Adriana HerreraDo you want to answer the question “What is a long tailed keyword?” This guide shares everything you need to know about long tailed keywords and includes steps to identify them and free tools you can use.

If you want to rank for keywords on Google that will send you customers click here.

Adriana HerreraDo you want to answer the question “What is a long tailed keyword?” This guide shares everything you need to know about long tailed keywords and includes steps to identify them and free tools you can use.

If you want to rank for keywords on Google that will send you customers click here.

What is a Long Tailed Keyword (Easy Steps & Free Tools)

by | Dec 4, 2023

What is a long tailed keyword

Do you want to be able to answer the question “What is a long tailed keyword?”

Have you heard of long tail keywords, but don’t know how they’re different from short tail keywords? Don’t worry – this article explains everything there is to know about what a long tailed keyword is. You will get insights on long tail keywords vs short tail and learn all about long tail keywords benefits. Additionally, you get step-by-step directions on how to use a long tail keyword generator and answers to frequently asked questions like “how do you identify long tail keywords,” “are long tail keywords less competitive,” “are long tail keywords more likely to convert,” “do long tail keywords still work,” “how many words is a long tail keyword,” “what are the cons of long tail keywords,” “what is the difference between long tail and short tail keywords,” and “what makes a good long tail keyword.”

Long tailed keywords come with numerous benefits such as being less competitive and more likely to convert. If used correctly, long tailed keywords make it easier for customers to find your products/services through search engines like Google. They are great for SEO purposes since incorporating them into your content helps boost rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). You’ll be amazed at SEO results once you put long tailed keywords into action.

If you’re ready to answer the question “What is a long tailed keyword” then keep reading!

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What is a long tailed keyword

What is a Long Tailed Keyword

A long tailed keyword is a longer, more specific phrase used in search engine queries. It typically contains three or more words and is highly targeted towards a particular topic or niche. For example, “best coffee shops in New York City” is considered a long tailed keyword, as opposed to “coffee shops,” which would be a short tail keyword.

Long tailed keywords are often overlooked by businesses, but they can be incredibly powerful in attracting qualified traffic to your website. They are overlooked because they have lower search volume compared to short tail keywords, but this also means that they are less competitive. This makes it easier for your website to rank higher in search engine results.

What is a Long Tailed Keyword

A long tailed keyword is a search query:

  • With three or more words.
  • That is more specific, and often less competitive.
  • That targets a smaller, more niche audience.
  • That generally has low search volume.
While a long tail keyword typically has a lower search volume, this doesn’t mean it’s less valuable. In fact, because these keywords are so specific, the traffic they bring to your website is highly targeted. This means you’re attracting users who are more likely to convert, whether they make a purchase, share your content on social media, or engage with your content and user experience by signing up for a newsletter or completing some call-to-action.

Despite their lower search volume, long tail keywords can have a higher conversion rate, making them a powerful tool in your SEO strategy.

Long Tail Keywords Benefits

Long tail keyword benefits include:

  • include less competition,
  • higher conversion rates,
  • better user intent understanding, and
  • improved website metrics.

Long tailed keywords offer a host of benefits that can escalate your SEO strategy. For starters, they are less competitive, meaning the probability of ranking high in search engine results is significantly amplified. This gives your content a better chance to shine amidst the content clutter on the web.

Secondly, long tailed keywords tend to have a higher conversion rate. Why? Because people who use long tailed keywords in their search queries are often further down in the buying cycle, hence they are more ready to convert. They know exactly what they want and your specific, targeted content is the right answer to their queries.

In addition, long tailed keywords can provide a clearer understanding of users’ intent. This means, you can tailor your content more efficiently to meet your audience’s needs, providing them with more value, and thereby strengthening your brand’s reputation and domain authority.

Long tail keywords can help improve your content strategy. With a clearer understanding of what your audience is specifically looking for, you can create and optimize content that directly answers their queries, improving your chances of conversion. Long tail keywords can also give you an advantage in voice search, as they often mimic the natural language and detailed queries people use when speaking.

Lastly, when used intentionally, long tailed keywords can help you drive a highly targeted audience to your website. This can lead to improved user engagement, lower bounce rates, and higher average time spent on your website, all of which are crucial variables/metrics in Google’s search algorithm.

