By Helena Alcoverro, on 6 August 2020
If you work in the world of SEO, especially if you’re well versed, you’ve heard about the importance of long tail keywords. To newcomers, this term can sound strange, but, you’ll get pretty familiar with it shortly.
Let's review what exactly long tail keywords are, their advantages, and the most useful strategies to find them.
What Are Keywords?
Before we dive into long tail keywords, it's important to understand what keywords are. Keywords are the terms that users enter on sites such as Google. Think of them as the "questions" that the search engine has to answer, although they don’t have to be questions.
Sometimes these searches are composed of a single term, but more often they combine several words or even form a complete phrase. It is common for users to use questions and full sentences when conducting searches, which leads us to long tail keywords.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
In SEO, the term "long tail" refers to very specific search terms (usually a multi-word phrase). For example, "shoes" would be a generic keyword (or short tail keyword), while "mountain running trail shoes" would be a long tail keyword.
These terms usually have fewer searches than short tail words, but they tend to be more relevant searches and sources of traffic.
Focusing on long tail keywords offers some interesting advantages:
- Long tail keywords are far less competitive than generic keywords, so positioning at the top of Google is much easier.
- As these are very specific searches, the chances of conversion are much higher. A user searching for "shoes" may be looking for general information, whereas if someone is looking for "shoes for running a mountain marathon," you know they are interested in a very specific product.
- The costs of positioning long tail keywords are much lower, so they are great for small and medium sized companies who want to make the most of their SEO investment.
How Can I Find Long Tail Words For My Brand?
- Brainstorm all the brand related keywords you can think of. Get together with your team and set a goal to find as many words as possible. Then, sort them into related groups and use them as a starting point for your SEO strategy.
- Use Google's "autocomplete" feature. When people search for a word or group of words on Google, the search engine itself suggests ways to complete the phrase, so take note of this. If you add an asterisk at the beginning or end of your keyword, it will show you even more ideas.
- Use keyword tools. SEMrush or Google's keyword tool are good starting points for finding related terms. You can also search for ideas from your website or from a competitors' websites. If these two tools are not enough for you, you can try a more specialized long tail solution like Ubersuggest.
- Think of questions. What kind of things do your customers usually ask and how do you think they would search for them on Google? Remember that long tail keywords are not only for written searches, but also for voice assistants.
- Add the location. If you sell products or services based on location, a very quick way to generate long tails is to add different locations to the end of a keyword. For example, "cakes for children's birthdays in Atlanta."