The Future of SEO: Long Tail Keywords

Getting traffic from the search engines is a great way to scale website traffic, for free. The quality of the visitors are high and it doesn’t cost like paid ads. But the biggest challenge for marketers is getting good rankings on the search result pages.

Getting good rankings for competitive keywords is extremely hard. The website needs to have a good domain authority and relevant backlinks from trusted sources. That cannot be created overnight.

However, you need not wait forever to start tapping into high-quality search engine traffic for your relatively new website. Instead of trying to rank for short-tail keywords, rank for long-tail keywords. You will start ranking faster, because there is less competition in the long tail.

In this article, I want to show you some of the strategies that I’ve used to tap into the search traffic from long tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are highly competitive and have a lot of search volume. Long tail keywords have low search volume, but there are many possibilities.

A good thing about long tail keywords is that the quality of the traffic will be better than the ones from short-tail keywords. That’s because the internet users who search with long tail keywords are deeper into the buying funnel than the people who search for short tail keywords. The following graph makes it clear.

Someone searching for “digital marketing training institutes in Bangalore” is more likely to sign up for a digital marketing training program than someone who searches for just “digital marketing”.

To scale your search traffic using long tail keywords, you need more content. This increases your investment in content generation. As long as you believe that the investment in the content is going to produce enough returns, you can go ahead with it.

Digital Deepak Case Study

Let me show you a case study from my blog. I target a lot of digital marketing training related keywords. My potential customers are searching for such keywords and I would like to convert them into a customer by bringing them inside my funnel.

For a one-man brand like mine, it is pretty hard to rank high for the keyword “digital marketing training” due to the high competition. So I target long tail keywords which my potential customers are searching for.

“Digital marketing training in city X” is one such type of long tail keyword.

Some of the keywords that I have targeted are:

  • Top digital marketing training institutes in Delhi – My blog ranks #1
  • Top digital marketing training institutes in Mumbai – Ranks #1
  • Top digital marketing training institutes in Ahmedabad – Ranks #1

There are a lot more cities that I am yet to cover. Though I am promoting my competitors in these articles by mentioning their training programs, I am still getting my target audience to visit my blog. This audience, looking for training in Mumbai might be interested in my online courses.

A percentage of them will convert into email subscribers for my free digital marketing course. And a good percentage of them will buy my courses. Let’s see how one such keyword has performed.

If I search for “top 10 digital marketing courses in Mumbai”, I rank #1 in the organic search results.

I have not done any manual link building for this article at all. I have not even shared this article on social media. The competition for this keyword is low and my domain authority alone is enough to get this page ranked on the top.

Someone else might not be able to rank such a keyword for a brand new website. I agree that I have more domain authority. But that webmaster can go further down the long tail and publish an article on the topic “Digital marketing training in Worli, Mumbai”. Since there is almost no competition for that keyword, he will easily rank No.1

There is no limit to how long you can go on the tail, but the longer you go, the lesser would be the volume of search traffic & easier would be ranking them on top.

Content for Subscribed Audience vs. New Audience

Note that the article on Mumbai digital marketing courses is not a post but a page inside WordPress. No one can navigate to this post from my blog because I have not published this article for my existing audience.

Only people who search for it on the search engines will discover this article. And that’s all I want. These people will discover my brand for the first time and enter my funnel.

I do not want to publish it for my existing subscribers because not all the subscribers would be interested in this content & it will create too much content clutter.

I publish one or two high-quality articles per week on my blog, like this one you are reading right now. Less is more, for my existing subscribers. I promote such high-quality articles across all channels like Facebook Group, Facebook Page and my email list. This helps me keep my brand on the top of my subscriber’s mind.

If you are reading this right now, you are mostly a subscriber than a search engine visitor. It will be very hard for me to rank this particular article high on the search engines for the keyword “long tail seo”. Though I will not complain if it does 🙂

Calculating ROI on Long-tail Content

Creating content costs money. The returns are not immediate in this case because I do not monetize my blog with display ads. Then how do I justify the investment made in the creation of this content?

Let’s have a look at the numbers from my Google Analytics. Here, you can see that this page on Mumbai digital marketing courses has got 31.5k unique views over the past two years and 27.7k unique views.

I convert around 13% of my visitors to email subscribers. That means that from this article alone I would have got 2,700+ email subscribers over the period of the past two years. If I have a page specific campaigns using OptinChat, then I might be able to convert as high as 25% of my visitors into subscribers.

I spend around Rs.10 – 20 for every subscriber via Facebook Ads. So every subscriber is worth at least Rs.10 to my business. When I launch courses, I would get an ROI from this investment.  If I can get the same quality subscriber from some other source for a lower cost, then its a huge profit for me.

This article has given me 2,700 subscribers at least, until now, over the past two years. And it will continue to give me more subscribers into the future. Acquiring 2,700 subscribers using Facebook Ads would have costed me Rs.27,000 in ad cost.

