How to Use Google to Find Long-Tail Keywords

Google can help you find long-tail keywords. For most small marketers hoping to rank a website in the search engines, long-tailed keywords are essential. Common, popular keywords are too competitive and the best way into the search engine is through low-competition keyword phrases.

Keyword research software is expensive and often beyond the reach of marketers with a restricted budget. For those marketers, the best available resource for long-tailed keyword research could be Google. Here are techniques for using Google, and its free tools, for long-tail keyword phrase research.

1. Google Adwords External Keyword Tool

This keyword research tool can be found at:

Enter the keyword you would like to rank for into the tool and let it search. The keyword tool will collate a list of keyword variations and synonyms. Concentrate on the “Global Monthly Search Volume” column and make a note of all the keywords that have between 200-500 global monthly searches. These are the keywords you have a chance of ranking for. Try to select keyword phrases that are 3-4 words in length, if available.

2. Google Search

Now you need to enter each one of those keywords into Google and perform a search on each one. Enclose each keyword phrase in quotes (““), so that the results are for the long-tailed keyword phrase as a whole and not just any page that contains the individual words at random.

You are looking for the number of pages that use your keyword phrase (i.e. “Displaying 10 of 23,000”). Keep the keywords that have between 25000 and 35000 competing pages – this shows that there is enough competition for the market to be profitable – but not so much that you would have trouble ranking.

3. Check for Optimized Competition

Your main competition will be the results that use your keyword phrases in their domain name, page name, page title, or have links to the listed page that used the keyword phrase as anchor text. You will need to check for these factors for all the long-tailed keyword phrases you have left on your list.

Selecting one keyword phrase at a time, use these 3 different Google search operators (in the search box NOT the address bar) and enclose your keyword phrase in quotes (““) after the operator.

  • allinurl:
  • allintitle:
  • allinanchor:

Now discard the keyword phrases that have more that 50 competing pages for any of these terms and you will be left with a few long-tailed keyword phrases that will be easy to rank for.

Additional Tip: On-Page SEO

Now you have keyword phrases you can rank for, you need to optimize your website.  Pick the best long-tailed keyword phrase and use that for the domain name of the site. Use it in the website title, page name and include it in the page content (in the H1-H3 tags and bold, or italicize, it in the content body). Then start adding some backlinks, using that phrase as anchor text. You can use the other keyword phrases in the internal pages of the website – use one keyword phrase per page.

These methods may take a bit of time, but if you do the research correctly and narrow down your keyword phrases and find low competition, you could soon have a website ranked first page on Google and the other major search engines.

Guest author Daniel Offer runs the Chit Chat for Facebook and recently wrote about Facebook Status Tips. You can also submit guest posts and share your Google tips.


  1. Andrew @ Blogging Guide says:

    There is a tool called Market Samurai that can do this for you – pretty fast. There is a paid version of the tool but the free version allows you to carry out keyword research.

    One more rule to include IF you want to make an income – ensure the keyword phrase is being used to sell ads. It gives you an indication that people who do search using the keyword phrase term then go onto purchase something. Market Samurai does this for you as well.


  2. vinayakg says:

    Google Adwords External Keyword Tool is a good option. no doubt

  3. Deb Van says:

    Well, I followed these directions and got to step 3. How the heck are you ever going to find less than 50 competing web pages. Using this process, there were still 50,000 competing pages! Maybe you can explain further.

  4. Dan Suleiman says:

    yeah, Market Samurai is pretty good. +1 vote for that one!

  5. Antonio Gallo says:

    What kind of search mode do i need to use on “Google Adwords External Keyword Tool”: broad, phrase or exact?

  6. Carla Easley @ how to work at home says:

    Google keyword tool has really helped me find some keywords but I always found it hard to find long tail keywords. I’ll give your tips a try to see how many long tail keywords that I could come up with. I appreciate your advice

  7. Jenny says:

    Really interesting post, I’m still learning about keywords and seo etc, so will definitely be looking into some of these. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *