Keyord Research: The Beginner’s Guide to Long Tail Keyword Research In 2021

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Did you know that 70% of search traffic comes from long tail keywords?
If you’re not focusing on long tail keyword research, you’re doing a BIG mistake. The #1 blunder mistake most people make while doing keyword research is, they focus on broad terms instead of long tail keywords.
So if you’re someone who’s looking to get more search traffic by using long tail keywords, this tutorial is a treat for you.
In this long tail keyword research guide, you’ll find out everything about the tools that you need for long tail research to finding highly profitable long tail keywords. So are you ready to find them out? Let’s get started with the most important question.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are highly relevant and low competitive keywords and each long tail keyword usually contains 4+ words.
For ex: “long tail keyword research” is a 4 word long tail keyword.
The major difference between long tail keywords and short tail keywords is that long tail keywords are easier to rank for (even if you’re running a new site without having a ton of links).
For that same reason, getting #1 results for a long tail keyword like “best cars under 10,000 dollars in Atlanta” is easier than “best luxury cars”.

If you’re still wondering about why you need to start using long tail keywords, I’ve few strong reasons to tell you.
3 important reasons to target long tail keywords.

  1. Competition: You don’t want to compete with big brands like Amazon, Apple etc when you’re aiming to get 1st page results on Google. That’s why you need to find low competition keywords and long tail keywords are best when it comes to low competition. They are more specific and less people search for them giving you the chance to get better search rankings on Google really quickly.
  2. Relevancy: The focus on keyword SEO is dying (almost died!) regularly. Google is focusing more on giving rewards to relevant keyword phrases that keyword stuffed pages. That’s why focusing on long tail keywords can give you more relevancy as they usually contain 4 or more words. Even better, you can use relevant LSI keywords to start ranking higher on Google.
  3. Search volume: Search volume plays a crucial role while doing keyword research. Luckily for most of the long tail keywords, the search volume will be really less. Just make sure to pick those long tail keywords with search volume around 1000 to 1500 monthly searches to get higher rankings quickly on Google.

The above 3 factors are really the key to long tail keyword research. If you ignore those factors, you will have tough time in finding good long tail keywords that boost your search traffic and sales.
So there you go! That’s the importance of targeting long tail keywords to boost your rankings, traffic and overall website sales.
Now comes the most interesting question: how do you come up with profitable long tail keywords. Let’s dive into the details to find more about them.

How to find long tail keywords to boost your search traffic?

Finding long tail keywords is NOT easy especially if you don’t know how to do keyword research.
Most people make a mistake of finding 2 or 3 word keywords (such as best cars in 2017) instead of aiming for really specific long tail keywords. So don’t make that mistake while doing long tail keyword research. Yes, you might find it intimidating at first to get more long tail keyword ideas for your sites but it will be fun when you start getting results.
So let me simplify the whole process for finding long tail keywords in 3 easy steps.
Let’s get started.

First step: Come up with keyword ideas

The first step for finding great long tail keywords is to brainstorm various keywords.
Make a list of all the potential keywords that you want to rank for. So how do you build a list of such keywords?
You can use these simple tips.

  • Analyse your competitors: By using tools like SEMrush, you can easily come up with a list of keyword ideas that are sending the most traffic to your competitors. This is one of the widely used ways to come up with high traffic generating keywords almost every single time.
  • Use Buzzsumo: So why use a influencer outreach tool like Buzzsumo? Not only it’s helpful for reaching out to the experts in your niche but it also helpful for finding great topic ideas so you can pick the best keywords from them. It also has a free version which is enough for most beginners to build a set of seed keywords that are relevant to their niche.
    So why do you want to build an initial set of keywords list?

That’s a great question. The reason is, once you have a list of keyword ideas, finding long tail keywords becomes easy.
Not only that, by building an initial keyword list, you can easily eliminate all the bad or irrelevant keyword ideas so you can save more time while creating content in the future to attract more traffic and links.
Once you’re done with the first step, you can move on to the next step where the actual long tail keyword research starts.

