Long tail keywords: What are they and how to use them

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing and SEO, it's crucial for businesses to adapt and refine their strategies continually. One strategy gaining momentum over the past few years is the inclusion of long tail keyword targeting. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of long tail keywords exploring what they are, why they are called "long tail," discuss why your business should target them and learn how to find them using tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner.


Written by

SEO Specialist

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

To start, let's clarify what long tail keywords are. In the context of search engine optimisation (SEO) and digital marketing, keywords are the words or phrases that people type into search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo when seeking information, products, or services. Long tail keywords, as the name suggests, are longer and more specific phrases that users use when conducting online searches.

For example, let's consider the broad keyword "shoes." This keyword is relatively generic and highly competitive. In contrast, a long tail keyword could be "blue running shoes for women with arch support." Such a phrase is more detailed and caters to a specific niche, making it a long tail keyword.

Why Are They Called Long Tail?

In the context of keywords, the "long tail" refers to the extended, less popular, and more specific keywords that, when combined, can make up a significant portion of overall search traffic.

Imagine a graph where the horizontal axis represents the number of times a keyword is searched, and the vertical axis represents the number of keywords. The head of the graph, containing the most frequently searched and generic terms, is the "short tail." The long tail, on the other hand, is made up of a multitude of less-frequently searched but highly specific keywords. So much untapped potential can be gained from these low-volume terms.

Why You Should Be Targeting Long Tail Keywords

1. Reduced Competition

Long tail keywords generally have less competition compared to broad keywords. This is a significant advantage for smaller businesses or those looking to enter highly competitive markets. By targeting long tail keywords, you can carve out a niche for your business and capture a more specific audience.

2. Higher Conversion Rates

Long tail keywords are more specific and reflective of users' search intent. As a result, when someone uses a long tail keyword to find your content or products, they are more likely to be further along the buying journey. This leads to higher conversion rates and a more engaged audience.

3. Enhanced Relevance

Targeting long tail keywords allows you to create content and offers that are highly relevant to your audience's needs. This relevance can establish your business as an authority in a particular niche and increase trust among your customers.

4. Improved Organic Visibility

While it's true that long tail keywords might have lower search volumes individually, collectively, they can account for a significant portion of your website's traffic. Targeting a variety of long tail keywords can contribute to better overall organic visibility.

How to Find Long Tail Keywords

Now that we’ve covered what long tail keywords are as well as their value, it's time to explore how to find them effectively. There are several tools at your disposal, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner.


Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool that can help you uncover keyword ideas for your business. Follow these steps to find them:

Keyword Explorer: Enter a broad keyword related to your niche in the Keyword Explorer tool.

Apply Filters: Filter the results to show only keywords with lower search volumes (usually long tail keywords).

Analyse Suggestions: Explore the keyword suggestions provided by Ahrefs. Consider exporting them to a spreadsheet and grouping them into subtopics.

Competitor Analysis: Investigate the keywords your competitors are ranking for and identify long tail keywords they might have missed.


SEMrush is another popular SEO tool known for its keyword research capabilities:

Keyword Magic Tool: Enter a seed keyword in SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool.

Filter Long Tail Keywords: Apply filters to show only keywords with low search volumes or longer keyword phrases. Again, this should provide you with a good starting point. You can also select whether you want broad, phrase and exact match keywords.

Analyse Competitors: Use SEMrush to explore your competitors' keyword strategies and discover potential long tail keywords through their Keyword Gap tool.

Google Keyword Planner

For those who prefer a free option, Google Keyword Planner is a useful tool for finding long tail keywords:

Access Google Ads: Log in to your Google Ads account and access the Keyword Planner tool.

Enter Your Keywords: Input your seed keywords or phrases related to your business.

Analyse Keyword Ideas: The Keyword Planner will provide a list of keyword ideas, some of which may be long tail keywords.

Filter Results: Use filters to identify long tail keywords based on search volume and competition.


In a competitive digital landscape, businesses need to adapt and refine their strategies continually. One such strategy that holds immense potential is the utilisation of long tail keywords. These longer, more specific keyword phrases can be a game-changer for your SEO and content marketing efforts.

By targeting long tail keywords, your business can enjoy reduced competition, higher conversion rates, enhanced relevance, and improved SEO. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner make it easier than ever to identify these valuable keywords.

In conclusion, embracing long tail keywords can be a powerful strategy to set your business apart from the competition and connect with an audience that is actively seeking the products or information you offer. So, take the time to research and implement long tail keywords in your digital marketing strategy, and watch your business thrive in the world of search engines and online visibility.