When deciding which keywords to optimize for, the single most crucial aspect to consider is search intent...

How to Determine Which Long Tail Keywords to Optimize

Consider three elements when refining your list of keyword ideas: fundamental keyword metrics, search intent, and their relevance in your content strategy.

Consider the Fundamental Metrics.

When we investigate the basic metrics of a term, we want to discover how much interest there is in this keyword and how competitive it is. We shall consider two metrics:

  • Volume: The number of persons who search for a keyword on a monthly basis.
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD): The level of competition in a keyword's SERP.

Ideally, you want keywords with a low KD. If you have a new website with limited traffic, a term with a high KD (90+) may be difficult to rank for, and you should prioritize a lower KD option for now.

You also want your keywords to receive a lot of traffic. Having said that, even modest traffic volumes might be beneficial if they are extremely relevant. Twenty extremely relevant searches per month could be significantly more valuable than 200 searchers who bounce because your material isn't relevant to them.

We need to know what searchers genuinely desire when they look up each search phrase now that we have a basic grasp of how competitive and lucrative each keyword is. Then we can assess whether they are truly relevant to our post or not.

Recognize Search Intent

When deciding which keywords to optimize for, the single most crucial aspect to consider is search intent. You must comprehend what different searchers will look for when they search the terms you've chosen.

  • Understanding search intent allows you to gain a clear picture of who your searchers are, what kind of material they want, and which topics they want discussed. To accomplish this, you must:
  • Understand the keyword's overall intent (purchase something, learn something, etc.).
  • Examine the SERP to determine what type of material Google believes best satisfies search intent (listicles, Q&A pieces, videos, testimonials, reviews, and so on).
  • Examine the top SERP pages to see what topics they cover. Take note of the H2s and H3s.
  • See what people are saying or asking about this topic on social media and inquiry sites like Quora.
  • Consider what your current audience would expect from this type of material.

If the keyword isn't relevant to your target demographic, remove it. You should now only have relevant keywords. The next step is to narrow down your list of relevant keywords to only those that will work in this specific piece of content.

Determine the role that each keyword may have in your content

You must now identify the long tail keywords for which you wish to optimize your post in addition to your principal keyword. To locate these keywords, you must first determine whether they are primary or secondary keywords, as well as how they will fit into your future content.

To establish the position that each of your keywords could play in your future content, first assess whether that keyword is most suited to being a primary or secondary keyword. The most significant keyword on the page is the primary keyword; it is usually the broader umbrella topic under which your subsidiary keywords will fall. A secondary keyword offers subtlety and detail to your core keyword; secondary keywords cannot or should not be their own article due to a lack of substance, interest, or utility for it to be its own post, so it is best suited to assist a primary keyword.

You most likely discovered several long-tail keywords that would make excellent primary keywords throughout your keyword research. You can now choose to replace your current primary keyword with one of these new primary keywords if they have higher search metrics and meet the search intent you want to satisfy. Alternatively, you may cross them off your current long tail keyword list and add them to your content schedule as future tasks.

In either case, you must understand how to identify whether a keyword should be a primary or secondary keyword. The best approach to find out is to look at its SERP. If all of the top pages are about a single topic, you most likely have a secondary keyword.

If, on the other hand, you see a SERP with pages matching your term, you most likely have a primary keyword.

Before we finalize our keyword list, we need to look at two more items. The first is keyword cannibalization, which occurs when multiple pages compete for the same keyword. When this happens, your pages' ranking possibilities suffer. Remove any long tail keywords that have previously been covered in previous articles.

Finally, you'll decide which subtopics to prioritize in your writing. You can't answer everyone's inquiries; otherwise, you'll end up producing a big, rambling piece that serves no one. So you must select a few.

After you've finalized your long tail keyword list, it's time to understand how to correctly employ them to boost your chances of ranking.

Long Tail Keywords: How to Use Them for On-Page SEO

In general, the effective usage of long tail keywords in on-page SEO boils down to two fundamental principles: include your keywords only where they contribute to user experience.

We can now begin writing after we have completed our outline. Use keywords sparingly, but always keep it natural. Here are some pointers:

  • Where appropriate, include keywords in image titles, alt-texts, and anchor text.
  • Don't be concerned about keyword density; it is irrelevant in modern SEO.
  • If it doesn't damage readability, try to incorporate your most significant long tail term into your title and meta description.

There is a lot more you can do to improve your on-page SEO.

After dealing with on-page optimization, it's time to think about how to optimize at the site level. To do this, we will present two alternative ways for increasing organic traffic.

How to Optimise Your Website

You may boost your domain strength and topical authority by planning ahead of time and learning how to use your long-tail keywords at the site level. This is also an opportunity to use some of the important keywords that you discovered and saved during the research process. By writing numerous articles on a single topic, you can improve the chances of each page ranking.

The Hub and Spoke System

This SEO content method employs long-tail keywords to increase your ranking potential for a short-tail phrase. By creating spokes that target long-tail keywords and connecting them all to a hub article that targets a short-tail keyword, you create a structure that is more appealing to search engines and easier to browse for website viewers.

The Keyword Batch Method

This strategy approaches long-tail keyword targeting from a somewhat different position. Instead of focusing on a hub piece that targets a particularly high-volume, competitive short-tail keyword, you're building strength with each subsequent article by leveraging the compounding impacts of long-tail keywords.


SEO is constantly evolving, and if you want to stay current, you must understand what is currently working to get your work on Google. Long tail keywords are simply one component of the SEO puzzle that you should be familiar with.

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