Do Long Tail Keywords Matter in Search Engine Optimization?

Do long tail keywords work in SEO these days? Can a new website or blog with few backlinks rank at the top of search engines? You are going to learn more about it in this article!

It’s looking like ranking for specific keywords in Google SERP is really hard, right?

Even small businesses try to protect their ranks as Google changes SERP rankings daily. Since every problem should have at least a solution to protect your website’s constant traffic base, you can use long tail keywords in search engine optimization.

Today, in this blog post, I will show you how long-tail keywords matter in SEO and how they can help grow your business steadily without any traffic drop.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

If a search term that is more than one word long is entered a few times on a search engine, it is known as a Long Tail keyword phrase. At most times, many long-tail keywords are more than 3-4 words long.

As the long tail keywords chart from is given below, the longer the keyword phrase is it’s more descriptive, targeted, specific, and low competitive.

cost and competition vs probability of competition in long-tail keywords

Do you know that roughly more than seventy percent of global searches are based on Long Tail Keywords?

Even though head terms (short-tail keywords) count millions of monthly searches, long-tail keyword phrases can instantly drive hundreds of thousands of search traffic to your website.

the search demand curve

The wonderful thing about long-tail keywords is that once you optimize a web page for a few long-tail keyword phrases, it is a really easy task to rank the web page on Google #1. No need to build hundreds of manual backlinks. Just need a few on-page optimization techniques.

For more details, check out my guide on finding low, competitive high-volume search keywords for SEO. It explains a long-tail keyword strategy that gives you results fast.

Long tail keywords and Short tail keywords

There is a big difference between long-tail and short-tail keywords in driving web traffic and increasing leads and sales.

In online marketing, people use long-tail rather than short-tail keywords. That’s why even though each long-tail keyword phrases have less monthly search volume, they convert 2.5 times more frequently.

the popularity of short vs long tail keywords chart

As you see in the above chart from, long-tail keywords contribute to product sales more than short-tail keywords.

Take a look at this image from It illustrates the breakdown of keywords into the long tail money keywords. Notice the difference between a short tail keyword and a long tail keyword?

long tail keywords explanation

Ex: SEO tools (High search volume, but highly competitive and not targeted a specific niche) Best keywords research SEO tools for bloggers (lower search volume, but low competition and have a precise audience)

Secondary Keywords and Long Tail Keywords

Before discussing the correlation between secondary and long-tail keywords, let’s learn what secondary keywords mean?

What are the secondary keywords?

You should hear about secondary keywords if you’re blogging for a while and in the search engine optimization field. Actually, secondary keywords are a synonym for on-page topic targeting keywords.

Yes, on-page Topic Targeting keywords. Weird?

The beautiful thing about the on-page topic targeting keywords is that it solves a few head-scratching problems in SEOs and bloggers’ minds. To learn more about secondary keywords, pay attention to this example.

Ex: Let’s say your primary keyword is SEO tools. So the secondary keywords could be SEO software tools, SEO keyword research tools, free tools for WordPress SEO, and blogging tools for search engine optimization.

What can you see commonly on these search terms? Yes, all of them have the primary keyword “SEO tools.”

  • Secondary keywords increase the priority of primary keywords. So search engine bots find that the article is also optimized around the primary keyword. It doesn’t make sense to rank a post about SEO tools that don’t discuss keyword research tools, backlink checker tools, competitor analysis tools, etc. Therefore secondary keywords indicate that the web page is in-depth and informative.
  • Secondary keywords decrease the chances of penalizing your website for keyword stuffing issues.
  • Secondary keywords generate more on-topic search terms, which could drive high targeted organic traffic.
  • On-page topic keywords build a well-structured web page.

Secondary Keywords and Long Tail Keywords in SEO

Even though long-tail keyword phrases and secondary keyword phrases are similar, both have common and distinct features. Secondary keywords are often more than 2-3 words long. And sometimes, secondary keywords could have a few monthly searches.

keyword search volume

But, all long-tail keywords may not be secondary keywords. That means every long-tail keyword couldn’t have the primary keyword included.

Secondary keywords are targeted and niche-specific. They can structure the web page around the primary keyword and generate more blog post ideas. Use these on-page topic targeting keyword research tools to find secondary keywords for your blog posts.

Now you know many things about long-tail keywords. But why should you use long-tail keywords in blog posts? How do long-tail keywords increase organic traffic, conversions, and revenue?

