How to Find Long Tail Keywords (That Are Easy to Rank)
- By Dominique Jackson
- February 1, 2019
Keyword research is one of the most crucial aspects of the SEO process. Anyone can create content. But unless people have a way of finding it, it’s not going to be seen.
That’s why it’s important to do keyword research and discover the keywords and topics your target audience is searching for, and then build content around it.
The way keyword research is traditionally done is you look up keywords related to your industry, and try to find the ones with the highest monthly search volume. Then you create content for that keyword and try to rank for it in Google.
The problem with that is everyone’s doing it. The end result is a bunch of marketers all targeting the same broad keywords, which makes them even more difficult to rank.
There’s a much smarter and more effective way to approach keyword research though—long tail keywords.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are more targeted, specific keywords/phrases that have lower search volume, but less competition and higher conversions.
Like we pointed out, marketers have traditionally targeted keywords with high search volume in hopes of driving more traffic. For instance, they’d target a keyword like “keto diet” because it has a very high search volume, and if you’re able to rank number one for it in Google, it’d bring in tens of thousands of visitors each month.
However, the chances of actually ranking for “keto diet” are very slim based on the sites currently ranking at the top of Google for the term.
Alternatively, you could target a long tail keyword like “keto diet quick start”, which has a lower search volume, but it’s much more targeted and less competitive. Your chances of ranking for that term are significantly higher than “keto diet”.
One of the biggest benefits of targeting long tail keywords versus broad terms is that you can build up a huge library of content just targeting long tail keywords, and get the same amount of traffic or even more. Plus, you’re likely to get results quicker.
One of the other key benefits of targeting long tail keywords is it’s more aligned with how people typically search. It forces you to think about the questions your target audience has, and the specific issues/challenges they face. Then you can create content to satisfy those queries.
If you’re after long-term success with SEO, you need to master the art of finding long tail keywords. So let’s break down a few different tools and tactics to find long tail keywords that are easy to rank.
If you want to find long tail keywords quickly, our own tool, Wincher, is the perfect solution. We take out a lot of the manual work and brainstorming and auto-suggest keywords to you based on your website, or even better—a competitor’s site.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s pretend we’re starting a website in the keto niche, and want to find some long tail keywords to target.
Go into Wincher, and enter the domain of a popular website in the keto niche. For our purposes, we’ll use Ketogasm. After you’ve added the website, head over to the Keyword research tab.
Wincher automatically suggests a long list of keywords that Ketogasm is ranking for on Google. While this list is amazing on its own, you might want to filter it a bit.
Often times, long tail phrases tend to be 3+ words long. So we can adjust the “Word” filter to take out broad two-word terms like “keto diet”.
Below, we’ve set it to only show keywords Ketogasm is ranking for that are between 4-9 words.
As you can see, this gives us over 560 long tail keyword ideas to potentially create content around. And the best part is these keywords are highly targeted!
Another good way to filter your keyword research is by search volume. Long tail keywords by definition have lower search volume than broad terms. So we could toggle the search volume filter to only show keywords that have a search volume of 260 or 320 or lower.
This is right around the search volume where larger sites aren’t paying attention because they’re focused on the bigger fish. But that’s great news for you, because you can swoop in and create tons of content for these keywords and rank for them all since there’s less competition.
Experiment with these different filters, and even try searching for specific keywords. For instance, maybe you want to target long tail keywords related to bacon, since it’s a popular food for people on the keto diet.
What you’ll often find, is the pages ranking for these long tail keywords aren’t even targeting the specific phrase. For instance, let’s look at the results for “can you eat cheese on keto diet”.
The POPSUGAR article is the only page ranking in the top five spots that specifically speaks to the query. The rest are broad articles that briefly mention the topic.
This is the perfect example of a long tail keyword you could write content for and more than likely rank with very little effort. All you’d have to do is create an in-depth piece of content that is laser targeted on that long tail phrase.
This method is great for when you’re starting from scratch. But what if you already have a site with content on it, and want to find other content ideas? Wincher’s keyword research tool is great for that too.
Let’s say we owned the Ketogasm website and wanted to find long tail keywords to target. In the Keyword research tab, we can either use the “Seen” filter and only show keywords that we don’t rank in the top 10 spots for, or simply sort the “Seen” column of the results from worst to best.
What we have here are keywords that we show up for, but aren’t ranking well. The reason we aren’t ranking well could be that we don’t have content specifically targeting these phrases.
All we have to do now is create content targeting these long tail keywords and our chances of ranking for them are pretty high since Google already associates our website with the keywords.
2. Google Search
Another great way to find long tail keywords for free is just searching Google. Now, this method takes more time but it’s still effective.
There are a couple ways to go about it. One is through the Google auto-suggest feature. Simply type in a broad seed term. Then Google will auto-populate related searches relevant to your query.
Very often, these phrases are a little more targeted and specific.
Another good source for long tail keywords in Google Search is the “People also ask” section that pops up for certain queries.
This is a list of specific questions related to your seed term that people search for. You can easily create content around these topics. Make your article titles the exact question, and then answer the question within the article.
You can get unlimited content ideas here because every time you click on one of the question drop downs, Google suggests even more questions people ask. Here’s what our initial list of four questions expanded to after clicking on just a couple of the drop downs.
An interesting spin on this is to combine Google with the Keyword Everywhere extension. This tool adds built-in keyword research features right into your Google searches.
So when you do a search, you’ll notice a big list of related keywords and “People Also Search For” phrases on the right-hand side of the results page. Plus, it even pulls in the search volume for each keyword, which makes it easier to identify the long tail keywords.
Again, this is more labor intensive than using a tool like Wincher, but it’s a good way to get some additional long tail keywords based on what your target audience is already searching for.
3. Answer the Public
The third and final method we’re going to go over is the popular tool, Answer the Public. This is a long tail keyword research tool that gives you a list of questions and phrases related to your search query.
For instance, here’s a visualization of the results we got from searching “keto diet”.
You can export the results into a spreadsheet to better organize them and start planning out your content calendar.
It’s a great free source of long tail keywords particularly if you feel like you’ve written about everything in your niche. You’ll always find some hidden gems that you probably never even considered.
Oh yea, and it integrates with Keyword Everywhere so you can see the search volume for all the keywords as well.
Test out a few different seed keywords to get even more topics to write about in your niche.
Finding Long Tail Keywords is a Necessary Skill
Now that SEO is more competitive than ever, you need to be able to do anything you can to get an edge up on your competitors. Targeting long tail keywords is one of the best ways of doing just that.
Use a combination of the three tactics we’ve taught you here to uncover thousands of long tail keywords that are less competitive and easy to rank for.