The Complete Guide to Long-Tail Keywords (More Traffic, Less Competition!)

Lauren Stark
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What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are specific types of keyword queries that are 3, 4, or 5 words or even longer. Since these queries are longer and more specific they are generally lower in search volume and less competitive to rank for.

For example, ‘jewelry’ is a very broad and competitive keyword. However, a longer phrase like ‘vintage 80s jewelry’ is more specific and less competitive for a website to rank on. ‘Vintage 80s Gold Jewelry’ or “80s Gold Necklaces” are other variations of this topic and are also examples of long-tail keywords.

Why are Long-Tail Keywords Important? (More Traffic, Less Competition!)

Here are the two main reasons you should care about long-tail keywords:

#1 High Conversion Traffic: Long-tail keywords can drive a lot of high-converting traffic to your website and dramatically increase revenue for your business. This is because long-tail keywords are usually entered by users with very specific intentions related to the topic they are searching.

#2 Lower Search Volume: Since long-tail keywords have lower search volumes they are usually ignored but this can actually be a positive. These terms are less competitive so it’s easier to rank for them.

How to Find the Best Long-tail Keywords

The first step in utilizing long-tail keywords is to find them! Since there are almost infinite variations of keywords related to a specific topic it is important to be strategic (even picky!) when choosing long-tail keywords.

You want to make sure that the phrases you choose are relevant to your website and not so specific that their search volume negligible.

There are many tools and strategies for finding the long-tail keywords but not all of them yield the same quality results. In order to streamline the process of finding the best long-tail keywords, you can use some of our favorite methods. Here they are:

Use Google First

One of the best ways to find long-tail keywords is to go straight to the source of search, Google itself. This method is great because it is free to use and it is a quick and easy way to get started.

Google wants to help users find what they are looking for, so they provide a lot of features that can redirect searchers to relevant and related topics. That way if you search a general topic keyword you can make use of these features to find more specific searches.

These different features on the search engine results page are useful for a lot of reasons, but in this case, they provide excellent longtail keyword phrases.

Let’s dive into the different ways to find ideas with these features.

Autocomplete

Autocomplete is a feature that suggests longer searches based on what you have started to type into the search bar.

For this feature, you want to start typing a short keyword related to your business or website. Then you can see in the dropdown list the suggestions related to that word. You can take note of all of the relevant suggestions as possible longtail keywords.

For example, let’s say that you have a jewelry business and you are looking for long-tail keywords related to birthstone jewelry. You could type in that phrase and see these results:

These autocomplete results provide great ideas for longer phrases that have a reasonable search volume.

Related Searches

Another great feature on Google for long-tail keyword research is the related search section at the bottom of the search results page.

Let’s take a look at the “birthstone jewelry” example again:

This section has other suggestions that are different from the Autocomplete dropdown list. You can continue to use these two methods by entering longer keyword phrases and seeing the new autocomplete and related search results. Meanwhile, you can add all of the most relevant phrases to a spreadsheet to refer to later.

People Also Ask (PAA) Boxes

The PAA Boxes are another valuable tool for search engine research.

For search queries with questions you will find a section near the top of the results that looks like this:

This is a great way to find relevant and searchable phrases to use as long-tail keywords.

Search Console Query Reports

Another great free way to find long-tail keywords is to use Google Search Console. This is a great method because it is very targeted at your website’s data.

Step By Step Instructions to Use This Method:

  1. Sign in to your Search Console account
  2. Click on the Performance tool in the sidebar
  3. Check the “Average Position” box at the top of the report page and review the “Position” column in the report. (This column shows you the ranking of your website for the keywords you rank for)
  4. Sort the results by “Impressions” to see any long-tail keywords you already rank for

Once you are viewing this list you can take all of the long-tail keywords that you already rank for with good search volumes and add them to your spreadsheet of relevant long-tail keywords. Then you can come back to these phrases and invest more effort into them so they can get even more traffic.

Quora, Reddit, and Niche-Specific Forums

Quora and Reddit are both social platforms that have tons of information on many different topics. This is great because you can research the niche of your website and find out what are the most asked questions or the newest areas of interest.

There are also many independent forums in different niches that you can find by googling the following:

  • “general topic/niche” + bulletin
  • “general topic/niche” + forum
  • “general topic/niche” + board

Once you find relevant sites you can also use them to identify relevant topics for long-tail keywords.

All of this information can inspire new long-tail keywords. In addition, you can test out keyword variations you find on these websites in Google to come up with even more ideas.

Take-Aways:

Long-tail keywords are a majorly underappreciated opportunity for improving SEO.

There are millions of long-tail keywords that have low competition for rankings, but high value and conversion rates. That means that investing time into ranking for them is easier than for high volume keywords, and it can be more beneficial.

Overall, the potential impact long-tail keywords can have is significant and worth the effort in finding the best long-tail keywords to use!

Lauren Stark
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