Long tail keywords and how to find them

Written on 29 October, 2018 by Julia Hammond
Categories Search Engine Optimisation

Long tail keywords and how to find them

If you perform your own search engine optimisation, you are probably familiar with the Google Keyword Planner. This is a free tool you can use to figure out which keywords your businesss should be ranking for. However, there is a catch; the Google Keyword Planner provides the same keywords to everyone who uses it. That means your competitors will have access to the same information. This makes those specific keywords highly competitive to rank for because everyone in your niche is using them. 

That’s where long tail keywords come in. You won’t find long tail keywords on the Google Keyword Planner – they take a little more tact to discover. When you do, you can start getting your business seen by highly targeted audiences, increase your traffic and see higher conversion rates. Let’s take a closer look. 

What are long tail keywords? 

Technically speaking, long tail keywords are classed as anything more than 2 words long; however, in this article, we’re talking about search terms that are on the thicker end of that scale at 5 or more words. While ordinary keywords will get you ranking broadly to reach a mass audience, this type of key phrase will help you reach a far more qualified audience by targeting a specific group. Often less competitive than your generic keywords, you will likely also find that they are easier and possibly even quicker to rank for.

So, how do you find them? 

Start with your basic keywords. Once you know what you want to rank for in the broader sense, you can start to whittle your audience down into interests and find long tail keywords to suit each industry niche. 

There are a couple of free ways to find out what people are searching for. Let’s take a look at them in more detail. 

Searches related to… 

At the very bottom of the SERPs, you’ll actually find that Google is already helping you out. There is a section there that provides you with popular related searches. So, by typing in your keyword stem, you can find yourself a whole bunch of common variations. 

You may also find a diamond in the rough here if Google produces a key phrase that’s related but not merely a variation. This give you a nugget with which to build a new keyword cluster. You can then check the related searches for the keywords you get from your first search and so on and so forth. 

Google Suggest

Google suggest is what powers the suggestions that come up when you start to type a keyword into the search bar. You can use your basic keywords as stems and scroll through the suggested keywords that come up below. You may find some useful suggestions that you may not have thought of yourself. 

There are also platforms like UberSuggest, developed by Niel Patel, that will help you collect this information in an efficient way. The online software takes the Google suggest function and adds every letter of the alphabet after your keyword to come up with a volume of suggestions. 


Trawl online forum topics

Online forums and boards can give you a great indication of the type of information that people are searching for. If someone is asking a question on an online forum, there are more than likely hundreds or thousands of people searching for the same thing on Google. But how do you find the forums? Easy – you Google them, of course! There are a few handy search strings you can use to find what you’re looking for. Using the basic search terms related to your business, simply add the keywords “forum,” “board” or even “discussions” and see what comes up. Once you find a relevant forum, take a look at the categories and then the topics listed within the relevant categories. 

Answer the Public

If you’re looking for a long tail keyword that is question-based, look no further than Answer the Public. Type your broad keyword into the search bar and you will receive a litany of frequently asked questions on the topic. These can then be used as long tail keywords that you can target as blog topics or on your FAQ page. 

Google Webmaster Tools

If you are already ranking for some keywords, the answer to ‘which keywords you should focus on’ could be right in front of your nose. If you rank on pages 2-4 of the SERPs for keywords you’re not even optimising for, you’re so close! So, sometimes, it’s better to focus your attention on optimising these pages that are closer to page one to get you over the line. 

The Google Search Console will give you all the information you need if you search by ‘Position.’ Then, all you need to do is identify which long tail keywords you could be making use of and adding it to the list of keywords you’re optimising for that page. 


These are just five of many ways you can search for new keywords to improve your rankings and increase traffic across your site. If DIY SEO is not your speed, we don’t blame you. It’s tough to keep on top of the constantly changing Google algorithm. That’s why we offer manages SEO services, so you can focus on the things you’re best at. To get an obligation-free quote, get in touch with a Webcentral Digital Strategist today. 

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