Long-Tail Keywords: What They Are and How to Find Them

Written By Otilia Crizbasan | 7 September, 2023

The untapped opportunity to connect with potential customers

There’s one thing we know for sure – everybody wants to drive visitors to their website. Among the myriad of strategies floating around, rumour has it that one effective way to search success is targeting long-tail keywords. 

You’ve probably heard this before, but is it actually true? 

In this blog post, we’re excited to take you behind the scenes and explore the intricate world of long-tail keywords. We’ll uncover what makes them so important and how you can leverage them to improve your website’s traffic and engagement. 

What are long-tail keywords?

According to Semrush, long-tail keywords are defined as “highly specific search queries that tend to have relatively low search volumes.“

Usually, a long-tail keyword consists of three to five words. They are more detailed and perfect if you’re trying to reach specific audience groups. Plus, they face less competition than their generic counterparts since they mirror user search patterns closely. 

By using long-tail keywords, you can draw higher-quality visitors to your site and increase the chances of conversions.

As consumers progress in their online journey, the significance of long-tail keywords grows. Users usually start with a basic query, but as they get closer to addressing their needs, their search becomes more specific. At this point, long-tail keywords help differentiate your brand from others.

Long-Tail keyword examples

In the vast world of digital marketing, keywords play a pivotal role. But not all keywords are the same. Some are broad, drawing vast audiences, while others are narrow and specific, capturing a very particular intent. 

Let’s have a look at some examples of words that aren’t defined as long-tail keywords:

  • Dog training
  • Vegan restaurants
  • Social media marketing
  • Image search
examples of keywords that aren't long-tail keywords and their search volume

The terms are short and not very specific. Plus, they have high search volumes compared to the ones below, according to Semrush’s Keyword Overview tool.

Now let’s see some examples of long-tail keywords:

  • Can you train a dog not to bark
  • Social media marketing for small businesses
  • Best vegan restaurants in London
  • How to reverse image search on mobile
examples of keywords that are long-tail keywords and their search volume

Notice any differences? This time, each keyword is long and specific. That’s the essence of long-tail keywords. And as you can see above, the terms also have relatively low search volumes.

Why use long-tail keywords for SEO?

Here are three top reasons why you should consider including long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy.

  1. Less competition

Imagine you’ve started a blog on a theme you’re passionate about. At first, the popular keywords related to your topic look appealing, as they promise lots of readers. But, you’ll soon notice that there’s a lot of competition for these terms, making it hard for new blogs like yours to rank high.

And that’s totally fine – achieving a top ranking for a popular keyword, especially with a newly established blog it’s a big challenge.

Yet, hope is not lost. If you’ll delve deeper into more specific search queries and choose a long-tail keyword, you’ll see a different situation. Even for a new website, targeting these will offer a tangible opportunity to rank high, ensuring the content gains the visibility it deserves.

  1. Better conversion rate

If you plan to use long-tail keywords, you probably have a clear idea of your customers’ desires. As a result, you’ll witness higher conversion rates since your content will align more closely with the visitor’s specific requirements.

Let’s look at a real example. Imagine you run a marketing agency. Someone in need of your services will most likely avoid a generic search for ‘marketing agency’ since it will flood them with myriad options. Instead, they will search for a specific keyword, that better reflects their needs, such as ‘marketing agency for SaaS in London’. So optimising for a precise term will increase your chances to be found by a potential customer.

  1. More to choose

Most of the search queries on Google consist of long-tail keywords. When people are looking for information or products on the internet, they tend to employ more detailed, extended phrases that mirror their specific requirements or preferences.

For example, rather than just typing “laptops” a person might input “lightweight laptops for graphic designers.” Or they might look up “laptops for work with good battery life.” There’s a plethora of such specific long-tail variants reflecting individual needs. So you’ll always have long-tail keyword suggestions to choose from.

How to identify long-tail keywords?

If you know the primary keywords for your business, it’s time to do some research. Check out some basic strategies for determining long-tail keywords for your business.

  1. Google-Related searches

One common source for long-tailed keywords is Google. Enter your base keyword into the search box and Google will suggest a few results. Let’s look again at the ‘marketing agency’ example:

example of google suggestions when searching for 'marketing agency'

If Google suggests it, it means that lots of people are probably searching for it. 

But watch out – these suggestions will not always be long-tail keywords. 

Sometimes they will be highly competitive terms that don’t quite fit the definition of “long-tail.” To be sure, always analyse these keywords in a keyword research tool to check whether they’re really long-tail keywords or not.

  1. Q&A Sites and forums

Q&A sites offer valuable solutions when people seek answers to their questions. Websites like Quora and Reddit are great places to find some long-tailed keywords and get ideas about content.

If your online business is particularly niche, you can also try looking at popular forums related to your industry. Or you can always enter the following query into your search bar: [generic search term] + forum.

  1. Competitors’ keywords

A great source of long-tail keywords comes from your competitors. Simply search for your keyword phrase and see what pops up on the organic results page. Check out the top-ranking pages or your competitor’s pages, and see which keywords they’re using. 

This way, you can gain insights into the industry’s keyword priorities. This strategy not only offers keyword inspirations but also hints at potential content gaps in the market. Learning from competitors is beneficial, but make sure your content retains a unique touch to differentiate and resonate with your audience.

Final thoughts

Long-tail keywords target specific user needs, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. While broad terms are competitive, long-tail phrases offer a clearer path to ranking and reaching a targeted audience.

If you find it challenging to achieve rankings for your desired keywords, they might be too competitive. Shifting your attention to long-tail keywords could be the next step you need to take.

If you want to become a power player for the keywords that are essential to your business, get in touch.