Long Tail Keywords vs Short Tail

The main difference between long tail keywords and short tail keywords lies in their length, specificity, search volume, and competition. Short tail keywords consist of one or two words, encompass a high level category, are not specific, and very broad. They have a high search volume and are highly competitive due to their broad nature, making it difficult for a website to rank high in search results. For example, a short tail keyword could be something like “women’s jeans.”

On the other hand, long tail keywords are more detailed and specific, typically comprising three or more words. They target a specific audience and are less competitive due to their niche focus. As a result, generic short tail keywords (e.g. email marketing) have a much higher search volume compared to long tailed keywords (e.g. email marketing software for fashion apps). However, the organic search traffic from long tailed keywords is more likely to convert because of its specificity.

While short tail keywords may bring more traffic, the conversion rate is often lower because the intent behind such searches is less clear. Users entering three or more words into a search engine tend to know exactly what they are looking for. Their search query has a very specific search intent. This search intent makes them more likely to engage with or make a purchase from content that is hyper specific to their long tailed keyword.

In an effective SEO strategy, both long tail and short tail keywords can be utilized. Balancing the broad reach of short tail keywords with the targeted, high-converting traffic brought by long tail keywords generates organic visitors who land on your website at different stages of the customer journey.

Long Tail Keywords vs Short Tail (Pros)

Benefits of using long tail keywords over short tail keywords include:

  • More Targeted Traffic: Long tail keywords attract users who are searching for specific products or services, often indicating a higher likelihood of conversion. A user who searches for “best running shoes for flat feet,” for example, is likely much further along in their buying journey than someone who simply searches “running shoes.”
  • Reduced Competition: Long tail keywords are more specific, as such they have less competition than short tail keywords. Less competition makes it easier for high quality content to rank well in search engines resulting in highly targeted visitors to your website.
  • Enhanced User Intent Understanding: Long tail keywords provide straightforward insight into user intent. This insight gives you the direction to tailor your content to match exactly what the end user is looking for. When your content matches user intent you boost your chances of converting that visitor.
  • Better SEO Results: Due to their specificity, long tail keywords can help you achieve better SEO results. They can improve your site’s ranking for relevant searches, increase your visibility, and ultimately, ramp up your website’s performance metrics.
  • Cost-Effective for PPC: In pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, bidding on long tail keywords often costs less than bidding on short tail ones because there’s less competition. This makes long tail keywords a more cost-effective choice for small businesses or those with limited PPC budgets.

What is a Long Tail Keyword Examples

Now that you have a foundation on what a long tailed keyword is, let’s take a look at some long tail keyword examples for B2C and SaaS business models.

Long tail keyword example (B2C)

Let’s say you own an online pet store and want to attract more customers interested in buying cat toys. Some short tail keywords you might use are “cat toys” or “pet toys.” These keywords will likely have high competition and low conversion rates.

Instead, you can use long tailed keywords like “best interactive cat toys” or “catnip toy for kittens.” These phrases are more specific and targeted towards potential customers looking for these specific products. This increases the chances of them clicking on your website and making a purchase.

What is a long tail keyword examples (for a B2C Pet Store)

Other practical examples of long tail keywords specifically for a pet store could include:

  • “organic dog food for small breeds”
  • “all-natural cat litter unscented”
  • “durable chew toys for large dogs”
  • “grain-free fish flavored cat food”
  • “bird cages for small parakeets”
  • “hypoallergenic food for dogs with allergies”

These examples demonstrate the specificity and directness of long tail keywords. Each one targets a specific segment of the pet store audience and highlights a particular product or need. These keywords are not only easier to rank for in search engine results but also attract customers who are more likely to make a purchase because they are searching for a specific product.

Long Tail Keyword Example (SaaS)

Let’s say you are helping to grow a SaaS software company that specializes in project management software. The initial inclination might be to target short tail keywords such as “project management software”. However, this approach will likely lead to high competition and high customer acquisition costs, as this keyword is broad and targeted by numerous businesses in the same industry.

Instead, you could target long tail keywords. For example:

  • “cloud-based project management software for small businesses”
  • “affordable Scrum project management tools for startups”

These keywords are more specific and can capture a more defined audience, such as small businesses looking for cloud-based solutions or startups that need affordable Scrum tools. By targeting these long tail keywords, you’re more likely to attract decision-makers who are ready to purchase your software, thus potentially lowering customer acquisition costs in the long-term.