The Importance of Long Tail Keywords in SEO

#1. Easy To Rank

An important thing about Long-tail keywords is that it’s very easy to rank on Google’s first page within a few weeks. As below chart from Long Tail Pro,  although head terms/short terms have high traffic volume, they are very competitive. But on the other side, Long Tail keywords are less popular and so low competitive.

search volume vs competition for keywords chart

Here are a few long-tail keywords in Google Search Console. Although they have only a few searches, look at the number of clicks and the click-thru rates. I followed these CTR optimization techniques to increase the CTR rates and search engine rankings.

organic ctr for long-tail keywords Google Search Console

When you write an in-depth and descriptive blog post, you can see that the post even starts ranking for non-optimized keywords. Many of them are long-tail keywords. This is due to the semantic search.

I increased traffic to a webpage by optimizing the keywords on the webpage by 129.38% within two months. I was careful when selecting keywords. Because I knew that optimizing for irrelevant keywords could be a major reason for decreasing the average time on a page, increasing the bounce rate, and decreasing the search engine rankings.

But fortunately, the keywords I selected were Long Tail, which is niche-relevant and targeted. For that reason, the overall traffic and average time on the page about the US virtual bank account boosted to the roof.

increase of page views after using long-tail keywords

And that post ranked for hundreds of money keywords. For privacy reasons, I can’t reveal the keywords for which the post is ranking.

keyword impressions and clicks on Google Search Console

Opening a Virtual bank account using the Payoneer post explains why you should have a virtual bank account, the requirements and how to make a bank account in the USA from home, and several ways to make money online. Even though making money online is a hot topic, the post didn’t rank for any irrelevant keywords as my keyword strategy.

As this long-tail keyword research strategy, after a few weeks, the blog post ranked even a high competitive keyword, “virtual us bank account,” above the fold of Google SERP. Isn’t that cool?

ranking for competitive keywords after optimization

That boosted organic clicks/organic traffic by a whopping 400%…

increased clicks and impressions after longtail keywords strategy integration

All of these results are because of the proper long tail keyword selection strategy. Learn How I increased my blog traffic by optimizing existing keywords using GSC over here.

#2. More targeted traffic

No need to explain anymore that long-tail keywords drive a lot more niche-specific traffic. As you see in this image, long-tail keywords tend to have more specific traffic and higher conversion rates.

traffic chart for keywords' length

A few months earlier, I compiled a great article on How to Get Google to Index Your Website Super Fast in under five minutes. As the keyword strategy, that post got a few organic clicks within the first week. Yes, all traffic is coming because of the long-tail keywords.

But, the beautiful thing about Long-tail keyword selection is Google ranks higher on any webpage if the page includes relevant long-tail search terms. Let me explain this, moreover.

A few of my target keywords ranked on Google for blog posts are index pages on google and fast google indexing. But, Google started ranking this page for relevant long-tail keywords such as this URL could not be found in google’s index, and google not indexing images.

long tail keywords for blog posts

As I said in the earlier example about the virtual bank account post, I am cautious about the keyword strategy. I know irrelevant keywords could cause a decrease in search traffic under the hood. That’s why I am happy with the keywords that this post ranks on Google.

Even though google not indexing images keyword phrase isn’t an optimized keyword phrase, it is still relevant. So drive niche-targeted traffic.

I learned about this in a post I shared about Best Premium Tumblr themes. I was driving hundreds of thousands of traffic from search engines. But, no conversion (didn’t anyone buy Tumblr themes from marketplaces like Themeforest and Creative Market)?

After I examined the keywords that the post ranking on, I found lots of “free” + keyword phrases, which drive lots of traffic. Ex: free Tumblr themes for photo blogs

That’s when I optimized keywords into targeted and relevant traffic. I saw a great improvement when I used this SEO strategy in my Competitor Keywords Analysis post.

Overall, long-tail keywords drive lots of niche-specific traffic, which could be similar to what you wanted. Remember, every relevant visitor counts. So you shouldn’t ignore the importance of a long-tail keyword research strategy.

#3. Increase conversions

As a marketer, you want to get most people subscribed to your list via giveaways and offering lead magnets. You can use list-building tools like Convertful (Read my Convertful review to learn more about it).

As a blogger, you want more people to convert into buyers who click your affiliate links and purchase products/services.

According to my experience, I have found that the user-intent influences conversions really well. The best way to understand the user intent is by examining the keywords people type in the Google search box before visiting your website.

Do you believe people who find “free premium WordPress themes” will buy premium WordPress themes? And people who want to play games online will easily convert into buyers?

No. The reason is the user intent. The wonderful thing is that long-tail keywords can quickly increase conversion rates.

As in the chart below, the more descriptive your target keyword is, the easier it will be to increase conversion rates.

long tail keywords and conversion intent

After changing the email subscription offer, I increased email signups by 150%.

email signups stats

Remember that it is the overall site conversion rate. So you should A/B test your subscription copies to adapt to the targeted traffic. Do readers want to download your “soup recipes for moms” guide if they search for the best PLR products (supposing your niche is internet marketing)?

