A Guide to Long-Tail Keywords and How to Implement Them In Your Content Strategy

Using long-tail keywords can be a great strategy to boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and score more traffic. But what are long-tail keywords, what do they do, and how do you put them to work for your business?

To better understand how to successfully implement a long-tail keywords content strategy, let’s unpack the basics. In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • What long-tail keywords are
  • How long-tail keywords help you and your site SEO
  • Why you should use long-tail keywords
  • Ways to find the right long-tail keywords and use them on your website

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords or key phrases more specific and tend to have better conversion rates because the phrases can be more specifically aligned with the language people use in their searches (especially today, with people using voice search). But, because of the same reasons, they also get less traffic than short-tail keywords. 

Since long-tail keywords target specific niches and audiences, you can gradually acquire more traffic to your website through these audiences.

While it may be a little counterintuitive in the beginning, using long-tail keywords can indeed provide amazing results, if you know what you’re doing. This is especially true, when you have a lot of niche competition with related keywords. By using long-tail keywords, you can align with your visitors’ specific search intentions and see the benefits in your traffic metrics. 

How Do Long-Tail Keywords Work?

For this article, let’s suppose you own a small company that sells furniture. You’ll likely be using basic keywords like, “Buy a Lounge Chair, Furniture, Desk,” etc. But, due to the big competition in furniture-related keywords, there’s a possibility that your page may not appear near the top of an organic search engine results page (SERP). Bigger companies in your niche may be able to snatch-up the best simple and targeted keywords—that’s where using a long-tail keyword strategy might help you get an edge on your competition.

Going back to the furniture sales example, you could start marketing your targeted specialties, like “contemporary decor” or “furniture” by using long-tail keywords like “Modern Art Inspired Semi-Circle Lounger” or “Contemporary and Comfortable Curved Lounging Chair” to find your target consumers and land those top SERP spots or featured Google snippets.

Things to Keep in Mind, Before Using Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are a good way to communicate and understand your customers better, so you can better supply them with exactly what they’re looking for. 

To successfully use long-tail keywords, there are three best practices to keep in mind: 

  1. Quality over Quantity

Simple, broad keywords like, “Sofa”, “Desk”, “Bed”, and “Chair” are referred to as “head terms”. People using these terms usually haven’t made up their mind yet on what they really need—and aren’t confident in their search keywords. Because these aren’t strong search terms, your chances of closing a sale are lower. 

But, when you use specific, long-tail keywords in your searches, like “Oak Wood Veneer Computer Desk”, you’ll be more closely aligned with customers who know exactly what they need and what they’re looking for. These are the target keywords that will hook customers who are prepared to make immediate purchases.  

You may draw less traffic with your long-tail keywords, but the quality of keywords you’re using outweigh the quantity. Since the visitors you’ll be gaining with long-tail keywords are more focused and committed, you’ll be making more sales—despite pulling in lower site traffic. 

  1. Your Head Theme and Main Keyword

The main topic for blog websites is referred to as the “head theme” and your “main keyword” is at the core of your theme. Most of your simple and long-tail keywords will be centered around your head theme. 

But, focusing on this main keyword within your head theme will only help you with a small number of searches. Instead, your goal should be found through your head theme, and using extra keywords to extend your discoverability.

This is how to get positive results from your long-tail keywords, while not straying away from your head theme.

  1. Tail Topics

Let’s suppose your main keyword is “furniture”. But if all of your content relates to a head theme of “handmade furniture”. Optimizing each post for your head theme doesn’t necessarily capture the best or most appropriate keywords. Instead, to achieve better results, you need different kinds of long-tail words. You can then use your collection of long-term keyword combinations to write your content.

 To put the benefit of long-tail keywords into action, you’ll need:

  • Good keyword research
  • Deep understanding of your target audience
  • Content plan with posts centered around your long-tail keywords

Why You Should Use Long-Tail Keywords

To quickly recap what we’ve been discussing: When competition is high, short keywords aren’t always able to yield good SEO. But you can gain a significant advantage over your competitors by implementing less competitive, long-tail keywords to gain higher returns.

Going back to the furniture example, long-tail keywords will have lower search volume, but also less competition and traffic with more purchase intent.

Search results volume

Even though you may be pulling in less traffic compared to shorter keywords, the visitors you’re attracting will be more likely to make a purchase. 

Long-tail keywords are great for gaining more organic search traffic, are less competitive, and are uniquely suited for advertisers who run paid marketing campaigns to improve their SEO. Bids placed on long-tail keywords have a lower cost-per-click due to lower competition which makes them very cost-effective.

Using specific long-tailed keywords in your content campaigns may allow you to get better ad rankings—and without paying a premium on each click, which translates to more income.

Long-tail keywords are also very helpful in optimizing semantic searches.

