FutureProof Shorts

What are Long-tail Keywords? Are they SEO Gold Dust?

Keywords, in a website and SEO context, can be difficult to understand. That’s why we like to use “search term” to describe what it is we are optimising web pages for. Long-tail keywords are 3-5 word (or longer) search terms that get less traffic, but are easier to rank for and generate highly targeted visitors. In simple terms; 

  1. Your customers, and potential customers, use Google to find the products, services and information they need. 
  2. You create content about what you do; product pages, blog posts etc.
  3. Google matches the best content with the search query, and your job is to identify that search query and be the “best” content.


Longer keywords are easier to rank for (great for new websites) and can generate better leads, because they’re more specific. And even though the terms get less traffic overall, they are often shorter, and so quicker to write; ranking in position 1 for 10 long-tail keywords may be way better, from a business point of view, than ranking in position 8 for a high traffic short keyword.

Understanding Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more than just a buzzword. They represent your opportunity to rank for search queries that are way more detailed than short generic terms. While short keywords might bring in more traffic, this traffic is way more difficult to get. Long keywords are more targeted, easier to rank for, and reach an audience that is specifically interested in what your business does, either products or services.

These phrases usually consist of three or more words and are often more specific to a particular niche or product. For instance, if you own a local bakery, a short-tail keyword could be “local bakery” while a long-tail keyword might be “artisanal sourdough bread in Roscommon.” While ranking for “local bakery” should be a long-term goal, the specific nature of the long-tail keyword means that people who find your website this way are more likely to become customers, and you’ll rank for this much faster.

Long-tail Keywords & Small Businesses

Small businesses, and smaller websites, need effective content, on time and on budget. Long-tail keywords, with lower competition levels, offer a cost-effective way to reach potential customers, and reach them faster than short search terms. Big players often dominate the search results, but using longer-tail keywords can level the playing field for smaller businesses.

Additionally, consumers are becoming better at using search engines to find exactly what they’re looking for. Long-tail keywords align with this trend, allowing your business to meet specific needs and cater to niche markets. This boosts your visibility, grows your perceived level of expertise and enhances your conversion rates.

Identifying Relevant Long-tail Keywords

Now that you understand why long-tail keywords are important, the next step is to identify them in the context of your business. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What phrases might they use when searching for products or services like yours?

Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest can be used to research and discover relevant long-tail keywords. Pay attention to the search volume and competition for each term. Aim for a balance between specificity and search volume, you attract a viable audience. If your website is new, or your content strategy is new, don’t worry too much about search volume at this stage.

Using Long-tail Keywords in Your Content

Once you’ve identified your long-tail keywords, integrate them into the content on your site. Either create a new page that targets this term specifically, or update existing content, if that makes sense. Read this short post about Keyword Clustering to learn more about this, a page can rank for more than one search term.

The best way to do this is with well written,  informative blog posts centred around a single long-tail keyword, addressing the specific needs of your target audience. This improves your search rankings and positions you and your business as an authority in your niche. Check out this post about Topical Authority… 

Small business owners need to adapt and use strategies that provide maximum impact. Long-tail keywords are SEO gold dust; a targeted approach that meets the search habits and needs of your customers. understanding, identifying, and implementing long-tail keywords, you can unlock the full potential of your website and really boost your sales. Don’t overlook long-tail keywords, they might just be the missing piece in your digital marketing strategy.

Long-tail Keywords are one of the things we do best at FutureProof Digital. If you want to discuss your content strategy get in touch, and check out our SEO Audit for more info on this… 

What are Long-tail Keywords


About Adam Bermingham

This blog is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the curve, with insights into the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or web designer, we have something for everyone. We bring you expert advice, tutorials, and case studies to help you optimise your online presence.

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