What is a Long-tail Keyword?

Keywords are the core of SEO. Without these, we cannot optimize the websites for search engines and become visible to the users. But keywords are neither simple nor easy to choose. Various factors are considered when selecting keywords for a webpage.
Each webpage needs different keywords based on the content shared on the page. There is a lot of research and work involved in identifying keywords for every webpage.
A part of the process is to identify the long-tail keywords. But what are these? Let’s start with keyword classification. Keywords are usually divided into short-tail, long-tail, and LSI (Latent semantic indexing).

  • A short-tail keyword is a 1-2 word keyword that is highly popular and generates a lot of search volume.
  • A long-tail keyword is a longer, extended version of a short-tail keyword that is more specific. It has a lesser search volume but brings organic traffic.
  • LSI keywords are the synonyms of primary keywords to help the search engines understand the webpages' content.

In this post, we’ll be learning about the long-tail keywords in detail.
Over the years, long-tail keywords have gained popularity and are considered a better way to enhance SEO efforts. Ranking on the first page of SERPs is easier when using long-tail keywords. Let's take a small example to see what precisely a long-tail keyword is.
'Nail art' is a short tail keyword. It will have a huge search volume. The search volume may range from businesses that offer nail art services to blogs that talk about nail art techniques. The people who have shared pictures of their nails using the keyword may also be included in the search volume.
‘Nail art salon in Brooklyn’ is a long-tail keyword. It is going to list the webpages that have used this keyword. And this makes it more likely for a business in Brooklyn to appear among the top search results.

Benefits of Using Long-tail keywords for SEO

1. People Search Using Long-tail Keywords

The most significant benefit of using long-tail keywords is that people use long-tail keywords when looking for something specific. A person who wants to know about cake decorations using fondant will search using a long-tail keyword. Simply saying fondant or cake decorations are going to give them too many unwanted results.
The same goes for digital marketing trends or SEO trends. One has to use a long-tail keyword like 'SEO trends in 2020' or 'successful SEO strategies in 2021' to get the latest SEO information.
How does this benefit the website?
When you include the exact long-tail keyword in the content, your website will easily reach the users. You are providing users with what they want. It means that they are more likely to visit your webpage.

2. Increase Conversion Rates

This benefit is a continuation from the first one. When a user sees that you have the information they want, he/ she will immediately check out the link. It doesn't just increase the website site but also brings organic visitors. And when there is an increase in organic traffic, the conversion rate will increase automatically.
Considering the nail art example, a user who searches for a nail art salon in Brooklyn is more likely to schedule an appointment with your business than someone who is randomly searching for nail art designs to try at home.
You have gained a customer by becoming visible on the search engine page in a precise manner. It has been found that long-tail keywords yield conversions by around 35%.

Relevant : Benefits of Creating High converting Landing pages for Ecommerce

3. More Visibility for Voice Searches

Various surveys showed that there is a steady increase in voice searches. With more people owing Alexa or Google Home and using Siri to answer their questions, voice searches are slowly replacing text searches. Voice searches on mobile phones have also increased, especially for local businesses.
Studies show that a majority of the voice searches are long-tail keywords. People can't give out random words and expect the devices to provide accurate results. They need to be clear and specific for the search assistants to understand.
If you want your website optimized for all kinds of search results, you should use long-tail keywords in your content. Voice searches are the future of online searches, and it is better to be prepared for them.

4. Easy to Rank for Single Keywords

We know that the final aim of search engine optimization is to rank for a short-tail keyword. But it’s not that simple due to the vast search volume. But long-tail keywords can make it happen.
You start by ranking for long-tail keywords, which are considerably more straightforward and take less time. It will put your website at the top on SERPs and bring more visitors. As the website traffic grows, the overall rank will improve and lead to the website gaining visibility for the short-tail keywords.
It's an interconnected process and a time-consuming one. But using long-tail keywords puts your website in a better position to rank for single keywords. After all, the long-tail keywords are just an extended version of the short-tail ones.

5. Lesser Competition

As we mentioned in the previous points, it is easier to rank for long-tail keywords since there is a lesser search volume. There is less competition for your website.
Let’s again take the same example of nail art. Nail art salons Brooklyn gives 35,70,000 results in 1.04 seconds. It is undoubtedly a lot less compared to search results using just the keyword 'nail art', which brings as many as 1,12,00,00,000 results in 0.77 seconds.
Now, if you were to use an even more specific keyword like ‘affordable 3D mail art Brooklyn, you will only have to deal with 18,90,000 results in 0.78 seconds. As you make the long-tail keyword more specific, you will be narrowing down the focus and have a lesser competition to deal with.

