Whenever you’re searching for something on the internet, you generally start with a short, broad keyword. For example, if you want to buy a new pair of shoes, you might search for “shoes.”

But occasionally, you’ll use a longer, more specific keyword phrase. For example, “women’s size 8 running shoes.”, or even a question like “where can I buy size 8 women’s running shoes near me?”

These longer, more specific keyword phrases are called long-tail keywords, and they’re essential for any good SEO strategy or when you’re choosing the right keywords for SEO. So what are long-tail keywords, and how can you find and use them?

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are simply longer (around 3-5 words) and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are typing (or saying) into search engines. They’re more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to the point of purchase.

Think of a man searching Google for “men’s size 8 running shoes.” He’s probably pretty close to buying a pair of shoes because he’s already looking for a specific product.

On the other hand, someone searching for just “shoes” might be looking for anything from dress shoes to sneakers to work boots. Utilizing long-tail keywords in SEO is especially critical now with the rise of Voice search. 

What are the advantages of using long-tail keywords?

They’re easier to rank for.

There are a couple of factors that allow content to rank, such as:

  • Relevance: Is your content relevant to what people are searching for?
  • Authority: Does your website have authority on the topic?
  • Links: Does your content have links pointing to it?

All of these are important, but long-tail keywords give you an advantage regarding relevancy. Why? Because long-tail keywords are much more specific, it’s easier to show search engines that your content is relevant.

For example, if you have an article about “coffee,” you’re competing with millions of other articles about coffee.

But if you have an article about “how to make the perfect cup of pour-over coffee,” you’re competing with far fewer articles and have a better chance of ranking.

They convert better.

Long-tail keywords also tend to convert better than short, broad keywords because they’re more specific.

Let’s go back to our coffee example. If someone searches for “coffee,” they might look for many different things. They might be looking for a list of the best coffee shops near them, a recipe for iced coffee, or an article about the history of coffee.

But if someone searches for “how to make the perfect cup of pour-over coffee,” it’s obvious that they’re interested in how to make pour-over coffee. And if your article is about that, there’s a good chance they’ll convert into a lead or customer.

The competition is lower.

When choosing keywords for SEO, competition is everything. The more competitive a keyword is, the harder it will be to rank for that keyword and the higher its keyword difficulty will be. And because long-tail keywords are more specific, the competition is generally lower. 

Check out How to Discover Your Competitor’s Keywords & Use Them to Your Advantage to learn more.

How To Find Long-Tail Keywords?

Step 1. Let Google do the work for you.

Start by doing a simple Google search for your main keyword. Going back to our coffee example, if we search for “coffee,” we’ll see a list of related long-tail keywords in the drop-down menu.

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Google autocompletes these long-tail keywords based on what people are actually searching for. So if you see a long-tail keyword getting a lot of searches, it’s a good indication of a good keyword to target.

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While you’re there, you should also check out the “People Also Ask” section. This is a great way to find long-tail keywords that you might not have thought of. The long-tail keywords here are typically asked as a question, which is great for coming up with content ideas.

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And to maximize Google’s long-tail keyword suggestions, you can check out the related search terms at the bottom of the page. These are long-tail keywords that are related to your main keyword. The image above shows the related search terms for the keyword “coffee beans.”

Step 2. Use a keyword research tool.

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Thankfully, many great keyword research tools are out there that can help you find long-tail keywords. SEMrush is one of our favorites.

To use SEMrush, start by entering your main keyword into the search bar. Go to the “Keyword Magic Tool” and enter your main keyword, in this case, “coffee.”

You’ll then see a long list of keyword results for coffee, and you just filter out the word count you want. Ta-Da!

There are a bunch of other great keyword research tools out there, so feel free to experiment with a few before settling on one. Other tools you could try include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • KWFinder
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
  • UberSuggest
  • LongtailPro

Step 3. Find what people are asking.

A huge chunk of long-tail keywords is question-based. And people are searching for these questions because they want answers.

A great way to find long-tail keywords is to see what people are genuinely asking, and you can do this by using a tool like AnswerThePublic. In Answer the Public, you enter your main keyword, and it spits out a long list of questions related to that keyword.

For example, when we enter “coffee,” we see a long list of questions like “what coffee has the most caffeine?” and “how long does coffee last?”

You, therefore, know that these are questions people are searching for, and you can create content around these topics.

Step 4. Utilize Quora, Reddit, and other forums.

Remember how we said that a lot of long-tail keywords are question-based? Well, a great way to find out what questions people are asking is by checking out forums like Quora and Reddit.

These forums are full of people asking questions, so you can easily find long-tail keywords you can target.

Using Quora to find long-tail keywords

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Quora is a Q&A platform where people can ask questions on any topic. And because it’s sorted by topic, it’s easy to find questions related to your niche.

For example, if we go to the “Coffee” topic, we see a long list of coffee-related questions. We can then use these questions as long-tail keywords. You can check the related topics on the right-hand side to find even more long-tail keywords.

Using Reddit to find long-tail keywords

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Reddit is another great platform for finding long-tail keywords. You can find relevant subreddits by searching for your main keyword + “subreddit.”

So, if we search for “coffee subreddit,” we see a long list of coffee-related subreddits. We can then browse through these subreddits to find long-tail keywords that we can target.

Bonus Tip: You can even look at Wikipedia to find long-tail keywords. Just enter your main keyword into Wikipedia, and you’ll see a long list of related topics you can target.

Step 5. Look through your Google Analytics account.

What better way to find long-tail keywords than by seeing what’s already working well for you? If you have a Google Analytics account set up for your website, you can easily find long-tail keywords that bring traffic to your site.

To do this, go to your Google Analytics account and click on “Acquisition” then “Keywords.” From there, you’ll be able to see all the long-tail keywords driving traffic to your website.

How to Use Long-Tail Keywords in SEO

1. Use long-tail keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions.

For your title tags, you want to make sure you include your main keyword as well as a long-tail keyword. This will help you rank for both your main keyword as well as your long-tail keyword.

And for your meta descriptions, include a long-tail keyword that accurately describes your page. This will help you increase your click-through rate, which is a ranking factor for SEO.

2. Use long-tail keywords throughout your content.

Of course, you want to include your long-tail keywords throughout your content. But make sure you’re not stuffing your keywords in there. This will not only turn off your readers but also get you penalized by Google.

Instead, use your long-tail keywords naturally throughout your content, as if you’re conversing with your reader. Here are 4 Practical Tips to Win With Evergreen Content.

3. Optimize your images for long-tail keywords.

Even your images can be optimized for long-tail keywords. All you have to do is include your long-tail keyword in your image file name and alt text.

This will help you rank higher in Google Image Search, which can drive traffic to your website.

4. Use long-tail keywords in your URLs.

When creating your URLs, make sure you include long-tail keywords. This will help both your users and search engines understand what your page is about. For example, if you have a page about coffee beans, your URL might look like this: www.example.com/coffee-beans.

5. Promote your content with long-tail keywords.

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to promote it. And what better way to promote it than by using long-tail keywords?

When promoting your content on social media, include long-tail keywords in your tweets and posts. This will help you reach a wider audience while also helping you rank higher in search engines! 

Read on 7 INVENTIVE STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING YOUR BLOG AND GETTING MORE AUDIENCES for more promotion ideas.

Conclusion

Long-tail keywords are a great way to improve your SEO. By targeting long-tail keywords, you can rank higher in search engines, drive more traffic to your website, and improve your click-through rate. With all of these benefits, there’s no reason not to use long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy!

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