Introducing the not-so-secret weapon of successful SEO strategies: long-tail keywords.
These are search queries that may have a smaller search volume but boast higher conversion rates due to their specificity.
While they’re often overshadowed by more popular head keywords, long-tail keywords can unlock a world of opportunity for driving targeted traffic to your site.
They are easier to rank for and resonate better with the user’s intent.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the benefits of incorporating long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy and share insider tips on how to find and optimize for them like a pro.
- Long-tail keywords are search queries that get a small number of searches per month, but have higher conversion rates due to their specificity.
- They are found at the “tail” of the search demand curve, which shows the distribution of keyword popularity and search volume.
- Great for SEO because they are easier to rank for, match the user’s intent better, and drive more targeted traffic and revenue to your website.
- Use various tools and methods, such as Google autocomplete, related searches, “People also ask” box, keyword research tools and competitor analysis.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
In a nutshell, long-tail keywords are search queries that get a small number of searches per month.
These keywords tend to be longer and more specific than their “head” counterparts, which means they often have a higher conversion rate.
But why are they called “long-tail”?
Well, it all boils down to their position on the search demand curve, which shows the distribution of keyword popularity and search volume.
Long-tail keywords are found at the “tail” of this curve – hence the name.
Why Are Long-Tail Keywords Called “Long-Tail”?
To better understand the term “long-tail keywords,” we need to take a trip back to 2006 and the release of the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
In his book, Anderson describes how the internet has changed the distribution of consumer demand, creating a “long tail” of niche markets that can now be more easily reached.
This concept of the long tail can also be applied to the search demand curve, which shows the popularity and search volume of keywords.
The head of the curve consists of a few keywords with very high search volume, while the tail consists of billions of keywords with very low search volume.
Long-Tail Keyword Examples
My goal here is to demonstrate the differences between head and long-tail keywords, and how the latter can be a game changer for your SEO strategy.
To make it easy-peasy for you, I’ve organized this section into a handy table.
Each row will contain a head keyword, its long-tail counterpart, and an explanation of the differences between the two.
Trust me, by the end of this, you’ll be a long-tail keyword aficionado!
Head vs. Long-Tail Keywords
Did you know that the head keyword “meditation” gets a whopping 211k searches per month?
Sounds impressive, right?
But hold on to your yoga mats, folks, because its long-tail cousin, “can meditation make you smarter” only gets 50 searches per month.
And yet, the long-tail keyword has a few tricks up its sleeve.
You see, while the head keyword might boast higher search volume, it also comes with high competition and a lower conversion rate.
On the other hand, the long-tail keyword has lower competition and a higher conversion rate.
So, although it may not be the life of the party, it still has some serious SEO potential.
Let’s take another example.
The head keyword “furniture” is like the popular kid in school – it’s got lots of attention, but it’s tough to stand out. With high competition and low conversion rates, it’s not exactly the ideal keyword for your SEO strategy.
Enter “contemporary art-deco furniture”, a long-tail keyword with low competition and high conversion rates.
It may not be the most popular, but it knows how to make an impact.
To help you get a better grasp of long-tail keywords, I’ve put together a few examples for different niches and topics.
|SEO tips for beginners
|This long-tail keyword is more specific and less competitive than the head keyword. It also indicates the user’s intent and skill level.
|Contemporary art-deco furniture
|This long-tail keyword narrows down the focus of the search results and brings up more relevant results. It also reflects the user’s taste and preference.
|Can meditation make you smarter
|This long-tail keyword is a question-focused keyword that shows the user’s curiosity and goal. It also has a higher conversion rate than the head keyword.
|Best quiche fillings for brunch
|This long-tail keyword is more descriptive and detailed than the head keyword. It also suggests the user’s occasion and purpose.
The Advantages of Long-Tail Keywords
We’ll dive into the benefits of using these specific and targeted phrases in your SEO strategy.
Less Competitive Keywords for Easier Ranking
The Secret to Conquering the SERPs
Ever feel like you’re fighting a losing battle trying to rank for those highly competitive head keywords?
We’ve all been there.