When formulating your SEO strategy it’s important to keep in mind that long tailed keywords have higher conversion rates because they match a user’s search intent even though they have lower search volumes. The addition of long tailed keywords into SEO strategies in industries with high cost-per-click advertising (e.g. SaaS enterprise software) can significantly reduce customer acquisition costs and increase return on investment.

What is a long tail keyword examples (for SaaS Companies)

Other practical examples of long tail keywords specifically for a SaaS software company could include:

  • “best CRM software for real estate agents”
  • “affordable accounting software for small businesses”
  • “email marketing software with automation features”
  • “cloud-based HR management software for startups”
  • “inventory management software for e-commerce”
  • “construction project management software with Gantt chart”

These examples highlight the application of long tail keywords for SaaS software companies. The long tailed keywords reflect specific user needs, focus on particular niches, features, and/or target audiences. Specificity can increase the likelihood of attracting high-quality leads ready to convert and bolster your SEO and content marketing strategies.

Adriana Herrera (TapAloha)

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Long Tail Keyword Generator

It is essential to know how to identify long tail keywords that increase the efficiency of your content strategy. Keyword research and analysis are crucial when identifying long tail keywords. Use long tail keyword research tools like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner to find search terms that align with your business strategy, identify user intent, and content requirements.

To maximize your chances of ranking high on SERPs when identifying long tail keywords it’s important to pay attention to the number of searches per month and the competition surrounding the search term.

Long Tail Keyword Generator (Ahrefs)

Ahrefs is a SEO tool that helps make long tail keyword research easy. Ahrefs has two very easy to use features that make it easy to identify long tail keywords:

  • Site Explorer
  • Keyword Volume Filter

In addition, the Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty score feature gives you an idea of how hard it would be to rank for a specific long tail keyword, allowing you to focus on less competitive terms. Ahrefs also provides a wealth of data on long tail keyword search volumes, click metrics, and global volumes. This data helps to balance specificity and search volume to identify long tail keywords.

Ahrefs is a helpful long tail keyword generator. Below are steps detailing how to use Ahrefs Site Explorer to identify long tail keywords.

Long Tail Keyword Generator (Ahrefs Site Explorer, Steps to Identify Long Tail Keywords)

  • Step 1: Go to Ahrefs “Site Explorer” and enter a website.

Long tail keyword generator (Ahrefs enter a website)


  • Step 2: From the dashboard of website data Ahrefs renders click the link “Organic Keywords.”


Long tail keyword generator (Ahrefs Click Organic Keywords)


  • Step 3: Once on the Organic Keywords page use the search volume filter to filter results to keywords with a search volume of 100 – 300. The results you get are long tail keywords.


Long tail keyword generator (Ahrefs Search Volume Filter)


  • Step 4: Identify long tailed keywords that are easy to rank by filtering by “KD” which is the Keyword Difficulty.

Long tail keyword generator (Ahrefs Filter Results)

Long Tail Keyword Generator (Ahrefs Keyword Volume Filter)

You don’t have to limit your use of Ahrefs keyword volume filter to Ahref’s Site Explorer feature; the volume filter can be used from almost any search. It’s a great way to identify long tail keywords anywhere within the keyword platform.

Long Tail Keyword Generator Free (Google Keyword Planner, Steps to Identify Long Tail Keywords)

If you have a tight marketing budget there are long tail keyword generators you can use for free. My favorite free long tail keyword generator is Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner is a helpful tool to conduct long tail keyword research. It has an easy-to-understand interface making it a popular choice among beginner and seasoned SEOers alike.

Here is how you can use Google Keyword Planner as a long tail keyword generator free:

  • Step 1: Access Google Keyword Planner, Log into your Google Ads account (or create one). Then access the Keyword Planner tool by clicking on ‘Tools’ and then selecting ‘Keyword Planner.’

Long tail keyword generator free (Google Keywords Planner, Step 1)


  • Step 2: Select Discover New Keywords, Google Keyword Planner provides two keyword idea tools: ‘Discover new keywords’ and ‘Get search volume and forecasts.’ You want to click ‘Discover new keywords.’

Long tail keyword generator free (Google Keyword Planner, Step 2)


  • Step 3: Enter Keywords, In the search box, input a broad keyword that is relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about cameras, you can type in “cameras.”

