If you’re a new blogger who’s just getting started, you may be curious to know how to find long tail keywords. As we all know, ranking for competitive keyword phrases for a new website is extremely difficult.
What is the solution?
Focus on more descriptive and less competitive long-tail keywords.
The question is whether you should aim head terms or long-tail keywords?
BOTH are true! Your keyword taxonomy can naturally include both wide and narrow words as you build out your site content.
By now, you’ve realised that long-tail keywords should be a part of your SEO content strategy, regardless of the scale, form, or age of your business. You can use the long-tail keywords you find as the title and main focus of a highly targeted blog post or article (or video, or infographic, or some other form of content), or you can use them as variations to better refine a longer guide or article targeting one primary keyword – for example, by using the long-tail keywords in your subheads and picture file names. Super-specific long-tail keywords would be your best friend if you’re running niche marketing campaigns.
So, how to find long tail keywords that drive traffic and leads? To help you get started, here are nine suggestions.
1. Google Suggestion
Use Google Suggest to help you find what you’re looking for.
Long-tail keyword variants can be found in abundance in Google Suggestions. Simply start typing your main keyword into the Google search box and see what Google suggests:
Keywords with a Long Tail for Blogs
If it appears in a Google recommendation, you can be sure it’s a word that people are looking for. These ideas won’t actually restore your confidence in humanity (remember the “I am incredibly terrified of Chinese people” fiasco…), but they could provide some interesting material.
2. Google's Related Searches
Make use of Google’s Related Searches function. Similar to Google Suggestions, which appear when you type your query, except these similar searches appear at the bottom of the SERP, below the first page of organic results:
Long-Tail Terms That Are Related
You might get a few more suggestions here (eight vs four above), and they might be a little more customised (Google knows I live in Colorado, so the “Denver” and “Fort Collins” modifiers are there).
3.Use Multiple Keyword Research Tools
You’re selling yourself short if you just use one keyword method for all of your keyword analysis. You’ll be losing out on a slew of long-tail keyword variants. The Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start, but if you want to find more long-tail keywords, check out these other resources:
4. Analyze The Data
Many, if not all, of the keyword phrases that lead visitors to your website will be revealed by your analytics. You will find a lot of long tail queries that are generating traffic for you by searching through these keyword referrers.
These keywords may be important to your business, but they aren’t yet well-targeted by a single web page. For example, we discovered a few months back that many people were finding our site by searching for “free funnel builder,” but we didn’t have a page with that title, so we created one, and it now receives a lot of traffic.
Go to your analytics and look for your organic keyword referrals (in Google Analytics, the route is Traffic Sources -> Sources -> Search -> Organic). You can either simply scan all the terms for nice, valid long-tail keywords to convert into content, or you can set the time frame to something fairly long (try a 3-, 6-, or 12-month span depending on your traffic flow) so you have a lot of data to look at, then check for trends. You could, for example, look for query keywords (terms that start with “what,” “why,” and so on).
5. Search Query Reports
If you’re running an AdWords PPC campaign, don’t forget to use your Search Query Report in the same way you would your analytics. This is only one of the many ways PPC data will help you improve your SEO. The search queries that led people to click on your ads rather than organic search results are shown in your Search Query Report. You also have more access to this information than you do to your organic referrers in Google Analytics. It might also be easier to see which keywords, rather than just traffic, are driving conversions. Long-tail keywords with high conversion rates are particularly valuable.
6. Check out sites like eHow
Keyword analysis, especially long-tail keyword research, is the lifeblood of sites like eHow. Demand Media, which owns eHow, Cracked.com, and other websites, employs sophisticated algorithms to identify long-tail keywords for which it can then rate hyper-targeted content.
Even if you don’t have access to Demand Media’s data sources or their insanely lucrative content algorithms, you can still benefit from this approach. Look at these websites for keyword suggestions. You can bet that if eHow is advertising a keyword expression, it has a lot of searches and that advertisers are interested in buying ads on those sites. Another solid wager? It’s likely that whatever they’ve come up with to hit those keywords is pretty lame.
The content eHow produces is created on the cheap by freelancers and appears to be thin content, which Google no longer prefers post-Panda. You have a fair chance of outranking the content farms if you can produce powerful content with real value that is also hyper-targeted.
7. Q&A Websites
Visit Q&A Websites
Q&A pages, like Demand Media properties, can be a great place to find long-tail keyword ideas. I’m referring to websites such as:
Quora is a website where you can ask questions and (here are some tips for using Quora to find content ideas)
Answers.com Answers.yahoo.com Answers.yahoo.com Answers.yahoo.
Long-tail keywords like LinkedIn Answers Questions are ideal because it’s clear that these people are searching for answers and facts.
Keywords for long-tail questions
Of course, you’ll need to do some keyword analysis to determine which version of each question has the appropriate search volume and level of competition. Not every query you find on a Q&A platform will yield a keyword worth targeting.
8. Go to Wikipedia
Is Wikipedia the Internet’s most optimised site? It’s unquestionably in the upper echelon. By copying Wikipedia’s on-page optimization, you can learn a lot. If you’re looking for information on a specific term, look it up on Wikipedia. Take a look at the table of contents for the “Digital Marketing” page, for example:
Many of these headings are long-tail keywords (“ineffective forms of digital marketing,” “benefits of social media marketing,” “online method used to build brand awareness,” and so on). You may also do a page search for your primary keyword (Control-F) to see what other variations appear in the text. In addition, several Wikipedia articles have a “See Also” section at the bottom that can be useful for locating clusters of similar words.
9. Take Advantage of Competitors
Wikipedia is often your rival for informational questions. When pursuing a keyword phrase, however, you should always look at the competition. Begin by looking at the pages that are ranking in the top 5-10 positions for the head and mid-tail terms you’re trying to rank for, and see what types of keyword variations they use. Let’s say you’re looking for the keyword “holiday crafts.” Look at the page that ranks #1 on Google for that keyword to see what keywords it uses (keywords are everywhere!):
Long-tail keywords with a lot of competition
Share your long-tail keyword research strategies in the comments section.
Have you found any other smart methods for finding long-tail keyword terms? Let us know what you think in the comments!