Long tail keywords are specific keywords that are often three or four words long. Discover how to find and use long tail keywords in our guide.
Our SEO guide is here to help you implement a fantastic SEO strategy and drive more traffic to your website. In this chapter, we explain how to find long tail keywords and why they are so important for your ranking and website visibility.
What are Long Tail Keywords?
Let’s look at the difference between long tail keywords and short tail keywords.
The word “iphone” is an example of a short tail keyword. According to Google Keyword Planner, there are 100,000 to one million searches for the word “iphone” each month. There’s also high competition for the phrase, meaning that it’s being targeted by plenty of advertisers.
However, the phrase “apple iphone 4 32gb” is a long tail keyword. As you can see, there are just 10 to 100 searches for this keyword in an average month. There’s also low competition.
So to summarise, long tail keywords are likely to have the following characteristics:
- They’re made up of at least three words.
- They have low monthly search volume.
- They have low competition.
And short tail keywords are likely to have the opposite characteristics:
- They’re just one or two words.
- They have a low number of monthly searches.
- They have low competition.
It can be useful to think of long tail keywords as being specific and short tail keywords being vague — but that doesn’t tell the whole story!
Why Are They Called Long Tail Keywords?
Okay, but why are they called long tail keywords? Imagine locating our “iphone” and “apple iphone 4 32gb” keywords on the graph below:
The first keyword (iphone) would be located somewhere near the cat’s head. It’s a less specific keyword with high competition.
Though we’ve used the term “short tail keyword” to describe keywords like this, it’s also sometimes known as the “fat head”. That’s not a nice way to talk about our keyword cat, but it is descriptive! What do you call the part between the fat head and the long tail? It’s the “chunky middle”.
The second keyword (apple iphone 4 32gb) would be located right at the end of the cat’s long tail. It’s very specific and the competition is low. It’s a long tail keyword.
Are Long Tail Keywords Better Than Short Tail Keywords?
There are some situations in which it’s better to target long tail keywords rather than short tail keywords.
- Low competition
It’s easier to rank for long tail keywords as there is less competition. It’s very important to consider the strength of the competition before targeting a keyword. If the competition is very strong, you’ll need to invest more resources to rank for a keyword.
- Long tail keywords can signal user intent
Let’s look at our short tail keyword “iphone” again. There are many different reasons why you’d put that keyword into a search engine. You might want to buy an iPhone, but you also might want information about the new release, you might want an image or you might want something else entirely. The user intent is unclear.
Our long tail keyword is a different story. When I put “Apple iphone 4 32gb” into Google, it’s probably because I want to buy that exact model of iPhone. I’m past the research stage and I’m ready to make a purchase. There’s a high likelihood of commercial intent.
It’s not always the case, but long tail keywords often have higher commercial intent than short tail keywords. This can make them more valuable to businesses.
- Higher conversion rate and lower bounce rate?
‘Womens white Nike trainers’ is a long tail keyword. If I’m looking to buy these and your website comes up first and is exactly what I’m looking for, I have a much higher chance of converting and less chance of bouncing back to Google.
Remember: you want to get the user to where they want to be, as soon as possible. Make sure you have all the details on the landing page. If the first page they land on has exactly what they’re looking for, they won’t leave.
- Great for creating blogs
Long tail keywords are perfect for creating blog posts. If you’re not sure what to write about on your blog, targeting long tail keywords is a solid plan. They can help you to rank and as long as you have a sweet call to action on the blog page, they are more likely to convert.
Exposure Ninja can help you find the long tail keywords which will be most profitable to your business. Contact us today for your free marketing review and kick-start your digital marketing campaign.