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What Are Long Tail Keywords? Examples, How-To, Tools

Search Engine Optimisation

Having trouble ranking in SERPs due to low-performing keywords? If so, you’re not alone. Keyword competition is the bane of many search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners, causing many content pieces going to waste. As such, developing more creative ways to stay on top of your game is becoming increasingly necessary.

The solution? Long-tail keywords. SEO experts have used long-tail keyword research to drive high-intent search traffic and improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings. As such, it should also be an integral part of your SEO arsenal.

With that in mind, let’s discuss long-tail keywords’ definition, how to identify long-tail keywords, and some long-tail keyword tools to boost your content visibility.

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are very specific search phrases with low search volumes and competition but high intent—meaning they clearly state what the searcher is looking for—which SEO specialists generally use towards the end of the sales funnel to drive conversions. These terms are more descriptive than short-tails or head terms, containing at least three words.

Long-Tail Keywords Examples

As mentioned, long-tail keywords are more specific and detailed than head terms yet encounter lower competition. Examine the Search Demand Curve below to visualize this point better.

Keyword Searches in Google" infographic displaying number of keywords and monthly search volume
Source: Semrush

This diagram describes the inverse relationship between search volume and the number of keywords per volume. In a nutshell, the most searched keywords are head terms and are generally fewer. Meanwhile, long tails are the least searched yet are greater in number, so they’re less challenging to rank for. If you want to avoid competition, opt for the latter.

Let’s say you’re writing an article about shoes for children. Targeting “kids shoes” is a natural choice, but you may struggle to rank your content given the high competition for this head term. Instead, you could opt for a long-tail phrase, like “kids shoes for girls,” and take advantage of the significantly lower search volume to rank easier.

Sources: Ahrefs

What are some long-tail keyword examples? Here are some head terms converted to medium- and long-tail to help you better understand their differences.

Short tail/head term Medium tail Long tail
plumbing  plumbing repair service affordable plumbing repair service near me
dog food organic dog food homemade dog food recipes
digital cameras mirrorless digital cameras best mirrorless digital cameras for travel photography

It also helps to know the two types of long-tail keywords. Topical long-tails are primary keywords around which a piece of content revolves. Meanwhile, supporting long tails are subtopics elaborating on topical keywords. They’re what you generally write content about because they’re more specific and, hence, are the easier long-tail phrases to rank for.

Topical Supporting
running shoes for marathons – how to choose the right marathon shoes
– top shoe brands for marathons
– marathon shoes for sale near me
weight loss breakfast ideas – low-calorie smoothie recipes for breakfast
– importance of protein in weight loss breakfast
– how to balance macros in breakfast
home office setup for productivity – ergonomic furniture for home offices
– organizational tips for clutter-free workspace
– benefits of natural lighting in home office

Learn more: Researching and Selecting SEM Keywords [How-To Guide]

5 Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords

Since they are highly specific, websites can benefit from using long tail keywords with their ability to attract users who are more likely to convert while facing lower competition on search results.

1. Higher SERP ranking

As mentioned, long-tail keywords generally have lower competition than their broad counterparts; Moz reports that 75% of searches are for middle and long-tail queries, while only 25% are for head terms. These figures prove they’re much simpler to rank for—you’ll have a better chance of securing a prominent position in SERPs, increasing your website’s visibility, and attracting organic traffic.

A screenshot of a search engine

Description automatically generated
Source: Google Search

More often than not, long-tail keywords already include short-tails you likely want to rank for. For example, “kids shoes for sale near me” already consists of the term “kids shoes.” As a result, you can target both types of keywords, allowing you to improve your SERP position even further.

2. More helpful content

Targeting long-tail keywords lets you create content directly addressing searchers’ questions and queries. When they search for longer and more detailed phrases, it usually indicates a higher level of intent. Then, when you tailor content to these specific phrases, you offer in-depth answers that make your website helpful to readers.

For instance, if someone searches “how to make homemade dog food,” we can assume they intend to learn how to make dog food from scratch. Writing content surrounding this topic addresses the user intent directly, making your website more valuable to them. In turn, they’re more likely to click on your website among others and convert, provided you wrote a helpful article.

3. Improved blog strategy

Blogging is critical to your content marketing strategy to boost your online presence and drive valuable organic traffic. In fact, 60% of B2B marketers say that blogging has helped them generate demand or leads successfully.

Incorporating long-tail keywords into your blog strategy allows you to explore a broader range of niche topics. If you’re selling kids’ shoes, most low-competition long-tail keywords revolve around brands. As such, you could write about the “Top 10 Kids Shoe Brands in the Philippines.” Ultimately, your ability to diversify your topics establishes your blog as an authoritative source of information within your niche.

4. Enhanced content visibility

When a searcher looks up a long-tail keyword, Google personalizes results based on location, age, sex, and other relevant data. In other words, two users entering a similar search query may see different results. Long-tail keywords leverage this targeting opportunity by optimizing your content for different user segments.

For example, let’s use the broad keyword “black dress.” It isn’t specific to an audience segment. As a result, Google might list content with black dresses for adult women within the searcher’s country, making it a highly competitive keyword. 

long-tail keywords
Sources: Ahrefs

However, using a more specific phrase, like “kids black dress near me,” ensures your content is visible to a particular demographic—parents looking for children’s black dresses in their immediate vicinity.

long-tail keywords
Sources: Ahrefs

5. Increased conversion rates

Again, searchers who use long-tail keywords tend to do high-intent searches or know what they want. Let’s say they’re looking to buy a product; the top-ranking website offering what they want could be their first brand choice. 

