If you’ve not done much research into blogging then you might still be asking yourself ‘What is a longtail keyword?’. Why are they important for bloggers?
I’ve been blogging for 9 years now and I have many blog posts that rank in Google. The problem is, I never did keyword research so Google just picks up random posts here and there. There were times when I would pick a keyword and aim for that, but I didn’t look into if I was able to rank for it. I just used Yoast SEO to make sure it was showing green for my keyword and off we go.
But that really isn’t the way to do it at all.
The result? – I ranked for some random things, but not always the keywords I wanted to rank for. This is mostly because the competition was too high. So means I’m not getting traffic to the right posts that could get me some conversions.
So over the past 9 months, I’ve tried to forget everything I previously knew and changed the way I do SEO. I was oversimplifying SEO. I was doing the same few tips and tricks you read on a typical blog post. It’s the basic, quick things we all do around alt text, headings, URLs, word count, quality content but it’s not enough.
If you are targeting the wrong keyword, or a keyword you have no chance in hell in ranking for then there’s no point in putting in all that work to end up on the 5th page of Google.
SEO is a long game. There are many parts to it. From making sure your blog is SEO friendly from a technical point of view, to the age, authority and amount of backlinks.
Although targeting longtail keywords is a great SEO strategy, it should be just one of the things you are doing as part of your SEO plan.
I wrote about my SEO plan last year if you want to see some of the other things I’ve been doing. Although I do need to create an updated SEO plan for this year!
So, let’s get into it then. Longtail keywords!
What is a Longtail Keyword and how does they work?
Longtail keywords are search queries that usually consist of three or more words. Three to five words is the standard.
They are keywords that are specific, often to a niche. They are often used in SEO to increase the number of targeted visitors when compared to more generalised terms.
Longtail keywords are all about being specific, rather than broad. For example, if you have a blog about shoes for people with wide feet, you would have one longtail keyword phrase that is “shoes for wide feet.” You may not get as many visitors with this search engine optimisation technique, but they will be more likely to buy something from your site because they found what they were looking for specifically.
Why should I use longtail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are one of the most powerful strategies in SEO when done correctly. They help you rank higher in search engines and get more targeted traffic to your website.
When you use long-tail keyword phrases, you will notice that the top-ranking phrases are usually not generic terms, but more specific ones with less competition. This is because people search for this kind of information when they have a specific need rather than when they just want general information.
Let’s say you want to write a blog post about ‘dresses’. Maybe you want to do a bit of affiliate marketing and hope to rank well in Google, so people will buy dresses through your links and you will earn some commission! ‘Dresses’ will be a high-competition keyword. Yes, it probably gets lots of traffic but you won’t have a good chance of getting on the first page. It will be dominated by popular clothing stores. But you can have a crack at ranking for something like the following long tail keywords examples:
- dresses for a winter wedding
- floral dresses for spring
- how to style a black party dress
- the best 50’s style dresses
Can you see where I’m going here? Short tail keywords like ‘dresses’ are too broad! You need to focus on a specific category that people are searching for. This brings targeted traffic to your blog which is much better! You also need to aim for keywords that blogs (or your type of website) can rank for, rather than online stores in this example.
Let’s say you did rank number one for ‘dresses’ and you included some of your favourite dresses this season. It’s likely these aren’t the style that the searcher was looking for. But if you rank for something specific – ‘cute dresses for a summer first date’ then you’re more likely to get readers that are interested in buying the specific product you are promoting. This is where the conversion is most likely to happen!
You can identify long-tail keywords by looking at your website analytics and seeing which words people are using to find your website. You can also use tools like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, or RankMath to find out what kinds of long-tail keyword phrases work best for your business.
How to Find the Best Longtail Keyword for Your Blog
In this section, we will learn how to find the best longtail keyword for your business. Some tools can help us out with this! These tools help us find the best longtail keyword for our blogs by scanning popular keywords and telling us which is best fit for us. This doesn’t have to be the most popular one! We are looking for keywords that will easy for us to target. Picking the right longtail keyword is crucial because it can make or break your ability to drive traffic to your blog. It can be tempting to go for the most popular one, but remember – you have to RANK for it to see results!
I use a tool called Keysearch to find longtail keywords (use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount). Keysearch is the best keyword tool for bloggers as it’s affordable. There are many SEO tools out there and many of them have loads of features that would be great for someone who is an SEO pro – but Keysearch just has the features about keywords and tracking your ranking.
What I love about Keysearch is that you can type in a keyword, then it will show a bunch of related keywords. You can click into others and search them and find a bunch of keyword ideas to aim for.
Ideally, you want a keyword that has a high search volume and a low score. Those that have a high score (red and yellow) are hard to rank for.
As you can probably guess, the keywords with the most traffic are usually the hardest to rank for. So it’s about finding a balance of something with a decent search volume and low score. If you are just starting out and don’t already get a lot of traffic from Google, then aiming for something with a search volume of 100-500 is fine. It’s better to rank on the first page for that, than on the 10th page for something with a higher search volume that won’t bring you any traffic.
100 views might not seem like much, but imagine if you get different posts getting 100 views each. It all adds up.
You can also use a free longtail keyword generator such as this one from AHREFS. This doesn’t have as much info on as Keysearch but maybe a good starting point, but I recommend at least trying the Keysearch 1-month free trial.
I’ve written a more in-depth post about Keysearch here.
How to Optimize your SEO for Longtails Keywords
Remember, a longtail keyword is a search query that has three or more words. Longtails keywords are often overlooked because they take too much time and research but it is time well spent and there are keyword research tools like Keysearch you can use it make it easier!
Longtail keywords are the perfect solution for small blogs who don’t have the budget to invest in PPC, but still want to compete for higher rankings in organic search, or for new blogs that don’t yet have a strong authority within Google.
Once you have your keyword, then I find using both Keysearch and RankMath together helps.
I love the content assistant on Keysearch which tells me which words I should include in my blog post and other information, such as what word count I should aim for. RankMath helps by checking I have the keyword all the right places and my on page SEO is the best it can be
As you can see, there are plenty of long-tail keywords benefits for bloggers and they really are the thing you should be working on in your SEO plan.
Remember – You can sign up to Keysearch here and use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount. There’s a 1-month free trial for new users.