How To Find Long-Tail Keywords
When building your website SEO, you may be tempted to use the first, high-volume keyword you stumble upon during your keyword research. After all, the more popular keyword will surely bring in traffic, right?
Wrong. The popular keywords will bring traffic – to the higher ranking websites. If your website is new, it can take months or longer for it to gain traction in the search engine results.
It may seem counterintuitive, but you’re looking for a less popular keyword that you can finesse to your advantage using long-tail keywords.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Keywords are the phrases entered into a search engine that returns specific results. Long-tail keywords are the additional two or three words that you tack onto the end of the generic keyword to turn them into unique keywords.
Long-tail keywords are less competitive to target specific niche traffic. Take the generic search term “winter boots.” An example of developing that generic keyword into a long-tail keyword include:
- Best winter boots for women
- Best winter boots for fashion
- Winter boots for kids
The search phrase “winter boots” returns 422,000,000 results. The long-tail keyword “best winter boots for plantar fasciitis” returns just 579,000 results.
If you were a company selling winter boots to people with plantar fasciitis, your business website has a better chance at being in the rankings with the low-volume long-tail keyword than the high-volume generic keyword.
Having a less competitive long-tail keyword makes it easier to achieve a high rank search engine return. The popularity of a keyword makes it less likely to convert that popularity into driving traffic to your site.
Using long-tail keywords allows for highly-focused search engine results that DO convert into traffic for your site.
Why Should You Care About Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords have the potential to increase your business’s revenue by driving niche traffic to your website. Generic keywords make it difficult to meet the needs of the searcher.
If someone searches a broad “winter boots,” they aren’t necessarily looking to buy winter boots. However, if they search the more specific “best winter boots for plantar fasciitis,” you can infer that they are searching for a specific type of winter boots that your company may be able to provide for them.
Simply put, a more targeted search returns targeted search results. Utilizing long-tail keywords in your SEO plan can ensure your business is listed high in those search results.
Long-tail keywords debunk the misconception that shorter keywords convert more traffic to your site than longer search phrases. The opposite is often true.
How to Find Long-Tail Keywords
Knowing how to do keyword research is fundamental for finding long-tail keywords that adequately summarizes your website’s content. Even though long-tail keywords are longer than broad, generic keywords, they still need to fit a lot of information into a short amount of words.
Tools to help you find long-tail keywords include:
The simplest way to find long-tail keywords relevant to your site’s content is using Google’s auto-fill. Enter your search phrase into the Google search engine and auto complete will do the rest for you. You’ll be able to study the niche topics that people are using search engines to find and use those seeds to develop a long-tail keyword specific to your brand.
Google’s Related Search
When you enter a phrase into Google’s search engine, possible searches pop up not only in the search bar, but at the bottom of the page, as well. The related search presents variations of the generic search term to help the user find related topics.
“People Also Ask…”
After the first top five search results, there is a box of related searches with the heading, “people also ask…” When you’re trying to focus on work, those three words can send you down a rabbit hole of information.
When you’re creating an SEO plan, those three words and the resulting clicks can help you stumble upon the perfect long-tail keyword that will set your website apart from any other websites with similar content topics.
Using Google as your only keyword research can be time-consuming because you have to manually enter potential keywords and sift through the results.
Since SEO keywords have become more commonplace, professional tools that assist in keyword research have been multiplying. Here are some of the best:
LSI Graph Keyword Generator
The LSI Graph Keyword Generator is a marketing tool that helps search engines understand the context of search phrases users input into the search bar. It’s purpose is to provide users with results that address their intent rather than just provide an answer to a query.
However, because LSI keywords have similarities to the phrases used in targeted keyword searches, the tool can inadvertently be used to generate long-tail keywords. Once you’ve mastered the tool’s initial purpose, you can take it further and use it to generate specific keywords that relate to your page’s content.
Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix
Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix can be used to analyze competitor’s long-tail keywords to discover which ones aren’t getting traffic from and use that long-tail keyword to your advantage to promote your page’s content.
Entering your competitor’s website into the tool allows you to view the data for individual keywords that may be related to your topic. Once the poorly used keywords are identified, you can adjust the long-tail keyword to fit your content or change your content to fit with the keyword and attempt to drive traffic to your website instead of your competitor’s.
Look at Quora’s User-Generated Questions
Quora is a platform where users ask questions and receive quality answers. You can use it to discover which questions internet users are asking related to a phrase within your long-tail keyword.
Then you can take that information and tailor your long-term keyword to include the answer, thus increasing your chances of a higher search engine ranking.
Go in the Trenches to See What Customers Are Saying
A more hands-on approach is to directly interact with customers by participating in forums. Browsing forums lets you know exactly what kind of questions people have about popular topics and gives you an opportunity to enrich your long-tail keyword with the answers.
Optimizing Long-Tail Keywords for SEO
Knowing how to research long-tail keywords isn’t the same as knowing how to use the search phrases to boost SEO. What you’re looking for are search terms that have a high amount of user interest with the least amount of notice by your competition.
Optimize long-tail keywords on your website to increase your rank in the search engines in the following ways:
- Use the long-tail keyword in the title of the post and the meta title
- Use the long-tail keyword in the SEO-rich meta description that shows up in the search results
- Use the long-tail keyword in the very first paragraph – the first sentence if you can use it organically – of your website’s content
- Use the long-tail keyword organically within your posts to create a 2% keyword density
- Use the long-tail keyword in subheadings as much as possible without keyword stuffing
- Use the long-tail keyword in the last paragraph of the post
- Use the long-tail keyword in the image alt tag for one of the images used on the site
- Utilize internal links to other pages within your site that connect the link to the new content
The majority of search engine search phrases are long-tail keywords.
Once you understand how to use long-term keywords to your advantage you have a higher chance of connecting with your target audience. Your target audience has a question and you have an answer for it. The hard part is finding them through the general crowd so you can provide them with the answer.