Long-tail keywords are a search query involving three or more keywords which are focused and hence less competitive and which should result in driving high-conversion traffic to a website. By high-conversion traffic we mean visitors who end up converting into customers.
The following simple formula should help pages rank better over time:
Well written and interesting content + a smattering of long-tail keywords, where appropriate = more high-conversion traffic over time.
Long-tail keywords should be included in the page title, meta description, headline, and first paragraph; consider also placing long-tail keywords in image descriptions. Write naturally and do not over-use or stuff long-tail keywords.
If we search for the following: malpractice lawyers plastic surgery we can see in the image below that the first four results are ads and the fifth result is an organic search result -- this is great for the Cochran Firm as they're in the first page results and they're not paying for advertising (they may be paying for SEO services and, if this is the case, someone is doing their job, at least insofar as this example is concerned).
In the example below we can see that the Cochran Firm appears as the fifth organic search result on Bing.com (there are ads above this, which are not shown here):
The following list includes some sources for discovering long-tail keyword ideas. This is by no means complete so if you have a tool that you like which is not mentioned here, please mention it in the comments.
Google - Enter some terms and see what Google suggests -- consider using any which appropriately relate to the subject matter.
Here's another variation for acquiring potential long-tail keywords with Google -- prefix the query with three spaces to see suggestions that do not start with the search query term.
Finally, related searches at the bottom of the page shows some possible suggestions for long-tail keywords:
Bing - Same as for Google: Enter some terms and see what Bing suggests -- consider using any which appropriately relate to the subject matter.
Google Search Console - Review what queries are already driving traffic.
YouTube - YouTube is the second most popular search engine too, one which long-tail keyword ideas can be borrowed from. See also: "Meet the 7 Most Popular Search Engines in the World".
Moz Keyword Explorer - An advanced long-tail keyword solution which allows for some free queries but ultimately requires a subscription.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer - An advanced long-tail keyword solution which allows for some free queries but ultimately requires a subscription.
KeywordTool - An advanced long-tail keyword solution which allows for some free queries but ultimately requires a subscription.
Searching for the above results in the following:
SEMRush - An advanced long-tail keyword solution which allows for some free queries but ultimately requires a subscription. In the image below, searching for "malpractice lawyers plastic" results in the following:
The article entitled "SEO 101: My Favorite Keyword Research Tools" includes other keyword research tools not mentioned here and is worth reading.
If you have tools or strategies for utilizing long-tail keywords, please feel free to share what you used, along with any results achieved.
Also any tricks of the trade are welcomed additions to this article so feel free to include comments about any secret strategies you have which result in above-average return-on-investment when it comes to using long-tail keywords.
- The Long Tail Theory Gets Challenged, Just Not in Search Query Demand
- SEMRush Organic Keyword
- The Definition of a Long-Tail Keyword [In Under 100 Words]
- Long‐Tail Keywords: The 'Secret' to Getting TONS of Search Traffic
- Conversions vs. Traffic: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
- How to Find the Right Keywords to Rank #1 on Google | Powerful Keyword Research Tools for SEO (2018)