Long tail keyword generator free (Google Keyword Planner, Step 3)


  • Step 4: Filter Results Specific to What You Want to Target, After you enter your keyword and click “Get results,” Google will provide a list of related keywords. To find long tail keywords, filter the results. Click on ‘Add Filter’ and select ‘Competition’ and ‘Low.’’

Long tail keyword generator free (Google Keyword Planner, Step 4)

  • Step 5: Analyze the Results, Google Keyword Planner will now provide a refined list of long tail keywords. Each keyword will come with data on average monthly searches, low competition, and top of page bid range. This collective data can be useful in determining the potential value of a keyword.

Long tail keyword generator free (Google Keyword Planner, Step 5)

Remember, the goal is not to find the long tail keyword with the highest search volume, but rather to identify a keyword that is less competitive, aligns with the search intent, has a decent search volume, and fits within your customer journey.

Google Keyword Planner, when used correctly, can be a powerful tool in your long tail keyword research strategy.

What is a Long tailed Keyword (FAQs) 

How to identify long tail keywords

If you’re wondering how to identify long tail keywords, there are several methods you can use. One simple way is to think like your target audience. What phrases or questions would they search for when looking for your products or services? You can also use long tail keyword generators, such as Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner, which provide you with a list of relevant long tailed keywords based on your main keyword. Additionally, you can do research on your competitors and see what long tail keywords they are using.

Are long tail keywords less competitive?

Long tailed keywords are often less competitive than short tail keywords. This is because they have lower search volume and are more specific, making it easier for your website to rank higher in search engine results. It can be beneficial to begin a new SEO strategy targeting long tail keywords and then adding short tail keywords once your domain has established domain authority.

How do you identify long tail keywords

Identifying long tail keywords is a crucial aspect of SEO. While long tail keywords may have lower search volume, they usually correspond with higher conversion rates due to their specificity. There are a few strategies you can employ to identify valuable long tail keywords.

  • Think Like Your Target Audience: Imagine the search queries with three or more words your potential customers might use to find your products or services. The more detail you can incorporate, the better.
  • Leverage Long Tail Keyword Generators: Tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs can provide a wealth of long tail keyword suggestions based on a broad keyword you input.
  • Analyze Competitor Keywords: Analyze the long tailed keywords your competitors are ranking for. Insights from a competitive analysis can yield long tail keyword ideas you may not have considered.
  • Use Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ and ‘Searches Related To’ Features: These sections can provide ideas for long tail keywords that are often questions, which are particularly useful for voice search SEO.

Are long tail keywords more likely to convert?

Yes, long tail keywords are generally more likely to convert. This is because they are highly specific and often mirror the exact queries users enter into search engines when they are closer to a point of purchase or when they are seeking very specific information or solutions.

For example, someone searching for “best email marketing software for small businesses” is likely further along in the decision-making process than someone just searching for “marketing software.” Therefore, they are more likely to convert if they find a match for their exact search query. Consequently, by targeting these precise phrases in your SEO strategy, you increase the likelihood of attracting highly qualified leads and boosting conversion rates.

People searching for long tail keywords already know what they are looking for and are most likely at the bottom of a customer journey (i.e. they are ready to take action and/or purchase).

Do Long Tail Keywords Still Work?

Yes, long tail keywords still work and are, in fact, becoming even more relevant in today’s SEO strategies. Search engine technology continues to evolve. Search engines can understand hyper nuanced search queries. The ability for search engines to understand obscure user inputs of three or more words has led to increased visibility for content optimized with long tail keywords. Additionally, with the rise of voice search through digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, natural-sounding phrases, which long tail keywords emulate, have gained prominence. So, not only are long tail keywords still effective, but they are also an essential component of a comprehensive SEO strategy.

How Many Words is a Long Tail Keyword?

A long tail keyword generally consists of three or more words. However, the length of the keyword isn’t the only defining characteristic; it’s more about the specificity of the phrase. A long tail keyword is generally detailed and closely aligns with a user’s specific search intent. For example, “best accounting software for nonprofits” is a long tail keyword. The long tailed keyword is made up of five words that precisely match a user’s search criteria. While long tailed keywords are more about the specificity, the phrase length often correlates with the level of detail in the keyword.

What Are the Cons of Long Tail Keywords?

Despite their numerous benefits, long tail keywords also come with a few drawbacks. The primary disadvantage is the low search volume. Long tail keywords are so specific, as such fewer people search for them, reducing the overall traffic potential.

