This post contains my experience learning the longtail keyword research.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO )is one concept dreaded by many bloggers. Using a Longtail keyword research is just one of those ways of optimizing your posts for search engines, and I learned it the hard way because I failed to follow instructions.
When I first started blogging, I knew almost nothing about search engine optimization. I got all my blog traffics from sharing my links on social channels. But a few months later, I found a free hosting opportunity with Zoservers, then I moved over to WordPress.
With WordPress, I had access to YOAST SEO, one of the most powerful tools for search engine optimization. Before then, I already knew some key concepts of search engine optimization like On-page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Keyword Research, and technical SEO.
Usually what a good student should have done was to go through the instruction manual of how to use YOAST SEO, but I never taught of that. I was more interested in copying my old posts from Blogspot to WordPress.
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Learning the Longtail Keyword – For More than 3 Months, I Never Ranked on Search
I was expecting an increase in traffic since I was using YOAST. I thought I was getting everything right. I made sure there was the green signal from YOAST in all my posts; showing they were highly optimized for search engines. I also tried to make sure my contents were long enough, with contents that I considered valuable for my readers and fair enough; I am a good writer and my English is not too bad.
But for more than two months, I never ranked on search, neither did I have a single web visitors from Google. There were very few impressions on my site whenever I checked my blog analytics on Google search console.
I also managed to build a few links from one other top-level domain I am an author in, but not a single visit from Google. That was frustrating.
Learning the Longtail Keyword – What Could I Be Getting Wrong?
This was when I actually started asking questions. I could see other blogs I feel I do better jobs than on Facebook boasting of having traffic from search Engines like Google. I would ask how they do it, only to be called lazy.
It was really annoying because I was actually working hard. But I never knew I was not working smart enough. But I was lucky when one of those guys who insulted my comment on Facebook about getting little traffic actually mention that I am too lazy to do simple keyword research.
Menhn, it hit me badly but spurred me into real research about what keyword research is all about.
Google is the best friend of all bloggers, so I put it to good use.
Luckily, I stumbled on a sentence, I really don’t remember where, but it read;
Use Longtail Keywords More than Short tail Key wordsUNKNOWN
I have been seeing this all my blogging career, but actually read more about it at that moment. I finally found out that I was a major part of my problem; why I never ranked or got a single web visitors from Google. From my studies that day I discovered the following about Longtail Keywords.
An Overview of What I Found While Reading the Post on Longtail Keywords:
- First, a keyword is a major word (Usually a noun, verb, or adjective) that should summarize what a blog post is all about. Examples are School, Healthy, Beautiful, Black, White, etc.
- A key phrase is a sentence containing one or more keywords: An example is: The Dog Died Miserably. The highlighted words are independent keywords (3 in number), the whole sentence is a keyphrase.
- A short tail keyword consists of one or two keywords. An example is: The Dog Died or just; the Dog.
- A Longtail Keywords consist of two or more keywords in a well-structured phrase. An example is: The Dog Died Miserably after his Owner Left.
- Using more than 4 keywords in your SEO title is not good for your overall page ranking.
- Longtail keywords rank more than short-tail keywords on search. I found out it is because short-tail keywords are more competitive, because most other blogs are also using the same or similar keywords, so you will be competing with people like Neil Patel, Alex Chris, and other top bloggers. But based on the rule of permutation, if you mix 2 to 4 keywords in one sentence, the likelihood that it would show up on search results when someone searches are higher.
These are very simple language problems I could have paid attention to while writing my blog posts if I was patient enough to read through the YOAST manual. But I am grateful for the insult I received, it helped me to discover what not really a secret. I proved the point that if you want to hide something from people, then hide it in pages of books because they may never read it.
Learning the Longtail Keyword – What My Major Problem Was
After noting these points, I re-examined my blog’s on-page SEO for every post. It was not easy to work to do, but I found where the problem might be from.
I used short tail keywords for all my posts, and my SEO title was not an exact match with my keywords.
So all this while, Google has been ranking my blog with other top blogs, and I only started blogging 3 months ago.
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I Fixed My Blog Posts Quickly
So I started re-writing all my blog SEO posts. I deleted most that I considered irrelevant, and difficult to fit into 4 keywords.
Two days later, I got my first traffic from Google and Bing. It was not a miracle, just what I have been missing out of carelessness all these while.
This does not mean that my traffic is now as I want it, there is still the struggle for more. But I believe things will keep improving as I keep implementing what I just learned.
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I Learnt the Long-tail-keyword the Hard Way. There is a very big competition in blogging. Bloggers find it easier to write a blog post about something new they learned than to actually teach someone else how to do it. I kind of find it difficult to find out why, but when I find out, I will still share it on this blog.
Another important lesson to gain from this experience is to always read and follow manuals. If you just created a new blog, I would advise you to take at least a week to go through the instructions for every available tool on your blog.
It could save you more stress than trying to figure things out on your own. Although this is my habit, it’s a very bad one. No wonder I keep learning things the hard way.