Long Tail Keywords: Find and Use Them for Traffic

Illustration of a kangaroo with text 'How to find & use long tail keywords' for a blog post on AppSalon about SEO strategies

By Melissa Ng   |   Last Updated 16 February 2024

Unlocking the Secret to Organic Growth

The Power of Long Tail Keywords in SEO

Using long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy can be like finding a hidden pathway to organic growth – a less travelled road that leads straight to your target audience. Incorporating the keyword research feature, complete with a search volume filter, into your strategy ensures you uncover these long-tail keywords that act as precise avenues for traffic. For instance, utilising a keyword example such as “how long does sushi last in the fridge,” especially after applying a word count filter, attracts a specific segment of users actively searching for such tailored recommendations. Unlike broad, generic terms, such as “sushi”, that often have high SEO difficulty and immense competition, long tail keywords are specific phrases more likely to be used by someone who’s further along in the buying process and looking for exactly what you offer. By embedding modifiers in your keyword research, like “best” or “top,” you enhance your content marketing, potentially drawing a more engaged audience.

Why Long Tail Keywords Drive Targeted Traffic

Long-tail keywords represent the specific inquiries and needs of users, guiding them to your content as a solution. Such precise search terms mean that the website traffic they bring is already interested in what you have to offer. Because long-tail keywords are more aligned with user intent, they cultivate a more engaged audience which generally leads to higher conversion rates. They also face less competition in search rankings, which can make it much more cost-effective to target these keywords in both SEO and paid search campaigns.

  • Specificity: Drills down into what users really want, enhancing the relevance of your content to your audience.
  • Qualified Traffic: Attracts visitors who are more likely to be further along in the buying cycle, hence ready to engage or purchase.
  • Lower Competition: Easier to rank for than more common keywords, making your search engine optimisation efforts more fruitful.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: More likely to result in action from users because these visitors have a clear intent.
  • Cost-Effective: Leads to a cheaper cost-per-click in paid search campaigns and optimises your budget for increasing website traffic.

The Art of Finding Long Tail Keywords

Mining Autocomplete and Related Searches

Mining auto-complete and related searches on search engines like Google is a treasure trove for uncovering long-tail keywords that your audience is actively looking up. When you begin typing a query, Google autocomplete offers suggestions to complete your search based on popular and related queries, acting as a real-time Google keyword planner. By integrating Google Analytics into your workflow, you can further extend your analysis on search patterns and behaviours related to these suggested terms, enhancing the overall keyword mining process.

For example, typing “organic gardening” followed by each letter of the alphabet can yield specific phrases like “organic gardening for beginners”, “organic gardening pest control”, or “organic gardening soil preparation”—excellent keyword ideas for creating targeted content. Moreover, scrolling to the bottom of a search results page, you’ll find additional related searches that can inspire even more targeted content ideas. Adding a browser extension like Keywords Everywhere can provide valuable insights into metrics such as search volume and competition for these phrases directly in your browser, streamlining the research phase.

  • Autocomplete Explorations: Type your keyword and observe the suggestions as you would with a Google keyword planner.
  • Surfing Related Searches: Check the bottom of SERPs (search engine results pages) for more ideas, akin to reviewing suggestions from keyword research tools.
  • Alphabet Soup Technique: Append letters to your base term for new combinations that could be further refined using Google Keyword Planner for search volumes and competition.
  • Tailoring to User Query: Capture the exact phrases people search for to cater to specific search intent.
  • Seed Keyword Expansion: Use auto-complete to turn a broad keyword into several specific ones, mirroring the process of accruing comprehensive keyword ideas.

Leveraging Tools for Comprehensive Keyword Research

Utilising the right tools is essential for comprehensive keyword research that uncovers invaluable long-tail keywords. Utilising the right tools is essential for comprehensive keyword research that uncovers invaluable long-tail keywords. While the Google Keyword Tool offers a solid foundation, expanding your toolkit to include specialised resources can significantly enhance your keyword discovery.

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool: Get a wealth of long-tail keyword suggestions and reveal niches such as “homemade coffee filters” or “marketing agency for SaaS,” which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Google Trends: Ideal for identifying current hot topics and understanding search interest over time.

Social Media Tools: Platforms like YouTube and Twitter provide insights into what’s trending, which can lead to unique keyword opportunities like “can you warm up iced coffee.”

Leveraging a vast keyword database, platforms such as Semrush with its extensive suite of keyword research tools — like Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic Tool — enables precise analysis and a vast array of keyword combinations. Furthermore, using a keyword planner can streamline the process by offering tailored keyword suggestions and vital metrics to guide your strategy.

By aggregating data from various tools, including using Semrush or a dedicated keyword planner, you can capture a broader spectrum of long-tail keyword variations to elevate your SEO strategy and connect with your audience more effectively. This range could span from the specificity of “enterprise marketing software” to more general terms like “coffee filters.”

