How to Choose Long Tail Keywords

If you want to do effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you have to be very educated about keywords and learn how to choose long-tail keywords. In fact, almost everything you do in your SEO campaign is rooted in the keywords you choose. This means that if you pick the wrong keywords, then it will be an uphill battle for you. On the other hand, selecting the right keywords increases your chance of getting consistent search engine traffic.


Keep in mind that the term ‘keyword’ in SEO has a subcategory known as ‘long-tail keyword.’ In this article, you will learn what it is, why you should use it, how to generate it, and how to pick the right ones.

Long-Tail Keywords – What are long-tail keywords phrases

Long-tail keywords are easy to understand and identify. Generally, most SEO practitioners would agree that long-tail keywords mean that a keyword that has three or more words in it. For example, “cheap antique books” or “affordable minimalist wooden table.”

Here’s the thing that you need to understand in SEO — the more words in your keyword, the lesser the competition. However, the maximum potential traffic also diminishes. Nevertheless, you’d rather be #1 on a term that is searched 100 times a month versus ranked 100th on a term that has 1 million searches a month. Keep in mind that the distribution of views from rank 1-100 is not linear. In fact, 80% of the traffic for specific keywords goes to the first page of the search engine results. It only gets worse from there.

In other words, even if you are ranked 100th for a keyword that has a million searches per month, your site might as well not exist in the universe. This is because a non-existent and a 100th website receive almost the same amount of traffic from a specific keyword.

What Are Its Pros And Cons?

Long-tail keywords offer plenty of benefits, which is why every SEO practitioner should incorporate a good portion of the campaign for targeting these gems.


* Less Competition – the beauty of long-tail keywords is that most are already niche-specific that you’ll be steering clear from the big boys with the big guns. For big companies with a huge marketing budget, they would instead target fewer keywords because it provides the highest amount of traffic potential. The critical point here is these companies have the budget to make it succeed. For most small businesses, a huge marketing budget is not a luxury they can afford to spend. Hence, it is better to go for less competitive keywords and get some traffic rather than none.

* Higher ROI – when you target long-tail keywords, it also means that you’ll be choosing the terms that are niche-specific and very related to your business. As a result, this attracts traffic that is precisely what you are looking for, or at least they are very associated with your primary business. Hence, you’ll have a higher return on your investment because you won’t be spending money attracting traffic that’s not interested in what you are offering.


A long-tail keyword is not all ups and no downs. One major downside is that long-tail keywords have lower maximum traffic potential. However, the trick here is to rank for many long-term keywords so those trickles of traffic will add up to something that’s very substantial.

How To Generate Long-Tail Keywords

There are two fundamental ways of generating long-tail keywords. There’s the free and the paid method. Generally, paid methods provide more keywords and reduce your research time.

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Example : Semrush tool to find long tail keywords :
long tail search

However, if you are only managing a small and niche-specific business, free methods are okay to use. Generally, the fewer words in a keyword, the more paid methods become more important.

For starters, Google Keyword Planner is good enough. Also, you can check out,, and

How to Choose the Right Long-Tail Keywords

Picking the right long-tail keywords for your website is both a mix of art and science. It can be a difficult subject, but you can still start with the broad strokes mentioned below. Once you have a good level of experience, you can then refine and test your methods for better results.

Define Your Business
– the better you can define the specialty of your business, the easier it is to pick the right keywords. For example, your business really excels at offering “affordable wooden minimalist furniture.” Hence, you primarily target that keyword. However, since that keyword is too specific, it suffers a meager maximum traffic yield. And yet, you still want to corner that market because you’ll be a big fish in a small pond. Once you have dominated the search engines for that and related keywords, then you can broaden to “affordable wooden furniture” or “affordable minimalist furniture.” Once you gain enough success, you can then start targeting the more difficult and expensive keywords like “minimalist furniture” or “wooden furniture.” The basic idea here is to dominate a very specific niche, then move your way up.

Know Your Goal
– keywords are often categorized into “buying keywords” or “non-buying” keywords. An example of buying keywords is “buy wooden minimalist furniture” or “where to purchase minimalist furniture.” These types of keywords are the kinds that a person would use if they are already buying. Searching for a specific brand or model is also considered as buying keywords. non-buying keywords are generally educational like “How To’s” like “how to decorate with minimalist furniture” or “how to take care of the furniture.”

The reason why you should know the difference is buying keywords are generally more expensive to penetrate compared to non-buying keywords. If the primary goal of your SEO campaign is to spread your brand, then don’t bother with buying keywords for now as they are more expensive. If you want to sell specific items, then concentrate more on the funds towards ranking for buying keywords.

Find The Sweet Spot – you’d want to imagine keywords as a spectrum. The fewer words are on one end, the more words are on the other end. The fewer end has higher traffic potential, but the competition is also stiff. On the other end, competition is very slim, but the traffic potential is also fewer. What you want to do is assess your budget and hit the sweet spot in terms of what you can afford to rank with the given budget.

Wrapping It All Up

Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain three or more words. It offers plenty of benefits like higher ROI and lesser competition. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to generate these keywords. For maximum effectiveness, make sure to factor in the points mentioned above when choosing the right long-tail keywords.

Try for free trial version – semrush tool.

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