Your keyword must match the searcher’s intent to rank high in SERPs, and it’s more likely to happen with long-tail keywords. Conductor even found that long-tails convert 2.5x higher than head terms, emphasizing the importance of engaging users with content that addresses user intent to encourage conversions.

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

Finding long-tail keywords requires extensive keyword research, but the following strategies can guide your system and make your long-tail search easier.

1. Look at Google Autocomplete

Once you start typing in the search bar, Google provides suggestions based on popular searches. They often include long-tail variations of your search query, indicating that many users are looking them up. Then, you could add relevant ones to your list of potential long-tail keywords to incorporate into your content.

long tail keywords, google search
Source: Google Search

2. Check “Related Searches”

Scroll down to the bottom of Google’s SERP. There, you’ll find long-tail keywords as search suggestions related to your query, which are worth checking out. They’re usually variations of your head term, providing insight into what people are searching for related to your original keyword. Use them to make your head term more specific or find subtopics around your initial query.

long tail keywords
Source: Google Search

3. Find questions on “People Also Ask”

Google lists questions related to your initial search query in the middle of the SERP. It’s a goldmine for long-tail keywords in the form of questions, which are especially useful for article headings or if you plan to include FAQ sections in your content. These questions represent user intent and could be focal points for your discussions.

google search, long tail keywords
Source: Google Search

4. Utilize forums or discussion boards

Need a more human-centered input for your keyword research? Consider leveraging forums and discussion boards like Reddit and Quora. These platforms are rich sources of user-generated content, like firsthand questions, concerns, and problems, which you may use as talking points in your articles to make them more valuable to readers.

reddit long-tail keywords
Source: Google Search

Also read: SEO Guide Stage 1: Keyword Research

6 Best Long-Tail Keyword Research Tools to Widen Your Search

Want to reduce time spent on keyword research? Consider using the following paid and free long-tail keyword tools to streamline and simplify the process.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a free tool on the Google Ads platform that allows you to look up other keywords related to a head term. It provides vital information to help your research, including a keyword’s average monthly searches, year-over-year (YoY) change, competition level, and long-tail suggestions. It even offers bidding estimates to help you plan campaigns without leaving the platform.

Ultimately, knowing how to find long-tail keywords using Google’s keyword tool is an excellent start to your journey since you’re already trying to rank on Google’s SERPs.

2. Semrush

Semrush‘s long-tail keywords suite offers robust keyword research tools with numerous capabilities. For instance, Keyword Overview lets you discover a phrase’s potential by providing insights into its search volume, difficulty, and other critical data. Meanwhile, Keyword Magic Tool simplifies the process by generating thousands of short- and long-tail combinations from one head term.

semrush long tail keywords
Source: Semrush

3. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Use Ahrefs for long-tail keyword research to leverage its powerful keyword research capabilities. Keywords Explorer lets you discover thousands of phrases and analyze their metrics, including keyword difficulty and traffic potential. Like other tools, Ahrefs provides long-tail suggestions for any given head term.

ahrefs long tail keywords
Source: Ahrefs

Want to test it out? Ahrefs offers free samples of their Keyword Generator and Keyword Difficulty Checker tools.

4. Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool that lists long-tail phrases for high-intent searches. It uses a user-friendly interface to help SEO beginners and veterans discover low-competition, high-value keywords to drive content visibility. If you’re hesitating to get started, check what G2 and TrustPilot reviews tell about Long Tail Pro and its alternatives. They give you insights into each tool’s pros and cons, making it an easier decision for you.

long tail keywords pro
Source: Long Tail Pro

5. Mangools KWFinder

KWFinder is a user-friendly tool that generates ideal phrases for your content. Aside from listing related keywords, it adds suggestions from Google’s Autocomplete and FAQs list to help you form effective long-tail keywords. It also provides information on domains competing for the same phrase to help you manage keyword competition.

mangools tool, long tail keywords
Source: Mangools

6. Answer the Public

Answer the Public generates questions, phrases, and topics based on user search queries to fuel your research. In effect, you can uncover users’ questions about a specific topic and create content that directly addresses them. It also uses a distinct circular layout to present long-tail keywords in a more visually organized manner.

Learn more: SEO Tools You Won’t Believe Are Free

Leverage Long-Tail Keywords to Drive Your Content Higher

Long-tail keywords have emerged as a vital tool for steering your online presence toward success. They allow you to rank higher by targeting less competitive niches. They also cater to what users are actively searching for, leading to better engagement and higher conversions. In content marketing, they establish your platform as an authoritative and trusted resource.

Ultimately, integrating long-tail keywords into your strategy enables you to adapt to the rapidly changing SEO landscape. At the same time, it builds your website into a brand your audience can support in the long run.

Need to boost your digital marketing strategy? Look no further than Spiralytics. As the top digital marketing agency in the Philippines, we can help you achieve better search rankings with our tried-and-tested tactics to catapult your business to greater heights.

Get in touch with us to get started!

(This article has been updated by Dexter Ramirez.)

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