Long-Tail Keywords
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Long-tail keywords are often cited as being simpler to rank for and better at converting. But is this really the case?

It depends. Long-tail keywords come in two varieties, and some of them are just as difficult to rank for as their short-tail equivalents.

You'll discover the differences between the two types of long-tail keywords in this post, as well as how to find them.

But first, let's get to the main topics we'll be discussing:

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Highly specific search volumes, known as long-tail keywords, often have low search volume.

Even though users don't search for long-tail keywords as often, when combined, they account for a large portion of all searches.

The term “long tail” was used to characterize the phenomenon in which niche products on sites like Amazon accounted for more total sales than top blockbusters.

It turns out that when users type keywords into search engines, the same thing happens.

In actuality, the “tail” at the end of a curve is referred to as the “long tail.”

Keyword searches in Google

Each individual long-tail keyword has a comparatively low search volume, as seen in the figure above (especially when compared to head terms).

However, when performed as a whole, they account for a disproportionately vast majority of all Google searches.

Long-Tail Keyword Examples

Let's quickly review some words that aren't considered long-tail keywords.

Examples of very broad “head terms” that aren't long-tail keywords are shown below:

  • coffee filters
  • iced coffee
  • marketing agency
  • marketing expert

Observe how these terms are specific and concise. These are characteristics that non-long-tail keywords often have.

The following are some long-tail examples of targeted keywords:

  • homemade coffee filters
  • make iced coffee at home
  • content marketing for SaaS
  • content marketing strategies for software

Notice how these keywords are long and precise. These are telltale signs of long-tail keywords.

Why Are Long-Tail Keywords Important?

Easier to Rank

Popular head terms typically have intense competition. So, if you can rank at all, it can take years to rank for that keyword using SEO.

For example, there are 2.23 billion matches for the keyword “sushi”:

Search results for "sushi"

However, there are only 25 million search results returned for the long-tail keyword “vegan sushi recipes”:

Search results for "vegan sushi recipes" - Long-Tail Keywords

You will be up against 98.88% fewer sites to rank on Google's first page.

The same pattern can be seen if you look at Semrush's Keyword Difficulty widget for each keyword.

“Sushi” has a KD of 90%:

Keyword Overview for "sushi" - Long-Tail Keywords

That's pretty difficult.

However, “vegan sushi recipes” only have a KD of 54%:

Keyword Overview for "vegan sushi recipes" - Long-Tail Keywords

Targeted Traffic

Long-tail keywords are often quite specific, so whoever is searching for them on Google is typically just about to make a purchase.

Take the keyword “SEO software,” for instance.

Keyword Overview for "SEO software" - Long-Tail Keywords

Someone who searches for such a term is on the verge of making a purchasing decision. even if they are still shopping for the greatest software.

A keyword like “SEO,” on the other hand, is super broad:

Keyword Overview for "SEO" - Long-Tail Keywords

This searcher is most likely doing preliminary research on SEO in general. They might have been looking for software to aid with their SEO strategy for months.

Less Expensive PPC Advertising

Long-tail keywords may also help you get more bang for your advertising buck if you use Google Ads.

Why? The cost per click for many high-volume keywords is high.

Furthermore, as previously stated, these broad keywords do not translate very well.

Low-volume long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are super-targeted. As a result, they may have a greater conversion rate.

Furthermore, they may have a lower CPC. That's a PPC win-win situation!

The biggest downside of concentrating on long-tail keywords is that you must rank for numerous of them to match the quantity of traffic you would get from a single head term.

Head vs. long-tail keywords  - as-educate

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

Here are a few tried-and-true strategies for finding long-tail keywords for your website.

Google’s Autocomplete Feature

Google will show a drop-down list of relevant terms that people search for as soon as they start typing in the search box.

Google autofill for "best content marketing"

To get even more options, you can simply add a letter after your search term.

Say the scenario is that you're looking for long-tail keywords for content marketing. The following list of options appears when you type something like “best content marketing strategy” into the search box:

Google autofill for "best content marketing p"

Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) Feature

The “People also ask” feature on Google is an excellent source to find question-based keywords.