  • Diverse Tool Usage: Don’t rely on a single source; utilise multiple tools, such as filters in a keyword database, for a comprehensive keyword profile.
  • Social Insights: Use social media trends to capture the audience’s real-time interests.
  • Semrush Excellence: Take advantage of advanced metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty, provided by a robust keyword planner.
  • Synthesised Data: Combine research findings from different sources for insights into broad versus narrow keywords.
  • Strategic Analysis: Evaluate potential keywords based on their practicality and competition level, and integrate filters to hone in on the most effective selections.

Strategies for Using Long Tail Keywords Effectively

Incorporating Long Tail Keywords into Your Content

Incorporating long-tail keywords into your content can seem like a balancing act between maintaining natural readability and optimising for search engines. The key is to embed these keywords in a way that they seamlessly blend with the quality content you provide. Discovering enriching blog ideas that resonate with your audience often starts with long-tail keyword research. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Use in Strategic Places: Place long-tail keywords in your title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and opening paragraphs where they can have the most impact. Innovative AI writing tools now assist in generating meta descriptions and blog ideas that integrate these keywords effortlessly.
  2. Context is King: Always prioritise context and make sure that the keywords fit naturally into your content without feeling forced. Website pages, such as FAQ pages and product guides, offer excellent opportunities to naturally include these phrases.
  3. Don’t Overstuff: Using long-tail keywords too frequently can hurt readability and SEO. Aim for a keyword density that doesn’t compromise the quality of your piece. Read our blog post to learn more: What is Keyword Stuffing? Definition, How to Avoid and Why It’s Bad for SEO.
  4. Answer Questions: Many long-tail keywords are question-based. Create content that directly answers these queries, acting as a rich source of blog ideas that cater to your audience’s needs.
  5. Long-Form Content: In-depth articles allow for multiple long-tail keyword inclusions without overstuffing and can position you as an authority on the subject matter, particularly for comprehensive website pages.

By strategically placing long-tail keywords where they make the most sense, you’ll not only improve your content’s SEO performance but also enhance the user experience, leading to increased trust and higher conversion rates.

Creating a Network of Topics with Long Tail Keywords

Creating a network of topics built around long-tail keywords can turn your website into a comprehensive resource that search engines love to recommend. Think of it as constructing a web where each strand is a detailed, information-rich piece of content connected by relevant long-tail keywords that altogether strengthen the overall structure.

Here’s how you can develop this network:

1. Topic Clusters: Begin by defining broad topics related to your field. Then, break these down into clusters of more focused subtopics.

2. Interlinking: Within these clusters, create content for long-tail keywords and interlink them to guide users and search bots through related topics.

3. Consistency: Regularly publish related content to build out each cluster, which signals to search engines the depth and breadth of your expertise.

4. Quality Over Quantity: Ensure each content piece offers unique value. It’s not just about the keyword; it’s about comprehensively covering the topic.

5. Tracking & Feedback Loop: Use analytics to see which long-tail keywords and topics perform best, and refine your strategy accordingly.

This method not only improves navigational ease for visitors but also establishes your site’s authority, with search engines potentially rewarding your site with better rankings.

Overcoming Common Misconceptions

Addressing the Myths About Long Tail Keywords

When diving into SEO strategies, you might encounter several myths about long-tail keywords. Let’s clear up some common misconceptions.

Myth 1: Long-tail keywords don’t generate traffic. While the search volume for individual long-tail keywords might be lower, collectively they can account for a significant portion of traffic. The added bonus here is that they also bring in highly targeted traffic, which can be more valuable than high volumes of less targeted visits.

Myth 2: They are only for blog posts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Long-tail keywords should be part of all your content, including product pages, FAQs, guides, and even image alt texts, to fully harness their potential and improve your site’s comprehensive relevance.

Myth 3: Long-tail equals low competition. While generally less competitive, some long-tail keywords can be quite competitive, particularly in high-value niches. Always analyse the competition. One downside is not all long-tail phrases are easy wins; it’s a common misconception.

Understanding that long-tail keywords are not a one-size-fits-all solution is crucial. They should be strategically implemented within a larger SEO and content marketing strategy to harness the benefits while mitigating the downsides.

Understanding When and When Not to Use Long Tail Keywords

Knowing when to use long-tail keywords — and when they might not be the best tool — is crucial for an effective SEO strategy. Here’s a quick guide to help you discern the appropriate times to use them:

When to Use:

1. Niche Targeting: If your product or service is very specific, long-tail keywords can help you reach your exact audience.

2. New Websites: For a website that’s just starting out, it’s often easier to rank for less competitive long-tail keywords.

3. High Conversion Goals: Use them when you’re looking to attract users who are at the later stages of the buying cycle and are more likely to convert.

When Not to Use:

1. Branding Concerns: If brand-specific keywords are vital for your strategy, focusing only on long-tails may dilute your branding efforts.

2. Authority Sites: If your website is well-established and has a high domain authority, you may already rank well for broader terms.

3. Volume Pursuit: If your main goal is to maximise traffic volume rather than targeting a specific user intent, broader keywords might work better.