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

Finding reliable, long-tail keywords for your website may seem like a challenge. But, identifying the right keywords aligning with your niche is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also need to make sure your keyword research source is reliable and renewable, so you can leverage it to research long-tail keywords long term.

A couple helpful ways to find new, long-tail keywords include using:

  1. WordStream’s Keyword Research Tool

Concluding long-tail keyword research is a bit easier when using WordStream’s free keyword research tool. The tool is very user-friendly and doesn’t require any prior experience. 

To find your long-tail keywords, start by entering the head term you would like to research. The resulting search returns the top-10 most popular keywords being used by others. If you find these results relevant, you can then enter your email address to receive a complete list of long-tail keywords for free.

  1. Search Engines

This method does take a little more time and effort than a keyword research tool, but if you’re already familiar with Google Search Console, it’s a great option. And you can use it along with other methods to maximize even better SEO results.

  • First, using your Console, you can identify long-tail keywords that have previously worked well for your rank. You can also download similar information from pay-per-click campaigns on your Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube videos, Instagram page, or any other digital marketing services you’ve previously used. These metrics can help you discover new keyword terms that may have been previously overlooked.
  • After you have consolidated data from your previous SEO interactions, you can start preparing your list of “seed” keywords. Typing your head term, or seed keyword on Google Search will generate a few autocomplete suggestions that you can jot down as potentially useful long-tail keywords. 
  • Next, you can use Google’s related search suggestions at the bottom of each SERP for more long-tail keyword ideas.
  • While it’s not necessary, you can repeat this process across other search engines like Bing, DuckDuckGo, and more. This way, you can optimize content for multiple search engines. 
  • Lastly, you should add all the potential long-tail keywords you’ve discovered to a target list, to review and trim down.
  • After pruning down your list by removing weak long-tail keywords you will be left with only the strongest keyword candidates. Now you can begin optimizing your pages and content with your long-tail keywords.

The benefit of using long-tail keywords over short keywords is that these keywords will result in better Google search results. The internet is vast, and you can find audiences for a particular niche far more effectively for better site traffic. It is a win-win situation for your marketing campaigns, you get more qualified search traffic at a lower cost-per-click and better rankings.

How to Build Content Around Long-Tail Keywords

After you’ve obtained a list of long-tailed keywords that are relevant to your niche, you can start optimizing your content. Although it’s a good idea to create dedicated pages for your long-tail keywords, it’s not always possible.

With hundreds of long-tail keywords that need to be targeted, dedicated landing pages require relevant and authoritative content to work. You’ll need to filter out your list of long-tail keywords and organize it according to the search intent you’re interested in targeting.

For instance, if you want to target keywords about “7.1 Surround Sound Headphones”, your list may include keywords like this:

Gaming headphones WalmartGaming headphones AmazonGaming headphones AlibabaWhere to buy 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming HeadphonesFind where to buy Gaming headphones
Find where to buy Surround Sound Headphones
Buy Surround Sound Headphones in RaleighWhere to buy Headphones in Raleigh, North Carolina
Buy 7.1 Surround Sound headphones under $200Best Surround Sound Headphones under $200
Find 7.1 Surround Sound headphones under a given price
7.1 Surround Sound Headphones on SaleCheap 7.1 Surround Sound headphones
Find cheap 7.1 Surround Sound headphones

7.1 Surround Sound headphones for GamingBest Surround Sound headphones for Music

Purpose of 7.1 Surround Sound headphonesGood Headphones for Gaming, and Music

Similar to the categorization of long-tail keywords in the table given above, organizing your keywords by a specific topic or search intent allows you to score more searches for that particular area. Like simply using “7.1 Surround Sound Headphones” might not help you make sales to people who are looking for gaming headphones.

To integrate these keywords, you’ll first need to audit your content and find out if you already have content on your website that might work with your long-tail keywords. If similar content already exists on your website, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Including needing to make content changes that integrate long-tailed keywords naturally.

Your keyword integration should be natural and not feel forced. Otherwise, Google’s natural language processing will pick up on it and lower your rank. Forcing keywords in unrelated posts can have terrible consequences for your SEO strategy, so it’s important to have dedicated posts written around your long-tail keywords.

If you are not sure about where to start with long-tail keywords, Topcontent’s long-tail content plan for your SEO strategy can help you. Based on your plan, you can also get SEO-optimised, unique content written in more than 20+ languages.

Final Take-Aways About Long-Tail Keywords

Developing strong SEO takes a lot of time and effort, and simply isn’t achievable overnight. To become an authority takes real dedication and know-how. Strategies like implementing long-tail keywords can help you grow your metrics.

Now that you know more about what long-tail keywords are, how they work, and ways to integrate them into your site strategy, you can use our guide to gain an SEO advantage.

But, your long-tail keywords are only as good as the content you use to integrate them in. If you plan on becoming an authority in your niche, you’ll need a good content partner—like Topcontent—to help you build up a quality blog or article archive.