Maximize your conversions by targeting highly qualified prospects with long-tail keywords. In this guide, discover what long-tail keywords are, why they matter, and how to use them in your content effectively. From finding the right keywords to incorporating them seamlessly, we've got you covered. Ready to skyrocket your conversions? Dive in!
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords are more specific keyword phrases that users are more likely to use when they are close to making a purchase. These types of keywords are made up of longer phrases and are very specific compared to short-tail keywords. However, because they are hyperspecific, they receive fewer monthly searches than more generalized keywords.
However, because these keywords are more specific and have much less traffic, they are often much less competitive than keywords with higher volume. This can make long-tail keywords much more lucrative to target for smaller businesses.
If you have a website that sells water bottles, the term "water bottle" will be much more competitive and get much more traffic than "Yeti bike water bottle," for example.
In this example, "Yeti bike water bottle" is a long-tail keyword, whereas "water bottle" is a short-tail keyword. The image below shows how much less competitive the long-tail keyword is and how much less traffic it receives.
How Do Long-Tail Keywords Work?
Long-tail keywords work because the users typing or speaking these long-tail queries into search engines have already gone through the other stages of the customer journey and know what they want.
The users who end up on a website due to a long-tail query are much more likely to buy than those who visit a website because of short-tail queries. As a website owner, you need to target relevant long-tail keywords that deal with a good or service you sell to start bringing in more online sales.
Why Are Long-Tail Keywords Important?
A longtail keyword is essential because it has been proven to drive more sales and improve conversions than any other type of keyword. In addition to this benefit, we'll share four other reasons these types of keywords are so important to a healthy website. If you want to learn more about keywords, you can always visit our page, that walks you through everything you need to know about keywords.
Long-Tail Keywords Are Less Competitive
We've already touched on this, but because of the nature of a long-tail keyword, they are much less competitive than less specific keywords. More prominent brands tend to target keywords with more volume because that will improve overall brand awareness. In contrast, smaller businesses will likely win and succeed by targeting many lower-volume long tail keywords vs. short-tail.
Long-Tail Keywords Are More Specific
As shown in an example above, the main difference between long and short-tail keywords is their specificity. Whereas a short-tail keyword might be "water bottles," a long-tail keyword might be "best water bottle for jogging" or "best water bottle for kids." This added specificity in long-tail keywords means fewer people will be searching them each month, but as we'll explain in our next point, this leads to more sales.
Long-Tail Keywords Lead To More Sales
The reason long-tail keywords lead to more sales is because the users searching these longer-tail queries tend to already know what they want. If two people are in the market for a mountain bike, who is closer to purchasing their mountain bike, someone searching "best mountain bikes" or "Yellow Trek Fuel EX 9.8?"?
Probably the second person who wants a specific bike in a certain color, right? If you owned a website that sold mountain bikes, the person who landed on your page after searching "Yellow Trek Fuel EX 9.8" would likely be on your website looking at things like pricing, shipping information like the length of time it would take to arrive, etc.
That person would be infinitely more valuable of a user compared to the person simply searching "best mountain bikes" because that person doesn't even know what they want yet. They still have to research to determine what type of mountain bike they want, what price range they are comfortable spending, which brand/style they like, etc.
Long-Tail Keywords Have Cheaper PPC
Long-tail keywords often have much more affordable PPC rates than their more generalized counterparts, and this is because there is much less competition for them, and they receive much less traffic. If you plan to compliment your SEO campaign with a PPC campaign, this means you will spend less money for more conversions, which is obviously good for many reasons.
How Do You Find Long-Tail Keywords?
There are many ways to find long-tail keywords, but below, we'll go into some of the best ways these gold mines can be hunted down for you to use in your content.
Check Which Keywords Your Competitors Rank For
One of the first ways you should gather keywords you'll use throughout the content on your page should be by gathering the organic keywords your competition is ranking for.
Think about it: You are competing against them in search results, and if they are currently ranking first to fifth in search results, you need to be associated with the same keywords they are in order for search engines to view your content as relevant enough to rank.
