Long Tail Keywords: How To Use and How do they work
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It’s a common belief that targeting long-tail keywords makes it simpler to attain favorable search result rankings and achieve more successful conversions. Is there empirical data to validate this widely held view?
There’s a distinction to be made. Long-tail keywords come in two flavors; some don’t automatically offer a competitive edge in terms of ranking when compared to concise, general keywords.
This piece of writing will provide you with an understanding of the contrasts between the two varieties of long-tail keywords and techniques for their identification.
What are long-tail keywords?
When it comes to long-tail keywords, they represent search terms with a relatively low monthly search frequency. These keywords are typically more detailed and lengthier than the broader “head” keywords, leading to a common trend of achieving higher conversion rates.
To illustrate, “bubble tea milk” is deemed a “head” keyword owing to its high monthly search volume of 140,000 queries.Conversely, “bubble tea in milk can” is a long-tail keyword with a lower monthly search volume of 30,000.
What's the reasoning behind labeling specific keywords as long tails?
What makes long-tail keywords stand out as effective?
Consider why integrating long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy is advisable.
1. Long-tail keywords often encounter significantly lower levels of competition.
Picture yourself as the creator of a new blog centered on cryptocurrencies. You can tap into a wealth of in-demand keywords that could lead to a substantial influx of visitors to your blog.
It’s tempting to set your sights on those competitive keywords, but let’s discuss them candidly. What are the chances that your blog will achieve noteworthy rankings for any of them in the coming months?
All the keywords mentioned exhibit a significant Keyword Difficulty (KD) score, making it arduous to reach the first page of Google for any of them. Achieving this milestone will only be attainable if your website is in its early stages.
Now, let’s examine some of the less frequently used search terms related to cryptocurrency.
2. Another point to consider is that long-tail keywords tend to be more manageable.
Let’s delve deeper into the comparison between these two collections of keywords as we continue.
The question “What crypto to buy now” may seem uncomplicated, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the top-ranking page for this search query is a lengthy piece of content, totaling 4,242 words.
In contrast, when it comes to the query “where can I join a crypto pump,” the top-ranking page is relatively concise, containing only 1,338 words.
What’s important to recognize is that when addressing general search queries, including a wealth of details is essential. However, a concise response can often adequately fulfill the searcher’s requirements for specific questions.
In essence, crafting content for long-tail keywords involves a reduced workload. Furthermore, you can explore sets of similar long-tail search queries and create pages for them with minimal variations.
These laptops would probably meet the needs of graphic designers just as effectively as they would for students and educators. This allows you to target these diverse search queries using pages that share roughly 80% of their content, with the remaining 20% fine-tuned to cater to the unique preferences of each user group.
You can swiftly create twelve or more pages daily to respond to these akin long-tail search inquiries.
There are numerous of them.
Indeed, single long-tail keywords won’t increase traffic to your website. However, as you progressively tackle more of these keywords, the cumulative search traffic will eventually become quite significant.
Numerous long-tail keywords are available in almost every industry, so the likelihood of experiencing a shortage of them could be much higher.
Returning to the example of “best laptops for __” keywords, searching in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer yields more than a thousand of these queries.
What are some methods for identifying long-tail keywords?
You have multiple ways to uncover long-tail keywords at your disposal. Some may require much effort, some seem “out of the box,” and some are simply inaccurate. Let’s begin with one that falls into the latter category.
As can be observed, the Keyword Difficulty (KD) score is minimal this time, suggesting that even a freshly created website can aspire to reach the top 10 search results and garner some traffic from these keywords.
1. Utilize Google Autosuggest… NOT
One strategy suggested by SEO experts is to generate long-tail keywords using Google Autosuggest. This entails typing your main keyword and adding alphabet letters to explore potential keyword variations.
Google Autosuggest is a convenient tool created to present users with popular search inquiries swiftly. As a result, when you analyze the search volumes of the keywords featured in the screenshot, you’ll likely discover that a considerable proportion receive a noteworthy amount of searches.
In simpler terms, you’re more likely to encounter top-rated search queries when using Google Auto Suggest rather than stumbling upon those sought-after long-tail keywords.
