Long-Tail Keywords: What To Know & How To Use Them

longtail keywordsUpdated November 16, 2023

When you are doing SEO for your site, you probably have a set of terms you have identified that you want to rank for. Most likely, the terms you have chosen are short, generic, basic descriptors of your offerings.

And since most of your chosen terms usually have a high search volume, as well as a high competition rate, that means they can be hard to rank for. So, to further your ability to be found in SERPs, targeting long-tail keywords can be an excellent strategy to follow, as it can bring more organic traffic and leads to your website. (Plus these leads might even be more qualified!)

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are usually comprised of 3 to 5 words (and sometimes, more!). They are generally very niche and lower in search volume compared to regular keywords, which are harder to target and rank for on popular search engines. Though long-tail keywords can initially be more difficult to incorporate into your website’s content, they can be incredibly valuable for your company’s SEO initiatives for years to come.

What are some examples of long-tail keywords?

Let’s say you are running an online store that specializes in customized closets. Short-tail keywords would include things like “custom closets,” and “closet design,” or very broad terms that can include anyone looking for a custom closet.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords will take your queries to the next level. With that in mind, incorporate detail into your keywords that can help people further along in the decision-making process. “Custom walk-in closet designs,” and “closet design services Phoenix” are just some examples of more specific keywords that can help potential customers looking for exactly what you offer.

Let’s Look at Some Data

Did you know that 92.42% of terms that are searched on Google have a monthly search volume of 0-10?

ahrefs graph

And while long-tail keywords really refer to terms with low search volume, there is still a bit of evidence that those keywords are more than 3 words:

ahrefs graph 2

Try This Free Keyword Research Tool: Suggested Search

If you are wondering what is one of the best ways to find long-tail keywords, the answer is easier than you may think.

Our team recommends that you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, head to Google, and type in something relevant to your business. Then, take a look at some of the suggested searches to see what additional terms are added to popular searches:

autofill search

And while this is great for finding words to add to the end of a term, you can also type in a phrase, and move your cursor in different areas of the search query to get a variety of suggestions:

cursor search keyword research trick

So, Why Is it Important To Create Content for Long-Tail Keywords?

As your site becomes stronger from other SEO techniques like link building, and you continue to add quality content to your site, Google will reward you for your hard work. And not to mention, as we said earlier, there is usually low competition for these terms, so if you target them, you can see great results.

And if you had the opportunity to be ranking higher for keywords your ideal customer might be using, then why not add them to your site?

Great Way To Utilize Long-Tail Keywords

While your main service or product pages would be the ideal place to sneak in some long-tail terms, there might be some that could require their own dedicated content.

One of the best places you can create content around long-tail terms is on your blog, and it even allows you to tackle them in various approaches.

Let’s look at something such as “project management software for schools” which according to Ahrefs keyword planner, has a search volume of 10. Here are a few different ways you could target that in a blog post:

  • Do your schools need project management software?
  • How schools can become more efficient in 2024
  • Ways your school can increase efficiency in 2024
  • When is it time for schools to invest in management software?
  • What is project management software for schools?

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

As mentioned previously, you can utilize Ahrefs keyword planner in order to find target keywords for your content and web pages. Additionally, here are some other resources you can use to find these keywords:

Additionally, we have seen a significant rise in ChatGPT as a way to generate ideas for potential keywords. With that in mind, our team recommends using AI to help you research and understand your audience, but not to completely produce content for your site.

Long-Tail Keywords: FAQs

Where should I add my long-tail keywords?

When it comes to long-tail keywords, it is important to include them in places that come across as natural and read well. Depending on what works best for you and your content, some of the places that we recommend including your long-tail keywords are:

  • Titles and body copy
  • Metadata and alt and title tags
  • Internal link anchor text

How many keywords should I include on a page?

Ideally, you should have anywhere between 2 to 5 different keywords on a page. If you load a ton of keywords on a page, Google can view this as invaluable, which can also cause you to rank lower in search engines. We also recommend that you include a variety of short-tail and long-tail keywords on each of your web pages to derive definitive results.

Why is keyword research so important?

Keyword research gives you an inside look into the minds and queries of your consumers. Based on the keyword research that you do you can give consumers solutions that they want and need. This can lead to an increase in search engine rankings, organic traffic, quality leads, and hopefully sales for your business.

Can my competitors further help my keyword research?

Absolutely! A great way to look into keywords that you should be incorporating into your website copy is by looking at your competitor’s websites. This will allow you to understand what you are up against, as well as develop additional tasks and strategies to incorporate into your business’s initiatives.

How long should long-tail keywords be?

There is no set length for your long-tail keywords. They typically consist of three or more words, but there is no strict rule on how long they can be. Just remember with long-tail keywords, the goal is to be as specific as possible while aligning with the user intent of the searcher.

How can I incorporate long-tail keywords into my content? 

Try adding your long-tail keywords to the titles, headings, body text, and meta tags throughout your page. Of course, it’s important to make sure that the copy surrounding it addresses the specific needs or questions of your target audience.

Additionally, when using long-tail keywords in your content, be sure to use natural language to avoid keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing can negatively impact your rankings and your site’s user experience, which can also affect your traffic, leads, and sales in the long run.

How can I determine if a long-tail keyword is relevant to my business?

Be sure to consider whether the keyword accurately describes the products, services, or information your page offers. Then, try assessing the relevance by examining search intent. Does the keyword align with what users are looking for when they are searching for the phrase? And if it doesn’t, how can you alter it to make sure it fits the user intent?

If you are stuck here, we recommend typing the phrase into Google and examining which SERPs are being populated. If the SERPs align with what your business does or sells, odds are it’s a good keyword. If it doesn’t, you might want to shift your strategy to cater to your target market.

How do I track the performance of long-tail keywords?

It’s natural to be curious about the success of your new campaign. That’s why you can consistently check to see if your goals are being met on platforms like SE Ranking, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other SEO tools.

More specifically, you can track the performance of these keywords in SE Ranking to understand how Google ranks the landing page that targets your keyword. You can also see how much traffic these pages bring in by using Google Analytics. Lastly, you can take a look at Google Search Console to see how many impressions and clicks the terms get, as well as inspiration for other queries to use.

Statistics About Long-Tail Keywords

Knowledge of how people typically search for your business or products is the best way to create long-tail keywords that match search intent. In general, you’ll find that it’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords than it is for general terms, which improves your marketing and SEO efforts.

Let’s dig into some of our favorite statistics about long-tail keywords and how they are used:

  • 70% of search queries are for long-tail terms (CWS)
  • Long-tail keywords have higher conversion rates than generic keywords (Embryo)
  • 56% of buyers use queries of three or more words (Wordstream)
  • Voice search has increased the popularity of long-tail keywords because people naturally speak in more conversational phrases when searching by voice (WSI World)
  • Long-tail keywords typically have a lower cost per click in PPC campaigns, since more specific phrases have less competition. This means that you can have more specific keywords that rank without having to pay premium prices (Wordstream)
  • 92% of keywords get 10 or fewer searches per month (Embryo)
  • Approximately 20-25% of all Google search queries are unique (Embryo)
  • 82% of searches use long-tail keywords through voice search to find local businesses (Embryo)

Key Takeaway

While there are many SEOs out there that might suggest low-volume search terms are not worth going after, we beg to differ and think the data speaks for itself. That is why our team highly recommends conducting keyword research for yourself and incorporating long-tail keywords onto your pages. From there, see how your website gets the boost in organic traffic it deserves.

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Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, Mashable, and many other notable sites.

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