People Also Ask box for "content marketing"

When you click to expand on a topic, Google generates more questions:

expanded People Also Ask box for "content marketing"

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

In seconds, the Keyword Magic Tool generates thousands of keywords.

Simply enter a broad “seed keyword” into the tool:

Keyword Magic Tool

And it will find several long-tail versions of that keyword quickly:

Keyword Magic Tool results for "content marketing"

Google’s “Related Searches”

At the bottom of the first page of search results, Google presents a list of eight keywords:

Related searches for "content marketing"

These are frequently long-tail keywords closely linked to the term you just searched for.

Here are some of the long-tail keywords that Google suggests for “content marketing”:

Long-tail keywords found in Related Searches

Use Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Identifying what makes your company unique is an underutilized strategy for finding long-tail keywords.

This allows you to get your site in front of people by employing long-tail keywords that define the unique service you provide.

As an example, say you offer human-grade, organic dog food.

Keywords such as “human-grade organic dog food” and “human-grade dog food” would be ideal.

These keywords, like other long-tail keywords, will not generate a lot of traffic.

However, they are highly tied to what you sell. This suggests that the traffic will most likely convert.

To put this strategy into practice, ask yourself these questions:

  • What makes your product or service unique?
  • What kind of people need what you are offering? 
  • Why should they choose you over your competitors?

Semrush Topic Research Tool

You may type a keyword into the Topic Research Tool to find topics that are closely linked to that keyword:

Topic Research tool

Numerous of these associated keywords are also excellent long-tail keywords.

You'll see recent stories and questions about your subject when you click on a card:

Dog food topic research

These questions might help you discover untapped long-tail keyword ideas for blog content.

Social Media and Forums

Message boards and forums, such as Reddit, may assist you in locating issues that others are experiencing. Your content can help solve these problems.

For example, we discovered a few good topics by typing “content marketing” on Quora:

Quora results for "content marketing"

Information may be found in innumerable online forums, message boards, and social media places.

Semrush Keyword Gap Tool

Semrush's Keyword Gap Tool can show you the keywords that your rivals are ranking for but you aren't.

Add your domain and up to four competitors who will use it:

Keyword Gap Tool main page

The tool will show the keywords and SERP positions for which your competitors rank.

Keyword Gap Tool results for dog food brands

Google Ads Keyword Planner

PPC campaigns are intended for use with the Google Keyword Planner. Nevertheless, it remains a valuable source for keyword ideas.

To use it, go to the Keyword Planner after logging into your Google Ads account.

The two options you'll see are Discover new keywords and Get search volume and projections.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Select “Discover new keywords:”

Discover keywords in Keyword Planner

Then, enter the field with a broad “seed keyword.” Google will generate a bunch of related terms:

Keyword results in Keyword Planner

Using Long-Tail Keywords Effectively

Only half the battle is won by finding long-tail keywords.

After selecting your keywords, you must correctly use them on your page. You may learn all you need to know about employing keywords correctly from our guide to on-page SEO.

As a quick introduction, here are a few on-page SEO tips that especially pertain to long-tail keywords:

Use Keywords Naturally

Long-tail keywords (such as “best SEO tool for SaaS businesses”) may be long and clumsy. As a result, they aren't always easy to incorporate organically into a sentence.

You may need to be creative or change your keyword somewhat.

Just be sure not to overuse your keyword on your page. Readability and usability are always prioritized.

Place Your Keywords Strategically

If possible, include your long-tail keyword in the title, headers, and subheaders of your page. Use it in your opening paragraph, if possible, in the first sentence.

Consider a User’s Search Intent

Adding your keyword to your page is insufficient. To rank highly on Google, your content must match the search intent of the keyword.

The Search Intent feature of Semrush makes it simple to find a keyword's search intent.

Keyword intent for "content marketing"

This allows you to generate content that provides your reader with precisely what they're looking for.


Keyword research is still the bedrock of every successful SEO campaign. Long-tail keywords are also ideal for new sites (or sites that don't currently have a tonne of authority).

If you've been struggling to rank for your target terms, it's possible that they were too competitive. It may also be time to switch your attention to long-tail keywords.

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