You often hear the term – “long tail keywords” or the “long tail of search”. Have you ever wondered what does that actually mean and how you can use long tail keywords to increase the visibility of your website?

Long tail keywords or long tail keyword phrases are specific search queries around a broad keyword. For example, “red roses” is a broad keyword phrase. However, “red roses for valentine’s day gift” is a long tail keyword. Similarly, “red roses wallpaper for android desktop background” is another long tail keyword.

In general, any search phrase which contains 4 or more words can be classified into a long tail keyword. Long tail keywords are very specific, you can immediately predict the needs and intention of a customer who used a long tail keyword to come to your website. Hence, it is much more easier to convert a customer to sales if he is using long tail keywords, rather than a generic broad search phrase.

Why you should target Long tail keywords in your content?

Now that we know what long tail keywords are, here are some reasons why you should target long tail keywords in your website content

  1. Long tail keywords brings targeted traffic. Yes, you need traffic to your website for your business to grow and succeed. But not any traffic will help. Only targeted traffic will help your business grow. It does not matter how much traffic you attract to your website, if this traffic is not targeted towards the services you are providing, it will not convert into revenue.Long tail keywords brings targeted, highly quality traffic to your website which is easier to convert to sales. Someone looking for “red roses bouquet for birthday” is more likely to buy a product from your website compared to someone who just searched for “red roses”.
  2. Long tail keywords have high conversion rates. If you have an eCommerce store or a product or services store, you may already know that it is the long tail of search which improves the conversion rate of a sales or product page. The more the number of words in a search query, the better is the conversion rate.Hence, it is always recommended for eCommerce stores, or websites with product sales pages to include customer reviews in their webpage.  When you include customer reviews, the original content left by an existing customer contains long tail keywords which helps improve the visibility of your sales page on Google for long tail search queries.
  3. Most people in the internet search using Long tail keywords. Most people in the internet are using the long tail of search to find content, products or solutions to their problem. Of all the keywords, only 30% keywords are broad in nature while 70% of the keywords fall under the “Long tail of search”.
  4. Long tail keywords helps you rank for broad keywords. Now this may sound a little contradictory but it is the fact.
    When your website starts ranking for a whole range of long tail keywords, search engines begin to put a greater faith and belief in your website. Search engine algorithms prefer those websites who rank for a range of keywords over the one which ranks for specific broad keywords only. The former is more natural, authentic, trustworthy and is only possible when the content is genuine, liked by it’s audience, provides a good user experience and is high quality in nature.

    A website cannot rank for a whole range of long tail keywords without original high quality content or by providing a choppy user experience. A spam site or a low quality site may somehow end up ranking for a broad keyword with lot of monthly search volume.So when your website starts ranking for a whole genre of long tail keywords, it is more likely to be considered for a “Broad keyword” as well. For example, let’s say you have lot of content on your website on the topic – “red roses”.

    Your website has 80 pages related to “red roses” and they rank on Google for different patterns of long tail keywords e.g “red roses for valentine’s day”, “red roses for parents day”, “red roses for anniversary gift”, “red roses for husband” and so on.When your website starts appearing for all these long tail keywords, it is also more likely to be found for “red roses” or “red roses gift” “rose gift ideas” and other combinations of broad keywords.

  5. Google suggests Long tail keywords to a user when he is searching for something. Google tries to predict what you are searching for and it offers suggestions to you through long tail keywords to narrow your search down to the most relevant results. Google wants to show as relevant content as possible and hence, it tries to predict what you are searching by offering you suggestions through long tail keywords and phrases.So in this above example, you are less likely to get favorable results if your website only ranks for “running shoes” and not for long tail specific keywords such as “running shoes for women” or “running shows for flat feet”. Because Google not only suggests the user to use long tail keywords, it will prefer to show that webpage which contains more relevant long tail keywords in its content, compared to the one which only has broad keywords in its content and is generic in nature (not specific).
  6. Long tail keywords provide much more value than generic keywords. Lastly, long tail keywords generally have more value than generic ones. If you have content around long tail keywords which provides information on a specific topic, it is considered more valuable than a webpage which provides information on a generic topic. People are looking for specific, to the point, concise information which has enough value in it. So your content should also be like that – concise, to the point, specific. Hence, it is much more important to focus on long tail keywords from the value perspective.