But here’s the good news: long-tail keywords are less competitive, making them easier to rank for, especially for new or low-authority websites.
Simply put, long-tail keywords have lower search volume and fewer competing pages.
This means there’s less of a struggle to claw your way to the top of the SERPs.
Increased Conversion Rates and Targeted Traffic
Turning Browsers into Buyers
Now, let’s talk about the cherry on top: higher conversion rates.
Long-tail keywords are like a magnet for qualified traffic and leads that are ready to buy or take action.
How? Well, these keywords are more specific and relevant to the user’s intent.
Imagine you’re looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cake recipe.
Which search query are you more likely to click on: “chocolate cake recipe” or “gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cake recipe“?
The latter, right?
That’s because it speaks directly to your needs.
And, as a marketer, that’s the kind of targeted traffic you want.
The more specific the keyword, the more likely it is to attract users who are ready to convert.
Lower Costs for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Remember when you were a kid, and you wanted to be the cool kid who had all the marbles?
Well, in the world of PPC, you want to be the advertiser with the lowest CPC. Long-tail keywords can help you achieve just that.
These keywords have a lower search volume (hello, 12% less competition!) and fewer competing ads than their broad counterparts.
What does that mean for you? Lower CPCs and more money saved on your bids.
That’s right, you can be the cool kid on the PPC playground without having to fork over all your lunch money.
Greater Choice in Keyword Selection
In the vast universe of keyword selection, long-tail keywords are like undiscovered planets teeming with new opportunities.
They can help your website gain more search visibility because they cover more topics and variations than the head keywords (we’re talking about a 14% increase here, people!).
This means that you can capture more of that sweet, sweet long-tail traffic that may not be targeted by other websites.
You can be the Neil Armstrong of your niche, planting your flag on previously uncharted territory.
Natural language and voice search optimization
Did you know that long-tail keywords can help your website optimize for natural language and voice search trends?
That’s right, with 34% of users becoming more reliant on voice search, long-tail keywords can help you match the way users speak and ask questions in search engines. Alexa, play “We Are the Champions” by Queen.
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
Method 1: Google Autosuggest and Autocomplete
Here’s a little insider secret:
Google is more than just a search engine – it’s also a treasure trove of keyword ideas.
And one of my favorite ways to tap into this goldmine is by using Google Autosuggest and Autocomplete.
Google Autosuggest: Your Keyword Genie
When you type a head keyword into Google’s search box, Google Autosuggest is that friendly genie that offers you a list of suggestions based on real user searches.
This means that these suggestions are not only relevant but also reflect the user’s intent and language
So, to find long-tail keywords, simply type in your head keyword and feast your eyes on the suggestions below.
Getting More Specific with Modifiers
Want to get even more specific with your long-tail keyword search?
Just add modifiers like “how”, “what”, and “why” to your head keywords.
These question-focused long-tail keywords can help you address user pain points, problems, and goals, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
Wildcard Fun with the Asterisk
Try using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard in your search query.
By placing the asterisk anywhere in your query – before, after, or even between words – you can unlock more variations of long-tail keywords.
The asterisk acts as a placeholder for any word or phrase that Google thinks is relevant to your query.
Method 2: Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer is a keyword research powerhouse with a database of billions of keywords.
It’s like having an all-knowing genie in your pocket, ready to help you find those precious long-tail keywords.
Here’s how to make the magic happen:
- Enter a head keyword and go to the Matching terms report:
Simply input a head keyword and let Ahrefs do the heavy lifting. In no time, you’ll be presented with a treasure trove of long-tail keyword ideas.
- Filter for low search volume and traffic potential:
Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of keyword suggestions. Instead, focus on the low-hanging fruit by filtering for keywords with low search volume and traffic potential. Just like that, you’ve narrowed down your options.
- Sort by Keyword Difficulty (KD):
You don’t want to waste your time on impossible-to-rank keywords, right? That’s where Keyword Difficulty (KD) comes in. Sort your filtered list by KD to find the easiest ones to rank for, and you’re well on your way to long-tail keyword success.