How can you find your target audience?

There are a few online tools to check competitors’ traffic and other information. But I will show you a method that you can use to find keywords that your readers type in Google and find popular posts on your site that your target audience prefers to read.

Step #1: Log in to your Google Search Console account and go to Search Analytics (Note: If you haven’t submitted your website to Google Search Console yet, follow this guide.)

Step #2: Now, you will see your top keywords, clicks, average positions, CTR, etc. You can go further and filter long keywords and get a higher number of SERP impressions.

how to keywords in Google Search Console

In the past, you could see ‘Content Keywords.’ It was an indicator of how important each keyword is for your site from Google’s perspective.

Step #3: Log in to Google Analytics or any other analytics program you use to track visitor activities. (Here, I will use Google Analytics as many bloggers use Google Analytics)

Step #4: Then navigate to Behavior >> Site content >> All Pages.

All pages in Google Analytics

Step #5: Filter top blog posts in a specific date range. Because some posts could get more views in a particular period, you should look for evergreen posts that drive constant traffic.

Google analytics top pages in page views

Step  #6: Find what web pages drive lots of traffic and correlate them with keywords.

Step: #7: Set up the email subscription offer and A/B test the copy.

Due to its restrictions, you might not get all the keywords your site is ranking for in Google Analytics. I use Keyword Hero to unlock many “Not Provided” keyword data. Learn more in this KeywordHero review.

I used this strategy and increased the conversion rates by 150% within one day. Long-tail keywords convert better than short-tail keywords. Try this technique and find out how to increase your website conversion rates.

#4. Higher Click-Through Rates

As you know, people who come to your site using a long tail keyword phrase are more engaged and targeted than those who come to your site using a short tail or middle tail keyword. I have found that long-tail keywords always have higher click-through rates than short-tail ones.

As the chart below, Arnie Kuenn explains in this post on that it is better off being the #4 position in the SERP for a long-tail search term than a head term/short-tail word.

The funniest thing is that long-tail terms dominate organic click-thru rates despite the first position.

click through rate against search rank position

In my previous post on How to Increase Website Traffic by Improving Organic Click-Through Rates, I showed how SERP rankings and post titles matter in click-thru rates. I have found that averagely above-the-fold results always take more than 30% CTR for long-tail terms.

It’s not bad, right?

high CTR for longtail keywords

Yes, these search terms only have a few monthly search volumes. But, the important thing here is the CTR. Because CTR is a major Google Ranking Factor, you shouldn’t neglect it.

Like in PPC advertising, click-through rate (CTR) is an important ranking metric in search engine optimization.

How to Find Long Tail Keywords

In this entire blog post, you learned how long-tail keywords influence website traffic. Seventy percent of overall searches are on long-tail terms. So you want to make use of long-tail search terms to drive lots of target traffic, right?

How do you find long-tail keyword phrases that drive lots of traffic and increase conversions and sales?

Answer? Learn how to find long-tail keywords in this post.

I have already listed a few long-tail keyword research tools on this page. You can check them out right now, and I recommend them.


Conclusion on Long Tail Keywords in SEO

Utilizing long-tail keywords is the best way to rank on Google SERP quickly. You don’t need to generate hundreds of backlinks with the anchor text of keyword phrases to rank them on the #1 page. We just need some on-page optimization techniques such as interlinking and creating an eye-catchy headline etc.

If you think you can rank for a head term in the first place, so I think you should be Wikipedia or another authoritative website such as Huffington Post. Instead, pay attention to long-tail terms.

It’s easy to find and optimize the content. Make sure you don’t overuse these terms on a web document. Don’t use a long-tail keyword phrase more than thrice if your article is under one thousand or two thousand words.

Long-tail keywords drive thousands of targeted traffic, increase conversion rates, and reduce website bounce rates. As more than 70% of global searches are based on long-tail words, you should use tools like Semrush (tutorial over here) to find keywords that can be ranked.

So do you use Long Tail Keywords on your blog posts? Share your comments about this post in the comment form below.

4 thoughts on “Do Long Tail Keywords Matter in Search Engine Optimization?”

    • Thanks Harsha for your comment. Long-Tail Keywords are very important in SEO. Glad you find the article informative.

  1. Do anchor backlinks stilll matter in seo or can I do top 1 without exact match backlinks – only with good optimalization and homepage backlinks withe site name?

    • Yes, without exact-match anchor text, you can increase your SERP rankings. With long-tail variations of anchor text, your web pages will rank for number of unpredicted long-tail keywords too. It is all about User Experience. Add exact anchor text when necessary. But, don't over optimize anything.


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