Long-tail keywords can sometimes be challenging to come up with when doing keyword research for your site’s SEO strategy. We’re going to take a look at what long-tail keywords are, how to identify them, what role they play in your site’s keyword strategy, and show examples of when to use them.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are phrases or more specific keywords that people search for on Google that are some variation of a primary keyword (or seed keyword).
The phrase “long-tail” is meant to illustrate a section of a distribution graph. These keywords are longer, less popular, and more unique, yet they make up a “longer tail” of the distribution of searches associated with a primary keyword. You can see this reflected in this example graph from Ahrefs.
Websites strategically target long-tail keywords rather than primary keywords because they’re less competitive. Keywords that are less competitive are easier to rank for and don’t require as much content to answer. All businesses should take advantage of this simpler way to drive organic traffic to their websites.
Read on to learn how to identify long-tail keywords and when to use them.
How To Identify Long-Tail Keywords
Now that you know you want to go after long-tail keywords, the next step is identifying which keywords to target. This can be simpler than you might think. Luckily, there are SEO tools to help find the best keywords for your content.
Google Search Results Auto-Suggest
One of the easiest ways to identify long-tail keywords is by using the Google Search Results Auto-Suggest feature. You know when you type a search query into Google and automated similar searches appear? That’s what we’re talking about here.
For example, if we type “SEO tools” into the search bar, all of these other related queries come up.
So, if you are wanting to target “SEO tools” for your business, you may consider a long-tail keyword variation of that keyword such as “SEO tools free” or “SEO tools for excel,” depending on what’s relevant to your business.
You can also look at the “People Also Ask” box on the search engine results page to find related search queries.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to make sure the keywords aren’t too specific. If they are, there’s a good chance they won’t have too many searches per month and won’t provide much ROI on your content.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer
Another amazing keyword tool that helps you to identify both primary keywords and long-tail keywords is Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. Keyword Explorer is a comprehensive keyword research tool used by many bloggers, entrepreneurs, and businesses to find which keywords are worth targeting.
If you want to save time, you can use Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer to discover thousands of long-tail keyword ideas.
To do this, first, you need to enter a seed keyword such as “SEO tools.” Then, select one of the sidebar options. For this example, we will select “Phrase match.”
Next, we’ll take three steps to narrow down the list of keywords to ensure they’re long-tail and less competitive.
- We’ll set the maximum monthly search volume to 100 searches. The assumption here is that the fewer monthly searches, the less competitive.
- We’ll put a cap on the keyword difficulty at 30. That way, we remove all keywords with a difficulty score of over 30. We’ve noticed that anything under 30 is fair game.
- Lastly, we’ll mark the word count feature with a minimum of 4 words. The assumption here is the more words, the more unique and the less competitive.
Another cool feature on Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer is the Questions Report. You can find questions related to the keyword by toggling from “All” to “Questions.”
This gives you long-tail keywords in the form of question searches. These are less popular and usually easier to rank for.
Ahrefs is a paid tool, however, we believe it is well worth the money because of all the SEO features it offers. Keyword Explorer is one of the best keyword research tools out there!
Google Trends can also be used to find long-tail keywords. Similar to Google Search Auto-Suggest, it will give you related queries that are trending. For instance, if we type in the search term “SEO tools” again, and scroll down to the related queries section, we will see a list of long-tail keywords.
Using Google Trends’ related queries section is another uncomplicated way of identifying long-tail keywords for your content.
A less common but genuinely useful resource for finding long-tail keywords is the YouTube comments section. This is a great place to see what people are talking about regarding your chosen topic. People may ask questions or bring up related topics that would work as long-tail keywords.
Search for a video about the topic you want to write about. Watch the video (if you’d like!), and then scroll down to the comments section and dive in. Make sure to dive deep into the comments – check out any replies and threads. All of these concepts can help with creating high-quality content.
Reddit threads are another interesting place to find long-tail keywords you might not have thought of before. Reddit is a discussion forum platform used by millions of people. Users can ask questions or post opinions and receive feedback from others.
For example, if you were writing about data science and were looking for relevant keywords, you might want to check out the Reddit data science community. On this page, there’s a bunch of threads about various topics within the data science subject.
Oftentimes the topics include questions from people in the field you’re writing about, which can also make for great blog posts about long-tail topics because you’re getting the user intent directly from the user.
Try reading several threads along with their comments to see what people in the data science field are currently talking and curious about. Draw long-tail keywords from these threads by paying attention to what questions are being asked.
Why You Should Use Long-Tail Keywords
Now that you know how to identify long-tail keywords, why should you use them?
Long-tail keywords generally are what users are searching for on Google. Seed keywords are just the base. The longer and more specific a search term is, the easier it will be to rank on a search engine results page (SERP).
The last step is implementing long-tail queries into your content such as blog posts, landing pages, and product pages. We have an entire article dedicated to how to use keywords for SEO on our blog you can read to learn more about using keywords properly in your content and beyond.
Congratulations! You are ready to create a fantastic keyword strategy using the long-tail keywords you found. These tools should help you succeed in ranking for long-tail keywords in your niche.