Updated: December 4, 2020

Long Tail Conversational Keywords Can Double Targeted Buyer Traffic, Learn How To Implement Them The Right Way Now

Long tail keywords are not new to most content marketers, blog writers and online entrepreneurs, but few small and local businesses know how to use them properly. Even fewer still understand the true power that long tail keywords bring to your search engine rankings.

I’m going to break this down. First, we’ll start by defining exactly what long tail keywords actually are and how they help.

Long tail keywords are a specific keyword phrase that has at least three and often several more words in the searchable phrase. They are conversational in nature, like talking to a friend or co-worker. Working together, these phrases produce the most targeted traffic by giving searchers the most targeted results. In doing so, they can put your specific pages on the search map quickly, if it’s relevant enough.

How about a few examples:

Keywords: auto mechanic

Long Tail Keywords: Mercedes mechanic Dallas credit cards

The first keywords being only auto mechanic will return thousands of results, and even adding a city to it or using geolocation (allowing Google to only return local results) still won’t tell the searcher if the business handles Mercedes cars and accepts credit cards.

Long tail keywords are very specific, but that also makes them less competitive and far more lucrative when targeting these specific phrases for your Facebook or Google Ad campaigns.


Over 70% of all searches are made using long tail terms.

click through rates increase with long-tail targeted specific keywords

2.5 Times More Conversions

Conversion rates are 2.5 times higher for long tail keywords than for general keyword searches.

Long Tail Keywords Modifiers

When searchers are ready to make a purchase or are getting serious about the process, they typically include some common words in their query. These potent little words have become known as long tail keywords modifiers, and you’ll want to know them.

  • review
  • buy
  • buy cheap
  • buy online
  • scam
  • where to buy
  • purchase
  • how to order
  • sale
  • on sale
  • coupon
  • discount
  • discount code
  • price
  • half price
  • best price
  • deal
  • best deals
  • service
  • free trial
  • free returns
  • free shipping
  • online free shipping
  • fast shipping
  • free delivery
  • free next day delivery

11 Positions Bump

Pages and posts optimized for long tail keywords move up an average of 11 positions versus only 5 for main keywords.

Will long tail keywords lower my site traffic?

Possibly. It’s not uncommon to get concerned when you start focusing on long-tailed keywords in your content marketing. 

  • Am I getting too specific?
  • Will there be enough people searching for this now?

Long tail keywords target highly specific traffic looking for exactly what it is you’re offering. Though your traffic may go down, the quality of your traffic will increase. Wouldn’t you rather have 500 ready and hungry buyers for your exact product every week than 10,000 site visitors with only 25 become paying customers?

Twenty years ago, website traffic was a numbers game of volume. We had no serious methods to drive hyper-targeted traffic that meets our buyer persona, so instead we had to settle for a quantity mindset. We drove as much generalized traffic as we could, hoping that 1% of it happened to be people looking to buy our products or services. Thankfully, technology has more than grown beyond that.

Long Tail Keywords: A ServerWise Client Experience

A small localized chain of coffee shops is a ServerWise client. We’re very proud of them here and routinely enjoy a latte and parfait (which they recently discontinued). As this client has not given me permission to use their name, I’ll refer to them as NoParfait Coffee.

NoParfait Coffee is owned by a few partners (all great people) and the partnership decided that since they roast their own beans they might as well sell them online and ship nationwide.

NoParfait Coffee opened a ticket and explained what they wanted to do, and we walked them through it. WooCommerce with specific features, removed unnecessary features (less drag on the site that way), setup shipping and tracking and helped them create their storefront.

Then we opened up a new ticket for them to help them establish a marketing plan for the new endeavor. NoParfait hadn’t considered digital marketing, so with a little explanation and discussion, we convinced them and helped them get started.

The first step was to establish the long tail keywords they would target in their Google Discovery campaigns along with their YouTube campaign (irrelevant to this article). We suggested the following long tail keywords after some much needed (always) research.

“organic coffee shop roasted fair trade beans”
“where to buy fair trade coffee beans in Texas”
“organic roasted coffee beans free shipping”
“fair trade organic coffee beans roasted small batch”
“roasted ethical small business organic coffee ship free

They worked beautifully and the digital campaign and new side endeavor for NoParfait Coffee was a success.

How To Determine Your Best Long Tail Keywords

Now that I’ve convinced you, let’s take a look at the ways you can start discovering your long tail keywords.

Think Like A Consumer 

First, you need to stop thinking like a business owner and think like a consumer. What would a person search for when researching for your product type, category or niche? What might you search for if you were a customer?

Use Google Autocomplete

Most of your buyer’s journey starts at the Google search box, so you’ll want to spend some time with it. Make sure Autocomplete is turned on in your search settings, as in the image below.

How to use Google Autocomplete for long-tail keywords research

Take some time and type in various keywords and write down the autocomplete suggestions when they pop up in the drop-down box.

The example below are the most common suggestions using the initial keywords hand dyed.

To create long tail keywords, I would suggest adding words that differentiate the brand to any of the autocomplete suggestions.

Using Google Autocomplete results for your long tail keywords

Analyze Your Google Site Stats

If you’re using Google Analytics on your site, this becomes easy. Google lists every search term that your site visitors used to find you. Often these are long tail keywords. Write them all down and start expanding on these phrases to create highly targeted long tail keywords.

Think Local

If you’re a local business, think locally. Frequently, people will search first for a business near them that may meet their needs. You want to be at the top of that search.

When a searcher adds his or her city to the search string, they are using long tail geo targeted keywords. These potent phrases are often overlooked due to their low search volume. But they can be very advantageous to niche geographic markets.

Test It Out and Adjust Regularly

Choose a few of your most popular posts and pages and rewrite the content using your new long tail keywords, taking careful note to how much traffic those exact posts and pages are current getting.

Be patient and give it at least a month (content marketing takes time) before checking in on your traffic stats. 

This will deliver some idea on the effectiveness of your long tail keywords phrases. Using this data you’ll know which exact phrases are delivering the best results by providing the most leads and hopefully, the highest conversions.

Once you know which of your long tail keywords are working the best for you, it’s time to piggyback off of them by using synonyms of successful phrases.

On the other hand, it’s also likely that you’ll notice a spike in traffic along with a high bounce rate.

This is a sign that you need to clarify and tighten up your long tail keyword phrases. Check your phrases against the keywords driving traffic to your site from Google, and look for new trends.

Popular word usage changes quickly thanks to social media. The words that were used last year in mass have been replaced. Common phrasing or tone also changes. One generation prefers passive voice when writing (and searching) and another prefers a direct, abrupt structure.

You may be pushing “where to buy organic free trade coffee in Texas free shipping” when the actual buyers are now searching, “how to find organic ethically sourced coffee in Texas free shipping.”

Every business owner, whether brick-and-mortar or online-only, wants the same thing – traffic that converts. A local shop has a built-in targeting mechanism in the location, signage and assumed inventory. Online targeting is more complicated.  Create informational and relevant content using long tail keywords to hyper-target your preferred buyers.

Picture of J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.