How to Identify the Best Long-Tail Keywords
These strategies can help improve your website's traffic and conversions.
Looking for a way to pump up your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), bring in more search traffic and increase your conversions? If so, you’ll want to learn more about long-tail keywords.
These are longer phrases that people are searching for online, often when they’re ready to buy or are looking for precise information. The best part is, it’s usually pretty easy to rank for these keywords, so you’ll save yourself time and effort.
Let’s take a closer look at long-tail keywords and how you can add them to your website to bring in more traffic and increase conversions.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are low volume, hyper-focused keywords that people use when searching, especially when they’re ready to buy or want answers to concrete questions on a subject.
Today, the concept of the "long tail" refers to the length of the search query (three or more words), but that’s not where it originated. It originally described the part of the graph these types of searches occupy when SEO experts graph search queries out. Short-tail keywords are the higher volume search queries that spike at the head of the graph, while the long-tail ones stretch out longer on the graph because there are more of them.
Why focus on long-tail keywords?
There are three reasons why you should focus on long-tail keywords in your SEO efforts.
1. They’re easier to rank for.
It’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords because fewer websites compete for them. For example, a keyword like “website builders” has nearly 390 million results in Google, meaning you’ll need to beat all of them to rank No. 1.
The long-tail keyword “best website builders for ecommerce,” however, is a better option as you’d only need to outrank 8.1 million websites.
2. They have high conversion rates.
People searching for long-tail keywords are, generally speaking, further into the buying cycle than someone searching about the topic more broadly. These people already know the basic info about the subject and want an answer to a specific question. They search with more focus and intention and look for retailers, reviews and more, making the long-tail keywords convert more often.
3. They bring you more organic traffic.
People who use long-tail keywords are looking for particular information, so they’ll spend more time on a site they find in the search results. You’ll get more organic search traffic and decrease your bounce rates as they stick around longer.
Now that you know what they are and how they affect your SEO, it’s time to learn how to find long-tail keywords for your website.
How to identify the best long-tail keywords
Use these tips to find the best long-tail keywords for your website.
Use your analytics
Fire up your favorite tool and look at the long-tail keywords that are already bringing traffic to your website. Brainstorm related or similar long-tail keywords to the ones you already rank for. Stick to ones related to the top five that appear in this report, as people are already searching for them.
Use Google autocomplete
Google’s autocomplete feature is a helpful way to find long-tail keywords since it uses actual words and phrases people are searching for. So, you type in “best website builders … ” and Google offers several suggestions like “for artists,” “for online stores,” “for hobbyists” and more.
Use Google’s “Searches related to” list
At the bottom of every search results page, Google displays a “Searches related to” list. These are, you guessed it, other related search terms people have used. Each of them is a long-tail keyword you could use to drive traffic to your website.
Answerthepublic is a fantastic keyword research tool that generates question-focused keywords using the autocomplete data it mines from search engines. Enter your short-tail keyword on the site, and it’ll display a mindmap of all the questions people are asking with it. Here’s what it found for “website builders.”
Download your answers, and you’ve got a starting list of long-tail keywords to optimize your site for.
Use a trend tracker
Tools like Google Trends and Exploding Topics can help you identify new search trends that you can use to develop your long-tail keywords. Google Trends lets you search for your keywords while Exploding Topics has created visualizations for various categories of keywords and periods. The company's weekly newsletter can help you identify the long-tail keywords before they blow up so you can optimize your site for it earlier.
Once you’ve identified your long-tail keywords, it’s time to create content for them and optimize your existing website for them. Make sure you’ve picked the right keywords for your SEO strategy. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy the higher conversions and search results for them. Look for search terms that match your business goals and are relevant to your site visitors. The rest will take care of itself.