What Are Longtail Keywords?

Head keywords are great to help you rank high and bring more traffic to your website. But longtail keywords are better. Here we explain why we love longtail keywords so much, and why we think you should be loving them too.

Longtail keywords are, well, long. While head keywords average one to two words in length, long-tail keywords can be as long as ten words or more. Knowing how and when to use long tail keywords will give you an edge over your competition.

Because longtail keywords are weirdly specific and occupy a lot of space, knowing how and when to use them can prove quite a challenge. Depending on the topic, specific texts written in different writing styles can seem out of place when stuffed with sentence-long keywords.


Longtail Keywords = Less Competition

Weaving in some long-tail keywords in your content means that your website will be visible to those searching for something more specific. Your page might come up in fewer searches overall but might end up receiving more traffic by appearing in those few searches that count.

It’s much harder to rank high with head keywords, exactly because competition for them will be fierce. For example, instead of “Sydney hotels”, you could give “5 star Sydney hotels near airport” a go. The long-tail keyword here is not as competitive as the generic “Sydney hotels”, as it appears in fewer searches, but will probably lead to more organic traffic.

Don’t underestimate the power of long-tail keywords. 57% of Amazon’s sales come from long-tail keywords and by integrating just a few long-tail phrases into your content, you too could improve your website’s organic traffic by up to 80%.

The search demand curve is a visual representation that shows the various keyword areas that are in demand. It comes as no surprise that 70% of all search traffic comes from long-tail searches.

Volume Is Important Too

You want to focus on keywords with low competition, but don’t forget that higher search volumes are also crucial. Aim for long-tail keywords that are niche, but make sure that there is an audience for it.

There is a fine balance between competition and volume levels. If you want to rank high, you’ll have to do some research. Finding a niche in the market is not easy. With time and practice, you’ll be able to nail those nice long-tail keywords that bring traffic and revenue.

Longtail keywords are important but don’t go overboard. When you’re going for those specific longtail keywords, make sure that you’re not getting too specific. There’s no point in coming up with extremely niche long-tail keywords if no one’s going to be searching for them.

The Benefits of Using Longtail keywords

Low competition is important, but there are many more reasons why you should consider adding more long-tail keywords into your content:


  • Long-tail keywords are used by customers who know what they’re looking for and are ready to buy. By using the correct long-tail keywords, you’ll be able to reach your target audience with more ease.
  • You might think it’s hard to come up with good long-tail keywords, but a multitude of keyword tools that can help you on your keyword journey already exist. Some keyword planners (such as Keywords Everywhere) are free, while other more sophisticated keyword research tools (such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer) offer statistics and tools for project planning, at a price.
  • Long-tail keywords can guide your content creation plans. Knowing what keywords are optimal gives you a rough idea of what you should be focusing on. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about things that don’t rank high, but if you’re between two topics, it could be a factor to take into consideration.
  • Content creation that focuses on keywords (both head and long-tail) automatically optimises your website for search. Chances are that the people who reach your website are already interested in what you’re offering, making it more likely that they will buy your products or services.


Things to watch out for

Longtail keywords will help you rank higher, but here are some things to keep in mind:


  • Longer doesn’t always mean better. If your keyword is too long, people won’t be searching for it. Aim for a minimum length of six and a maximum length of ten words per keyword.
  • Don’t forget to use head keywords too. Just because long-tail keywords bring more traffic, doesn’t mean they should replace all other keywords.
  • Sometimes, you’ll just have to follow trends. Generic isn’t necessarily bad. By combining shorter and longer keywords, you’ll attract different audiences. You can then check performance and decide what keywords work best for you.
  • Give long-tail keywords some time. It usually takes a few months before the beneficial effects of long-tail keywords kick in.


It’s Not Just About Size

Long tail keywords are great. Most SEO experts will advise using them as much as possible. When you use long-tail keywords, Google links your website with niche markets, boosting your website’s organic traffic as a result. It’s also true that certain writing styles and content allow for lengthier keywords.

With so much keyword research software available on the Internet, it won’t be hard to find optimal keywords. Keyword research also optimises your website, which means that you’ll be getting more visitors that are ready to buy your products and services.

But be careful when using lengthy keywords. You need to strike a good balance between competition and volume levels. A combination of long-tailed and head keywords might be your best choice, at least until you know what brings more traffic to your website.

If keywords fascinate you and you enjoy a good challenge, make sure to check our article on LSI keywords and how they can help you succeed in SEO.