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Long Tail Keywords in SEO

Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2024
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Long tail keywords are specific and highly targeted search phrases consisting of three or more words that users enter into search engines. These keywords are characterized by their detailed and niche nature, addressing more specific queries or topics. The term “long-tail” is derived from the shape of a distribution graph, where the majority of search traffic is concentrated in a small number of popular, generic terms (the “head” of the graph), while a larger number of less-searched, specific terms form a longer “tail.”

What are Long Tail Keywords?

In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), long-tail keywords are specific and longer search phrases that users enter into search engines when looking for particular information, products, or services. These keywords are typically more detailed and niche-focused compared to shorter, more general keywords.

Why are they called “long-tail” keywords?

The term “long tail” is derived from the concept of the long tail in statistics, which refers to the distribution of certain types of data. In the context of keywords, the “long tail” refers to the vast number of unique search queries that may be low in volume individually but collectively account for a significant portion of total search demand. Chris Anderson popularized the idea in his 2004 Wired magazine article “The Long Tail” and subsequent book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.”

The term “tail” in this context refers to the lower-selling or specialty products at the very end of a distribution graph. As opposed to the “head” or more popular, shorter keywords, long-tail keywords indicate the less common, more precise, and less frequently searched terms.

Importance Of Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are important for several reasons in the realm of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO):

1. Specificity and Relevance:
Long-tail keywords are highly specific and address niche topics or detailed queries. This specificity ensures that the content you create is directly relevant to the user’s search intent.

2. Lower Competition:
Due to their specificity, long-tail keywords often have lower search volumes and less competition compared to broader, generic keywords. This makes it easier to achieve higher rankings and visibility in search engine results for these terms.

3. Targeted Traffic:
Long-tail keywords attract a more targeted audience. Users who search with these phrases typically have a clear idea of what they are looking for, resulting in more qualified and potentially higher-converting traffic.

3. Higher Conversion Rates:
Visitors arriving through long-tail keyword searches are often closer to the decision-making phase in the buyer’s journey. They have a specific need or question, and if your content addresses that, it increases the likelihood of conversion.

4. Content Variety:
Optimizing for long-tail keywords encourages the creation of diverse and particular content. This not only improves the overall quality of your website but also positions it as a valuable resource for users seeking detailed information.

5. Voice Search Optimization:
With the rise of voice search, where users tend to use more natural language, long-tail keywords become crucial. People using voice commands often phrase their queries as complete sentences or questions, mirroring the structure of many long-tail keywords.

6. Leveraging Niche Markets:
Long-tail keywords allow businesses to tap into specific niche markets. By addressing the unique needs and interests of a niche audience, companies can establish themselves as experts in that particular domain.

7. Cost-Effective Advertising:
In paid advertising, targeting long-tail keywords can be cost-effective. While the individual search volumes may be lower, the cost per click (CPC) is often lower, and the conversion rates can be higher, resulting in a more efficient use of the advertising budget.

8. Easier Ranking for New Websites:
For newer websites or those with lower domain authority, ranking for competitive short-tail keywords can be challenging. Focusing on long-tail keywords allows these sites to establish a presence in search engine results more effectively.

9. Adapting to Natural Language Searches:
Long-tail keywords are well-suited for addressing natural language searches, especially with the prevalence of voice-activated devices. Users are more likely to speak in complete sentences or detailed queries, aligning with the structure of long-tail keywords.

How Long Tail Keywords Works

The concept of long-tail keywords is closely tied to how search engines work and how users interact with them. Here’s an explanation of how long-tail keywords function:

1. Specificity and User Intent:

  • Users often enter specific queries when searching for information, products, or services online.
  • Long-tail keywords are more specific and align with the detailed nature of user queries

2. Reduced Competition:

  • Long-tail keywords usually have lower search volumes compared to broader, generic keywords.
  • With less competition, it may be easier to achieve higher rankings for long-tail keywords.


The volume difference between keyword vs long tail keywords

3. Targeted Traffic:

  • Long-tail keywords attract a more targeted audience. Users searching with these phrases typically have a clear idea of what they’re looking for.
  • This targeted traffic is more likely to convert into leads or customers because the content directly addresses their specific needs.

4. Content Relevance:

  • When content is optimized for long-tail keywords, it tends to be more relevant to the user’s query.
  • Search engines, like Google, aim to provide the most relevant results, and content aligned with long-tail keywords helps meet this criterion.

5. Natural Language and Voice Search:

  • Long-tail keywords often mimic natural language, and they are becoming more important with the rise of voice search.
  • Users using voice search are more likely to speak in longer, conversational phrases, leading to increased relevance for long-tail keywords.

Long Tail Keywords

6. Conversion Optimization:

  • Visitors arriving through long-tail keyword searches are often closer to the decision-making phase in the buyer’s journey.
  • Businesses can optimize content around long-tail keywords to focus on converting these users into customers.

7. Content Variety:

  • Long-tail keywords encourage the creation of diverse and particular content.
  • This variety can improve the overall quality and depth of a website, making it a valuable resource for users.

8. Cumulative Impact:

  • While individual long-tail keywords may have lower search volumes, their cumulative impact can be substantial.
  • A website that ranks well for numerous long-tail keywords can attract a significant amount of targeted traffic.

How to find long-tail keywords?

Finding long-tail keywords involves using keyword research tools and analyzing search query data. Tools like Google Autosuggest can provide suggestions based on your initial keyword. Additionally, looking at related searches and “people also ask” sections on search engine results pages can provide insight into long-tail keywords. It takes both study and imagination to find long-tail keywords.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to find long-tail keywords for your content marketing and SEO campaigns:

1. Understand Your Niche and Audience:
Clearly define your niche and understand your target audience. To find new Long Tail Keywords, Consider their preferences, problems, and the specific information they may be seeking.