Method 3: Google Ads Keyword Planner
Now, let’s explore another fantastic tool that can help you uncover long-tail keywords: Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make the most of this powerful tool:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account and go to Tools > Keyword Planner:
Before you can start your long-tail keyword journey, you’ll need to sign in to your Google Ads account. Don’t have one? No problem – it’s free to create an account, and you don’t need to run any ads or pay anything.
- Choose the option “Discover new keywords” and enter a head keyword or a website URL:
With Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can either input a head keyword or a website URL related to your niche or topic. You can even enter multiple keywords or URLs separated by commas. Talk about flexibility!
- Filter and sort the keyword suggestions:
Now that you have a list of keyword suggestions, it’s time to narrow it down. Use the filters and sorting options on the left sidebar to filter by search volume range, competition level, CPC range, etc. You can also sort by relevance, average monthly searches, competition, and more. Your perfect long-tail keywords are just a few clicks away!
- Select the long-tail keywords that are relevant and specific to your niche or topic and add them to your plan:
Found some long-tail keyword gold? Great! Check the boxes next to the keywords that are relevant and specific to your niche or topic, and click on the “Add keywords” button on the top left corner.
Congratulations, you’re now one step closer to driving more traffic and revenue to your website.
Method 4: Answer the Public
Answer The Public is a magical tool that generates questions and phrases related to any keyword you enter.
By simply typing a head keyword, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful visualization (or a simple list, if you prefer) of long-tail keyword suggestions.
Here are some tips to make your experience even better:
- Don’t just stick to one keyword – explore different angles and variations to uncover hidden gems that your competitors might have missed.
- Export the data to a spreadsheet and use filters to find low search volume, high relevance keywords. This will help you target those untapped niches and give you an edge over the competition.
Method 5: Browsing Reddit, Quora, and Niche Forums
Let’s face it, people love to talk.
And where do they talk the most?
Online communities like Reddit, Quora, and niche forums.
These platforms are treasure troves of long-tail keyword ideas related to your niche or topic.
Here’s how to strike gold:
Finding Relevant Subreddits, Questions, or Threads
Start by searching for subreddits, questions, or threads that match your niche or topic.
You can use the search bar, browse categories or trending subreddits.
Don’t forget about using Google search operators like “site:reddit.com” or “site:quora.com” to find specific topics on these platforms.
Mining Titles, Comments, and Answers for Long-Tail Keyword Ideas
Once you’ve found relevant discussions, it’s time to dig deep into the titles, comments, and answers.
Look for long-tail keyword ideas that reflect users’ intent, language, or problems.
By using the language of your target audience, you’ll create content that resonates with them and ranks higher in search results.
Method 6: Leveraging Google Search Console
You don’t need X-ray vision to find those hidden long-tail keywords anymore.
Instead, you can use GSC’s Performance report to uncover the queries that bring people to your website.
To do this, simply:
- Log in to your GSC account
- Click on “Performance” in the left-hand menu
- Scroll down to the “Queries” section
Now, you’ll see a list of search queries that have led users to your website.
Filter for High-CTR, Low-Impression Keywords
Now that you have your list of queries, it’s time to find the real gems – those long-tail keywords with low impressions and clicks, but high click-through rates (CTR) and average positions.
These are the keywords that may not be getting a ton of traffic yet, but they’re poised for growth.
Here’s how to filter for these high-potential keywords:
- Click on the “Impressions” and “Clicks” columns in the Queries report to sort the data
- Look for keywords with low impressions and clicks (let’s say, below 100)
- Check for high CTR (above 5%) and competitive average positions (between 1-10)
Congrats! You’ve just discovered a treasure trove of long-tail keywords with untapped potential.
How to Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords
Consider the User’s Search Intent
Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s search query.
It’s the “why” that drives them to seek information, products, or services online.
By understanding and targeting the search intent of your long-tail keywords, you can create content that aligns with your audience’s needs and expectations.
This will not only boost your rankings but also increase the likelihood of conversions.
So, what are the different types of search intent? Let’s break it down:
- Informational: The user is looking for information or answers to a question. (e.g. “how to optimize for long-tail keywords”)
- Navigational: The user is searching for a specific website or page. (e.g. “Traffv blog”)
- Transactional: The user intends to make a purchase or complete an online transaction. (e.g. “buy SEO services”)
- Commercial: The user is researching products or services before making a purchase decision. (e.g. “best SEO agency in Singapore”)
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore how to match your content type and format to the search intent of your long-tail keywords.
