Long-Tail Keywords: What They Are & How to Use Them in 2024

Unveiling the Essence of Keywords

In the vast realm of search engine optimization (SEO), keywords serve as the compass guiding users to relevant content. Over time, SEO strategies have morphed into sophisticated techniques, with long-tail keywords emerging as a powerhouse for online visibility. To embark on our journey, let’s first grasp the fundamental role keywords play in the digital ecosystem. Keywords are the phrases or terms users type into search engines when seeking information. As the internet expanded, so did the need for more precise and tailored search results.

Understanding Long-Tail Keywords

Enter long-tail keywords—a strategic shift towards specificity. These are longer, more detailed phrases that cater to a niche audience. In a world dominated by broad searches, long-tail keywords carve a unique path to higher rankings and increased organic traffic. Long-tail keywords are specific search queries with relatively limited search volumes. Despite being less frequently searched, the accumulation of long-tail keywords contributes significantly to the overall search volume.

Due to their specificity compared to other keywords, users employing long-tail keywords might exhibit a higher likelihood to take action, such as making a purchase, completing a form, or reaching out to you. The term “long tail” pertains to the tail end of the search demand curve. Refer to the chart of the search demand curve below, where each individual long-tail keyword holds a relatively modest search volume, particularly when contrasted with head terms. Nonetheless, when combined, they constitute the predominant share of all Google searches.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords

Long-Tail Keyword Examples

Here are examples of very broad “head terms” that aren’t long-tail keywords:

  • Coffee filters
  • Iced coffee
  • Marketing agency
  • Marketing software
Keyword analysis tool

See how these terms are short and not very specific? Long-tail terms tend to be longer and more specific. So they’re definitely not long-tail keywords. Here are some examples of targeted keywords that are long-tail keywords: 

  • “how to bake gluten-free chocolate chip cookies”
  • “best budget-friendly smartphones under $300”
  • “tips for mastering yoga inversions”
  • Home made Coffee filters
  • Can you warmed up Iced coffee
  • Marketing Agency for SaaS

These examples showcase the diversity and specificity long-tail keywords bring to the SEO table. See how these keywords are long and specific? Those are telltale signs of long-tail keywords. Plus, they also have relatively low search volumes, as you can see in the report below. 

SEO Keyword analysis tool

Why Are Long-Tail Keywords Important?

Long-tail keywords hold significance for various reasons. Despite their lower individual search volumes, these specific search terms collectively contribute substantially to overall search traffic. Their importance lies in their ability to cater to niche queries, increasing the likelihood of conversion for businesses. Users using long-tail keywords often demonstrate focused intent, making them valuable targets for actions like making purchases, filling out forms, or engaging with content. In essence, the importance of long-tail keywords stems from their capacity to capture targeted audiences and enhance the effectiveness of online content and marketing strategies.

Furthermore, long-tail keywords play a pivotal role in optimizing website visibility and attracting relevant traffic. While each specific long-tail query may not individually garner significant attention, the cumulative effect contributes substantially to search engine queries. This makes them indispensable for businesses aiming to bolster their online presence and connect with a diverse audience. In addition to this, the targeted nature of long-tail keywords aids in refining the quality of website traffic. Users employing these specific search terms are often in the later stages of the purchasing funnel, showcasing a more focused and intent-driven search behavior. This not only increases the likelihood of conversions but also streamlines marketing strategies by focusing on a more receptive audience. Highly sought-after primary keywords often face intense competition, requiring an extended period to achieve favorable rankings through SEO, and success is not guaranteed. As an illustration, when examining the term “sushi” using Keyword Overview tool, it provides insights into the challenges associated with ranking for this particular keyword.

Keyword overview tool

The tool uses the Keyword Difficulty (KD) metric to report a keyword’s ranking difficulty. “Sushi” has a KD of 93%. So it’s really tough to rank for this term. But the long-tail keyword “sushi sandwich recipe” has a keyword difficulty of 27%.

