What Are Long-Tail Keywords and Why Do They Matter in SEO?

February 15, 2023
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If you are trying to optimize your blog in a saturated, competitive space, it would be tough to rank for the most popular keywords in your industry. If you are up against brands or websites that have been online longer than you, it can be even more of a challenge. For situations like these, SEOs often recommend focusing on long-tail keywords in the industry. This type of keyword drives high-converting traffic and could increase your revenue. Let’s look at long-tail keywords and why they should matter to any business owner building a digital presence.

What Is a Long-Tail Keyword?

A long-tail keyword is a phrase or query highly specific to your industry. These phrases don’t get as much search volume as more popular keywords. Long-tail SEO competes for many low-volume keywords instead of a few high-volume or “vanity” keywords. Though low-volume keywords might look like they won’t bring in any viewers, if you compete on the level of thousands or even hundreds of these phrases, you will get more people reading your posts.

Choosing long-tail keywords to focus on is a good strategy for businesses who want to rank for organic results. This kind of keyword is even more valuable to an advertiser conducting a paid search campaign. You don’t have too much competition for a long-tail keyword, so the cost-per-click for it is lower. Consequently, you get higher profit margins for every conversion.

Also, it’s crucial to do proper research on what type of low-competition keywords you should use. For example, targeting “curtains for round top windows” is good. However, combining that with “how to hang curtains on an arched window” and “[Your Brand] arched curtain rod for curved windows” will be more effective. You must keep discovering long-tail keywords with potential since previously low-volume keywords will become harder to rank for as time passes.

The Pros and Cons of Long-Tail Keywords

When you’re deciding whether to focus on several long-tail keywords or a few popular ones, it’s good to weigh the pros and cons. There are various advantages and disadvantages to choosing long-tail keywords for your content strategy.

Why You Should Choose Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are low competition, meaning you could find it easier to rank on or near the first page of search results. Since most people rarely venture beyond the first page of Google search results, you would benefit significantly from being in the top ten of the SERP for your keywords. If you use long-tail keywords, you will likely rank high for these pages.

Also, when using long-tail keywords, you will have a higher conversion rate. Since this type of keyword is more common among people further down the sales funnel, creating targeted content would help convince them to purchase from you. This strategy aligns with general SEO best practices like ensuring that your content is relevant and considering search intent when creating a plan for your posts.

Another advantage of going for long-tail keywords is it lends itself well to local SEO. For example, if you want to find a cleaning company for your office, searching for “cleaning services” or “cleaning company” will probably bring millions of results. Some of these results would be for residential services, while others will be for commercial ones. You might also get blog posts reviewing cleaning companies or results from other countries. Meanwhile, “best cleaning company in Brisbane” or “residential cleaning services in the Gold Coast,” you get information more relevant to your search. Targeting keywords optimized for local search means you can capture the market of people most likely to hire or buy from you.

Finally, with the advent of voice search assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, long-tail keywords have become even more prevalent. Spoken queries are naturally longer than typed ones, and the more people rely on voice search, the more long-tail keywords there will be.

Why You Shouldn’t Choose Long-Tail Keywords

Most people online understand the value of long-tail keywords. However, incorporating them into your content plan doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride moving forward. Since there are many ways to create long-tail keywords, you have to know which ones will bring the best results. Search volume for longer phrases is still much lower, so you have to be diligent in monitoring analytics and modifying your strategy.

Also, adding long-tail keywords to articles for the sake of having them there takes time. If you don’t have the resources to update your previous blogs, you will have to create new articles that incorporate your long-tail keywords. For businesses that want to target hundreds of long-tail keywords, that could take a while.

Is a Long-Tail Keyword Strategy Worth Pursuing?

After considering all of these points, it stands that organic search strategies would benefit from having long-tail keywords. If you want to build an effective SEO strategy for organic content, you need to optimize long-tail queries. Most people who search for this type of keyword will be further down the sales funnel, and if they see a post that addresses their concerns, they will be more likely to convert.

Also, what’s good about implementing a strategy focused on long-tail keywords is that you have more tools at your disposal today. Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Google Keyword Planner are powerful instruments for finding and analyzing keywords to include in your content plan.


If you want to build an effective strategy for organic content, you have to include long-tail keywords in your posts. Incorporating these phrases into your content plan will let you target users who are further down the sales funnel. Long-tail keywords are also suitable for local SEO, and they are a natural fit for voice optimization.

Team up with Ranked for a content plan that fits your business needs and goals. Our data-driven keyword research strategies will help you uncover long-tail keywords relevant to your business goals. Book a call with the team to learn more or sign up for the free trial when you activate your account today!