If you don’t already know, keywords are an important part of traffic generation for your site, but every one of them has it’s own measurement of “competition” and the lesser there is, generally the better it is for you. Hence, that brings us to the topic of the long tailed keywords.
So what are long tailed keywords?
It’s basically a keyword that has 3 or more actual words in it. And the length it can reach has no real end.
For example, here are very basic keywords that aren’t long tailed:
- Become wealthy.
- Fat loss.
These are terms which while easy to identify the context of, aren’t really definitive. These are terms which while easy to identify the context of, aren’t really definitive.
But here is what a long tailed keyword looks like:
If I were to add extra words to each of them, suddenly, the context and whole term would become more long tail. Here’s how:
- How to become healthy through intermittent fasting.
- How to become wealthy in real estate.
- 10 fat loss foods you can find at any store.
Now we have “add ons” to the original terms that suddenly make them bigger and more definitive and that is basically a way of describing long tailed keywords in a nutshell.
How to identify if a keyword is “long tailed”:
1) There’s at least more than 3 words present.
2) There’s a definitive understanding of the term and it’s searched by people.
3) It shouldn’t be too long either because at that point it can become counterproductive as I’ll explain in the 2nd method of finding long tailed keywords
(Spoiler: There’s very little traffic for SUPER long terms).
The 3 ways of finding long tailed keywords summarized:
- Find them through niches (it’s very easy then).
- Try to look for long versions of the keyword, because it will have low competition every time.
- Product related keywords are usually long tailed keywords and are a great way of finding it.
Long tailed terms are important for: Ranking, traffic and sales.
- We want rankings so we can get traffic.
- We want traffic so we can make sales.
- And we want sales because we want to make money.
This can all be done through chasing down long tailed keywords, because:
1) They generally have less competing sites on Google and other search engines (that means you can rank high).
2) You can get more organic traffic from targeting them (free traffic, literally).
3) If you can rank high for a long tailed keywords and get traffic from it, you can also get ranked for shorter versions of it (without the tail) and those can actually lead to greater numbers (read up on LSI for more information).
In short, by properly looking up the right long tailed keywords, your site can get greater (and free) traffic numbers from and in turn greater business and profits, hence why I used the word “leverage” in the title.
The 3 ways to find long tailed keywords explained in detail:
1) Start by finding them through specific niches (always do this).
Any site you have, unless it’s absolutely gigantic like Amazon has to be niche oriented. Niche oriented sites have more specified audiences that seek something specific. See these 50 niches examples to see how specific they are.
Take the original example of the term “become wealthy”. We know the context is wealth, but there’s so many branches of that, it could go anywhere and thus, that term is not niche specific (or long tailed).
Now when we added the phrase “real estate”, I’m sure a lot of you went “oh”, because now we identified by what means we want to become wealthy.
I am saying this because if you have a site on becoming wealthy, it will not do as well as a site that teaches people to become wealthy through real estate and the latter if the niche topic.
And when we choose that, every term related to it (real estate) will be clearly defined and chase a much more defined audience.
2) The “longer” the long tailed keyword is, the less it’s competition is.
This is an absolute rule and if you know how to look up competition for keywords, you will always see this. And if you don’t know how, here’s your guide for finding the exact competition of keywords.
- How to lose belly fat is a pretty good long tailed keyword, but it has many other competing websites. But a term like:
- How to lose belly fat if you’re diabetic is an even BETTER long tailed keyword because it is applied to a more specific niche audience.
3) Product keywords will always be one of the BEST ways to find LTK’s.
Think about this, most products you will find in ANY subject, will generally have a title to them that is pretty big and that in of itself is a long tailed keyword.
That is why for me personally, whenever I do keyword research for my site, most of the things I find with the highest search traffic and lowest competition are in fact products and here is how I do product reviews that sell.
In fact, if you want to test this, I recommend you read up on my Amazon best seller example of where I found some great products, all of which were long tailed keywords that I ranked for and profited of.
My final thoughts and an addition strategy suggestion:
Provided that you really adhere to these 3 methods, you’re almost certainly bound to get your site a lot of traffic over a short period, possibly within months.
However, there was one missing strategy I didn’t mention on purpose and that is the framing of the long tailed keywords you find. By that I mean the following:
Let’s say you found an long tailed keywords that has all the metrics you want to write a blog post on in hopes of ranking. And if you know the general rule of ranking long tailed keywords, it’s this:
Whatever long tailed keyword you find, make that your title. If the long tailed keyword can be dressed up to look better, do it.
