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6 Benefits Of Long-Tail Keywords In SEO

How To Use Long-Tail Keywords To Increase Your Organic Search Traffic


  • What is a long-tail keyword?
  • Top Tip
    • 1: Lower levels of competition
    • 2: More than 70% of all search terms are long-tail keywords
    • 3: The rising popularity of voice search
    • 4: now your searcher’s intent
    • 5: Higher conversion rates
    • 6: Increased chance of ranking for short-term keywords
  • How do long-tail keyword fit into your digital marketing strategy?
  • Summary

What is a long-tail keyword?

Any search term that has 4 words, or more, is categorised to be a long-tail keyword. Typically, they are more descriptive, specific and perhaps locational when compared to other short-tail keyword search terms. Here’s an example to make things clearer. 

Short-tail keyword: web design company

Long-tail keyword: bespoke web design company Qatar

Ranking for long-tail keywords is a great way to make sure that you are gathering relevant, motivated organic traffic to your site and gives your business the chance to add value to searcher’s activities. If you can teach something to a visitor, you’re more likely to convert them. It really is that simple. 

Top Tip

If you’re stuck on finding long-tail keyword ideas to try and rank for, search for one of your short-tail keywords and monitor the People also ask and Related searchers on Google. These will give you valuable insight into what your potential consumers are thinking, what their pain points are and what they want their end goal to be. 

Now, let’s get stuck into the benefits of incorporating long-tail keywords within your SEO strategy.

Lower levels of competition

Search engine optimisation is growing in popularity. Once the dark art of digital marketing, it has grown into a mainstream marketing activity, meaning that competition is fierce among popular keywords in most industries. 

Long-tail keywords often have lower search volumes, so the difficulty in ranking for them is somewhat decreased. Now, with fewer worries on keyword difficulty comes the inevitable realisation that lower search volume generally means a lower number of clicks, around 62% of searches that get 0 – 10 searchers a month are long-tail keywords. 

But, SEO is all about the balance between quality and quantity. There is not much point being position one for a keyword that isn’t relevant to your business, but if your site can rank for 10 long-tail keywords that get 100 quality visitors ready and willing to convert, isn’t that better for business, than 10,000 who bounce? Of course. 

Your site and organisation have a niche target market who you’re attempting to convert, so go where they go, search for what they search for, then attempt to rank for those specific keywords. Some organisations will shy away from long-tail keywords because of their lower search volume, so this is a great way to exploit that gap in the market and get hold of a potential customer over your competitors. All that’s left for you to do, is grab their attention.

More than 70% of all search terms are long-tail keywords

That’s right, most searches are 4 words and over, so although you may feel a little deflated after our first point, we hope that you’re now realising just how important long-tail keywords are within your SEO strategy. 

It used to be that internet users didn’t really know what search engines could find for them and search intent was a mere twinkle in a developer’s eye. But… now, we know just how good search engines are at understanding what we want to find on their platforms, we’re not afraid to throw an over-complicated search out there and see if it can guess what’s going on in our heads.

Combine the growing confidence users have with completing these longer searches with the rise of voice search engine optimisation, innovative technologies and voice-controlled devices, it’s increasingly likely that long-tail keywords are here to stay. This is all about making sure that when people within your target audience are asking Alexa, or an Echo a question, your website pops up. 

Optimising for voice search is going to be a key SEO activity in the coming months, so jumping on this now will get you ahead of the game for 2021 and beyond. Better to be on top before your competitors, right?

Know your searcher’s intent

One important difference between short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords is search intent, sometimes called user intent. When a searcher types a long-tail keyword into a search engine, we gain a better understanding of what they want. 

For example, a short-tail keyword could be graphic design Sheffield. From this, it isn’t 100% clear what type of content the searcher is trying to find. You may assume that they are wanting to hire a graphic designer, but that may not always be the case. Typing in the long-tail keyword: graphic design companies hiring near me gives us a much stronger indication of what the person is hoping to achieve from their search. It is now clear that they don’t want to hire a graphic designer, but are looking for career opportunities. 

From this, we can see just how useful long-tail keywords are in their ability to sort the potential clients from the browsers. Make sure you are answering questions that your target audience has, thereby creating valuable content and giving them great ease in travelling through your conversion funnel.

Higher conversion rates

Long-tail keywords are generally found to have higher conversion rates when compared to short-tail keyword searches. An average 36% conversion rate is not to be sniffed at! This extraordinarily high conversion rate is thought to be partly down to having a better understanding of user intent, as discussed above, and due to the lower level of difficulty and risk of moving higher up in the search engine results pages. 

Fewer searches per month equal less competition on the SERPs, couple that with the fact you’re gaining a better understanding of why certain webpages are getting clicked and the motivation behind said click, is an equation for CRO success. 

The bottom line is that, if you know why people are visiting your web page, it makes things much simpler when deciding the next step on their conversion process. Long-tail keywords are a great way to acquire interested visitors to your site who are ready to purchase.

Increased chance of ranking for short-term keywords

Of course, it isn’t all about long-tail keywords and you’re probably already aware that people who convert on your site are finding you through a mixture of short-tail and long-tail search terms. Ranking highly for short-tail keywords can mean more backlinks, higher domain authority and great traffic numbers. And that looks good to everyone before we delve into relevancy and conversion rates. 

Those who rank high on the SERPs for long-tail keywords, also have a greater chance of ranking highly for short-tail keywords. It’s all about variety and balance in the world of SEO.

How do long-tail keyword fit into your digital marketing strategy?

Focussing on long-tail keywords when optimising your on-page content is an obvious go-to digital marketing task, but there’s much more to it. 

Finding long-tail keywords can include discovering popular questions your target audience is asking and from this, you’re able to gain awareness into what your potential consumers are missing. These valuable customer insights could provide a foundation to deliver a customer journey designed to convert.

Secondly, long-tail keywords can contribute to a multi-platform content marketing strategy. The questions you may have uncovered in your research make for valuable blog post titles and social media posts. Provide value to your audience wherever you can, not just on your website. This will only help to strengthen your position in the rankings, but to build a level of trust between you and your consumers. 

Learn more about creating SEO-friendly content here.


Okay, so we’ve covered quite a bit here, and if you haven’t got a migraine from this blog post, congratulations! We hope we have now answered the question of what are long-tail keywords and have provided additional information about how useful they can be. The world of SEO isn’t easy to get your head around. If you think that long-tail keywords need to play a more prominent role within your search engine optimisation strategy, get in contact with us today for a no-pressure discussion. 

Or, why not grab yourself a free SEO audit here? Get expert insights and industry-leading knowledge from our team. It’s basically a digital version of paracetamol for that SEO migraine you may, or may not have going on.

Need SEO help but you’re only a small business? Check out a list of small business SEO companies here.

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