The Hidden Potential of Long-Tail Keywords in SEO

High-volume keywords should be the focus during keyword research, right? Nope.

Most high-volume keywords are head terms and super competitive, making it hard to rank for.

You pop a phrase like ‘how to lose weight’ in an SEO tool and see an insane monthly search volume of 110,000.

You immediately think this is a jackpot. But when you check keyword difficulty, you realize the competition for such a term is tough.

How about a search term like ‘how to lose weight quickly after pregnancy’? The search volume is 70. Is creating content around this long-tail keyword worth it?


Keep reading to learn the hidden potential of long-tail keywords and why you should start focusing on them.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

  • They have three to five or more words, making them detailed yet specific
  • They typically have lower search volumes
  • Have lower competition
  • They have the potential for high conversion rates as they mirror the searcher’s intent more closely.

Now that we know what they are, why do long-tail keywords matter?

Why Long Tail Keywords Are a Hidden Gem in SEO

Here’s why you must start using long-tail keywords in your content strategy:

High Conversion Rate

Due to their specificity, writing content on long tail keywords directly answers your users’ questions, providing a better user experience.

People using long-tail keywords tend to refine their searches for more specific results. Thus, if you rank for these keywords, you’re likely to drive traffic that can convert.

For example, the keyword ‘maxi dress’ has 162,000 monthly searches on Ubersuggest, but it isn’t clear what searchers are looking for on a landing page.

However, a term like ‘maxi dress under $500’ doesn’t have many people searching for it, but it has a clear search intent.

Thus, creating a page around this keyword can quickly drive conversions.

Easy to Rank For

Are you looking for a secret to rank a new website quicker? Use long tail keywords.

Sure, they have low search volumes but low competition.

On the contrary, high-volume keywords are general, competitive, and hard to rank.

For example, if you Google search ‘work boots,’ you’ll see 618 million results. But when you search ‘buy steel toe work boots,’ the results are fewer.

And if you use quotation marks in your search, you have even more specific but fewer results.

It’s easy to rank for these keywords if you write valuable content that answers the users’ search intent.

PRO TIP: Use long-tail keywords in your Google ad campaigns to increase conversions. These keywords are also cheaper to bid on.

They Drive Targeted, High-Quality Traffic

As aforementioned, long-tail keywords have lower search volume, but that doesn’t mean they won’t drive traffic.

Here’s why:

A single long-tail keyword like ‘maxi dress under $500’ may only have 10 searches.

But when you use other related keywords, like ‘maxi dress under $1000, maxi dress under $300, maxi dress under $50, and so on, the search volume starts to add up fast.

If each of the other three keywords has a search volume of 40, you have the potential to drive at least 130 visits of targeted users to your pages. This traffic is more important than 16,000 random visitors who aren’t likely to convert.

SEO Tools Don’t Give the Full Picture About Long-Tail Keywords

SEO tools display low search volumes for long-tail keywords, giving us the impression that these keywords aren’t popular.

Let me explain.

But the volume shown may reveal that search engines have only begun discovering these phrases. More users could start searching for them over time. So, the numbers don’t tell the entire story.

Secondly, SEO tools won’t show you all the possible variations of one long-tail keyword. But if you type the keyword on Google, you’ll see many variations of the same keyword as autocomplete suggestions.

How to Find (and Use) Long-Tail Keywords Like a Pro

Finding Long-Tail Keywords

There are many places to look. They include:

Google Autocomplete

Type your head term on Google and see what other phrases Google suggests. Here’s an example from the term ‘work boots.’

You can create content around these terms or use related ones in the same content piece.

PRO TIP: For varied results, add each letter of the alphabet after your head term.

Google People Also Ask

You’ll find relevant long-tail keywords for nearly any keyword under the People Also Ask section.

Here’s an example for our query, ‘work boots.’

Use most of these keywords as headings and provide a brief answer for each. Your content will not only drive traffic but also win featured snippets on Google’s first page.

PRO TIP: Install the SEO Minion Chrome extension to download hundreds of long-tail keywords for any head term within seconds.

Google Related Searches

Finding searches related to your head term is another free but powerful hack for uncovering more long-tail search terms.

Let’s take the keyword “laser removal tattoo” and scroll to the end of the page. This is what appears:

PRO TIP: Click on these key phrases and scroll down to see more related searches for each.

You can also find valuable keywords using Google Trends’ related topics, Answer The Public, and your favorite SEO tool.

Understanding the Search Intent Behind Each Keyword

You need to understand the search intent to know who your target audience is, the content types they are after, and the topics they need to be explained.

To achieve that:

  • Understand the general intent for each keyword (informational or transactional).
  • Analyze the top three pages in search results to see the topics covered (Focus on H2s and H3s).
  • Look at the search results to know what content Google thinks fulfills the search intent best (reviews, how-to, Q&A posts, videos, reviews, etc.).
  • Check out online forums like Reddit and Quora to see what people are asking or saying about your topic

Best Practices for Using Long-Tail Keywords

  • Think about what your current audience would want from the content
  • Determine whether the long-tail keyword would be primary or secondary
  • Create the most comprehensive content that satisfies user intent.
  • If the topic has many long-tail keywords worth writing about, create different posts around each.
  • Turn most of these keywords, especially those from People Also Ask, into headings (H1s) for your posts


Long-tail keywords are an SEO goldmine because they mirror users’ search intent and drive targeted traffic.

They also convert well, as most of these keywords have transactional intent. Plus, they are easy to rank due to low competition.

Use the strategies above to use long-tail keywords to outrank the competition and increase traffic and sales.