Finding Long Tail Keywords

The “Long Tail” keywords are phrases that contain up to 5 key words and are highly specific. Since they are so specific, the search volume is very low.

Long tail example:
“Large Sony Plasma 1080p Detroit” – This key phrase is a very specific search phrase. Someone that searches for that knows exactly what they want. They want to buy a large Sony plasma TV in Detroit that has 1080p resolution. If you Google that key phrase you’ll see there are less than 10,000 results, and none of the results are any good.

A regular key phrase would be “Sony Plasma 1080p”. Not only do you have a lot more competition with that key phrase, but you don’t know very much about this visitor. You don’t know if they want a 32″ or a 50″, do they want to spend $500 or $3,000? Do they plan to buy online, or are they doing research and plan to buy locally? Do they really want a Sony, or are they looking for specs. Do they already have a Sony and need a new remote?

When you target the long tail, you will get a much higher conversion ratio because you already know what your visitors are looking for because they’ve been specific with their search. Since you know what they want, you can give it to them above the fold, quickly and easily.

The best way to find long tail keywords and key phrases is through your own data. This is your search engine referrer logs. If you’re site is new, you probably don’t have logs showing what people searched for just yet, but you will. Once this data starts rolling in, start making pages based on what people want.

Until you have that data another good way to find long tail keywords is through a keyword suggestion tool. Google has one, but Keyword Discovery is my favorite. The numbers in the search totals are not very accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what is being searched for.

Using “Sony plasma” as an example we get the following long tail key phrases:

sony multisystem plasma tv
sony plasma dvd connections
comparison chart for sony, toshiba, and panasonic plasma tvs
repair of sony plasma tvs
biggest sony plasma tv
sony plasma dvd digital receiver connection diagram
prices on sony plasma hd tv
sony 37 wega plasma tv specs
sony 950 plasma wall mount
sony bravia hdtv 46 plasma
how to get my sony plasma off standby

As you can see, after a 30 second search, you now can create 11 pages of content that is highly targeted. Some of those searches aren’t going to convert to sales (diagram, specs, off standby), but others could convert very well (wall mount, dvd connections, repair). Even if your page isn’t designed to convert, it could still make you money.

Imagine someone in a forum asks “how to get my sony plasma off standby”. Someone answers by linking to your site. When someone else comes along looking for issues with Sony TV’s, they’ll find your site. Then they might find your comparison chart, or your 1080p vs 720p guide. Since they’re looking for more information, you keep giving them information and your site makes a sale, and gets a link. Win-win for you and the person you helped.

Do you know of other ways to find long tail keywords?