You target all the popular keywords relevant to your business and get a surge of traffic, yet you still end up with little to no website conversions. If this sounds too familiar, then riddle me this: What has a low search volume but a high conversion rate? The answer: a long tail keyword.
Long tail keywords, when done right, can catapult your search rankings for search terms most relevant to your offerings. But in the spectrum of search engine optimization (SEO), what are long tail keywords, exactly? Let’s find out.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords for SEO, as the name implies, are longer keywords that are more specific than popular search queries. Unlike short or “head” keywords, long tail keywords – sometimes written as “long-tail keywords” – have a relatively lower search volume, making them seemingly counterintuitive to target. But such specific keywords come from high-intent traffic; therefore, long tail keywords tend to have a higher conversion.
The term “long tail” alludes to the “tail” of the end of the search demand curve. In the reference above, you can see that each long tail keyword has a lower search volume than those of the head and medium tail. However, long tail keywords account for the greater fraction of Google searches by billions.
Examples of Long Tail Keywords
Popular belief dictates that long tail keywords must consist of at least four words, but that’s not entirely true. Long tail keywords simply denote search terms more precise than head terms without being limited by the number of words.
With that, here are some examples of long tail keywords contrasted with head and medium tail terms.
|Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords|
|Head and medium tail terms|
|advanced keyword research services||keyword research|
|seo content strategist for hire||seo content|
|what does black tea taste like||black tea|
|find long tail keywords for seo||long tail keyword|
|advanced keyword research tips||keyword tips|
Using Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer tool, let’s take “keywords” as an example – It shows that “keywords” has a monthly search volume of 12,000 with a keyword difficulty (KD) of 96. On the other hand, long tail keywords such as “long tail keywords generator,” “generate long tail keywords” and “long tail vs short tail keywords” have a much lower search volume and KD.
In local keyword research, an SEO content strategist also primarily focuses on long tail keywords. Local keyword research is done to discover search terms used by local consumers when searching for products and services. Such search terms could be any product or service tagged with “local,” “near me,” or a specific city. For instance, “best local coffee in ozark.”
Why Are Long Tail Keywords Important?
As mentioned, long tail keywords entail a higher search intent despite the lower search volume. On the contrary, popular search terms are fiercely competitive and may take several years to rank for, if at all.
Above, you can see the search results of “long tail keywords,” which generate over 66 million search results, while “long tail keywords generator” only has nearly 2 million results. The latter also demonstrates the user intent to “generate.” As such, targeting long tail phrases means targeting users who want to take action right there and then, whether that’s to:
• Try out a service
• Purchase a product
• Visit a nearby store
Moreover, the value of long tail keywords can be even more remarkable when it comes to paid search advertising. Since long tail keywords are specifically targeted, having less competition, the cost-per-click (CPC) is cheaper. Thus, by focusing on relevant and precise long tail keywords, your Google Ads campaigns can get higher ad ranks on relevant searches without paying a high premium for each click.
Take an eCommerce brand selling high-end juicers, for instance — after enlisting Thrive’s SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing services, it gained impressive results in its organic and Google Ads campaigns. Our team strategically expanded its keywords instead of focusing on branded keywords for its organic and paid campaigns. As a result, our client multiplied its year-over-year PPC sales by twofold and reduced its ad spend by 400 percent.
Whether you run an eCommerce brand like our client or not, employing long tail keywords to your SEO and PPC efforts can do wonders. But what are long tail keywords and their benefits if you don’t know how to find them? They’re just golden opportunities waiting to be seized.
How To Find Long Tail Keywords for SEO (Keyword Research Tips From SEO Content Creators)
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork on what long tail keywords are and their value, it’s time you and your team put on the hats of SEO content creators. Researching long tail keywords differs slightly from your typical keyword research services.
Here are several keyword research tips on how to find long tail keywords:
1. Identify Your Head Terms
Your head terms should be directly related to your business offerings, whether a product or service. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, then “coffee shop” is your head term and would be the basis of all your long tail keywords.
From your head term “coffee shop,” you can generate long tail keywords by stretching it into the following:
• “coffee shop near me”
• “coffee shop + [your city]”
• “best coffee shop with free wifi for working”
2. Use Google’s Search Feature and Sections
Not many realize they have a free long tail keywords generator tool with Google. Now, let’s say you have a blog that covers all things health, and you want to write about black tea. You can take “black tea” as a base term and input it on Google, then pay attention to Google’s autocomplete feature and sections: People also ask and Related searches — they automatically generate long tail keywords.
Google’s autocomplete feature
Google’s People also ask (PAA) section
Google’s Related searches section
In the PAA section, you’ll be presented with further suggestions when you click any of the drop-down arrows. Still, the key when using Google Search is to filter the suggestions and only select long tail keywords that are highly relevant to your offerings and objectives.
3. Fortify Your Research With a Long Tail Keywords Tool
While the techniques above are enough to generate long tail keywords that you can target right away, a keyword research tool can further inform your strategy. You have multiple options when it comes to tools:
• Semrush’s Keyword Generator
• Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer
• Similarweb’s Keyword Generator
• WordStream’s Keyword Research
However, employing any of these tools can be intimidating since they provide exhaustive data, including keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic potential, global volume and rich keyword suggestions. Hence, this brings us to our last tip.
4. Partner With an SEO Content Strategist Specializing in Advanced Keyword Research Services
Besides the overwhelming data you’ll initially come face to face, other difficulties ensue targeting long tail keywords, such as utilization. Long tail keywords can be grammatically incorrect and, thus, difficult to insert into your content. Enter SEO research specialists.
For SEO experts, there are a lot of workarounds for seamless keyword usage, including the use of stop words and punctuations. And while mostly a thing of the past, keyword stuffing remains a snare many businesses still fall prey to without expert guidance. Keyword stuffing can be tempting when dealing with long tail keywords, but it is an unethical practice that could lead to Google penalizing your website — sinking your ranking.
Fortunately, with Thrive’s SEO content strategists, you can dodge any harmful hiccups that come with targeting long tail keywords. At Thrive, we look past the tall figures of potential traffic that many get blinded by. But rather, we place user intent at the fore of our SEO blueprint. So if you want to identify the best long tail keywords for your business, our team, employing both expertise and tools, would gladly give a free keyword analysis.