Long-tail Keywords: What are they and How to Get Search Traffic

Safalta Expert Published by: Shrey Bhardwaj Updated Tue, 28 May 2024 01:49 AM IST


Learn about long-tail keywords, the keywords with a specific rightful audience and less competition, their benefits, types, and effective identification methods to enhance your SEO strategy. 

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Long-tail keywords are easier to rank to get better conversions, but it depends on the user. Two types of long-tail keywords are there, and in comparison to their short-tail counterparts, some are harder to rank. They are specific and highly targeted search phrases used by the users to search for something particular on the search engine result page (SERP). Carrying a significant potential for deriving the targeted audience towards the website even though they are searched less in comparison to the short and broad keywords. They have a better conversion rate as well in comparison to short keywords, reason being they are specific and if someone is using them, he/she is going to get the perfect match for their query. 
For example, instead of searching "shoes" which is a broad keyword, search for "comfortable running shoes for men under 1000" which is a long-tail keyword.

Source: Safalta

Now compare both of the keywords and you decide which one is more specific and will show the exact same result as the one demanded by the user.
There are several benefits using Long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy. First, the keyword usually faces less competition which makes it easier to rank higher on the Search engine result page (SERP). Secondly, they target the rightful audience or we can say niche market which derives the relevant audience. And third is they can help you understand the needs of the targeted audience, helping you to create more valuable content for them.
Today, we are going to learn the differences between the two types of long-tail keywords and how to identify them.

Table Of Contents

  • What are long-tail keywords?

  • Why do we call them long-tail keywords?

  • Why do we consider long-tail keywords great?

  • How do we identify a long-term keyword?

  • What are the types of Long-tail keywords?


What are Long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are the search queries that tend to be longer and more specific in comparison to their “head” counterparts but they get a limited amount of searches per month. However, because of these properties, they hold a high rate of conversion.

For example, If we talk about the keyword “Workout”, it is a “head” keyword because the average number of searches per month on this specific keyword is 10k-100k, meanwhile, the keyword “What workout do I have to do to gain muscles” is a long-tail keyword with a search of 500 per month. But this long-tail keyword can be helpful for someone who is running a gym or an online training program because the chances of conversion are more than the chances of conversion on “workout” keywords because it is direct and specifically targeting the person who is looking for a transformation and a potential customer.


Why do we call them Long-tail keywords?

They are known as long-tail keywords because of their position on the “search demand” curve. If we analyze all the search queries people made in Google in the time period of a month and we record them by the search volumes, it will look like a curve making a small gap on the X-axis and Y-axis and parallel from top to bottom making a head and tail on both ends. 

At the “head” of the curve, we have the super high search volume keywords but less in number. Meanwhile, the “tail” side consists of low search volume keywords but a billion in the count.

For qualifying as “long-tail”, a keyword does not necessarily need to have 10 searches per month. And there is no such thing as the threshold for search volume, for getting recognition as “long-tail”.It is mostly based upon the “head” keyword you are comparing with.

Do not mistake long-tail keywords for their length of words.

The point is there are so many one-word keywords with a monthly search of less than 100.

For Example, the keywords “sotoba” and “freetard” have a search volume of 100 per month.

So the long-tail keyword is not based on the length of a keyword but the search volume of that keyword.

Why do we consider Long-tail keywords great?

Here are some reasons why you should consider long-tail keywords as part of your SEO strategy.

Reason 1: They are generally very less competitive.

Let me give you an example

The “What is Bitcoin” keyword has a KD of 93 and a search volume of 162k, similarly, “How to buy Bitcoin” has a KD of 76 and a search volume of 103k.

Those keywords are target-specific. But what is the chance they can actually help you get the targeted audience?

All the keywords provided in the example have a high Keyword Difficulty (KD) score. This indicates the challenge and struggle you will face to rank it on the first page. And if your website is just a newly created one, Congratulations this task is impossible for you.

Now let’s see some less popular search queries for the Bitcoin topic.

The “How to cash out large amounts of Bitcoin” has a KD of just 9 and a search volume of 300, similarly, the “Does Bitcoin pay dividends” keyword also has a KD of 9 but a search volume of 200.

Now you can see their KD score is low. This means that even the new website does have a chance to rank in the top 10 on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) by getting a few visitors with the help of those keywords.

Reason 2: Easier to address

Let’s compare both examples above. “How to buy Bitcoin” looks like a straightforward question to answer, but for the top-ranking page on this search query, you will see it’s 3400 words long.

