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.

Share with friends

About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.