By saying that, we are not saying you need to copy your competitors. But search engines allow them to rank for several, or in many cases, hundreds of organic keywords their content isn't even targeting. Because of the quality signals their content sends to search engines, they can organically rank for much more than they are even optimized for.
Gather, Inspect, & Analyze Keywords Using SEO Tools Like Semrush Or Ahrefs
You can use any SEO tool that can fetch updated keyword data to determine what keywords the top 1-10 competitors are ranking for, and this list will help you put together a master list for that specific page.
Spend Some Time On Forums, Blogs, And Reddit
You can find keyword ideas on various blog posts, Reddit, Quora, any forum, or comment section on a website. At first this method will be the most time-consuming until you get a system down, but you can read the comments, use search functions on these platforms, find communities based around your niche, and just spend time reading.
When you spend time reading through these resources, you'll find many standard terms and phrases in the industry that you might have never heard of, even if you've been in the industry for years.
Use AI Tools Like Chat GPT
Using AI to help you think of relevant and quality keyword seed ideas is great. Chat GPT is amazing for taking a prompt and returning as large of a list as you request of it, riddled with tons of keyword ideas you would never have thought of.
Use Software Tools Like Scrapebox
Scrapebox and other similar tools are great at scraping and gathering large lists, and lists of keywords are no different. People have been gathering large lists of keywords for years using Scrapebox, and it has often been referred to as the "Swiss Army Knife" of SEO because of the value it provides for tasks/services like keyword research.
What Are The Four Types Of Long-Tail Keywords?
It is important to note that there aren't any categories of long-tail keywords that are universally recognized. However, that being said, long-tail keywords in some circles can be separated by their search intent as we do below.
Informational long-tail keywords mainly touch on topics that don't necessarily lead to conversions but help to educate your users about one or more aspects of your industry. These - while typically not directly linked to sales - are still valuable to target because they build the trust your prospective clients have in your business and your brand.
If you help your clients learn about your industry, they will view you as a trusted, knowledgeable authority on the topic and will remember you when they move to the part of their journey that leads them to make a purchase.
Transactional long-tail keywords are exactly as they seem - these keywords are often linked directly to users who are ready with their cards in hand. The users who search these queries know what they want; they only want to figure out where they can buy it, and your goal with targeting these keywords is to help them see your website/business as the place they should go.
Navigational long-tail keywords are a good use of time if, of course, the keyword is centered around your specific business. For example, if you owned a bakery named "Sweet's Southern Bakery," and you had some local competition with "Aunt Ida's Bakery," you would want to steer clear of any keywords that dealt with your competitor.
Expanding upon this example slightly, if you were trying to decide if you should target the keyword "Aunt Ida's Jelly Donuts," the answer is no. You would not want to target that keyword because those users are looking specifically for where to find Aunt Ida's donuts, not Sweet's Southern donuts.
If you were to make content focused on that specific keyword, users would be confused and irritated because they would realize they cannot purchase those specific donuts on your page and would leave your website and go to your competitor's page. Search engines are tracking behavior like this, and it would actually help to improve your competitor's rankings.
Commercial long-tail keywords are similar to transactional and informational. These users are typically deciding between two or more products or services and are in the process of researching their selected options before moving forward to make a purchase.
How Should You Use Long-Tail Keywords?
The best way to use long-tail keywords is by creating quality content that thoroughly covers every aspect of the specific topic on which the keyword is based.
You want to gather a keyword list you can work off of to include organically throughout your content, and you also want to provide original images, videos, and other forms of content, all of which should be optimized and geared toward your primary long-tail keyword.
How Are Long-Tail Keywords Different Than Short-Tail Keywords?
Long-tail keywords and short-tail or short-head keywords are much different from one another because of how specific they are. Some examples of short-tail keywords would be "donuts," "bikes," or even "sunglasses."
In contrast, long-tail keywords would be much more specific, such as "best jelly donuts in Houston," "yellow Trek mountain bikes for children," or "best-polarized sunglasses for bass fishing," for example.
We go into much more detail on our short-tail keywords page, so if you want to learn more about what sets short-tail keywords apart from long-tail, check it out!