A long tail keyword is a search query that falls within the “long tail” of the search demand curve. These are keywords with low monthly search volume, but higher probability of conversion.
You can find long tail keywords in SEMrush by using the Keyword Magic Tool and adding filters for number of words, keyword difficulty, volume, and more.
In 2017, Google reported that nearly 15% of all searches were new and had never been searched before.
This is the orange “long tail” of the graph below - the hidden majority of searches that are coming from super specific keywords with lower monthly search volume.
Long tail keywords typically show lower search volume, lower competition and cheaper CPCs compared to single word searches.
The higher conversion probability is because a long tail keyword is generally more specific and easier to understand exactly why someone is searching it, as opposed to trying to guess the many reasons behind a query with high monthly search volume.
Therefore, it is easier to target a long tail keyword accurately with a marketing landing page.
From an SEO point of view, targeting longer, more specific search phrases makes it easier to build a website’s authority to ultimately rank for bigger keywords that carry more search volume and potential traffic.
Often (but not always), long tail keywords are phrases consisting of 3 or more words. Think about it from the searcher’s perspective. As you write a longer search query, you are adding modifiers to specify your request in hopes of receiving the most specific solution to your problem.
“Why are my tomato plants turning yellow” tells us a lot more about the searcher’s situation than “tomato plant.” That means that as a marketer, it would be much more rewarding to target a term like “why are my tomato plants turning yellow” with a specifically tailored answer a opposed to trying to target “tomato plant.”