Why You Should Be Targeting Low Volume Search Phrases

keyword research

Digital marketers often look for the biggest bang for their buck when doing keyword research. We often look for high volume phrases and hope that they don’t have an enormous amount of competition. Often this isn’t the case though, and these phrases take a lot more effort for to make your site competitive.

But what about all of the other long tail phrases that have little to no traffic? Should they be ignored?

Low traffic search phrases are having generally less than 250 searches per month, and many SEO specialists skip over them when planning their content. They are missing out on important leads and organic traffic by disregarding these phrases.

Let me explain a few of the reason that I recommend taking a second look at low volume search phrases.

What are low volume search phrases?

The natural instinct of my clients and marketers is to go for broad phrases to compete with the “big dogs”. For example, if you are running an auto mechanic shop in Dallas Texas, you might want to rank for “auto repair”, a highly competitive and broad term that has thousands of web searches performed each month. In reality, you’re setting yourself up for failure because you aren’t paying attention to the needs of your local customer base and you are going to put yourself in a position to compete with well established national brands instead of focusing on the needs of your local client base.

Instead, if you researched phrases such as “Dallas transmission repair”, or “Where to get a front end alignment in Dallas?”, you would position yourself to be seen by people that have a much higher chance of becoming a customer due to their geographic location and the “bottom of the sales funnel” buying intent that the customers are expressing.

Here are a few reasons why creating content around low search volume phrases is a good decision.

  1. The low volume phrases are usually highly relevant to your target audience. You are weeding out the customers that might be looking for something outside of your area of expertise. Be specific in your keyword planning and you attract the RIGHT people, not just the MOST people.
  2. You are building interest and authority around a specific niche. When you gain traction and start growing traffic for long tail phrases, it becomes easier to rank for higher volume phrases down the road. Keeping customers on the site longer with relevant content shows the search engines that you have quality content, which is a very positive SEO signal.
  3. They allow you to focus on the buyers intent. Your customers intent cannot be under emphasised – The way that a customer searches for your business shows exactly where they are in the buying process. Are they just searching for general information or are they actively seeking out a solution to a problem they have? Long tail, low search volume phrases, allow you to craft your content for specific buyers intent and this helps you convert them into paying customers faster.

Best practices when optimizing for low volume search phrases.

Now that I’ve explained by long tail, low volume phrases shouldn’t be ignored, what are some of the best practices to implement when optimizing your content?

  1. Stick to very relevant phrases for each page your are optimizing. Don’t jump around and include a dozen random phrases just because they come up in the keyword planner. Always think from the buyers perspective. Do all of the phrases you are including on the page relate to one another and target a buyer that has the same intent?
  2. Use PPC campaigns to test your phrases. Paid search ads are always a great compliment to your organic SEO since it allows you to get additional traffic quickly while you are building up your organic position, and because it allows you to run quick tests to determine which phrases convert more effectively before you utilize those phrases in your content strategy and SEO work.
  3. Look for “easy wins”. The phrases that have low competition can rank faster and help you start building momentum. If the keyword phrase has a chance of converting just one customer, it’s worth going after.

In future articles I’ll be elaborating on the tools and techniques used in our keyword research. If you have any questions about this topic, or would like to have us audit your site and give our opinion on your keyword strategy, please contact us.

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