For example: ways of losing belly fat is the normal long tailed keyword, but if we dress it up, it can be: 21 ways of losing belly fat effortlessly would be a great way of making the title look awesome!
So think about it from a point of view like clickbait and use it, because it will attract more visitors.
44 thoughts on “What is a Long Tailed Keyword is And 3 Ways to Find Them”
First of all, I like your definition of a long tail keyword. It makes it so clear for a person who doesn’t understand it. I now have a full grasp of it. The examples have also helped me a lot. What I found more valuable though were the 3 ways to find LTK’s.
These are very helpful for me to find and use LTK’s. I thonk my use of keywords will be better now. Thank you so much for such clarifications.
Before I go, this is a question that has been bothering me: do you think a day will come when we won’t need long tail keywords to rank our articles, webpages and websites? I’m just curious to know.
Hi Akoli, you ask a good question, but there’s a few answers to it…
I always advise that people target long tail keywords in their niche websites. Because of the reasons I mentioned above, the low competition and so on, this just works to get traffic to new sites, quickly and it’s also a VERY specific type of traffic which is even better because that drives more sales.
You have to consider WHO it is you are trying to attract to your website, if it is a specific niche audience, then you will want to target long tailed keywords because they are specific too.
You also have to consider that short keywords don’t usually make for good titles.
But there are exceptions, where for example on a niche site, you review say a product which is 1 word, in which case you can review it and it’ll be a short term, not long tailed.
Ideally though, long tailed keywords in my experience are better to target when you write most of the content on your site.
I love to write so I always end up with long tail keywords, good to know that I’m on the right path! Starting to worry because I can’t seem to write short sentences anymore because there are just so many things to talk about. By the way, is there such thing as a keyword being too long? I never noticed it until someone commented on my site about it.
Hi Riaz, it’s certainly possible to have a keyword be TOO long. Generally when people ask descriptive questions, and they look it up on Google, it can be considered a long keyword.
The question is, should you target that on your site? I would say ONLY if the keyword in question has good traffic stats. Otherwise, keep it long tailed, but not too long tailed 🙂
You have a unique way of looking at keywords that I had not thought of just yet, and plan to use in my future research going forward. Keywords and a long tailed keywords are one of the most important things in ranking on any search engine; without the proper layout of your keyword, it is not going to rank very high. Thanks for the useful information, I am going to implement it at once.
No problem Susan!
Hey I really enjoyed this article, I have been trying to use mainly long tail keywords for all of my blog posts. I always use the keywords that has a good chance to rank on the first page even though that doesn’t always happen. Especially in the make money niche since there are so many marketers doing it. But I am always trying to find keywords that will benefit me!
In this particular niche case Justin, read this article. I talk about competition in the make money online niche specifically and how I crack through it.
Hello Vitaliy, the post was amazing.
You see understanding how SEO and keywords work is one of the keys to successful blog post writing. Back when I started, sometimes I just assumed that the title we have in our head will do all the work without taking a review of it on Jaaxy and that truly cost me a lot. Please I have a question, is there any other reliable keyword tools you can recommend for me.
Hi Matron, Ubersuggest isn’t bad, but it won’t give the kinds of details as Jaaxy.
Great post on long tailed keywords, I really enjoyed reading it. When I first started learning about keywords and SEO and ranking, I read about long tailed keywords and it took me a while to really get it. Now that I’ve been writing content for 8 months or so I understand it quite a bit better.
I think Jaaxy is an excellent tool as well. Sometimes I have what I think is a great keyword for a blog post idea I have in my head. When I type it into Jaaxy many times it isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. Even when I try different versions sometimes I can’t come up with a good “tweak” to make it a good LTK. Any suggestions?
I have this happen to me a lot as well Mat, in that instance, I re-frame the keyword and/or I Google it, see what the related searches are, then take those related searches, plug them into Jaaxy and often times, that ends up helping me find a good keyword. See if this works.
Hello Vitaliy, I agree click bait is the worst and one shouldn’t use it.
I do have one question for you…
I heard Jaxxy has been updated lately. What are some of the advantages of Jaxxy for finding long-tailed keywords over other keyword tools? I assume you are using it. Any information would be helpful. Thanks
Hi Greg, actually Jaaxy was always UP to date especially with keyword results it provided. But overall, the platform itself was the same for years, which is why people said it wasn’t updated (that’s my assumption).
