If you’re working on your own website, chances are you’re paying attention to keywords. But what do people mean when they talk about “long-tail keywords,” and should you be paying attention to those, too?

Long-Tail Keywords: Less Competitive, More Specific

Long-tail keywords are generally less competitive than shorter ones; that’s because they’re not targeting an extremely broad audience. Here’s the difference:

Freelance copywriter vs. How to hire a freelance copywriter

Copywriter vs. Washington, D.C. copywriter

Copywriter named Angie vs. Copywriter named Angie Papple Johnston

See where I’m going with that? They’re targeted toward a really small potential audience, but your odds of coming up when members of that audience search is far greater than it is when they’re just looking for the short keyword. (Even though my site has been up for years, there’s no way I’m going to hit the first page of Google for the term “writer” any time soon… but that’s okay, because that’s not what I want people to find me for. I want them to find me when they’re looking for the best copywriter ever.)

Should You Use Long-Tail Keywords?

By all means, if you can reach a small segment of your audience through a blog post or a landing page on your website, do it. You have nothing to lose. If you’re blogging like a pro (and really, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have posts going up on your site on a regular basis), it’s just one of many. Just do what you’d normally do with the post by sharing it on social media, and once it gets indexed, you might have a bit more luck coming up for those ultra-specific terms.