6. Give Context to the Webpage Content

Long-tail keywords provide proper context to the content on the webpages. While using short-tail keywords can be fitted one way or another in the body text, doing the same to a long-tail keyword will make it look mighty odd.
It means you need to create appropriate content to use long-tail keywords. And in that process, you are making it easy for users and the search engines to understand what the webpage is about.
Hummingbird is Google's latest algorithm, and it focuses on adjusting the search phrases to suit the long-tail keywords. When you type something on Google, you will notice that it offers a list of long-tail keywords to make the process easier. It enables the website to gain more visibility on the results page.

Long-tail Keywords Vs. Short-tail Keywords

Long-tail Keyword Short-tail Keyword
It consists of more than three words and is specific in nature Consists of 1-2 words and are very generic
Has a lower search volume Has a higher search volume
Bring targeted traffic to the website Brings random users to the website
The user knows what he/she wants when using a long-tail keyword; clear search intent The user is not sure of the exact search requirement; unclear search intent to narrow down as the search progresses
Help in increasing the conversion rate The chances of converting a visitor into a customer are low
Limited/ less competition for long-tail keywords; easier to rank higher on search engines Lots of competition for short-tail keywords; very hard to rank higher on search engines
It costs less to use long-tail keywords Short-tail keywords are trendy and expensive

Long-tail Keywords Vs. LSI Keywords

Long-tail Keywords LSI Keywords
Lengthened versions of short-tail keywords that bring better traffic to the website Semantically related words that explain what the page is about
These are used to make it easy for users to find what they want These are used to help search engines index the webpage by understanding the content
Includes words like best, top, how, why, what, etc. Location words and age are also included Includes synonyms of the primary keyword; Doesn't need to have specific terms
Used to reach a specific audience (based on location, type of product/ service, etc.) Used to create natural text and avoid keyword stuffing
Lower traffic volume due to the specific nature of the keyword Higher traffic volume as search engines consider synonyms when displaying search results
Used in the content on webpages and for ad campaigns Used for PPC campaigns, image optimizations, etc.

Rank Your Website

Best Tools to Find Long-tail Keywords

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered as a part of the Google Ads tool. It was created to help choose keywords for PPC campaigns. But many marketers use this tool to search for relevant keywords and check the competition for the keywords they want.
The search results can be sorted based on monthly search volume, competition, and price (for bidding). Use the Keyword Ideas feature to get a list of related keywords for a topic/ product/ service.

2. Keyword Tool Dominator

It is a free keyword tool that offers keyword suggestions for Google, YouTube, eBay, Walmart, Bing, and Amazon. Though Keyword Tool Dominator is quite a basic version, it is easy to use and relies on the auto-fill feature of Google to identify relevant keywords. The suggestions that pop up on Google are indexed in Keyword Tool Dominator and are used to generate long-tail keywords. You can get the latest list of long-tail keywords using this simple and effective tool.

3. HubSpot Content Strategy Tool

HubSpot is one of the leading SEO platforms in the world. The company offers a complete package to optimize website content for search engines and help you increase ROI. The tool makes it easy to identify keywords based on topic clusters and the search engine you prefer. HubSpot Content Strategy Tool also continues to monitor the webpage content to ensure that the data is relevant to bring organic traffic to the website.

4. LongTail Pro

LongTailPro is another complete SEO tool. While the tool is not available for free, you sure can try the free trial version before investing in the package. LongTailPro works the best for CPC keywords search. Of course, you can use this tool to track daily keywords, search the keywords used by competitors, find domain names with keywords, and determine the rank value of long-tail keywords to measure profitability. Enter one keyword and get a long list of relevant long-tail keywords for it.

5. Hit Tail

HitTail works a bit differently from other keyword search tools. This one analyses your website and its content to suggest a list of long-tail keywords that are perfect for your requirements.
However, this is not free software. You can use it free of charge for the first time. After that, you will have to subscribe and pay the monthly fee. You also need to connect the website’s Google Search Console with the platform to help detect related long-tail keywords.

6. Answer the Public

Answer the Public relies on questions to generate long-tail keywords for the seed keyword you enter. It generates a list of common questions from social media, forums, and blogs related to the keyword. You can also compare keywords in the ‘versus’ section.
That said, the platform doesn’t provide the details of the search volume for the keywords. Without this information, it is rather hard to choose the right long-tail keyword for your webpage.

7. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a keyword tool acquired by Neil Patel, the famous SEO blogger in the industry. Naturally, it became a better tool after he took over. The SEO tool provides keyword suggestions based on the data from Google Ads and the search results pages.
It also provides a domain overview so that you can use the tool to check what your competitors are doing, how the backlinks are working, and more. You can try the limited period trial version before subscribing to the full version.

