What are long tail keywords and how to find them?


All about long tail keywords for your SEO

Are you looking to add something new and boost your marketing strategy to drive more traffic to your site and ultimately, more clients to your firm? Long tail keywords could be the answer.

Keywords are an important part of SEO and a tactic used by many in order to boost their ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). While it’s true that keywords are not the be-all and end-all of your marketing strategy, they are still important and you should utilise them wherever you can.

In this article, we are going to be focusing specifically on long tail keywords, providing information such as what they are and how you can find them.

What are long tail keywords?

When you’re searching online and not 100% sure what you’re searching for, you tend to type in vague terms which are often quite broad (at least initially). These are the kind of keywords and phrases that businesses optimise (if they’re applying SEO to their content) so that their content appears in the SERPs and is presented to you. But a lot of these broad (or parent keywords) are highly competitive (lots of business want to use them) and difficult to rank for; particularly if you’re a very small business or a very new business.

Long tail keywords are a longer (usually about 3-5 words or so) and more specific; you’re targeting precisely what you’re searching for. A user is far more likely to use long tail keywords if they are closer to the point of purchasing something or wanting to engage a service provider (like your law firm), because they have a more specific idea of what they want.

While it’s true that long tail keywords will usually get less traffic than regular keywords, it’s also true that many businesses do not actually use them properly. Therefore, the ROI on them is often higher.  

Consider this example

  • You’re looking for a lawyer to prepare a financial agreement for you only weeks out from your wedding
  • If you search “financial agreement” or even “financial agreement lawyer”, there will be hundreds of firms using those terms on their website. So, this reduces your chances of appearing on page one of SERPs.
  • If you search “I need a financial agreement prepared at short notice”, the number of firms using those terms (or very similar) will be much reduced, thus increasing your chances of appearing higher up in SERPs for this specific long tail query.

Examples of long tail keywords

To understand what a long tail keyword is, you’re going to need to understand a short tail keyword, better known simply as a keyword.

It is generally agreed that anything over 3 or 4 words, which is quite specific in terms, is going to count as a long tail keyword. There is no set length and, contrary to rumours, a long tail keyword does not specifically relate to the length of a keyword.

An example of a normal keyword might be ‘find lawyer’ and a long tail keyword would be ‘personal injury lawyer specialising in medical negligence.’ As you can see, the main differences are that the long tail phrase is longer and it’s also far more specific and detailed. With the first keyword, the search engine was left open to find all just about any type of lawyer. The second keyword is far more nuanced and specific.  

Another example would be if someone types ‘SEO tips’ into a search engine. This is of course, a normal keyword. But if you add a couple more words to it and turn it into ‘SEO strategy to implement long tail keywords’, then it becomes a long tail keyword.

Why are long tail keywords important?

One of the reasons that long tail keywords are important is because it is far easier to rank using these keywords than it is other ones; assuming it’s done well. This is simply because fewer websites are competing for the top spot when it comes to long tail keywords.

If you find yourself focusing on long tail keywords, it is possible (and probably) to deliver more traffic to your website and thus, more enquiries and leads.

Another reason that long tail keywords are important is because they produce high quality leads. What this means is that the people who end up on your site after searching using a long tail keyword are more likely to have their query answered via your content because your content contains their specific search query.

Of course, the old adage of having quality content for them once they arrive, is critically important too. Like most things “SEO”, it’s not only about the long tail keyword. There are many other factors at play to ensure your website works hard for you.

How do you find long tail keywords?

There are actually a few ways that you can find long tail keywords; some paid and some free. Below are a few examples (of the many available tools).

Google autofill (free)

Start typing your query into Google and prompts will appear suggesting a completion of your query. These suggestions are based on previous searches.

People also ask (free)

When you complete a search query, you will often be provided with a list of searches people used which Google feels are related to your search.

AHREFS (paid)

AHREFS is a powerful SEO analysis tool. It is able to:

  • explore keywords and other metrics of websites (not just yours);
  • provide a range of relevant keyword ideas, difficulty (of ranking for that keyword) and traffic estimates;
  • website audits (how sound is your site);
  • competitor analysis;

and more. Social Hive uses AHREFS with for all our clients’ SEO.

If you don’t want to spend the time manually keyword finding and checking, there are professionals that you can pay to do this for you. This is much quicker than doing it all manually and you’re likely to get significantly better results because they’re experts in their field.

In summary

Keyword research (short and long tail) is critical to your SEO strategy. If you’re looking to improve SEO for your business, Implementation of long tail keywords is a must.

However, remember to try and not get too caught up in all things keywords. While they are important, there are many other things that will need your attention when it comes to digital marketing efforts, including some of the following:

  1. Google page experience algorithm to rollout in May 2021
  2. Law Firm Bloggers: How to write magnetic headlines that compel prospects to (enthusiastically) read your posts
  3. SEO Tips for Lawyers | Mastering title tags for better website traffic and conversions
  4. Black hat SEO

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