Ultimately, it’s about balance. Long-tail keywords should complement, not replace, other elements of your SEO and content strategy.

Building an Ongoing Keyword Strategy

Monitoring Performance and Adjusting Tactics

To ensure your long-tail keyword strategy is effective, you must regularly monitor performance and be ready to adjust your tactics. Google Search Console stands out as a pivotal tool for this task, presenting direct insights from Google’s own data on how your content performs in search results.

1. Performance Tracking: Keep an eye on metrics like click-through rates (CTR), impressions, and search rankings for your targeted long-tail keywords.

2. Adapt and Evolve: If certain keywords aren’t performing as expected, consider revising your content or exploring new keyword variations.

3. Content Refresh: Update older content with new long-tail keywords to stay relevant and potentially capture new traffic.

4. Stay Informed on Algorithm Updates: SEO isn’t static; search engine algorithms evolve, and your strategy should too.

5. A/B Testing: Experiment with different keyword placements and densities to determine what’s most effective for your content and audience.

Analysing these aspects provides valuable feedback for your SEO approach, enabling continuous refinement for better results over time.

Staying Ahead with Evolving SEO Practices

In the fast-paced realm of SEO, staying ahead means keeping abreast with evolving practices and algorithm changes. Here are some ways to keep your strategy fresh and effective:

1. Education is Key: Keep yourself updated with the latest trends by following reputable SEO blogs, news, and attending webinars or industry conferences.

2. Embrace Changes: Google’s various algorithm updates like the Page Experience update should be on your radar, and adjustments in strategy should be made accordingly.

3. Technical SEO: Ensure that your website’s technical aspects, such as site speed and mobile-friendliness, are optimized as these factors play a role in SEO too.

4. Voice Search Optimisation: With the rise of voice search, optimise your content to capture the conversational long-tail queries used by voice assistants. Read our blog post to learn more: How to Optimise for Voice Search: Tips On How To Rank Higher In Google’s Voice Search Results.

5. Quality Content Remains Supreme: Despite changes in SEO best practices, high-quality, valuable content that addresses user intent will always be at the heart of successful SEO.

Remaining adaptable and constantly seeking to understand how these changes affect your long-tail keyword strategy will ensure that your website continues to enjoy organic growth.

FAQs: Mastering Long Tail Keywords for Maximum Impact

What Defines a Long Tail Keyword?

A long tail keyword is typically a phrase with three to five words that is highly specific to what you are selling or offering. These keywords are specified and targeted, often reflecting the nuances of user search patterns and intent. They are less common and less competitive but can lead to higher conversion rates due to their specificity.

Remember, they represent the ‘long-tail’ of the search demand curve, accounting for the vast number of unique searches that might be used a few times but, when combined, comprise a majority of the world’s searches.

How Can I Identify Profitable Long Tail Keywords?

To identify profitable long-tail keywords, look for phrases that are highly relevant to your products or services. According to search volume data, aim for those with a decent frequency of queries but lower competition. Utilise keyword research tools that provide extensive keyword data, including related keywords, search volume, competitiveness, and Google Ads CPC, to assess and prioritise keywords. Additionally, aim for those that closely align with the intent to purchase or engage with your content. Study your analytics to uncover long-tail keywords with high search volumes that are converting at higher rates, and refine your focus based on this performance data.

Quick tips:

  • Look for keywords with a high conversion rate and search volume data backing their profitability.
  • Check competitor sites for keyword gaps you can exploit, using search volume data to guide your strategy.

Are Long Tail Keywords Still Relevant in 2024?

Yes, long-tail keywords remain highly relevant in 2024. As search engine algorithms continue to evolve and prioritise user intent, these keywords become even more crucial in matching specific user queries. Moreover, the rise in voice search and conversational AI has made long-tail keywords an essential component of SEO strategies, considering that verbal requests tend to be more specific and longer than typed searches. They are an integral part of a diverse and effective SEO plan, facilitating more personalised and relevant content that aligns with user needs.


  • User intent is central to modern SEO.
  • Voice searches increase the importance of long-tail keywords.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the service, we may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, we only recommend products we believe will add value to our readers.

Melissa Ng, the Business Development & Operations Manager at AppSalon, is a versatile professional with a wealth of experience across fintech, startups, content creation, SEO, marketing, product management, and QA.

Melissa's career journey is highlighted by her seven-year tenure at Credit Savvy, a fintech startup under Commonwealth Bank. Here, she wore various hats, including product manager, content manager, operations manager, lead QA, and account manager. Her contributions led to the remarkable achievement of growing the user base from zero to over one million Australian members, in just over 5 years.

Beyond her professional achievements, Melissa embraces adventure, with interests ranging from hiking, pilates, and baking to knitting. Surprisingly, she even finds relaxation in cleaning.

Melissa Ng is a seasoned expert in the realm of digital business. With both extensive experience and commitment to excellence, Melissa endevours so that every single client receives the best possible outcome.


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