Keyword overview tool

So, this long-tail keyword is relatively easier to rank for than a related head term. Due to their high specificity, long-tail keywords suggest that individuals using Google to search for them are likely in the advanced stages of the purchasing process, poised for conversion.

Less Expensive Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

When utilizing Google Ads, incorporating long-tail keywords into your strategy can enhance the efficiency of your advertising investment. This is because commonly used high-volume keywords often come with a higher cost per click (CPC). As mentioned earlier, these broader keywords may not yield optimal conversion rates. On the contrary, low-volume long-tail keywords are highly focused, increasing the likelihood of conversion and often accompanied by a lower CPC. This creates a beneficial situation for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that relying on long-tail keywords may require a larger quantity to match the traffic generated by a single head term. Despite the advantages of employing long-tail keywords in Google Ads, it’s crucial to recognize a potential drawback. To achieve a comparable level of traffic obtained from a single head term, you may need to incorporate multiple long-tail keywords into your strategy.

Learn SEO in 2024

Due to their detailed specificity, long-tail keywords are frequently more manageable to focus on with dedicated pages on your website. Consider the example of the keyword “how to filter cold brew coffee.” Observing the top-ranking pages for this keyword on Google reveals that they predominantly consist of blog posts providing instructions on filtering cold brew coffee. This underscores the advantage of tailoring your content to match the specificity of long-tail keywords. By creating dedicated pages that directly address these precise search queries, you increase the likelihood of ranking higher in search engine results. In the case of “how to filter cold brew coffee,” aligning your content with the top-ranking pages—typically instructional blog posts—can enhance your visibility and authority on the subject. This targeted approach not only caters to the user’s specific needs but also contributes to a more effective SEO strategy.

Keyword Seo

So if you were to target this keyword, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll also need to create a blog post. And the blog post should teach readers how to filter cold brew coffee. On the flip side, a non-long-tail keyword like “coffee grinder” is super broad. If you see the top-ranking pages for this keyword, you’ll notice both ecommerce category pages and informative blog posts ranking.

Examining the search results, the optimal approach for targeting the keyword may not be immediately apparent. It’s uncertain whether you should focus on a blog post discussing the best coffee grinders or an ecommerce category page showcasing your entire range of coffee grinders for sale.

Long-tail keywords constitute the majority of search queries on Google. When individuals seek information or products online, they tend to utilize longer and more detailed phrases that precisely convey their specific needs or interests. For instance, instead of a generic search like “shoes,” someone might input queries such as “comfortable running shoes for women with flat feet” or “basketball shoes for ankle support,” among numerous other long-tail variations tailored to their distinct requirements. Given this diverse landscape, the abundance of long-tail keyword ideas to target on your site seems virtually inexhaustible. This diversity in search behavior ensures a continual source of long-tail keyword possibilities for your website. As users articulate their queries with detailed and specific phrases, your site can address a wide array of these unique search intentions. This not only enhances your chances of reaching a more targeted audience but also presents opportunities to tailor your content to match the precise needs and interests expressed through these varied long-tail queries. Consequently, the ever-expanding pool of long-tail keyword ideas ensures that your site remains dynamic and relevant in catering to the nuanced requirements of online searchers.

How to Identify Long-Tail Keywords

Here are a few proven strategies for finding long-tail keywords for your website.

Use the Keyword Magic Tool

Keyword Magic Tool generates thousands of long-tail keywords in seconds. It is one of the best tools for performing long-tail keyword research. Type a broad “seed keyword” into the tool. (Seed keywords are short phrases or single words most related to your business. They’re helpful for generating more keyword ideas and finding long-tail keywords.)