Second step: Estimate their volume and relevancy

This is the most important step where you eliminate majority of the keywords from your initial set of keyword ideas.
So how you can eliminate the bad keyword ideas from the list that you build in the step 1?
It’s simple. Find out their estimated monthly search volume.
If any keyword that has more than 2000 monthly searches, simply ignore it (you can target them later when you attract more traffic).
Aim to pick those keywords with a monthly search volume between 300 to 1500. That way you can easily get top rankings for those keywords without having to build too many links.
And make sure to target those keywords that have at least 4 to 5 words in them (these are known as long tail keywords).
Once you are done with the initial elimination of high volume keywords, it’s time to start finding relevant keywords so you can serve your target audience even better.
If you’re finding it hard to estimate the search volume of any given keyword, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner.
Although it doesn’t give you accurate results but it’s really helpful for finding the search volume of any keyword. Just enter your list of keywords on Keyword Planner and it will give you the monthly search volume for each of those keywords. That way you can eliminate all the keywords with high search volume.

Final step: Build a list of highly specific long tail keywords

Now in the 3rd and final step, you need to pick only those long tail keywords which are highly specific to your target audience and easier to rank for.
How can you do that?
Create a spreadsheet and list out all the keywords that you are come up with.
Now ask yourself, which of those keywords are commercial and informative.
If you’re running a commercial oriented blog (review site or deal sites), you can only focus on targeting commercial long tail keywords.
If you’re running an informative blog (much of blogging/seo related sites), you can pick both informative and commercial intent keywords to drive more traffic as well as sales.
Here’s the importance of both of those keywords.

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As you can see, commercial intent keywords mainly consist of keywords like;

  • Buy now
  • Discount
  • Top 10 alternatives etc

Whereas informative keywords usually contains:

  • Free
  • Ways to [do something]
  • How to etc

By knowing the difference between those two type of keywords, you can easily come up with great and highly profitable long tail keywords to boost your search engine traffic and sales.
So there you go. That’s how you can come up with a ton of highly potential and high traffic long tail keywords to increase both your search traffic and sales.

3 top tools for finding great long tail keywords

So how do you come up with great long tail keyword ideas to skyrocket your search engine traffic? I’ve a simple tip for you: get access to the right tools.
But the irritating thing is, there are way too many SEO tools out there so how do you pick the right one for keyword research?
Over the years I’ve used tons of tools and from my experience I got the best results by using the following 3 keyword research tools.

#1. SEMrush:

This is one of my goto SEO tools when it comes to finding long tail keywords. Not only helpful for keyword research but SEMrush also helps you do backlink analysis, competitor research, site audits and many more.
Although it’s a premium tool but it’s worth every single penny. Just make sure to give it a try and try to find as many as keywords as possible by using their free trial. Focus on analysing your competitors top performing keywords and pick the relevant keywords that are suitable for your target audience. That’s how you can come up with a ton of high traffic long tail keyword ideas with SEMrush.


This is a better alternative than Google’s keyword planner. Yes, Google’s keyword planner is still widely used and comes for free but it doesn’t give you accurate results (i.e it’s really hard to find profitable long tail keywords using keyword planner).
This is where (free tool) comes into handy which gives access to over 700 keyword suggestions. That’s enough for anyone to rank higher on Google search results for a ton of potential long tail keywords.

#3. KW Finder:

This is another great tool for finding really good long tail keywords. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, you can use KW Finder to come up with dozens of golden long tail keyword phrases.
This is although a premium tool but they also give you free access which is limited for 2 searches a day. If you’re just starting out, that’s enough for to come up with dozens of keyword ideas each week.

Final thoughts about long tail keyword research

There are a bunch of articles on Google about long tail keyword research so I tried my best to simplify the topic for you with this tutorial. Finding long tail keywords is not easy and takes time.
But when you’re just starting out with keyword research, don’t focus on mining a ton of long tail keywords. Instead, try to come up with 10 to 20 really good long tail keyword ideas that you can use as blog posts. That’s how you start increasing your search traffic.
So what are your thoughts about this long tail keyword research guide? Did you find it useful? Do you have any more tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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