many people also miss the image opportunity. It’s a welcome letter, put your keywords there.
Use Question Oriented Targeting
When you are building your keyword strategy think who, what, when, how, why and where. These are the types of question-oriented targeting long tail keywords need to focus around. Over 50 percent of teens and almost 50 percent of adults use voice search on a daily basis. Ponder this for a moment. When people use voice search they are typically asking questions and questions almost always start with one of these seven target words. Answer one of those with your long tail keyword and you are on the right track. If your keywords don’t answer one of those questions, then you need to keep working. Voice search has only recently become mainstream, but the things people search for hasn’t changed as much.