I invested only Rs.2,000 to get this article written by a content writer. That’s a 1250% return on investment over a period of 2 years.

Now I can do the same for every major city in India and tap into the high quality targeted traffic that is available out there on the web. The cheaper I acquire quality subscribers, the higher is my profit margin when I launch my courses.

The Long Tail Concept

The long tail is not limited to SEO. The concept of the long tail has been there for quite some time and exists in retail and e-commerce business as well.

Amazon was able to beat other traditional book stores because Amazon has “unlimited shelf space”. 

A traditional book store can only store so many books on their shelf, so they only store the best selling ones. This is the short tail. High demand, popular, known to everyone. Let’s say, for a book to qualify to be on the shelf of a typical book store, it needs to sell 500 copies a month.

Amazon stores all their books on warehouses which are away from the city. There is no shortage of storage space, so they can store even books which sell only 50 copies a month.

More than 50% of Amazon’s book sales come from the long tail topics, which are large in number but each topic will have limited demand.

Amazon is a disrupter in the books space and they used the concept of long-tail. They competed with well-established book stores like Barnes and Noble, and crushed them. All with the power of long-tail.

If you want to compete against the big websites, focus on the long tail. Competition in the long tail will be low. Big players will not focus on niches because the market size is not big enough for them.

The long tail, with so many possibilities, together can sometimes be bigger than the short tail, as seen on Amazon’s case here. That’s why long tail is the future of SEO.

There is also a book called The Long Tail by Chris Anderson which is an entire book only on this topic.

As the book’s title says, the future of business is all about selling less of more.

Have more product options, sell a little bit of everything.

And the future of SEO is getting less traffic to more number of pages on your website.

Together, the total traffic will be more than the short tail keyword traffic that your well-established competitors get.

I hope this article gave you ideas and inspiration on how to tap into the long tail keyword possibilities available on the web. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

73 thoughts on “The Future of SEO: Long Tail Keywords”

  1. Great explanation Deepak!

    I have already targeted long tail keywords that have low search volume like around 300 – 400 searches volume but traffic that comes to my website from Google is quality traffic because I am fulfilling searchers needs that they are looking for and they easily convert through my post.

    Its slowly helped me to improve my domain authority and now I reached mid-level domain authority means whatever I will target mid-longtail keywords so I can easily get ranking.

    I agree with Deepak, For start-up based company should start first from log tail keywords by understanding their problems and needs instead of target high volume keywords.

    • Thanks Sarfraj for the comment. Glad to know that you agree with the views and long-tail strategy has helped you as well.

  2. True, there is no point wasting time trying to rank high for short keywords. Only biggies will be able to do that.

    One question though, how do I know whether there is sufficient traffic for the long tail keyword? For example, Google’s keyword research tool shows there are 1000 monthly searches. Is that a decent amount to target?

  3. Very informative article Deepak. Thanks for uncovering your knowledge on long tail keywords and I hope you keep doing the good work. Peace.

  4. Deepak,
    Very well explained and in digestible format.
    I hang up around many top marketer’s blog but the way you are giving knowledge in india based market is really priceless because the niche “Long tail” is very less talked in keyword world on internet.
    My mind is planning a website in my topic along with tooo many long tail based evergreen content above 3000 – 5000 words long. Which will provide me continuous traffic life long as your’s in this article.
    Thanks a lot Deepak for your deep long valuable points in this

  5. Nice article Deepak. I want to know what should be the long tail keywords I should target if I want to start with sports blogging.
    Can I get more insight into it?

  6. Thank you for this wonderful article on Long Tail Keywords sir.
    I have learnt a lot through your free online course and made a website on song lyrics.
    I’ll try using long tail keywords to rank my website higher now.
    Thank you

  7. Hello Deepak,
    You are doing great work!!
    Your posts has really helped me a lot in learning about digital era. Also I agree about the Long Tail concept that here your target audience gets more specific & relevant; so increasing the volume on bottom on the funnel.

  8. Hello Deepak,

    Excellent article with facts. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article in digital marketing space.


  9. This idea Google has taken from the COLON Classification scheme
    invented by the father of Library & Information Science in India.
    Dr. S. R. Ranganathan was a great Mathematician in his early life, then he shifted to the Library & Information Science & was the Chief Librarian of the Madras University. Google teaches this classification system basic ideas, that is Colon Classification scheme invented by Dr S R Ranganathan. We are proud of him, I am also proud that I am also a Medical Librarian & also a Doctor. Dr N C Ghatak.

  10. I’m very new to digital marketing! As in… 0 knowledge! The furthest I’ve gotten is SEO lol soooo how can I get paid for having a blog site?

