What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
What Are Long-Tail Keywords?
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We’ve looked at keywords as a whole, but within the term ‘keywords’, there are a few other terms (subcategories if you like) that you will also need to have some idea of. Depending on the client, I might need to do the keyword research myself before starting a bloggy project. I actually prefer it that way, but you know what some clients are like … they really like to get specific. It still surprises me, however, how many people ask me: “What are long-tail keywords?” when I give them a list of long and short-tail ones for approval.


Long-Tail Keywords: The Stats


In 2016-2017 studies, it was shown that more than SEVENTY PERCENT of all queries typed into Google or other search engines are “key phrases” or “long-tail keywords” rather than “keywords”. A keyword is very rarely just one word, making the term rather misleading. It’s usually two or three words, and these are known as “short-tail keywords”. They are short. They have a short tail. Well … kinda.

Over 70% of all internet searches contain more than three or four words, though, making them more of a phrase. These longer searches are referred to as “long-tail keywords”. They are long. They have a long tail. You get the idea.


What Are Long-Tail Keywords?


They are keywords that actually have three/four or more words, and they’re usually much more specific, too.


An example of a short-tail keyword is: “SEO keywords”.

An example of a long-tail keyword is: “How to find SEO keywords”.


To put things into a slightly different perspective …


Short-tail keyword: “Florists in Southend

Long-tail keyword: “Anniversary flowers in Southend


Short-tail keyword: “Black trousers

Long-tail keyword: “Straight leg black trousers


Long-tail keywords are much more specific, whereas short-tail keywords are more generic and vague. The latter will have more searches, but those longer ones are more likely to end in a sale. If someone is *thinking* about buying some flowers, they’ll have a look at florists in that general area and then make some decisions after taking price, order times, and a bunch of other things into consideration. If someone has forgotten it’s their anniversary and they know they need to order some flowers ASAP, they might search for “anniversary flowers in Southend” or “same day flower delivery Southend”. The searches are much more specific and are more likely to end in a sale/lead.


The same kind of idea words if you’re a vape reviewer or a beauty blogger. I’m a vaper, so I’m going to use vaping keywords as another example.


Short-tail keyword: “Vape reviews

Long-tail keyword: “Six Licks Love Bite eliquid review


[Six Licks is the brand name, Love Bite is the eliquid flavour name.]


The long-tail keywords are more likely to be found by someone looking to buy that exact brand or flavour of eliquid, and if they like what the review says, they are going to be more inclined to make a sale or click-through on an affiliate link. “Vape reviews” will probably bring up a bunch of websites that talk about everything but the one thing that person is looking for. There’s no guarantee that the website or blogs shown in search engine results for “vape reviews” even contain the eliquid brand or flavour that the person is looking for. That someone could waste half an hour of their time looking for that particular eliquid brand or flavour (especially if there’s no search bar), becoming increasingly frustrated because they can’t find exactly what they’re looking for.

Essentially, using long-tail keywords [properly] means that you are actively targeting people that search for the information/reviews/etc. you’re providing. I have a blog post titled “Six Licks Love Bite Eliquid Review” and it’s the first result in the Google search term for it.




If you want to know the SEO tips and tricks I use to make sure my blogs/sites rank highly in search engine results, you may find the following blog posts helpful:


Thanks for stopping by on my little blog today. You can subscribe if you’d like to be kept up to date with brand new posts, and you can also check me out on social media if ya like … That would be nice 😃

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2 Thoughts to “What Are Long-Tail Keywords?”

  1. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for clarifying the situation with long-tail keywords. I know that anyone who is new to online content writing will find this helpful! Unfortunately, I learned the hard way when I started, having spent a LOT of time writing content that targeted popular keywords with a high search volume, all with no regard to their difficulty. Oops.

    If only I’d had your stats to hand back then and focused on targeting longer search phrases, maybe the learning curve would have been a bit less steep!

    Thanks again,


    1. ukwordgirl

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. My very first ever freelance client was so FIERCE about keyword use. I remember having to write about internet firewalls and needing to count, highlight, and make bold the keywords — long and short-tail, X number of each. I read a lot of blogs now that say keywords aren’t important, but those rules I learned almost ten years ago still work now. I have a couple of my own websites and for all bar one of them, Google is my #1 source of traffic … Mostly from long-tailed keywords. They’re my favourite, haha 🙂

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

      Kim 😃

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