Keyword Magic Tool search

If you look at the first few keywords, they all have high search volume and ranking difficulty. So these are definitely not long-tail keywords. We can narrow down the list and add a KD filter to only show keywords that have low ranking difficulty. In other words, long-tail keywords. Click on the “KD” drop-down from the top and select “Easy.”

how to select “KD” filter

Now, you’ll see lots of long-tail keyword ideas.

the tool gives you results with long-tail keyword ideas

Try Google Search Features

When you start typing into Google’s search box, Google’s autocomplete feature will show you a drop-down list of related terms that people search for: 

Google’s autocomplete suggestions for "best content marketing" search

You can also add a letter after your search term to see even more suggestions.  For example, let’s say you’re looking for long-tail keywords related to content marketing. You can type something like “best content marketing p” into the search box and get the following list of suggestions:

Google’s autocomplete suggestions for "best content marketing p" search

Note: Autocomplete suggestions will not always be long-tail keywords. Often, they will be highly competitive terms that don’t quite fit the definition of “long-tail.”

So, it’s a long-tail keyword. Also, Google provides a list of eight keywords at the bottom of the first page of the search results:

example of a list of eight keywords at the bottom of the first page of the Google search results

These are usually keywords closely related to the term you just searched for. Most of these won’t always be long-tail keywords. Because Google’s related searches show you popular keywords people search for. The same is true for autocomplete suggestions.

Apart from relying on Google autocomplete and related searches, another valuable resource for discovering long-tail keywords is Google’s People Also Ask box. The section featuring related questions can serve as a rich source of question-based long-tail keywords:

Google’s People Also Ask box

Try Google Ads Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is designed for PPC campaigns. That said, it’s still a helpful source of keyword ideas. To use it, log in to your Google Ads account and head over to the Keyword Planner.  You’ll see two options: “Discover new keywords” and “Get search volume and forecasts:”

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Select “Discover new keywords”:

“Discover new keywords” section in Keyword Planner

Then, enter a broad “seed keyword” into the field. Google will generate a bunch of related terms:

Keyword Planner generates related terms to your seed keyword, "content marketing"

You’ll also see keyword search volume.

"Avg. monthly searched" metric highlighted for "content marketing" seed keyword and other generated keywords

The tool will show more data to help you determine whether they’re long-tail keywords. And whether you want to target them.

"content marketing agency costs" keyword in Keyword Overview tool

G. Common Mistakes to Avoid

1. Overlooking the Power of Long-Tail Keywords: In the pursuit of broader terms, businesses often overlook the untapped potential of long-tail keywords. Recognize their power and incorporate them strategically into your content.

2. Stuffing Content Unnaturally: Resist the urge to stuff content with keywords. Maintain a natural flow, ensuring that long-tail keywords enhance the user experience rather than disrupt it.

3. Neglecting Regular Keyword Updates: SEO is not a one-time task. Regularly update your long-tail keyword strategy to align with shifting trends, emerging queries, and evolving user preferences.

4. Failing to Adapt to Shifting Trends: What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Stay agile and adapt to shifting trends to maintain a competitive edge in the ever-changing SEO landscape. Embarking on the journey to SEO excellence requires a nuanced understanding of long-tail keywords. These specific, targeted phrases have the potential to elevate your website’s visibility, attract the right audience, and drive meaningful engagement.


1. How do I find the most effective long-tail keywords for my business?

  • Utilize keyword research tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner.
  • Analyze competitor content and identify gaps in your niche.
  • Listen to customer feedback and participate in relevant forums to understand their language and queries.

2. Can I use long-tail keywords in various content formats?

  • Absolutely! Long-tail keywords can be seamlessly integrated into written content, videos, infographics, and podcasts to cater to diverse audience preferences.

3. How often should I update my long-tail keyword strategy?

  • Regular updates are crucial. Stay agile and adapt your strategy based on shifting trends, emerging queries, and evolving user preferences.

4. What’s the biggest mistake businesses make with long-tail keywords?

  • Overlooking their power. Businesses often focus on broad terms and miss the untapped potential of long-tail keywords in catering to specific user needs.

5. How can I measure the success of my long-tail keyword strategy?

  • Utilize analytics tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to monitor organic traffic, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Adapt your strategy based on performance insights.