Another downside is that creating content for a vast array of long tail keywords can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Each piece of content should be unique, relevant, and high-quality to garner the attention of both search engine algorithms and potential customers.

Lastly, while long tail keywords are less competitive, achieving high rankings for them still requires significant SEO efforts. You need to ensure proper keyword placement, maintain a user-friendly website, and may need to generate strong backlinks to make your long tail keyword strategy successful.

What is the Difference Between Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords?

The main differences between long tail and short tail keywords is:

  • How specific they are.
  • The search volume.
  • How competitive they are to rank for.

Short tail keywords are typically one or two words long, generic, and have a high search volume. Short tail keywords are more competitive, meaning it is harder to rank for them in search engine results. For example, a short tail keyword might be something like “HR software.”

Long tail keywords are more specific and contain three or more words. They have lower search volumes and are consequently less competitive, making it easier to achieve a higher ranking in search results.

An example of a long tail keyword is “best HR software for small business payroll.” A long tailed keyword phrase is highly targeted, often matching the exact queries users enter into search engines. While long tailed keywords attract less traffic, they tend to have higher conversion rates as they attract a more qualified audience who are further along the customer journey and buying process.

An effective SEO strategy incorporates a balance of both long tail and short tail keywords and recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of using both types of keywords.

What Makes a Good Long Tail Keyword?

A good long tail keyword is not just about the length, but how well it aligns with search intent and your content. A good long tail keyword is a search phrase that’s highly relevant to your product or service offering, and aims to target a specific niche market instead of a broad audience. To qualify as ‘good,’ a long tail keyword should do the following:

  1. Match User Intent: A good long tail keyword should mirror the specific queries users enter into search engines when they are closer to a point of purchase or seeking specific information. For example, “affordable digital marketing services for startups” is a long tail keyword, closely aligning with a user’s search intent.
  2. High Relevance: A good long tail keyword should match your content and have high relevance to what the user is searching for. If a user clicks on a page due to a specific long tail keyword, the content should meet their expectations.
  3. Profitable: A good long tail keyword should show potential for conversions even though it has a low search volume. A long tail keyword that doesn’t bring any traffic is of no value to your SEO strategy. Therefore, you need to find the right balance between specificity (for conversion) and search volume (for traffic).
  4. Less Competitive: A significant advantage of long tail keywords is less competition. A good long tail keyword gives you a realistic chance to rank high in SERP. You can use SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to check the competitiveness of a keyword.
  5. Natural Sounding: A good long tail keyword incorporates natural language semantics (i.e. the way people speak). With the rise of voice search, making sure your long tail keywords sound natural is key. People speak differently than they type, and long tail keywords take this into account.

What is an Example of a Long Tail Keyword?

Long tail keywords are specific phrases of three or more words that potential customers use when they know exactly what they’re looking for or when they’re saying when they use voice search.

For example, if a person is looking for a budget-friendly camera that can perform well under low-light conditions, they’re more likely to use a long tail keyword like “affordable low light digital cameras” than just typing “cameras.” The latter, a short tail keyword, is generic and might return an overwhelming number of results, whereas the former, a long tail keyword, would yield more precise results that align with the user’s specific intent.

The use of long tail keywords not only helps businesses drive more qualified traffic to their sites, but also enhances the user’s search experience by providing them with more accurate results.

Additional Examples of Long Tail Keywords (for Cameras):

  • “Best DSLR cameras for beginners”
  • “Affordable mirrorless cameras in 2022”
  • “Top-rated cameras for wildlife photography”
  • “High resolution cameras for filming”
  • “Waterproof cameras for underwater photography”
  • “Lightweight cameras for travel”
  • “Professional cameras for portrait photography”
  • “Budget-friendly cameras for vlogging”
  • “Compact cameras with interchangeable lenses”
  • “Night vision cameras for outdoor security”


If you want to drive qualified traffic to a website and increase conversion your SEO strategy should incorporate the use of long tailed keywords.

It is vital to stay ahead of the competition by recognizing the benefits that long tail keywords provide. Understanding what long tail keywords are, how to identify them, and what makes a good long tailed keyword will position your business to attract qualified visitors who are likely to convert.

If you would like to incorporate long tailed keywords into your SEO strategy send me a message. I’m happy to help!

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