When creating an SEO plan, it may be tempting to find high-volume keywords to target in your content. But incorporating low-volume, low-competition keywords into your strategy can be extremely powerful. Learn how to find long tail keywords so you can cut through the noise and reach your most qualified customers with topics they care about most.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are search phrases that are specific, targeted, and have low search volume. Unlike high-volume, generic keywords that focus on a broad topic, long tail keywords refer to a distinct subset of that topic. These niche keywords are usually three or more words long.
Even though long tail keywords have a lower search volume than broad keywords, they are usually less competitive, which makes them easier to rank for. And because long tail keywords target more specific traffic, they usually have better conversion rates than generic keywords.
When you understand how to find long tail keywords, you can uncover golden opportunities to connect with your target audience by providing them the answers and information they value most.
Long Tail Keywords Examples
Consider the broad search term “running shoes.” Long tail keyword examples for that generic term may include:
- Best running shoes for women
- Best long distance running shoes 2018
- Best running shoes for flat feet
- Road running shoes on trail
- Running shoes for bad knees
A small or medium-size brand may find it difficult to stand out or rank for the generic search term “running shoes” because it would compete with huge companies that have more authority in search and bigger budgets for SEO and SEM.
But small to medium-size brands can still compete with leading brands and show up on the first page of search results by targeting more specific, long tail keywords.
With these niche keywords, it’s also easier to infer the intent of the searcher. In other words, it’s more clear what they are looking for when using a particular search term.
For example, a searcher who uses the phrase “running shoes” could be looking to buy running shoes, research certain running shoes, or find answers about running shoes. But if a searcher uses the phrase “running shoes for bad knees,” it’s safe to assume they are looking to find a comfortable running shoe that supports their knee joints.
When you understand what a searcher is looking for, you can create more targeted content that satisfies intent and performs better in search.
How to Find Long Tail Keywords: 9 Simple Strategies
As you learn how to do keyword research to find long tail keywords, try the following strategies and long tail keyword tools to find the terms that will drive the most targeted traffic to your site.
1. Use Google autofill.
An incredibly simple way to find long tail keywords is to enter a search term into Google. Study the long tail keywords that appear to understand what niche topics people search for. Use these as target keywords in content, or as seed phrases to research even more long tail keyword opportunities.
2. Look at Google’s related searches.
Another great way to find long tail keywords free is by using Google related searches. This will show you additional variations of a broad search term. Type a keyword into Google, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to find related keywords.
3. Use Ubersuggest.
Another tool that can help you find long tail terms is Ubersuggest. Enter your term to receive a list of the top associated long tail keywords.
4. Use the LSI Graph Keyword Generator.
The LSI Graph Keyword Generator is not positioned specifically as a tool for finding long tail keywords. Instead, it is marketed as a tool for helping with semantic SEO and uncovering latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords.
LSI keywords are terms and phrases that are similar to a target keyword. They are often used in on-page SEO to support the main keyword and help give context to the page so that search engines can better understand and rank the content.
However, once you know how to find long tail keywords and what to look for, you can use the tool to generate a list of niche keywords related to your topic of interest.
Learn other ways to find LSI keywords in this post: How to Find LSI Keywords: 5 Easy Strategies.
5. Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty tool.
If you have a broad search term in mind, go deeper into that keyword to find long tail keywords that are related to that topic.
To uncover more terms related to your target generic term, use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty tool. Start with the basic topic that you are looking to cover, and enter the term into the search field.
The tool will provide a report of dozens of related keywords, including long tail opportunities. The keywords are also given qualifying metrics to help you determine the best phrases to target.
- Relevance shows how closely the term is tied to your original target keyword.
- Popularity shows how frequently the term is searched for.
- Competition estimates how difficult it will be to rank for the term.
Use these metrics to help you find the best keywords that are closely tied to your original topic.
6. Use Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix.
Another smart way to find long tail keywords is to look for keyword gaps using Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix. You can use the tool to run a competitor keyword analysis to see what long tail keywords your competitors are getting traffic for but you are not. Alternatively, you can use the tool to find popular keywords your competitors aren’t getting traffic for yet that you can target to get ahead of the game.
Step No. 1: Enter up 10 websites into Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix. Select the keyword cluster view. The tool produces a map that helps you find popular topics and keywords. It creates clusters of related keywords that are driving traffic to the sites included in your query.
