How to Use Long Tail Keywords to Target Searchers When They’re Ready to Buy


This week we’ve been walking many miles in our customer’s searching shoes. We have learned how to write ads that answer your customer’s questions; how to anticipate when your customers will be searching for your services; how to discover new keywords using reports and analytics; and how to use general terms to generate brand awareness. We have one more mile to walk! Today I am going to discuss how to use long tail keywords to target searchers when they’re to buy!

First, let’s cover the basics: the long tail is composed of keywords that are three or more words in length. These keyword phrases have lower search traffic but are highly-targeted to your audience. How does a searcher end up using a long tail keyword to find the right product, and how can you take full advantage of this customer who knows exactly what they want to purchase? Here’s a quick rundown (a little searching story):

  1. Ted has had enough of his malfunctioning keyboard (the shift key on the left side has fallen off, and the ‘Y’ and ‘P’ keys have to be slammed to work at all). He embarks on a search for a new one. At first, his search is broad and he types in ‘keyboards’ as his search term. He just wants to see what is out there.
  2. Ted clicks on a few links (paid and organic) and decides that he wants a wireless keyword so that he doesn’t feel so bound to his desktop. He tightens his search by typing ‘wireless keyboards.’
  3. After Ted explores his search results for ‘wireless keyboards’ he has decided that Logitech has the best selection for what he needs. Once Ted has reviewed Logitech’s website he determines that he wants a “fancy” keyboard: the Logitech G15 LCD keyboard.
  4. Ted knows what product he wants to buy and he wants the best deal. He runs a search on “Logitech G15 LCD keyboard” to review his options and make a purchase.

When using the long tail to target searchers who are ready to buy, you NEED to be in front of Ted when he searches for “Logitech G15 LCD keyboard.” Sure, Ted might be the only person who runs a search for your long tail keyword that day (or even that week!) but he is exactly the person you’re looking for. So, you know WHY you need to be in front of Ted, but HOW do you get there?

Yesterday, Amber touched on how to generate brand awareness during the early stage of the buying cycle (when Ted is doing his initial research). Here are 4 tips to fully utilize your long tail keywords:

Your account structure should be ready for Ted: Once you’ve reviewed your website and you’ve made a list of the products you have to offer, you need to organize your PPC campaign structure accordingly. You need to dedicate an ad group to each product you plan to promote through paid search. Why? This way your keywords and ad texts are as highly-targeted as possible.

Tell Ted you have what he’s looking for, and why he should buy from you: This goes hand-in-hand with account structure. Once you’ve broken down your ad groups into specific products, you need to write ad text that specifically mentions your products and keywords. When Ted searches for “Logitech G15 LCD keyboard” he is more likely to click on the ad that exclusively says, “We sell Logitech G15 LCD keyboards.” With this strategy you’ve told Ted WHAT you have; you also need to him WHY he should buy it from you and not your competitors. Don’t forget to mention at least two benefits of doing business with you in your ad text.

Be highly visible when Ted is ready to buy: Now that you’re targeting Ted using ad text that is highly relevant, you need to make sure that you’re ad is visible when it counts. As Amber mentioned yesterday; bid less aggressively on general keywords in order to maintain awareness. But you should bid more aggressively for your long tail keywords. You want to be right in front of Ted when he’s ready to buy.

Don’t waste Ted’s time; take him directly to what he’s searching for: If Ted is ready to buy a Logitech G15 LCD keyboard, and he clicks on your ad that specifically says that you have that kind of keyboard, you better take straight to that product page within your site. Don’t take him to a general keyboard page, or a search function for him to find it himself: take him straight to the product he wants! Ted has done has done his research, he’s ready to buy!

When managing your PPC campaign, keep in mind how long tail keywords fit into the grand scheme of a user’s search pattern; and plan to specifically target these searchers who are ready to buy! Now go make some sales!