2. Brainstorm Seed Keywords:
Start with a list of broader, seed keywords related to your niche. These are general terms that describe your products, services, or content. On this try to find new Long tail keywords.

3. Use Keyword Research Tools:
Utilize keyword research tools to expand your list of potential long-tail keywords. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest can provide insights into search volumes and related terms.


Keywords Ideas Using Ubersuggest

4. Review Autocomplete Suggestions:
For new long tail Keywords use search engines like Google to type in your seed keywords and observe the autocomplete suggestions that appear. These suggestions often represent common long-tail queries.


Autocomplete suggestions

5. Explore Related Searches:
Scroll to the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP) to find the “People also ask” and “Related searches” sections. These sections can offer additional long-tail keyword ideas.


Related searches

6. Check Competitor Websites:
Analyze competitor websites to identify the long tail keywords they may be targeting. This can provide insights into gaps or opportunities in your keyword strategy.

7. Social Media and Forums:
Explore social media platforms and forums related to your niche. Pay attention to the language your audience uses, and identify specific queries or concerns that can turn into long-tail keywords.

8. Use Long-Tail Keywords Generator:
Some online tools specialize in generating long-tail keyword suggestions. Tools like AnswerThePublic and Soovle can provide insights into the questions and phrases users commonly associate with your seed keywords.


Keyword Ideas

9. Analyze Your Site’s Search Queries:
If you have a website, review your site analytics to see what search queries users are using to find your content. This can reveal potential long-tail keywords you might not have considered.

10. Consider Location-Based Keywords:
If your business is location-specific, include location-based terms in your keyword research to capture local long-tail searches.

11. Think About User Intent:
Consider the intent behind user searches. Are they looking for information, products, reviews, or solutions to a problem? Tailor your long-tail keywords to match different user intents.

12. Group Keywords into Themes:
Organize your long-tail keywords into thematic groups. This can help in creating targeted content around specific topics.

Keep in mind that the objective is to uncover long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to your audience and in line with your content or company goals, not just any old ones. An effective long-tail keyword strategy must strike a balance between specificity, search volume, and competitiveness.

Classification of long-tail keywords

The classification of long tail keywords can be divided into two categories Informative Long-Tail Keywords and Transactional Long-Tail Keywords. Both types play a crucial role in content strategy and search engine optimization. These types serve different purposes and have distinct user intents:

1. Informative Long-Tail Keywords

When consumers are looking for information, responses, or solutions to a particular issue or concern, informative long tail keywords are employed. When consumers are doing preliminary research on a subject, these keywords are frequently employed.

Examples: “How to grow tomatoes in a small apartment,” “Symptoms of gluten intolerance,” and “History of the Eiffel Tower.”

Content Strategy: The three main goals of content that are optimized for informative long-tail keywords are to answer the user’s query, establish authority, and provide useful and thorough information. Users are frequently attracted to and educated by this kind of content.


Informative long keyword

2. Transactional Long-Tail Keywords

When consumers are prepared to take action, such as completing a purchase, signing up for a service, or getting a quote, transactional long tail keywords are used. When people are getting near to deciding the later stages of the buyer’s journey, these keywords are frequently employed.

Example: “Buy women’s running shoes online,” “Get a free insurance quote,” “Best price on iPhone 13 Pro Max.”

Content Strategy: The goal of content that is optimized for transactional long tail keywords should be to make the user’s activity easier. This can include pricing details, service descriptions, product pages, and calls to action to entice customers to make a purchase. The converting process must be simple and uncomplicated.


Transactional keyword

How To Use Long Tail Keywords

Using long tail keywords effectively involves integrating them into various aspects of your online presence, from content creation to website optimization. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use long-tail keywords:

1. Content Creation:
Develop high-quality content around each long tail keywords. Craft informative and engaging articles, blog posts, product descriptions, or other content formats that cater to the user’s needs.

2. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions:
Incorporate the long tail keywords naturally into your page’s title tag and meta description. This helps search engines and users understand the content’s relevance.

3. URL Optimization:
Include the long tail keywords in the URL of the corresponding page. Keep the URL structure simple, descriptive, and user-friendly.


URL optimization

4. Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.):
Use header tags to structure your content. Include the long tail keywords in at least one header to emphasize its relevance.

5. Body Content:
Integrate the long tail keywords naturally throughout the body of your content. Aim for a balance to avoid keyword stuffing, focusing on providing value to the reader.

6. Internal Linking:
Link to other relevant pages on your website using the long tail keywords as anchor text. This enhances the overall user experience and site structure.

7. Image Alt Text:
Optimize image alt text with descriptive and keyword-rich text, including the long tail keywords. This not only improves accessibility but also contributes to the overall optimization of the page.

8. Use in Call-to-Action (CTA):
If appropriate, incorporate the long tail keywords in your calls-to-action. This can help reinforce the connection between the user’s query and the action you want them to take.

9. Social Media Promotion:
Share your content on social media platforms, using the long tail keywords in your posts. This can increase visibility and attract a targeted audience.

10. Create Landing Pages:
Consider creating specific landing pages optimized for individual long-tail keywords, especially if they represent different aspects of your products or services.

11. Monitor and Adjust:
Regularly monitor the performance of your content using analytics tools. Track rankings, traffic, and conversions associated with each long-tail keyword.

Adjust your strategy based on performance data. Identify top-performing keywords and refine your approach for those that may need improvement.


In summary, long-tail keywords are a vital component of any SEO strategy. They enable businesses to reach their target audience more effectively and boost conversion rates by attracting users who are closer to making a purchase decision. By comprehending and leveraging long-tail keywords, businesses can enhance their online visibility and reap greater rewards from their SEO initiatives.

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