The size of the bubble indicates how many keywords exist within the group and the color of the bubble indicates the average popularity of the keyword group.
Pro Tip: If you don’t know your competitors, start by using Alexa’s Audience Overlap tool to find them. Enter one site URL to receive a list of other sites that share a similar audience to the target site.
Step No. 2: Select a keyword cluster from the map. This step will move you deeper into the cluster and provide another map with more specific terms. You can find keywords for website or blog content by drilling into topics/subtopics to find variations of a root keyword or phrase.
Step No. 3: View individual keyword data. Once you find a topic/subtopic you like, scroll down and view the table of keyword results.
Step No. 4: Use the list to identify long tail keyword opportunities. The list of results should include several long tail keyword options you can target. You can focus on keywords very few competitors have targeted by sorting the Sites column from least to most, or use the keyword gaps filter to find new content opportunities your competitors are getting traffic for but you aren’t.
7. Look for questions on Answer the Public.
Long tail keywords are often question queries that include a broad search term. So one way to find long tail keywords is to look for questions that your audience is asking related to that topic or keyword.
To find questions your audience asks about a particular topic, use Answer the Public. Enter your search term and find dozens of question variations that include the broad keyword.
You can also view long tail keywords that are prepositions (ex. running shoes without mesh) or comparison variations (ex. running shoes vs. racing flats).
8. Look for user-generated questions on Quora.
Another site to use to find questions that include your topic or keyword is the Q&A site Quora. On Quora, each question is searchable by topic, so you can use it to find popular questions that people are asking about your term.
Enter your topic or keyword to find popular questions that may include long tail keyword opportunities. These questions are usually great ideas for evergreen content on your site.
9. See what people are talking about on forums.
You can also look at online conversations to see what customers want to know about certain topics. By browsing forums, you can discover popular topics and long tail keywords.
To find forums of people talking about your topic, search for “[your generic search term] + forum.” This will return search results of forums about the topic. Use these results to identify other seed search terms and long tail keywords based on the most popular conversations related to the issue.
How to Use Long Tail Keywords
Once you know how to find long tail keywords, you need to know how to use them to get the best results for your SEO strategy.
Research and Qualify Long Tail Keywords
Start by researching and qualifying keywords to see how much value they can bring to your search strategy. The best long tail keywords have a good amount of search interest and low competition.
To research and qualify long tail keywords, run them through Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty tool. Look for terms that:
- Are low competition keywords that you can compete with. There’s no point in targeting terms that are so competitive that you won’t be able to get ahead of them.
- Are popular and frequently searched for. While the search volume will be lower than a generic term, you still want there to be enough queries to drive traffic to your site.
Optimize for Long Tail Keywords
After you know how to find long tail keywords and qualify them, you need to learn how to use them on your site. Use the following on-page SEO best practices to properly use long tail keywords in your content and improve a page’s ability to rank for the phrase.
- Use the long tail keyword in the post title and meta title.
- Use the long tail keyword in the SEO meta description for the page.
- Use the long tail keyword in the first paragraph of your content.
- Use the long tail keyword naturally in your post to create a keyword density of about 2%.
- Use the long tail keyword in at least one subheading.
- Use the long tail keyword near the end of the content.
- Use the long tail keyword as an image alt tag on one of the images on the page.
- Use three to four LSI keywords in the content that are related to the long tail keyword.
- Create internal links on other pages of your site that lead to the new content.
By following these keyword optimization tactics, your content will be well organized and crawlable for search engines, which will improve your site’s ability to rank.
To make sure you’ve followed all of the best practices for on-page SEO, run your page through Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to get a report on optimization opportunities you may have missed.
Start Finding the Best Long Tail Keywords Now
Broad search terms may have a high search volume, but that doesn’t mean focusing your SEO strategy around them will help you rank or drive more traffic or conversions
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. Generic search terms are highly competitive, difficult to rank for, and not very effective at driving targeted traffic. Instead of focusing all of your SEO energy on targeting those terms, search for long tail keywords that can help you create more focused content that connects with your ideal audience.
Learn how to find long tail keywords and use them effectively in your SEO plans to drive more qualified traffic and boost conversions. To find long tail and other types of keywords free, sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced plan. You’ll get access to keyword, SEO, and competitive analysis tools that can help you find the best keyword opportunities for your site.