Before you learn how to find and rank for long tail keywords, you'll probably want to know what the heck a long tail keyword is.
These keywords and phrases might not have the dazzling search volume of short head keywords, but they are vital for any good content marketing campaign.
In this article, we will walk you through how to find long tail keywords relevant to your business. We'll also show you how to find and rank for these keywords using SEO Scout. Use this simple guide to help inform your content marketing strategy.
What is a long tail keyword?
A highly-specific search term with a low volume of searches per month is usually a long tail keyword. The opposite of this would be a general keyword with a high number of monthly searches or a "short head" keyword.
In general, shorter keywords have higher search volume and higher competition. The longer and more specific you get, the lower the search volume and the lower the competition.
While a long tail keyword might have fewer searches per month, they also have much higher conversion rates. When looking at this from a PPC perspective, this will also mean lower CPC.
Examples of long tail keywords
Imagine you operate a veterinary clinic in London specialising in exotic animals.
An example of a short head keyword for your business would be "vet" or even "vet London". You can’t help all of the people that search for this term, but you can help some of them.
An example of a long tail keyword for your business would be "exotic animal veterinary clinic in Clapham".
Your main service pages might target short head keywords like "reptile vets", while a blog post might target something like "What is the easiest reptile pet to take care of?"
Business owners typically shy away from long tail keywords when they see the low search volumes. However, this is a short-sighted strategy.
Users typing long tail keywords into their search bar know exactly what they are looking for. They are a few steps into the customer journey already, and need those last little shreds of information before they convert.
Long tail keyword searches are more likely to result in a click through to your website if you can provide the right information. And this means higher CTR and higher conversion rates.
Long tail keywords also make up the bulk of searches. According to Hitwise, long tail keywords make up around 70% of all searches. This percentage could increase as voice search continues to grow, as voice search users will typically search in complete sentences.
Long tail keywords are the ideal addition to your content marketing strategy. At the very least, they will help to generate blog content topic ideas, which is great if you're stuck in a topic generation rut.
Part One: How to find low competition long tail keywords
SEO Scout Keyword Research
The Keyword Research tools offered by SEO Scout make it easy to identify long tail keywords and then optimise your content.
Pick your seed keyword, and SEO Scout will present you with related keywords to start your search. SEO Scout pulls these from various sources, including Google Ad Planner, Google Suggest, People Also Ask and Quora.
You can then filter out the long tail keyword opportunities to add to your content plan.
Sort by volume
You could sort by Volume, and you will see the long tail searches that typically get less than ten searches per month. So don't be afraid of zero search volume; it simply means that it doesn't always surpass ten searches a month.
According to Ahrefs, 92% of all search phases get fewer than ten searches per month. These are the high intent search terms used by people who are further down the purchase journey.
Filter by CPC
A keyword with a low CPC will typically be a long tail keyword. Filter your list to find all keywords with a CPC of 0.00. Not all of these keywords will be relevant, so get ready to do some sorting.
Use competitor research to uncover long tail keywords
Your competitors are an excellent source of keywords. Copying their strategy word-for-word is a big no-no, but getting inspiration from their keywords is just smart marketing.
Use domain competitors to identify websites that rank for similar terms, then enter competitor domains into "Domain competitors" to have a nosy around their keywords.
Again, you can sort by search volume or filter by CPC to help identify long tail keywords worth targeting.
Use your website keywords to identify long tail keywords
Your website may already rank for long tail keywords, but your website appears off the first page because you haven't created content specifically for this keyword or phrase yet.
By focussing on these content gaps, you're already one step ahead. Google already knows that your website is related to this search query, so all you need to do is answer the question better than what is already out there. And since you're an expert on the subject, chances are you'll be able to do this with ease.
Enter your domain into the Competitor keywords field and then sort by search volume or filter by CPC. This will give you a list of keywords that you know are relevant to your business and that you know your customers are searching for.
Use the SEO Scout Keyword Groups to dig down deep
By adding your seed keyword to your topic dashboard, you can then scour the Keyword Groups tab for inspiration.
Including multiple long tail keywords from the same category in one post can help you to boost the potential reach of each piece of content. This is a great way to broaden the appeal of your content.
Part two: How to rank for long tail keywords
You've done the hard work and identified the keywords that are most relevant to your business. Now it's time to turn this insight into action.
So many guides focus on how to find long tail keywords, but then they leave users in the dark about how to optimise content for these long and cumbersome phrases.
Optimising content for a short head keyword is often more straightforward, but the task looks a lot more intimidating when the phrase has over ten words. How can you possibly optimise for something so long without falling into the trap of keyword stuffing?
Thankfully, SEO Scout makes it simple to craft the kind of content Google loves.
The Content Editor tool makes it simple to enter your chosen keyword or phrase and quickly get to grips with the standard of content that Google expects to find.
This will help you understand if you need to create a 500 word, hyper-focused blog or if the topic deserves closer to 2,000 words.
You'll also learn the top semantically linked words that Google expects to find in the piece. Hitting top marks for keyword usage, word count, and readability scores will put you on the right track to top rankings.