Home Business Insights & Advice The importance of long-tail keywords in SEO

The importance of long-tail keywords in SEO

by Sarah Dunsby
14th May 24 10:04 am

Long-tail keywords are an indispensable tool for companies looking to expand their presence on the internet. Unlike other search engine optimisation strategies that focus on targeting broad keywords with high popularity, long-tail keywords instead focus on capturing highly specific search queries.

There are several advantages to using long-tail keywords in addition to existing SEO strategies, especially for companies looking to fine-tune their strategies to target specific audiences and attract qualified leads. Let’s uncover the importance of long-tail keywords and explain how they can be used as part of your current SEO strategy.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that typically consist of at least three words, as opposed to traditional generic keywords.

For example, a travel agency might target keywords like “travel destinations” to establish a general online presence through Google. However, these are generic terms that all agencies will likely be targeting, making it competitive, expensive, and difficult to get noticed. An SEO strategy that uses long-tail keywords may instead target a phrase like “family-friendly travel destinations in London”.

Similarly, a pet supply store may target a generic team such as “pet supplies” and “dog food”. A refined long-tail keyword strategy may include phrases like “organic dog food” or “pet supplies for new cat owners”.

Understanding search intent

The main purpose for using long-tail keywords is to target search intents instead of just keywords. While generic keywords work fine in all SEO strategies, targeting intent helps your page rank more highly on Google. This is because you’re helping users find what they’re looking for, and this is done by understanding your audience’s search intent.

Think of it this way: someone who’s searching for healthy recipes might just search “healthy recipes”, but they’ll get a whole range of different options that can be overwhelming to filter through. Instead, they’ll refine their search with queries like “low-carb recipe ideas for dinner” or “weekday meals under 500 calories”.

These are more natural search terms that indicate what the user is looking for. So, by understanding their search intent and using long-tail keywords in SEO, you can appeal to a specific audience for higher conversion rates and targeted traffic.

Benefits of long-tail keywords

  • Less Competition: Long-tail keywords are generally less competitive, which makes it easier for you to rank higher in search engine result pages. This leads to valuable opportunities for smaller businesses to get noticed and to compete with larger brands.
  • Targeted Traffic: Long-tail keywords allow businesses to target niche audiences. This attracts highly relevant traffic since the content aligns with their search intent, thus increasing engagement and conversion rates.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Targeted content means you’ll have higher conversion rates. This is because people who have a clear search intent are usually further along in the buying process, so they’re more likely to purchase your products and services if you rank high with their search intent.
  • Voice Search: More and more people are starting to use voice search technology, especially with devices like home hubs. Voice searches are often similar to natural conversion, meaning they’re easier to target with long-tail keywords with intent.

In short, there are lots of benefits that can help a business reach its target audience, obtain more qualified leads, and also increase its return on investment.

Implementing a long-tail keyword strategy

There are many different ways to implement long-tail keywords into your existing SEO strategies.

  • Keyword research is important to identify long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business and potential audience.
  • New content must be high-quality and informative to address specific needs and interests while incorporating long-tail keywords.
  • Businesses must continue to analyse the performance of their SEO strategies to have a better understanding of when and where to implement long-tail keywords.
  • Existing content must be optimised and refined to naturally incorporate long-tail keywords over time.

If a business doesn’t have the resources or experience to do this, then working with an SEO marketing agency is the next best option. They’ll help you perform the necessary research to identify relevant long-tail keywords in your industry or niche, and they’ll assist in optimising on-page elements to make them appeal to your audience.


SEO strategies are constantly changing. Whereas businesses focused on short keywords and phrases in the past, modern techniques implement long-tail keywords as well to capture a wider audience. By combining both strategies, businesses have an easier time competing with well-established rivals in the industry.

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