Keywords are probably the basis of search engine optimization, and you can increase your visibility by switching to longer keywords. Longer keywords are simple variations of the keyword with similar meaning. And if you tap into long tail keyword zone, then you attain a huge potential of improving your visibility-as you have lesser competition and get targeted audience.

Why long tail?

It is a well known fact that there is a fierce competition for general keywords. If a keyword phrase is hugely popular, then there is a chance that there are a million websites on the net targeting it. This means you have to cut through severe competition to be visible. Let alone getting traffic after being seen, and even leading to conversions.

Now in the case you have a specifically targeted long tail keyword (that you have arrived at after due research and using tools), then most of your customers are looking for exactly that particular information. When their specific search lead them to your website- you are facing the happy prospect of higher conversions than the other generic keywords.

With long tail-specific multi-word keyword phrases, there is a  chance to rank much higher than single or dual word keyword phrases. For example: “used Mercedes A class in Portland, Oregon” would rank much better because people are specifically looking for used Mercedes A class in Portland, Oregon- as opposed to general keywords like- “used cars, Portland.”

PageTraffic Guide - How To keyword stemming

PageTraffic Guide - How To keyword stemming

Explore Keyword Stemming

But if you choose a longer keyword, then you may benefit from the concept called 'word stemming'. This means that you will get in search results that are not an exact match for the keyword searched on, but close to it and similar. Search engines use stemming, and the results include variations of the search term. Word stemming is simply including word variations. From the root keyword, relates variations are worked on, that may also be relevant to searchers when they look for your services on the net. Using grammar and synonyms, one can effectively accomplish word stemming.

PageTraffic Guide - How To keyword stemming

Here is an example: If our keywords are 'cheap cars' , then this is how we can do word stemming- 'inexpensive cars' 'affordable cars' or cheap vehicles' 'cheap vans/trucks' 'cheap automobiles'. In this case, the variation from your basic keyword is just 'stems'- that will let the search engines list you for different variations. Like for the word 'color'- you can optimize 'colorING' and 'colorANTS'. You will get results for all the three keywords.

Now, not only the search engines that practice word stemming will show your site for those other word variations, but you will also get targeted traffic.

Here are a few tools to help you with keyword research-

  • Google AdWords– The most popular keyword research tool.
  • Wordtracker – It helps you compile associated keywords. A paid version is also available.
  • Keyword Discovery – This is a free version of the keyword research tool from Trellian.
  •– This tools generates a monthly search volume for a given keyword.
  • Seo Book Keyword Research– One of the fast becoming popular Keyword Research Tool
  • Keyword Spy– Spy on your competition and find their keywords, with this tool.

Play around with your keywords while generating content

Another advantage of keyword stemming is that you get more freedom to write content (not repeating the same keywords). Be more creative, spread your wings as you have more words to play on.

All the more, word stemming also avoids keyword stuffing. As you don't keep using the same keywords again and again, you will avoid repetitions-which may lead to penalization by search engines for keyword stuffing. By working on these stems , you can get quick rankings for specific keywords. The result is instant traffic, and with time and continuous efforts, you can get the ranking for the generic keyword too.

PageTraffic Guide-How To Keyword Stemming

To achieve instant benefits from stemming, make sure that you incorporate the longest form of your important keywords in your meta tags. If your keyword is 'color'-use words like 'colorings', and your page will likely get your site show up in search results on both 'color and 'coloring'. So, use longer forms of your keywords and use a little grammar to tweak the words.

Make every page unique

In the end- do not optimize the same keywords or stems for all the pages. As it will make all your pages seem alike to search engines. You must provide unique, substantial and most importantly relevant information on every page of your site. Incorporate long tail keywords to these unique pages. Do all this and see targeted traffic reaching your site.


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.