However, it recently underwent an entire change up and is now in it’s 3.0 version, completely updated and easier to use. And in regards to your question on long tailed keywords, the answer is, either your keyword search will return results that have long tail examples and/or there will be “related searches” to the right of the one you do on Jaaxy that will give you plenty of long tail keyword ideas.
Hi Vitaliy, great article, and a good explanation of long tail keywords. It has taken me a long time of trying and testing different ways, but I am finally starting to understand how to come up with great keywords. Obviously Jaaxy makes this process so much easier, and I couldn’t live without it now. One thing I didn’t realize is that you can mix you keyword’s words into a different order and they still come out as having the same data. I really need to try this for myself. Thanks
Well you can mix it up in your title Stefanie, but if you mix up the keyword’s actual words in something like Jaaxy, you will get different data quite often, but it won’t matter which one you use because all variations of it will get ranked thanks to an add on feature in Google’s ranking algorithm called LSI. This absolutely takes keyword research and it’s possibilities to exponential heights!
Great article on keywords. I like the way you simplified how to find and use them. As you put it low competition keywords are the importance for driving traffic to your site.
When I’m about to create a new page or post, I get an idea of what to write about, then I start writing, when I’m finished writing, I search for the best keywords to use and then edit my content with low competition keywords.
What is your method when you are about to create a new page/post? Do you search for the best keywords first?
My approach is opposite of yours Franca, I usually start with an idea of what I want to write about, then I find the best keyword to relate to the idea, and then followed by that, I set up my title and write the content.
I would be careful doing it the way you are right now, at the very least, write your article first, draft it with an empty title, then erase it and re-copy it onto a brand new page/post and then insert the keyword.
I say this because if you are currently doing it the way you said and are using a WordPress website (which I assume you are), then when you write the content first, the title is auto filled with a permalink that does not have the keyword in it, so if you publish that version of the article, even if you reinsert the keywords, the permalink will still look different and not have the keyword in that permalink, which may affect ranking, so if you do it the way I suggested, your method still remains intact, but you just recopy it and make sure the keyword is in the title and the permalink matches it, which will only help you 🙂
Hi Vitaliy, this article came at a good time for me as I was starting to get a bit confused with the whole keyword thing. You explained everything clearly and I will now put your advice into practice whenever I create a new post. Also. the Jaxxy keyword tool is awesome, I tried it on a trial basis and believe it’s the best way forward to building a profitable online business so I am going to subscribe properly to it now. Thanks
I never write a new post without first “consulting” with Jaaxy Stefanie, it’s a great way for me to see if my ideas carry keywords and with it, traffic. If they do, I know I have a great opportunity before me to write a post and attract lots of traffic.
I’m in the process of building up traffic to my Instagram marketing blog / website using long tailed keywords. This information is very helpful. I’ve only been able to rank a couple articles on like the second page of google even for long term keywords. However, I just need to stay consistent and continually create good content for my site that solves people’s problems. I think that’s what Google really likes to see.
You’re right Luke, it is. I would focus a lot more on the blog than your Instagram account though.
I love your website! And I love all the advice you are giving to online marketers! I do appreciate this and I believe many others as well.
I just didn’t quite get your last idea. At the end of your article you suggest to change LTK to make it more appealing as a title – but then it is no longer the keyword I have managed to find with low competition and certain number of searches. Will my article then rank for the LTK I have managed to find?
Hi Arta, as long as the words of the keyword are intact, you will still rank for it. I wrote about this exact question you’re asking here and I recommend you browse through it, this will open up so many more ideas for great title for you and attract more traffic, including the targeted keyword traffic!
Firstly great article! I often find that keywords cause me issues, I tend to use very generic (short-tail) keywords and often the competition is far too high to ever get a good volume of traffic. I’ve started to adapt and am now using long tail keywords so hopefully I’ll see my traffic start to increase shortly. I did have one question, many people say that target keywords are no longer a factor in SEO ranking, although I still try and put a few keywords in my content. I wondered if you do the same or have any thoughts on this?
I have never heard anyone, even people who are bad at SEO make this claim Chris. More likely, what they’ve said is that over targeting keywords in your content doesn’t work well because you still require good content to rank, that’s a much more plausible scenario.
This means if I have an article that is 100 words and targets a keyword, Google will not rank me high due to the small amount of content my article possesses. Compare that to a much higher density article targeting the same keyword and the chances improve, so that’s where we need to distinguish it.
I’d recommend you read up on meta tags and it will explain where and why keyword placement is important, but at the same time less of a big deal than your content.
