Why Long-Tail Keywords are Important for SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Long-tail keywords are a powerful weapon when it comes to hitting those high rankings.

They’re the holy grail of SEO, if you like.

Like the sound of that?

Here’s everything you need to know about why long-tail keywords are important for SEO.

What is a Long Tail Keyword?

These aren’t your standard, commonly searched-for keywords. 

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific words and phrases. They tend to zero in on a topic rather than a wider, more general target.

They might have less search volume, but they’re highly valuable and deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Why Long-Tail Keywords are Important for SEO

Here’s an overview of what makes these keywords so powerful:

  • Less competition (meaning it’s easier to get those top ranking spots)
  • Lower costs – great news for paid social
  • Help you build topic clusters 
  • Build up your authority about particular topics or in a specific space
  • Higher conversion value
  • Help you connect with your audience 
  • Provide a wealth of content ideas
  • Help you target user intent, not just search volume (e.g. users who are actually engaged)

The Facts About Long-Tail Keywords

Let’s take a look at the wider role long-tail keywords play.

  • The rise of voice search has made long-tail keywords more popular
  • Meta titles were made longer by Google in 2016 to allow you to snap up these search terms
  • Users tend to search for something to do or something they want to learn etc. so long-tail keywords reflect how they actually behave
  • Long-tail keywords likely make up a significant chunk of your organic traffic already

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

Carry out keyword research, but don’t be afraid to get specific and search for the finer details. Some of the tools you can use include:

Good news – some of these are free!

How Do Topic Clusters Work?

Example time. Let’s say you have a website that sells mattresses and beds. It’s likely your main landing pages will target the short-tail keywords that carry the high search volume. Plus, of course, you can’t optimise every page for the same keyword. 

This is where long-tail keywords come in.

Particularly effective when used for blogs, they allow you to target specific search terms and queries your users have around a particular topic. Let’s say, ‘which mattress is best for back pain?’ as an example. 

This not only allows you to answer questions, but also boost your authority within your space. 

Take a category and consider all the sub-topics that could come off it. This is where content planning is so important

Always link back to your main service page to pass value onto it! This is so important in why long-tail keywords are important for SEO.

Let’s Break It Down

If you’re unclear on what you just read, let’s break it down further.

Service Page: Memory Foam Mattresses (short tail keyword)

Topic Cluster: Memory Foam 

Sub-Topics: How Do Memory Foam Mattresses Work? Is a Memory Foam Mattress Right for Me? Can a Memory Foam Mattress Cause You to Overheat? What are the Benefits of Memory Foam? (long tail keywords).

These sub-topics can become blogs that link back to your service page. This approach has been proven to strengthen E-A-T and demonstrates your site structure to Google. 

It’s Not Just SEO

While these keywords are a great SEO hack, that’s not all they’re good for.

They form part of the foundation of your entire marketing and content strategy. 

What’s more, they allow you to directly answer questions your users may have, improving your brand perception and cementing you as an authority.

Heleana Neil
Hey, I'm Heleana. For me, it all started with a copywriting internship at a digital marketing agency after finishing university. I'm here to share my tips on all things SEO and content.