What are long tail keywords?
Long tail keywords are search queries that have low search volumes and less competition. Since these search queries are longer and more specific than their head keywords, they bring traffic to your website by targeting niche audiences having clear search intents. Despite being the least searched, long-tail keywords account for a high percentage of overall searches in the search demand curve.
Let’s understand with an example
We entered the ‘a/b testing’ head term to find relevant long search terms on SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool. The main keyword is too broad and does not reflect clear user intent. Maybe users searching for these terms have just started their research on the topic. Even though the keyword has a massive search volume, it is extremely difficult to rank for (high keyword difficulty) on search engines.
Next, if you look at the ‘a/b testing marketing’ mid-tail keyword, you’ll notice that it’s slightly more specific. This shows that users searching with this keyword are deepening their understanding of the topic but are still remote from entering specific queries. Here the search volume and keyword difficulty are not as high as in the case of the head term.
Finally, when you look at the ‘how to split traffic for a/b testing’ long tail keyword, you’ll see that it’s far more specific than all three. These searchers have done in-depth research on the topic and are now narrowing their focus on how to split traffic to perform A/B testing. Although the keyword’s search volume is low, you can still rank for it because its difficulty level is not as high as the other two.
Benefits of long tail keywords
Several websites don’t utilize long tail keywords as much as they should because these search terms don’t enjoy high search volumes. Despite this, there are several benefits of using long keywords and we highlight three of them below.
Tailor content according to users’ intent –
As long tail keywords are descriptive, it is easy to figure out what audiences using these search terms look for. Hence, when you create in-depth content around these intent-driven keywords, you can satisfy the needs of your specific target audiences in a better way.
Achieve higher conversions –
When you leverage long search terms, your website attracts only relevant traffic and brings high-quality leads who are now in the decision stage of their buying journey into your sales funnels. Therefore, long search terms have a higher conversion rate than head keywords.
Boost PPC traffic –
Highly competitive keywords have high cost-per-click (CPC). You can free up your budget when you use long queries in your PPC advertisements because they have lower CPC. Plus, these keywords, being very specific, target users closer to the purchase point, improving the chance of getting more returns on ad spend.
Optimize for voice searches –
Around 71% of US consumers make search queries using voice instead of typing. And since voice queries are longer than keyboard queries, it makes sense to optimize your website with long tail terms for voice and conversational searches.
How to search for the right long-tail keywords
The first step in an effective long tail keywords strategy is to select the right niche search queries in your industry. Here are some effective ways to find these keywords:
Google’s autocompleting feature –
As you type your search query on Google’s search engine, it displays related search terms just beneath the search bar. From these suggestions, you can figure out what people are searching for and use them in your SEO and even PPC strategies accordingly.
Google’s ‘People also ask’ & ‘Related searches’ –
Google suggests questions-based keywords and related search keywords for the query you enter on its search engine. You can use these terms in your content to answer users’ questions the right way.
Keyword research tools –
If you want to save time and perform quick research, you can also use one of the keyword tools available in the market right now. Using these tools, you can filter keywords based on search volume and keyword difficulty to find long search terms within your niche. Below are some of the best keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Planner
Social media forums –
Apart from the Google search engine, people also look for answers to their queries on social media forums like Reddit and Quora. Following discussion threads on these forums will help you get more long-tail keyword ideas and understand how to benefit from using them.
Best practices to use long tail keywords
Finding long search queries is just the beginning. How seamlessly you use them on your website makes all the difference. Below are some tips you can follow:
Strategic placements –
To allow easy crawlability and indexation by search engines, you should include the keywords in all strategic places of your content like the first paragraph, headline, and meta description.
Natural to read –
Make sure these keywords fit into the content and are easily read in a flow. Stuffing keywords that don’t go with a particular context can weaken the credibility of your website before audiences.
Search intent specific –
Simply adding keywords to your website will not cut it. You have to understand users’ search intent reflected through these long queries. Using the same keyword research tools, you can figure out the user intent behind each query and build content addressing specific intents.
Image source: SEMrush
Long tail keywords can be a game changer in your SEO strategy. Hire a digital marketer who can craft a rock-solid keywords strategy to bring in the best result for your website.