Similarly, the “How to cash out large amounts of Bitcoin” top-ranking page is 1000 words long.

You need to understand that the more usual the search query would be, the more details to be included while addressing. But if the search query is on point and specific, you can easily answer it in brief and still be able to satisfy the searchers.

In easy language, content creation in long-tail keywords generally demands less work.

Reason 3: There are lots of long-tail keywords

Not all the long-tail keywords are going to deliver a large amount of traffic to your website. But if you keep addressing them more and more, search traffic with the power of compounding will do something substantial.

But as there are lots of long-tail keywords in nearly every industry, you might suffer from a shortage and a struggle to find a new one.

How do we identify long-tail keywords?

There are lots of methods present to identify long-tail keywords but some are too slower than others, some are somewhat unconventional, and some are straight incorrect.

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Number 1: Google Autosuggest

Some of the SEO experts do advise you to use Google Autosuggest for long-tail keywords. Just enter the targeted keyword.

Google autosuggest is designed for a quick access to the popular search queries. All you have to do is enter a word in the Google search bar and it will pop up all the related search queries.

The same algorithm goes with online tools like Answer The Public or Soovle. They also use the Autosuggest algorithm to generate the keyword ideas list. 

Number 2: Ahref’s Keyword Explorer

Unlike Google Autosuggest, Ahref’s method doesn’t need any manual work. All you have to do is search up the word defining your niche in Keyword Explorer and use the filter of search volume to quickly see long-tail keywords in the count of thousands.

If you just made a website and do not have any authority, I suggest you use the KD filter, which is helpful for finding the keyword with the least level of competition.

Number 3: See on which keywords your competitors are ranking

Another source for identifying long-tail keywords is to keep an eye on your competitors. There are so many software in the market like Ahref’s Site Explorer that will help you see what long-tail keywords your competitors are ranking.

Number 4: Reddit, Quora, and niche forums

Whenever people visit Google and don’t get the required answer to be satisfied, they usually go to the platforms where they can ask a question or see the already answered query that was asked by some other person before them.  

The merit of this method is that it is a kind of forum that already links some good discussions, which may be helpful for the creation of a piece of content on that topic.

The Demerit is mining long-tail keywords from this kind of forum is a slow process. And it still requires an SEO tool.

What are the types of Long-tail keywords?

There are two types of long-tail keywords, Supporting long-tail keywords and Topical long-tail keywords.

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Supporting Long-tail Keywords

Let’s start this type with the help of an example, “Best healthy treats for dogs”. Now we all know this is a long-tail keyword having 100 searches per month.

But there are other search queries that also show the same result, meaning the same and you can count them as rephrasing.

For example, “Healthy dog treats” or “healthy treats for puppies”. If you search on Google you’ll discover the same pages are ranking on each of the above keywords.

Google understands that different people enter different keywords for the same thing. So some pages rank on multiple keywords. 

So if your pages are ranking on “Healthy dog treats”, chances are it will automatically going to rank on other similar keywords.

Topical Long-tail Keywords

Now these keywords revolve around their primary keyword content. Let’s take examples of topical long-tail keywords. “Fly bites on dog ears”, “How to treat fly bites on dog ears”. Here the keyword is the same as the original keyword. If you ever managed to rank for this topical long-tail keyword, chances are you are going to rank for other less popular “supporting” search queries automatically.

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So this is all that you need to know about Long-tail keywords and what properties make them so special. I hope this article helped you with gearing up your SEO strategy and accelerating the search traffic on your website. Long-tail keywords can be a game changer if you know how to analyze them and use them in your SEO strategy. In the world of competition where everyone is in the race to chase the traffic, all you need to know is to follow the above steps, master it and you will be able to outstand and outsmart the crowd.

Do long-tail keywords easier to rank?

They are less competitive making it helpful for newer websites to rank.

Are long-tail keywords helpful for increasing conversion rates?

They are more specific and get targeted by the right audience, which is a close call for taking action and getting converted.

what are the types of long-tail keywords?

topical, long-tail, and supportive long-tail keywords.

How do I find specific and effective long-tail keywords for my content?

Tools like Google Autosuggest and Ahref's Keyword Explorer can be helpful.

Are long phrases keywords are called long-tail keywords?

No, they are defined by low search volumes and specific intents. It has nothing to do with a huge number of keywords. 

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