What Are Long Tail Keywords In SEO?

Including long-tail keywords in your content strategy helps attract users with specific needs and purchase intent.

As a small business, we always put our heart and soul into the business whether it’s a bakery, boutique, or any other business. We also go online to secure customers. But when potential customers search online for pastries, your bakery shop remains hidden. Frustrating, right?

Most people might have also suggested you do search engine optimization (SEO), and target keywords like “buy pastries” to get more customers, well that correct approach but there is a hidden layer in it, which is called “long tail keywords”.

Keywords like “buy pastries” are useful but using long-tail keywords can attract a more targeted audience and a better chance of conversion. 

Useful Read: What Are SEO Keywords?

In this post, we explore what are long-tail keywords, why they matter for small businesses, how to find one, and more.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

By definition, Long-tail keywords are multi-word phrases that are more specific than generic keywords. Unlike short-tail keywords, which are typically one or two words long, long-tail keywords consist of three or more words. 

In other words, think of keywords as search terms people use to find things online. Long tail keywords are specific, multi-word phrases (typically 3+ words) that target a narrower audience with a higher purchase intent.

For instance, while “running shoes” is a generic keyword, “best waterproof running shoes for women” is a long tail keyword. 

Visualizing this, imagine a graph where the tail end represents less frequently searched, more specific phrases, forming the “long tail” of the curve.

Here is a search results for the above terms –

running shoes in Google Search

Highly competitive sites are ranking at the top of SERP. Now imagine you used the long tail keyword to write content specific to “best waterproof running shoes for women” here are the search results.


Let’s understand it with another example – 

  • Short, generic keywords (“running shoes”) sit at the peak, attracting a broad audience but fierce competition.
  • Long-tail keywords (“best waterproof running shoes for women”) reside on the “tail” – less popular but with significantly lower competition and higher conversion rates.

Why Long Tail Keywords Are Good for Small Businesses?

There are three main reasons why small businesses should target long-tail keywords, which are as follows –

1. Lower Competition

Unlike crowded generic terms, long-tail keywords have fewer competitors vying for top search rankings. This makes it easier for your small business to stand out and be seen by potential customers.

2. Higher Conversion Rates

People searching for long tail keywords are typically further along the buying journey. They already know what they want, and your targeted content can convert them into paying customers.

3. Targeting Specific Audiences

Long-tail keywords allow you to laser-focus on niche markets. Imagine a bakery owner using “vegan gluten-free birthday cake delivery near me.” This speaks directly to a specific audience with a high chance of purchasing.

Tip: Long tail keywords sometimes may not have volume as expected, which is good, because you write content with the buyer’s intent. 

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords?

If you are familiar with the keyword research process in SEO then you must have an idea but let’s rewind it and see these three methods to find long-tail keywords. 

1. Keyword Research Tools: Explore free options like Google Keyword Planner or invest in tools like SEMrush that offer in-depth keyword research features.

2. The “Alphabet Soup” Technique: Start with a broad keyword (“running shoes”) and brainstorm variations by adding questions, locations, or product features (e.g., “waterproof,” “women’s”).

3. Competitor Research: Analyze what keywords your competitors rank for. This can spark valuable long-tail keyword ideas you might have missed.

Leveraging Long Tail Keywords in Your Content Strategy

Now that you start loving long-tail keywords, let’s see how you can put them to work, or more specifically your content strategy.

1. Content Integration

Include keywords naturally into your content, including blog posts, product descriptions, and website copy. 

But remember, don’t overuse it, prioritize user experience over keyword stuffing. You must smoothly add onto your writing so that it doesn’t look like keywords.

2. User Intent

Understand the intent behind each long tail keyword. Are people looking for information, comparisons, or to make a purchase? Craft content that caters to their specific needs.

3. Long-Tail Keyword Clusters

Group related long-tail keywords around a central topic. This creates a comprehensive information hub that attracts targeted organic traffic.

For example “running shoes” is your central topic, and long-tail keywords such as “running shoes for men in winter”, “running shoes for women for gym” etc can be clustered around “running shoes”.

Implementing Long-Tail Keywords in SEO Strategy

On-Page Optimization: Include your long-tail keywords strategically within your website content, meta tags, and headings.

Content Creation: Develop high-quality content around long-tail keywords to attract organic traffic. As mentioned above in a “Content Strategy”.

Link Building: Acquire backlinks using long tail keywords in anchor text. This boosts your search engine ranking authority.

Read: What Are Backlinks and Why Are They Important?

Monitoring and Adjusting Long Tail Keyword Strategy

To be honest, monitoring long-tail keywords is tougher than short-tail keywords, but you can use SEO tools and techniques to track and monitor them.

Tracking Performance: Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor the performance of your long-tail keywords and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Analyzing Results: Interpret data to identify successful long-tail keywords and areas for improvement in your SEO efforts.

Making Adjustments: Refine your long-tail keyword strategy based on performance metrics and changes in the market landscape to stay competitive.

3 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

Keyword Stuffing: Avoid overusing long-tail keywords, as it can harm your SEO efforts. Instead, break down your long-form keywords into more relatable search terms.

Ignoring User Intent: Ensure that your content aligns with the user intent behind long-tail keywords to improve engagement and conversions. Prioritize user needs over keyword placement.

Neglecting Long-Term Strategy: SEO takes time. Take a long-term approach to optimizing for long tail keywords, as results may not be immediate but can yield significant benefits over time.

Try Using Long Tail Keywords

As we wrap up, we can assume that you have a complete overview of long tail keywords. These are powerful for small businesses to increase their online visibility, attract targeted traffic, and ultimately drive conversions.

Start planning your content and implement a long-tail keywords strategy and see the changes along the way.

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