How do you find long tail keywords… What even are long tail keywords?
Picking your keyword is the most important part of the SEO process – you can’t optimise your content for a search engine if you don’t know what search query you are focusing on.
When you are starting out with SEO you really want to focus on optimising your pages for long tail keywords. A long tail keyword is a keyword that is more specific than a normal keyword. These have lower competition than normal keywords. This graph helps to explain what long tail keywords are:
This picture shows that actually, a higher percentage of searches are for the large number of long tail keywords with less competition. This just goes to show the potential available in this area.
So let’s use an example to reinforce what the graph is showing. A normal keyword such as ‘hat’ will have a lot of competition, and ranking highly on Google for this keyword will be very hard without a lot of backlinks and traffic. Instead, you focus on developing or finding a long tail keyword that will help you get more traffic. An example of a long tail keyword in this case would be ‘red hat size 10’. See how this is much more specific?
Why would you focus on long tail keywords?
As mentioned before, focusing on a highly contested keyword like ‘hat’ would be almost impossible, especially for a smaller site. So you focus on long tail keywords because they provide an avenue for traffic.
The search volume of a long tail keyword is much lower than a highly contested keyword, but the fact that you can rank highly means it is worthwhile. This is because you will get much more traffic being on page 1 of a long tail keyword vs being on page 50 of a high competition one.
You can create as much content as you like to focus many different long tail keywords to increase your traffic through different search queries. As you traffic increases, your backlinks should too. And with this, you will slowly be able to compete for higher competition keywords. It’s like a snowball effect.
So to some up why you want to find long tail keywords: Less competition, easier to rank, more traffic, faster website growth which will enable you to compete for higher competition keywords in the future.
How do you find long tail keywords?
Now let’s talk about how you develop these keywords to focus your content on. Firstly, you should decide on the keyword before you start creating your content. This is my recommendation. You will have the topic of the content first, then do the following keyword research so you can write your content optimally for the chosen keyword.
First thing you want to do is draft some possible keywords that you think could be long tail keywords. This will take some practice but basically, you want 4 or more words as the keyword. I will use the process of finding the keyword for this blog as an example.
Here are the keywords I initially drafted:
- Long tail keyword
- Find long tail keyword
- Find long tail keywords
- Long tail keyword find
For this process, I would recommend drafting at least 4 keywords, and up to 10. If you are having trouble, try out Keyword Shitter. You just type in a keyword and it will produce loads of potential keywords. Use these to get 4-10 initial keywords.
The next step is to use Ubersuggest. This is another keyword generator. Put each one of these drafted keywords into the website, and click look up.
Then copy the words and keep them all on a word document. You will have LOADS, but this is what we want to find the best option for your content.
Now that all of your keywords are in a massive document, we need to find out which ones are worth pursuing. The best tool for this is Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Use the section of the planner called ‘Gets search volume data and trends’. This will tell you the exact search volume of each keyword and the competition for each keyword. This does only take into account the exact search query however.
You will only be able to fit ~25 pages of keywords in each time, so do this in stages. Input 25 pages of the keywords and then download the excel files. Once you have got the excel files for every keyword, combine them all into one excel file. Now we need to analyse the data!
First thing to do is sort the data high to low by the ‘competition’, like so:
This is to eradicate any keywords that realistically could not be targeted by our content. To start with, target any words that are under 0.3 competition. So highlight all of the words over this, and delete them.
Now sort the data so the search volume is high to low. From this list, you pick your keywords with the highest volume, as long as they are relevant to you. Sometimes the word will be one of your original words, as it is in my case ‘Find long tail keywords’.
Now you have your keyword, create your content around it and make sure your on-page SEO is on point!
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