Long-tail keywords can help even smaller and newer websites to "steal" traffic away from the big and established players. All it takes is some intelligent keyword research and content creation.

So here's a lowdown on the what, why, and how of long-tail keywords.


Keyword phrases that typically contain 3-4 or more words are known as long-tail keywords. They tend to show a more specific search intent on the part of the searcher, narrowing down the results to only the most appropriate.

These keywords are less general than 1-2-word keywords (AKA "seed" or "head" keywords) and have lower search frequency (i.e., they are used less in searches). The resulting traffic from these long-tail search terms is therefore relatively less than for general keywords, but that traffic is more targeted, with much higher chances of conversion.

Here's an example of a head keyword and longer-tail keywords/phrases:

  1. Reebok shoes
  2. Reebok black running shoes
  3. Reebok black marathon running shoes cost

The intention of the first keyword isn't clear: A searcher might want to simply check out the official website of Reebok. However, the third, a long-tail keyphrase, displays a more specific search intent—and quite possibly an intent to buy.


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Sarika Periwal is an online marketer associated with Mabbly, a digital marketing services provider.

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Twitter: @Sarika Periwal