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There’s gold in them there Long-Tail Keywords!

December 8, 2014   Tags:

Ahhh, the long-tail keyword—what is it? For the layperson (i.e. you, your mom, a neighbour or the frantic student who waited until the last minute to do his book report) a long-tail keyword is usually an exact phrase of three to six words, to describe what you are searching for.


For the business owner, it’s a gold mine! Let me explain. In the early years of the Internet, if you were specific in your search, your young, immature search engine would cough up a few results, followed by a suggestion to widen your search for more results.



Well, a lot has happened since the early 90s. For one, the Internet’s grey matter has increased at lightning speed, so if you aren’t specific you will be overwhelmed at the results. Secondly, not being specific enough will generate results that aren’t necessarily relevant.


"... the only engines I know anything about are search..."


It’s easy for the layperson to just follow the prompts. Say you are looking for a computer; well, the minute you type in “computers” your search engine will automatically spew out suggestions that are more specific.


For the business owner, this is a gold mine…if you are willing to do a little bit of homework.


Before we even begin, every business should have a blog. Remember the days of Circuit City, where knowledge was king and customer service was the reigning queen? Since the onset of the Internet, those days are virtually gone (pun intended).


Consider your company’s blog the Internet’s answer to knowledge and customer service. This means easy-to-understand, useful information and suggestions for your customers. Once you’ve started developing ideas for your blog content, you need to understand the keyword search.


First stop: let’s pick up some Internet tools such as Wordstream, Keyword Spy, and Wordtracker. All of these will give you a precise list of specific long-tail keywords once you type in your keyword. It should also indicate which specific long-tail keywords yield the most results based on similar businesses on the Internet.


Do some soul searching and think like your customer: are the long-tail keywords relevant to your site? Remember, you know the specifics of your business. Based on the long-tail keywords given from the tools above, are your customers going to find what they are looking for? Will it lead to conversions?


The Secret is in the Length of the Tail

Common search terms make up less than 30% of searches—the secret is the long-tail keyword searches, which make up the remaining 70%.


Why, you ask? Well, because we have evolved in our searches, and as they get more specific, it means the user is getting closer to making a purchase. That means if you have useful content on your site (or blog), carefully injected with your specific long-tail keywords (without being obvious), you may hit gold!


Search queries composed of five to seven words are much more common than they used to be, says Alex Zagoumenov, inbound marketing consultant and SEO specialist. “In the past, we searched Google using single and double-word phrases. Over time we got smarter and started to build longer queries,” says Zagoumenov.


“This means that users are being very specific in what they want to find using search engines. As marketers and website owners, we need to ensure that we create content that answers those long-tail queries or keywords to capture those specific—and important—leads.”


“Shoes” versus “best price on Air Jordan size 12”

Which example would be better to rank for if you’re an online shoe retailer? Would be great to rank #1 for the keyword “shoes” – or would it? Now apply that to your business.


moz long tail


Check out’s article for more on Understanding Long-Tail Keywords.



This will get you started, but if you are serious about your business, hire an expert on copywriting and digital marketing.  Get in touch to get started>>