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What are Long Tail Keywords and Why are They Important?

Updated on April 5, 2011

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Keyword phrases that contain at least three to five related, niche-targeted words are called Long Tail Keywords.

Like standard keywords, Long Tail Keywords are used to describe what is on your web page and what you want your page to rank for on search engine results pages. They are usually 3 to 5 words long and target fairly small niche topics.

How does this affect my website?

Although targeting a small niche area may result in less traffic for your web page in the short run, it can also draw more valuable traffic long term, since a search for those keywords will result in fewer results returned by the search engine and your page may rank higher for those keywords.

Okay, how do I get those?

When deciding what Long Tail Keywords to choose for your page, think about what words you use most often on the page when describing your product or service or writing your blog post.

For example, if your page sells notebook computers, a good Long Tail Keyword for your page would be "Affordable High Tech Touch Screen Notebook Computers" rather that "High Tech Notebooks" as it is more specific and more likely to show up higher in a search for that term since there are fewer pages optimized for that term.

If you are writing a blog post about visiting St. Louis, the post title "A Springtime Visit to the St. Louis Arch" is better and more specific than "Visiting St. Louis".

Try using Google's Keyword Tool to see how often people look for your phrase.

Because Long Tail Keywords can help you to optimize your web page in search engines, you should place the keywords in key locations on your page. Place them in the page title, the first sentence of the first paragraph, and in the last part of the web page content.

Avoid repeating your phrase too many times in comparison to other words and phrases, as you may be penalized by search engines for keyword stuffing. Make sure they are no more than 3% of the page's content.

Long Tail Keywords are beneficial as it allows you to market your page to a niche market that is searching specifically for your product or service, rather than forcing them to wade through 70 million results for a less specific search term and letting your page languish on Page 300 of the search results. Try to optimize your page for Long Tail Keywords whenever possible.


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    • create a page profile image

      create a page 6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks for explaining this commonly used term and now I have a better understanding thanks to you imichelle.