  11. Hi,
    A good tactics to get business for big companies. Location wise long tail keyword pages will help companies that have outlets/branches across India. Together these pages will bring a reasonable traffic to website.
    Thank You,

  12. DEEPAK,

    But will this long tail keyword strategy will work in Real Estate sector because long tail keywords are generic keywords for which CPL for paid marketing is very high rather than specific keywords.

    In this case do we should concentrate in Long tail keywords.

  13. thanks deepak for the great article sharing the information.i am using short tail keywords my website but ranking position is not well,but i will try now onwards using long tail keywords..

  14. I have already said this Long Tail Keyword Strategy to my manager and he argued with me that it doesn’t fit for future purpose. But now I have the proof in the form of this Article to show it to my Manager.

    Thank You So Much, Deepak Sir for sharing the valuable information!

  15. Hi,

    Thank you for the article. Very informative indeed. My query is with respect to the content for subscribed audience vs new audience.

    The article in question about the training institutes in Mumbai, you said is a page in your website and not a blog post. Should I infer that the posts you create for your subscribed audience is not something you use to market and rather create different articles for marketing purposes to the new audience?

  16. Hi Deepak,

    Such wonderful article about long-tail keywords. Even I also used the same strategy to my clients to generate the more business as well ranking.

    Share such kind of information.

    Harshad Rawool.

  17. Deepak,
    Thanks for sharing this. I am learning huge from you but how can I get the suggestive long tail keyword.Yes I know that if I type a keyword in google,google automatically suggest some thing which can be called as a long tail.But I want to know that is there any process where I can find the long tail keyword of a normal keyword.Like mango is a keyword then how can I find the long tail keyword of mango.

  18. Its My Pleasure to thank you so much for forwarding More deatails on Digital Marketing Related Aspects such as SEO , Funnel System of Getting More Traffic & also About Optin Chat System here .
    Many thanks for your Kind Service / Information regarding Digital Marketing Dear Sir Deepak Kanakaraju Bangalore . This is Albert J Dberta ( Ex- Manager JR of M/s KIOCL Bangalore ) reporting to you with many thanks .

  19. Hello Deepak,

    Thanks for this great article… I really learnt a lot.

    I have a question,

    Please who or what company pays me the ROI.

    Will the ROI commission or revenue be paid by Google or what?

    can you enlighten me on that a little.



  20. Hello Sir,
    This is a great article. I have some doubts. I have checked the search volume of above mentioned 3 keywords in GKP but these don’t have any kind of search volume. So my question is how it is beneficial to target keywords which don’t any searches.

    Thank You Sir.

  21. I agree with your i got result from long tail keyword..moreover if we are focusing on short competitive keyword ,we have to invest much more time to optimize the long keyword but at the same time we only need to invest half of this time to optimize more than one long tail less competitive keyword.Love your idea deepak ji

  22. Hi Deepak Sir

    You told that “top 10 digital marketing courses in mumbai” have low competition but i checked this keyword have high competition and Avg. monthly searches is 10-100. Is this type of keyword give good traffic ?

  23. Your content always inspire me. Weldone deepak you can do better and thanks for giving us what many like you monetize for free. God bless you bountifully

  24. Thanks for sharing the article. I personally write articles for my blog and choose long tail keywords time to time.

    But, I can’t find interesting topic to write on. What would you suggest I can do?

  25. Hii Deepak,

    This is the first time, I have visited your website.

    I am really impressed by the way of writing. & the content is also very useful.

    Keep posting so people can learn too much from you!

  26. This is such a nice article. Build brand awareness using Digital Marketing and Social media. Even though Social Media may not have a direct on your sales, it does influence the decision making path of your customer. It is a great way to reach out to your prospective customer and grab their attention much earlier in the sales process.

  27. wow! great post. I have a tech blog I have been focusing more on long tail keywords which have started ranking and bringing now more traffics than before. it is really easy to rank a post with long tail keyword with some little effort. Thanks again for this great post.

  28. Hi Deepak,
    This is really very valuable information. Thank you for sharing it with us and explaining the whole concept so clearly. This is an ideal guide in the long tail keywords, and the case study makes it all the more interesting. Digital marketing aspirants will surely benefit a lot from this article.

  29. Great article.this is very helpful article and informative. Your article motivates beginners and this article teach me how to get traffic with long tail seo thaks.. keep up good work brother.

  30. Thanks deepak for giving information on long tail keywords. If you can make video on how to do a proper research on long tail keywords it will very helpful for beginners like us.

  31. Hi Deepak,

    Great tips on Longtail keyword. It is a very helpful article.
    Yeah, I also realize the potential of Longtail keywords. The longtail keywords are not much competitional so it does not require much effort to rank on the first page.
    Thank you for sharing this great article!

  32. Thanks for the article, Deepak. I think long tail keywords are going to grow ever more important. Voice searches and longer, more accurate queries are probably the reason for it.


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