Long-tail Keywords: What are They and How to Find the Good Ones

The key to a good SEO optimisation is quality keywords that we want our site to display on search results. Before moving on any on-site SEO, you need to explore the keywords you want to include on your website.

Being popular isn’t everything in life. This fact also holds true when it comes to your keywords.

The usual practice in SEO is to target the most popular keywords, that have a higher search volume.

Admittedly, higher search volume can mean more site visitor and more impressions, and probably more purchases or inquiries. That makes perfect sense, right?

However, if you think about it, what kind of traffic are you attracting?

With broad keywords, you attract lots of traffic but not always the visitors that are interested in your business. Besides, the competition for high volume keywords is enormous, and your page rank is often suffering because of well-established brands.

These broad keywords are shorter and more generic terms or phrases and consist of up to 3 words.

Namely, primary keywords are searched more often, they are more competitive and are difficult to rank for them.

On the other hand, you have long-tail keywords that are easier to rank, and traffic across them is often better, and you can see what interests the audience.

That’s why it is best to choose specific, relevant keywords targeting the audience who is willing to invest in your product.

Long -tail keywords are usually not the most popular, general terms like “shoes,” but more specific phrases such as “Affordable One Direction shoes for teenage girls.”

Such specific expressions in queries are used by customers who have gone through the information phase, knows what they want and are ready to buy. The traffic you get using these keywords is smaller but more relevant to the business.

So, let’s us dive in and look at what exactly long tail keywords are and how to find the good ones for your business.

What are the long tail keywords?

These are the keywords or more precise terms that are searched and that contain more details. Another definition of long tail keywords is that they are longer search terms, that are more specific and valuable for website traffic and SEO.

Any term from three words and up can be considered a long tail keyword. However, the title ‘long tail’ doesn’t exactly mean that the phrase is longer.

The feature of this kind of keyword is that they have fewer searches than basic keywords because they are more specific and more specific.

At SEO level, they are much more accessible when it comes to positioning.

This may sound illogical, but trust us, they can be hugely valuable if you know how to use them logically and know where to find them.

For example: if you’re a company that sells classic kitchens, chances are your pages are never going to show up near the top of an organic search for “kitchens” because there’s too much competition.

But if you specialise in, say, modern-industrial style kitchens, then keywords like “modern industrial kitchen design” are going to find indeed those audiences who are looking for exactly that product.

However, it will attract much less traffic to your website than the basic keywords. Keep in mind, given the quality of traffic, it is worth mentioning that this kind of keyword brings equally useful visitors or sessions.

Managing long-tail keywords is actually having much better communication between your business and your target customers who are already out there, already shopping for what you’re selling.

The main downside with long tail keywords is less traffic than you would get with a basic one, but the traffic you get will be considerably better: more concentrated, more devoted and more wishful of your services.

Another plus is that with a smart execution of long-tail keywords use, you may be able to pull in less traffic, but the return on your investment will be proportionally much higher.

Remember, you are attracting precisely the audience you’re looking for, and that audience will be much closer to point-of-purchase than that of your less-savvy search competitors.

4 reasons why you should focus on long tail keywords

Low competition

When starting with keyword research and implementation most people try to catch the big (volume) fish, and in general, this is the best way to get more impressions from search results.

On the other hand, long tail keywords have lower amounts of monthly searches (sometimes this can even be 0), but they are much easier to rank for.

This is precisely why they are such a great find that can seriously be taken advantage of. Game on!

Better conversion rate

Long tail keywords can result in higher conversion rates, how does that work?

For example, let’s say that your website attracts 100 people per day from search results by typing in a broad keyword.

Out of those 100, about three people will purchase a product or sign up for newsletters. (depending on the goal of your website).

Your conversation rate will then be 3%. However, by typing in a particular phrase about 20 people will find your page. Out of those 20, three people will become your customers. Just like that, your conversion rate jumps to 15%.

Now that’s a massive influence on your business.

Not to mention that in fact, the more people perform the action that your site intends them too, the more Google will take notice and give your site an SEO push!

Better click through rate

Before people get to your site, they first need to find it in search results and click to get to your site. Also, with using long-tail keywords, your CTR will go high in the sky!

CTR, or click through rate, is another one of the strong signal that Google looks for. CTR tells Google whether your site matches a searcher’s query or not.

More specifically, if people can understand your metadata (your SEO title and description), that you are tackling a particular topic the likelihood of them clicking on it will naturally increase.

Using more precise keywords in your content and metadata can allow you to target more precise audience, and thus get more searchers to click on your site.