Excellent article on keywords, my friend! I learned a lot about the importance of adding additional words to my keywords so I can lower my competition. Sometimes it can be tough getting started because of all the big, well-established companies and websites out there. But this is a great way to start generating the traffic that will lead to success. This will help many online marketers find much greater success. Keep up the great work.
Don’t worry about those “established” websites Chad, this is why! Know you can beat them!
Thank you very much for the extremely detailed explanation of what is a long tailed keyword. After all the time spent and years of researching website traffic, this has been a bit of an elusive topic for me. Your article explains it very well.
I am excited to use your advice on my website and hope to see as good results as you have had!
Thank you very much!
Not a problem! I used to be confused about this terminology, and although it sounds simple, it can really be elusive, like understand the abbreviation of SEO, but not really understanding it.
This is such a great post! I have always been stuck in the way of using long-tail keywords word-for-word in my blog post titles. It helps a lot to know that I can add more to the keyword term to make my title more interesting to read and still rank for the keywords. Thank you for this information!
Oh yeah Eartha, you can absolutely mess around (mix around really) the keyword within the title. So long as the actual keyword is used anywhere in the title, even if it is broken apart, it will still rank correctly, Google is not stupid believe me, but then once it ranks it, a good title will be what brings in the crowd (well rank too!).
Thank you for this great advice. I have always been confused as to what exactly long tail keywords were. I thought they were just more words but it seems I was quite wrong, they need to be more targeted words. Also of how to find the competition for those keywords was really helpful to me. I have been using keyword tools to get the competition. Your post has shed some light on a subject I have struggled with.
Well think of it is this way, it’s just a longer keyword than you’d normally type, that’s it 🙂
This is a very informative article that is perfect for someone with a newly created site. By targeing long tail keywords with low competition you can really start increasing your site traffic as the search engines will also start ranking you for keywords you weren’t even targeting. A very important component of SEO that everyone should know.
Ah you’re referring to LSI Tony, great point made! I agree with you 🙂
This is great information for someone like myself just getting into this world of online marketing. I had a basic understanding of keywords before reading this article, however I didn’t realize the options available to me using LTK! I also thank you for pointing out that I should use the keyword as my title but no more than 1% in the body of the content. This is great stuff thank you for sharing. It’s sure to make me more successful!
Yeah that 1% “quota” isn’t really a SUPER strict rule you need to worry about Scott, but keep the overall usage of the keyword low enough to not seem like you’re keyword stuffing.
Hi There Vitaliy its a pleasure to meet you. I really like the content you put into your post. It gave me a lot to think about when I am writing my post. Are most of the keys words that you come up with successful? Is there a percentage guide that you follow so you know how well your keywords are doing? Thanks for sharing this information.
Hi Stephen, I honestly do not measure the “success” rate of all my keywords for a number of reasons:
1) Not all of them are actually successful, even if they reach the first page.
2) It’s not always about the keyword and ranking high, it’s sometimes about the popularity of the topic associated with the keyword and often it may lessen by the time you hit the first page.
3) I always seek to find new terms that get traffic and write as much as possible on it. Even if the minority of my work is what gets traffic, that is enough to fuel the whole business.
4) I’d say looking at my analytics account, that maybe 10-20 pages get 95% of all traffic, out of the 500+ articles I’ve had, BUT the thing is the other articles boosted my site to the point that those 10 or 20 hit the first page to get the traffic, so it’s all worth writing.
Hi There Vitaliy,
Thank you kindly for the explanation on what exactly is a longtail keyword, I was a little unsure of the difference between short tail and long tail.
WOW what a give away! Thanks for the tip about product names! Now that is something I have to start using a lot more of!
They fit all the rules of LTK’s right? How many products can you think of that have 2 or more words?
Pretty much a lot. But even those that are one or two words, they still carry a brand name and in those cases, just add the word review to the keyword to make it longer (and less competitive).
This is a good, clear article on Long Tailed Keywords. When someone types in a search term like “how to become wealthy in real estate”, am I right in thinking the competition number only applies to that precise keyword? Also, within that keyword there would be different competition numbers for say “real estate” and “become wealthy” which will be beneficial or otherwise?
This is such an important topic, we must get it right.
Hi Michael, yes you are correct in both assumptions, including the second and that basically is a branch of the LSI topic I linked to (but it’s here too). You will link for those other terms but keep in mind that in this case, those shorter terms carry their own seperate competition number.