The main elements of search engine optimization are keywords. They lie at the core of SEO and represent the primary strategy for making your website visible to the right group of customers. With that in mind, choosing the right keywords is not always the easiest thing to do. There are too many other factors that affect the quality of keywords. Furthermore, keywords require constant updates and improvements. There are two types of keywords you can use. Short-tail keywords are usually one to two words long and represent the main group of keywords. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are variations of short-tail keywords that include more words. Today’s article aims to explain the benefits of using long-tail keywords for your SEO efforts.

That is how people do a search

While short-tail keywords are mostly considered primary keywords, people in most situations use longer phrases when searching for something. Using just two words is often not enough to get accurate search results, and people want to search for a more detailed phrase. Not only that, but they usually use multiple longer phrases to increase the chances of finding what they need. That is why it is smart using different variations of long-tail keywords.

An illustration showing Google homepage.

Most people use Google as their preferred search engine.

The best way to develop long-tail keywords is to do a few searches yourself. Pick a topic, or Google search your products by typing long phrases. You can also do that same search on your competition. This way, you will understand what words to use when building keywords for the website.

Long-tail keywords lead to more conversions

If we consider the previous section, we can safely assume that more long-tail keywords bring more traffic to the website. Additionally, the users coming to your site will be the ones whose searches line up with your long-tail keywords, meaning they are looking for what you offer. If your keywords are correct and you target the right group of customers, that increase in organic traffic will soon lead to more conversions.

Let us talk about voice search

It is no secret that voice search is becoming increasingly used today. With virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, people are typing less and talking more. When we give a voice command, we tend to speak the same way we communicate with others. That means longer sentences. With that in mind, it comes more naturally to speak a long-tail keyword than a short one. Voice search popularity is driving the use of longer keywords.

Shorter keywords are more competitive

Let’s say you want to purchase a nice pair of shoes. You go online and type “shoes” or “quality shoes.” You will get so many different results, and the companies that are the strongest in the niche of quality shoes will always come as the front-page results. However, if you type “discount on quality leather shoes in Los Angeles,” you now have a precise phrase that will give you exactly what you are looking for. No matter how large the competition is, the companies included in the search are only those that create high-quality leather shoes in Los Angeles and also give a discount at the moment.

A person drawing a company growth chart with a marker.

Fewer companies are competing over long-tail keywords.


Competing with the giants in your niche over short-tail keywords is a battle you will always lose. Experts from suggest using long-tail keywords for your SEO efforts over shorter ones precisely because longer keywords cut down the competition. If you are a small business owner, you must consider this. However, if you come up with smart long-tail keywords that can be more accurately associated with your business, you have better chances of ranking on the first page.

Longer keywords give more meaning to your website

Let’s again use the shoe business example. If a person who wants to buy shoes searches the word “shoes,” they don’t immediately know what the website in the results offers. It could be a shoemaking company, a shoe repair business, an online store, and other shoe-oriented businesses.

Second, the user does not know where the company is located until they visit the website. If the website operates in another country and they want something local, the visitor will probably exit the page. But, if a user searches a long-tail keyword, they already mention the type of service they need, the price range, and the location. Once a website appears in the search results, they know what to expect. With that in mind, if you use longer keywords for your business, the users will know what to expect when they visit your website.

Longer keywords improve website metrics

We spoke in the previous section about a situation when the user visits a website and immediately leaves because the website does not match what they are looking for. Visitors leaving without performing actions on your website is called a bounce. The bounce rate goes up if many people visit a website and immediately close the tab.

An illustration of a screen showing website metrics.

Track relevant KPI to see how your keywords are performing.

Caption: Track relevant KPI to see how your keywords are performing.
Alt-tag: An illustration of a screen showing website metrics.

This is just one of the most important website metrics you should be tracking. Since we already explained how longer keywords are more precise, there is a high chance that using those longer phrases will improve website metrics simultaneously because you are accurately targeting your audience.

Do not forget to do an SEO audit in a timely manner

With everything we have covered so far, it is essential to say that you must maintain your website regularly. Do a website audit regularly to improve your SEO and create better versions of the current keywords. This is an essential process because of two reasons:

  • the rules of SEO constantly change, and you need to be in sync with the latest algorithm update.
  • competitor companies are also improving their keywords, and if you fail to do this step, they will eventually rank higher than your website.

The benefits of using long-tail keywords for your SEO efforts – delivered!

The SEO game is a very complex one to play. It comes free of charge, but it requires a lot of time and effort. That is why you want to ensure you spend your time and energy on the right strategy. Understanding the benefits of using long-tail keywords for your SEO efforts lets you know where your focus should be!