Digital Insights

How Long Tail Keywords Can Improve Your Blog Marketing Results


Published: July 16, 2014

Long tail keywords are highly targeted search phrases that usually contain at least three words, and frequently contain a head keyword search term; head terms are more generalized and are usually no more than two words long. For example, “Halloween costumes” is a head search term; “cartoon character Halloween costumes for children” is a long tail keyword.

Through the use of long tail keywords, your content can stand out from the competition, even for highly competitive niches. If a strong blog marketing effort is part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you need to start with a strong foundation, and that means long tail keyword research and analysis.

The Advantages of Long Tail Keywords

Keywords are generally thought of in terms of one or two words of the most popular search terms, and deliver high volumes of searches but low levels of specific buyer interest. Long tail keywords are more specific, delivering lower search volume but more targeted buyer interest.

  • Long tail keywords generally have less competition in the search engine results. The more competitive a keyword is, the more difficult it’s going to be to rank for it. Sidestep your competition by targeting the easier to rank long tail terms.
  • Long tail keywords deliver a more targeted audience, and allow you to deliver content that drills down to what the search engine user really needs. By focusing on a more targeted audience, you’re going to attract visitors who are much more likely to convert.
  • Long tail keywords allow you to write more natural-sounding content. Shorter head terms are frequently difficult to insert into a block of text without sounding awkward. Long tail keywords reflect how your audience actually speaks and thinks, and will provide a better and more engaged user experience.
  • Studies have shown that the adoption of long tail keywords can dramatically increase the number of visitors to a blog, and increase the overall conversion rate.

How to Find the Best Long Tail Keywords for Your Blog

Researching long tail keywords is much more involved than conducting a simple search for generic head terms. To find out what people are really searching for, you’re going to have to dig deep; a handful of free tools that will help you develop a list of effective long tail keywords includes

  • Google Trends. This tool provides you with a comprehensive look at the most current popular search topics, for both general and niche-specific terms.
  • Ubersuggest from Google is the little pop-up box that appears as users are typing a search query. These autocomplete keyword suggestions are based on what others are actually searching for, and can give you valuable information on the range of terms that are being used to search for information about your niche.
  • Google Keyword Planner can provide insight into the competitiveness of keywords that are relevant to a given list of possible long tail keywords.

Incorporating Long Tail Keywords into Your Blog Marketing

  • Use Google Trends to help guide your editorial calendar decisions. You don’t want to waste time and resources creating content about topics that no one cares about.
  • Use your long tail keywords once in your content title, meta data, and within the text of the article itself. Just don’t overdo it; keyword stuffing will earn you a red flag from Google as well as make your content more difficult to read.