Optimizing for Informational Intent
When targeting informational intent, your goal is to provide valuable, relevant, and easily digestible content that answers the user’s question.
Here are some tips to help you optimize for informational intent:
- Use long-tail keywords in your headings, subheadings, and throughout your content.
- Create content formats that cater to your audience’s preferred learning style, such as blog posts, infographics, or videos.
- Provide clear, concise answers to common questions surrounding your chosen long-tail keywords.
- Include relevant data, case studies, and examples to support your arguments and establish credibility.
Optimizing for Navigational Intent
For navigational intent, your primary goal is to ensure that your website is easy to find and navigate.
To optimize for this intent:
- Make sure your website’s URL structure is user-friendly and includes your target long-tail keywords.
- Create a clear and organized website layout, with a logical hierarchy and navigation menu.
- Optimize your website’s metadata (title tags, meta descriptions) to include your target long-tail keywords and accurately describe your content.
- Register your website with Google My Business and other relevant directories to increase visibility.
Optimizing for Transactional Intent
When targeting transactional intent, your focus should be on creating a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience.
Here are some tips:
- Create product pages and descriptions that include your target long-tail keywords and highlight the unique selling points of your products or services.
- Implement clear and persuasive calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your website to guide users towards completing a transaction.
- Streamline your checkout process, ensuring it’s secure, fast, and mobile-friendly.
- Incorporate customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility.
Optimizing for Commercial Intent
Lastly, when optimizing for commercial intent, it’s essential to create content that helps users make informed purchase decisions.
To achieve this:
- Produce comparison guides, buying guides, and product reviews that include your target long-tail keywords.
- Offer valuable insights, such as pros and cons, pricing, and features, to help users evaluate their options.
- Leverage social proof by showcasing customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies.
- Optimize your website’s metadata (title tags, meta descriptions) to include your target long-tail keywords and accurately describe your content.
Create In-Depth and Comprehensive Content for Long-Tail Keywords
When it comes to long-tail keywords, we need to think big, my friends.
That means creating detailed and thorough content that covers all the aspects and subtopics of our chosen keywords.
Unlike head keywords, long-tail keywords require a more in-depth approach to stand out in search results.
But don’t worry, I’ve got your back with some tips on how to create killer content for long-tail keywords:
- Use headings, bullet points, images, and videos to make your content more scannable and engaging for the reader. Remember, variety is the spice of life (and SEO)!
- Dive deep into your topic. Cover all angles and answer any potential questions your users might have.
- Consider creating long-form content, such as guides or ultimate lists. Not only do they provide more value to your readers, but they also tend to rank better in search results.
Include LSI Keywords and Synonyms in Your Content
Let’s talk about LSI keywords and synonyms.
First off, LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are related terms that help Google understand your content better.
It’s like throwing a bone to our dear friend Google, saying, “Hey, here’s what our content is really about!”
For example, if you’re optimizing for the long-tail keyword “vegan protein powder,” LSI keywords could include “plant-based protein,” “soy protein,” and “pea protein.”
Including these LSI keywords and synonyms in your content not only helps Google, but it also ensures your content is comprehensive and more engaging for your readers.
Now, you might be wondering how to find these magical LSI keywords and synonyms.
Tools like Ahrefs’ Content Gap or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool are here to save the day.
These tools can help you identify LSI keywords and synonyms for your long-tail keywords, making your content more powerful and, dare I say, irresistible to search engines.
Unlock the Full Potential of Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are the unsung heroes of the SEO game, offering higher conversion rates and lower competition compared to head keywords.
By targeting long-tail keywords, you can drive more targeted traffic and revenue to your website.
At Traffv, our SEO services are designed to help you discover and optimize for long-tail keywords that will drive results.
Reach out to us today and let’s embark on this exciting journey together, unlocking the full potential of long-tail keywords and skyrocketing your website’s success.