The situation is similar regarding online tools like Answer The Public or Soovle, which utilize Autosuggest data to generate their pools of keyword suggestions. Most of the keywords they provide fall into the popular and highly competitive category.
2. Make use of Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer in this context.
Unlike the previous strategy, this approach is hassle-free and devoid of time-consuming manual work. Just enter a keyword representing your niche into Keywords Explorer, and with the search volume filter, you can promptly uncover a wealth of long-tail keyword possibilities.
I advise utilizing the KD filter for a newly established website with limited authority. This feature aids in pinpointing keywords that face minimal competition.
Keep an eye out for the “Questions” button; it can be a valuable resource, often presenting intriguing long-tail search queries raised as questions.
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Look at the keywords your competitors have managed to secure rankings for.
Your competitors can be a rich source of long-tail keywords, and with the help of Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, you can identify the precise long-tail keywords they have achieved rankings with.
Gain a competitive advantage by analyzing a rival’s website using Site Explorer. Access the Organic Keywords report to identify the long-tail keyword phrases responsible for attracting traffic to their site.
Utilize this strategy on multiple competitor websites, and you’ll amass a trove of long-tail keyword inspirations to keep you engaged for many months.
Two categories of long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords can be classified into “topical long-tail keywords,” denote distinctive search queries, and “supporting long-tail keywords,” essentially less popular iterations of more widely searched terms.
Supporting Long Tail Keywords:
Let me explain it with an example. “Home remedies for dandruff” is a long-tail keyword because it gets just 100 monthly searches.
On the flip side, it’s essential to recognize that there exist several other search terms with much greater search volume that essentially express the same concept.
Upon searching for each keyword on Google, you’ll observe that the same web pages constantly occupy the highest positions in the search results for each term.
Google’s sophistication becomes apparent as it discerns that people may articulate their search queries differently while seeking identical content, consistently ranking the same pages across all these keyword variations.
When your webpage secures a strong position in search rankings for a high-traffic search term like “home remedies for dandruff” (with 1.0k searches), it will inherently encompass all the various long-tail variations associated with it. Consequently, there’s no requirement to create dedicated pages for each of these variations; instead, you can effectively target them all using a single, strategically optimized page.
How do you know if a specific keyword you’re looking at fits into a more prominent topic or not? At Ahrefs, we’ve created a unique tool to help you figure that out.
It’s called a Parent Topic.
Every time you type a keyword into Keywords Explorer, we look at the website that ranks highest for that keyword. We check if this page also ranks well for a more popular search term.
This is how it looks for “home remedies for dandruff”:
The screenshot above highlights that this long-tail keyword has a considerably more popular alternative: “dandruff treatment,” which garners 13,000 searches. A strong ranking for this widely searched term will naturally lead to a ranking for its accompanying supporting long-tail keyword.
Topical long tail keyword
Now, let’s examine a different type of long-tail keyword: “bee stings on face”
In this case, the core subject matter aligns perfectly with the original keyword. This implies that our selected keyword is this subject’s most popular search phrase. Consequently, it’s prudent to develop a dedicated page to capture the audience searching for this specific long-tail keyword.
When you attain a strong ranking for this long-tail keyword, you will automatically enjoy improved rankings for all the lesser-known search queries that complement and bolster it.
Sadly, situations can often be more complex than we anticipate. Let’s now analyze one last search term: ‘natural remedies for cough.
The Parent Topic suggests this long-tail keyword is just a variation of the search query “home remedies for cough” (22k searches).
The term “natural” within the original keyword adds a unique dimension compared to the recommended Parent Topic.It indicates that the individuals searching for this information are likely interested in finding a more organic or non-pharmaceutical substitute for their needs.
And if we look at the top search results for that long-tail keyword,none seem to be talking about “natural remedies for cough.”Instead, it talks about “cough treatment” in general.
In simpler words, rely on something other than the Parent Topic since it’s just an algorithm and has its weaknesses and constraints.Analyzing the highest-ranked pages for your keyword is good practice to determine whether your search query addresses a unique topic or is part of a more extensive subject.
This wraps up my discussion on the merits of long-tail keywords. With any luck, this article has equipped you with the knowledge needed to refine your SEO tactics and expedite increased search traffic to your website.
About the Author
My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.