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How to Identify Long-Tail Keywords – and How to Use Them

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What if we told you there was one simple way to increase organic traffic to your blog or website? You’d be interested, right? Well, hold on to your seats, because here it is:

You need to learn how to identify long-tail keywords.

And use them, of course, in all that brilliant content you’re creating.

Simple, isn’t it? But…hold on a minute, we hear you say. What are long-tail keywords? And we need some tips on how to use them! Friends, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the (concise) A to Z of long-tail keywords.

What are long-tail keywords?

Anyone who’s done keyword research will know all about keyword competition. (If you’re still not sure, it’s basically a number that tells you how often the search term is plugged into Google or similar.) High-competition keywords tend to be short, snappy, and obvious – and they’re used by the big guys, so you don’t stand much chance of ranking for them.

But according to Ahrefs, 92% of all keywords get fewer than 10 searches per month. And these are what we call long-tail keywords. You can identify long-tail keywords by one of a few characteristics:

  • low search volume
  • low competition
  • longer than three words (usually)
  • more specific, aka used by customers further along the buyer journey

The good news is, long-tail keywords drive organic traffic by being lower competition and making up most of users’ actual search engine activity. They also tend to lead to conversions more often, as they’re more targeted and lead to results that match search intent better.

How can I identify long-tail keywords?

We already told you the basics of what they are, but now you need to know how to find them. The process is quite simple and involves good old keyword research.

First, you need a keyword research tool (you can check our list of free keyword research tools here). Type in your seed keyword, then filter results by search volume (or SEO difficulty or competition – it has different names). You’re looking for search terms that contain three words or more and have low competition metrics. Any or all of these can be your long-tail keywords.

Tip: another good way to identify long-tail keywords is to use Google features such as autocomplete, Google Trends, or “people also ask.”

How to use long-tail keywords

This is again based on your usual methods of keyword research and integration. Once you have your long-tail keyword ideas, you need to include them naturally in your content. Use them high up the page – also in headlines and anchor text where applicable – but remember, no stuffing! You need these guys integrated as seamlessly as possible.

If you seriously want to boost organic traffic and can identify long-tail keywords that map on to search intent perfectly, you may consider writing content around them. As long-tail keywords are specific by nature, this will be in-depth and informative, and can help you outrank the competition by driving organic traffic to your digital doorstep.

So, next time you sit down to do some keyword research, take a moment first to refresh yourself with this quick guide on how to identify long-tail keywords.

Gonzalo Suárez
Gonzalo Suárez
Co-founder and COO @ Key Content
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