8. SEMrush

SEMrush is another famous SEO platform that offers excellent tips and advice. The platform also has a complete marketing tool (paid version) that can be used as a long-tail keyword search tool. The advantage of using SEMrush is that you can find keywords based on geographical locations and the competitors you are against. Of course, these options are available only with the full paid version. The trial version has limited features but enough for you to check how it works.

9. Wordtracker

Wordtracker Academy is an SEO platform that shares valuable insights and posts about website optimization for search engines. The Niche Explorer tool helps you find the most relevant keywords from Google, Amazon, and YouTube.
The main benefit of using this platform is the way the data is organized. You can filter the keyword results based on various filters and choose the right ones for your website. However, you can only get up to 12 searches for free.

10. WordStream Free Keyword Tool

It is a free keyword tool that lets you find long-tail keywords based on the country or region. You can also find keywords based on the industry/ niche of the business. Once you enter the required details, the tool will generate the results, along with the Google search volume for each keyword.
The free version shows only up to 10 results, that too, without the competitive score. If you want more, you will need to subscribe to the paid version.

11. SEcockpit

SEcockpit is quite similar to LongTailPro as both of them use the database of Google Keyword Planner and Moz. However, SEcockpit has been created for SEO experts (and offers agency-level subscriptions), while LongTailPro caters more to paid campaigns.
In SEcockpit, you can also include the synonyms of the keywords for searches. It gets data from Google Ads, YouTube Suggest, Amazon Suggest, Google Suggest, and Google Related Searches. You can filter the results based on the competitiveness of the long-tail keywords.

12. KWFinder

KWFinder is an easy-to-use and straightforward keyword finder that is great for beginners. The paid version lets you analyze SERPs, filter the results, and track the website rank. You can opt for the free trial version to understand how the tool works to find relevant low competition long-tail keywords for your website.
The tool also pairs the keywords with the SEO difficulty score so that you will know how hard or easy it is to rank for a particular long-tail keyword.

Long-tail Keywords FAQs

1. What is the difference between a head-tail keyword and a long-tail keyword?

A head-tail keyword is a short-tail keyword that is very popular and has a high search volume. It is also known as a broad or generic keyword. A long-tail keyword has specific content and a lesser search volume. It is not popular but brings organic traffic.

  • Head-tail keyword- high competition & low conversion
  • Long-tail keyword- low competition & high conversion

2. Can we create long-tail keywords without using any SEO tools?

Yes, we can. Even though it is not recommended, it is still possible.

  • Make use of Google auto-fill to see which long-tail keywords are popular.
  • Check Google Trends to identify the themes for long-tail keywords.
  • Search the related keywords section at the end of Google’s search results page.
  • Scroll through online forums to identify long-tail keywords.

3. Can you choose a long-tail keyword as the primary keyword for a webpage?

Absolutely. You should choose a long-tail keyword as a primary keyword for a webpage if you want to rank faster. You need to pick long-tail keywords with less competition and more searches (not results) to reach more audiences looking for the kind of information you share. Make sure to include the long-tail keyword naturally.

4. What is the minimum length of a long-tail keyword? How long should a long-tail keyword be?

A long-tail keyword should be at least two words in minimum to be even considered as a long-tail keyword. It has been found that a long-tail keyword with four words is highly effective. That said, you can use long-tail keywords with three, four, and five words to get more visibility and rank higher.

5. Why are long-tail keywords more important for SEO?

A long-tail keyword means that the users know what they are searching for. They are not merely scrolling through websites. They have a clear intent in mind, and this intent will translate into a higher conversion rate for your website. Users who search using long-tail keywords are prospective customers, unlike users who stumbled upon the website when exploring something else.

6. Are long-tail keywords useful on Amazon?

If you sell your products on Amazon, it’s natural that you want to use keywords that will bring more customers. Long-tail keywords have a low cost per click on Amazon and are easy to rank. While head-tail keywords are used more, long-tail keywords do bring a fair number of customers. The ideal way would be to use more than one long-tail keyword for Amazon.

7. How long does it take to rank on the first search results page using a long-tail keyword?

Strictly speaking, it depends. There is no definite answer to this question. The duration to rank on the first page depends on-

  • the long-tail keyword you choose,
  • the quality of the content, and
  • the domain authority of the website, among various other factors.

If everything works in your favor, the webpage might rank on the first search results page in 6 months to a year.

8. How many shares do long-tail keywords have on Google? Do long-tail keywords enjoy the majority percentage of searches on Google?

Yes, long-tail keywords enjoy the majority percentage of searches on Google. They comprise about 70% to 80% of the search requests. Minor tweaks can give you a whole bunch of long-tail keywords, making it even easier to reach wider audiences. Long-tail keywords are short-tail keywords clubbed together in a meaningful format to give better search results for users.

Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.