Mastering SEO: What is a Long Tail Keyword and Why Does it Matter?


mastering seo what is a long tail keyword and why does it matter

SEO, the three-letter acronym that spells success in the digital world, is a game of keywords. And as with any game, there are strategies to win. One such approach involves the power player, the long tail keyword. But hang on, What is a long tail keyword? Let’s embark on a comprehensive journey to understand this term, its implications, and how to leverage it to boost your SEO efforts.

SEO and Keywords

Understanding SEO and the Role of Keywords

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a methodology to increase a website’s visibility on search engines like Google. It includes a variety of strategies, but the role of keywords stands as its core pillar.

Keywords are terms or phrases that potential customers type into search engines when looking for products, services, or information. They act as a bridge connecting the searcher’s query to your website content. The trick lies in knowing which keywords your target audience uses and incorporating them in your content to increase visibility and drive traffic.

Differences between Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords

Before diving into the world of long-tail keywords, let’s first grasp its counterpart, the short-tail keyword. Short tail keywords are usually one- to two-word phrases, broad, and typically come with high search volume. For example, “coffee shop” is a short tail keyword.

Long tail keywords, on the other hand, consist of three or more words and are more specific. For instance, “best coffee shop in Seattle” is a long-tail keyword. It’s like fishing with a specific bait – your catch might be smaller, but it’s precisely what you want to reel in.

Deep Dive into Long Tail Keywords

What is a Long Tail Keyword?

So, what is a long tail keyword, really? It is a keyword phrase, typically three to five words long, that is highly specific to your product or service. It might draw in less traffic, but the traffic it does pull in is more targeted, leading to better conversion rates. You will likely rank higher for these specific terms due to less competition.

The Power of Specificity

Specificity is the strength of long-tail keywords. For instance, a user searching for a “vegan, gluten-free birthday cake recipe” is looking for something very specific. If your website can provide precisely that, there’s a high chance of this user landing on your page and staying there.

Understanding the Long Tail in SEO

The term “long tail” comes from the visual representation of keyword popularity. If you chart it out, you get a graph with a “head” consisting of high-volume keywords and a “long tail” of low-volume keywords. Interestingly, while individual long-tail keywords might bring in less traffic, collectively, they account for a massive chunk of web searches.

How to Use Long Tail Keywords

Researching Long Tail Keywords

Keyword research is a crucial step in SEO, and it’s no different when it comes to long-tail keywords. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can help you identify potential long-tail keywords relevant to your business.

Incorporating Long Tail Keywords in Your Content

Once you have a list of potential long-tail keywords, it’s time to naturally weave them into your content. You should aim to include them in titles, headings, meta descriptions, and throughout the text.

Optimizing Your Site Structure

Your website structure should facilitate the discovery of long-tail keywords. Create specific pages or blog posts for each of your long tail keywords. This approach enhances the user experience and signals to search engines that your site is a rich source of information on those topics.

The Benefits of Using Long Tail Keywords

Lower Competition

One of the most significant advantages of using long-tail keywords is the lower competition. Since they are so specific, fewer websites compete for ranking in search results, making it easier for your website to stand out.

Higher Conversion Rates

Visitors who find your site using long tail keywords are more likely to convert since they’re searching for something very specific. This specificity translates into higher conversion rates and a better return on your SEO efforts.

Better for Voice Search SEO

More people are using voice search with the rise of voice-activated assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. These queries are often more conversational and longer, aligning perfectly with the concept of long-tail keywords.

Challenges with Long Tail Keywords

Finding the Right Long Tail Keywords

While there’s less competition with long-tail keywords, finding the right ones that align with your business and audience can be challenging. It requires in-depth keyword research and a good understanding of your target audience.

Balancing Traffic Volume with Specificity

Long tail keywords typically have lower search volumes. If you go too specific, you might not attract enough traffic. Therefore, striking the right balance between specificity and traffic potential is crucial.


Understanding “What is a long tail keyword?” and applying this knowledge effectively can help you unlock new SEO potential. With the right approach, you can rank higher for specific search terms, attract more targeted traffic, and boost conversions. Remember, SEO isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Happy optimizing!