How to use Semrush for finding Long Tail Keywords

Now that we know the importance and benefits of long tail keywords, how do we find long tail keywords for our business or websites? When doing keyword research for a new content idea or topic, how do we find out which long tail keywords are the most relevant for a particular piece of content?

There are various tools to find long tail keywords, you can even use Google auto suggest and related keywords tool to find long tail keywords. But this process is very laborious and often not accurate. You have to manually dig down keywords and it depends on your accuracy, time, approach and lot of other things. If you do a slightest mistake, you may miss out on important long tail keywords which you must target in your website content to bring targeted traffic.

I prefer using a premium tool Semrush to find long tail keywords which are not only profitable but also very targeted towards the content that I use for my websites. Previously, I have discussed how to use Semrush for keyword research and how to use Semrush for finding long tail keywords from competitor websites, be sure to read these two articles to understand why we recommend semrush for organic research and seo.

All things said and done, let’s see the steps to find long tail keywords around a topic using semrush.

  1. Login to your Semrush account, click on “Keyword overview” and type in the Broad keyword in the search bar.
  2. Next, select the target country and device. If you are not aware of what choosing “target country” does, it actually selects the database of that specific country for which you want the traffic. For example, if your target audience is from United States or Europe, you would want to first switch to that country and then run the report. Similarly, if you want to focus on mobile search queries alone, select the device as “mobile”
  3. Export the list of keywords into a CSV file. You can import this CSV file in Microsoft Excel, Open office or Google spreadsheets.
  4. Once you have imported the data into Google spreadsheet, it will look something like below. I would suggest deleting the columns – CPC, Competitive density, number of results, SERP features, Trend. You can keep them if you really need them, otherwise just remove them and tidy up for further analysis.
  5. Next, you should sort the sheet data by monthly search volume which means the keywords with maximum search volume should come on top.Generally, the long tail of keywords have low search volume because each individual long tail of keyword won’t have so much search volume than a generic seed keyword.
  6. The next step is to eliminate those keywords which do not co-relate with your business and are too generic in nature. For example, if I have a gifts store of flower bouquets, I would only consider those keyword ideas which relates to my business. In this case, “roses are red love poems”, “roses are red pick up lines” are not relevant long term keywords. However, “long stem red roses”, “red roses for marriage anniversary” are relevant long term keywords.So go ahead and simply delete those keywords which are irrelevant and keep the ones which are relevant. Keep in mind that most keywords will not be relevant at all, less than 10% of the long tail keywords will actually be relevant to your business or niche. It is totally okay to get rid of the rest 90% of the irrelevant keywords.You do not want to target them and bring traffic which will never convert. So someone searching for “roses are red poems” and coming to your bouquet store will not get what he is looking for and will leave your website, resulting in a bad user experience which affects the SEO and reputation of your website. So by all means, avoid keeping those keywords which are not relevant and keep only the ones which are relevant.

It will take you some time to cover the whole list of keywords. For me, a list of 10,000 keywords takes an hour or so. But please invest this time and do not look for shortcuts.

Once you are done with a filtered list of only the relevant long tail keywords, you are all set. Now you can use these keywords in the copy of your website’s landing page, product page, services page and optimize the content of your website for long tail search keywords. These long tail keywords will also help you generate new content ideas or create new landing page ideas for your business.

For example, if I do not have a page on my bouquet store for “marriage anniversary bouquets for couples under 30”, and if I see this long tail keyword has a decent search volume, it makes complete sense to create a page on my store and then have some content around that long tail keyword to ensure this page shows up on search results when people are searching for that specific long tail keyword.

Once again, we strongly recommend using Semrush for finding long tail keywords for your business and enrich the content of your website, to improve the visibility of your website in Google search results for the long tail or search.