More personal searches

Nowadays when people are searching, they are treating Google like their personal assistant. People are more and more searching and seeking information’s that are specifically tailored to their needs. So this is where you and your long tail keywords come in.

An increased personalisation comes with a notable increase in keyword length. People on searching on Google want answers as fast as possible, without putting too much effort into getting them.

Therefore, by merely lengthening their query, they know they’ll find the best and most relevant answer — all the more reason for you to focus on long tail keywords.

How to find long tail keywords?

Now that you know why you need to implement long tail keywords let’s look at where you can find the good ones.

Use Google ‘searches related to.’

Here’s a fact: Google has answers to virtually everything. Even to the not so obvious questions such as how to find long tail keywords.

Simply enter a keyword from two to three words into Google, then scroll down to the bottom of the results page. Here you will see a section called ‘Searches related to.’

These are queries that people are most likely are searching for, but Google doesn’t have relevant content to show them.

That’s precisely where you come in. With this list of search terms, you can take those keywords that appear and create your content, video or any other piece of content you can think of that revolves around the search terms.

Google Suggests

Google strikes again! Google Suggestions is an excellent source of long-tail keywords. Start typing in a first word and Google will automatically give you some long tail suggestions based on your search.

The good thing is that if it turns up in a Google suggestion, you know it’s a phrase people are really searching for.

So without even realising it, you’ve just hit the content jackpot — a plethora of long-tail keyword suggestions right at your fingertips.

Try Different Keyword Research Tools

There are lots of free keyword research tools that can give you a variety of ideas on your long tail keywords. Let’s see which ones are the best:

Google Keyword Tool – a great basic tool and the right place to start digging for long-tail keywords.

Google Keyword Tool is an additional service from Google Ads(or AdWords), and it has proven well for pay-per-click advertising.

With this tool, you can research and analyse whole lists of keywords. It is particularly useful because you get insight into monthly search volumes, what the competition is like with regards to PPC advertising (the bidding) and the cost per click (CPC).

Aside from getting the search volume for one term, you can also get the volumes for other keywords.

This is great for conducting extensive keyword research, as you’ll get a whole list of related terms that apply to your search.

Answer the Public – this is a handy tool to discover what people are asking about a specific topic. You pop in any topic you can think of, and the tool will give you a massive list of questions and phrases around the subject.

The list can serve as a source of inspiration to discover really great long tail keywords that people indeed search for.

Keywords Everywhere – This easy Chrome & Firefox extension will make it, so that keyword search volumes appear literally everywhere.

This tool is usually used to find keyword volumes that are bigger – now is the time to work the other way around and find keywords that have a smaller volume.

Ubersuggest – Yet another excellent keyword tool that combines information from Google.

Keyword Planner as well as Google’s ‘searches related to.’

Here you can browse ideas and find inspiration that can serve as blog posts topics and more content, along with their search volumes.

This tool, used along the others that we mentioned above, can help you find those valuable long-tail keywords.

Check Q&A Sites

Q&A sites can be great sources of long-tail keyword ideas for your business.

When we speak about Q&A sites we are thinking about:

  • Quora
  • Yahoo Answers
  • com
  • Askville by Amazon
  • LinkedIn Answers

Questions make great long-tail keywords – it couldn’t be more evident that these people are looking for answers and information, that you can use as your long-tail keywords.

Browse Wikipedia

Really, Wikipedia? Yes, it is one of the most optimised sites on the Internet. You can learn a lot by searching Wikipedia’s on-page optimisation.

When researching a base term, try checking the Wikipedia page. Make an in-depth look at their table of contents, because many of their headings render into long-tail keywords.

You can also do a page search on the Wikipedia page for your primary keyword and see what other variations appear throughout the text.

In addition, the “See Also” section at the bottom of Wikipedia articles can be helpful for finding similar terms.

In Conclusion

With our explanations and insights of what are long tail keywords and how to find the good ones, you are all set up to step up the SEO game.

Long tail keywords are the foundation of your whole digital marketing strategy.

Effectively searching for and implementing your long-tail keywords is the key to a winning digital marketing strategy.

Here’s a recap of the main benefits: long tail keywords are easier to rank for; you can tap into new sources of traffic, and they tend to convert better compared to standard keywords.

Successfully searching for and implementing your long-tail keywords is the key to a winning digital marketing strategy.

About Murray Dare

Murray Dare is a Marketing Consultant, Strategist and Director at Dare Media. Murray helps UK businesses find better ways to connect with their audiences through targeted content marketing strategies.