Search results pages are crowded these days, all vying for a spot at the top. If you want good placement for a simple, generic search term, you're going to face a lot of competition.
That's why it's important to target lengthy, highly-specific keywords, also known as long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are usually well-thought out search queries that tend to take the form of questions, phrases, and sentences. They are especially valuable in retail because their high specificity indicates high purchase intent. Moreover, it's much easier to rank for long-tail keywords versus their short-tail counterparts, as they comprise 92% of all keywords typed into search engines.
Most people use Google Keyword Planner to get ideas but it's limited in that it refers more directly to paid search data. There are plenty of other long-tail keyword tools that you can use for uncovering opportunities to rank in organic search.
The content strategy tool makes it easy to discover keywords with suggestions based on relevance, competition, and popularity. What sets HubSpot's tool apart is a focus on content topic clusters, which search engines prefer.
This tool also actively monitors your optimized content to ensure it's still relevant over time (helping you understand when changes need to be made).
2. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a top tool for long-tail keyword suggestions because it generates common questions asked about your seed keyword (the keyword you input initially) on social media, blogs, and forums.
It also offers comparison keywords, which can provide excellent opportunities to rank in relevant search. Check the "versus" section of Answer the Public for your keyword and you'll be surprised by how many people do searches about X vs Y (ie: Instagram vs Snapchat).
As comprehensive as the keyword suggestions are, one downside to Answer the Public is that it does not provide search volume data. Without this information, which you truly need to make informed decisions, the Pro version isn't quite worth the money compared to some other long-tail keyword tools on this list.
SEMrush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit, primarily known and used for their keyword research feature.
SEMrush makes it easy to search for keywords and find their rankings in all the major search engines. Other useful features include keyword searching based on geographic location, as well as competitive intelligence around what keywords your competitors are targeting. These benefits are limited to paid subscription plans, but a free trial is available if you want to test it out before investing.
KWFinder is perfect for beginners but still valuable to more advanced bloggers.
KWFinder offers a clean interface and a quick search feature that can generate hundreds of low-competition keywords relevant to your site. It also pairs each keyword with an SEO difficulty score, helping you to understand if it's realistic for your site to rank for a given term.
Since KWFinder is a paid tool, subscribers also benefit from advanced features such as SERP (search engine results page) analysis, rank tracking, and filtering results. You can test drive these features when you sign up for a free trial.
Keep in mind that KWFinder is Google-SERP oriented, so use a different long-tail keyword tool if you need keywords optimized for other search engines.
5. Keyword Tool Dominator
The Keyword Tool Dominator uses the autocomplete feature of different website searches to identify ideal long-tail keywords.
To help visualize how it works, start typing a search query into Google search and take note of the suggestions that appear. These suggestions are indexed by Keyword Tool Dominator, which the company leverages to provide up-to-date long-tail keyword ideas.
Besides offering suggestions for Google search, Keyword Tool Dominator can also provide insights to optimize for search on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and YouTube.
While Keyword Tool Dominator is very basic, it's also completely free to use.
Sometimes keyword tools give nonsense results that are difficult for writers to use in their SEO content. Instead, Wordtracker focuses on delivering the most relevant keywords from Google, Youtube, and Amazon. Wordtracker is celebrated for its ability to provide organized data files that are easier to read and understand than the messy spreadsheets some other tools provide as an output option.
Wordtracker's "niche explorer" can help you to identify keywords that are trending in your industry, filtered by location and search engine. If the process of conducting keyword research is new to you, make sure to check out Wordtracker Academy — a wealth of information for SEO beginners.
Wordtracker Academy, niche explorer, and up to 12 searches can all be accessed for free. If you want more searches and additional functionality, you can sign up for a free trial that leads to a paid subscription.
Once an independent keyword tool, Ubersuggest has been acquired by Neil Patel and since became notably more powerful.
Ubersuggest now includes a domain overview that provides information regarding what's working for your competitors, backlink checking, and content suggestions with keyword searches.
Ubersuggest's keyword suggestions are based on Google SERPs and Google Ads data. The SERP analysis feature gives an overview of the top 100 sites that rank for a term, and the keyword overview shows search volume data over the last 12 months.
It's free to use Ubersuggest with limited results, but you can take advantage of a free trial to see if the advanced features included with the subscription price are worth it.
LongTailPro is an all-in-one SEO tool that has come a long way from the keyword-research desktop application it once was. It's especially useful for finding long-tail, high cost-per-click (CPC) keywords for your paid ads campaigns. It's ideal for taking one seed keyword, then finding every related series of long-tail keywords.
Some additional features of LongTailPro include:
Competitor keyword research
Daily keyword tracking
Keyword-rich domain name finder
Rank value that determines keyword profitability
This suite of unique features isn't free, but, like many other long-tail keyword tools on this list, LongTailPro offers a free trial to test out functionality.
SEcockpit is often compared to LongTailPro because they offer similar features. To be more specific, both use Moz and Google Keyword Planner as main data sources and offer a keyword competitiveness rating and filtering option.
What sets SEcockpit apart is that it's more geared toward SEO professionals (versus users optimizing for paid ads campaigns). With their keyword suggestions, you can choose to include synonyms from Google Ads, Google Suggest, Amazon Suggest, YouTube Suggest, and Google Related Searches. It displays these results alongside competitor data for comparison, and you can add additional parameters to get more relevant suggestions.
SEcockpit offers agency-level subscription plans.
10. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox, making it one of the most convenient long-tail keyword tools on this list.
Keywords Everywhere adds widgets to Google SERPs that display related keywords and "People also search for" keywords. It includes data for monthly search volume, CPC, and competition.
11. Google Trends
If you need to find the most popular keywords right now (or in the past), look no further than Google Trends.
With Google Trends, you can find out if interest in a particular keyword is growing or declining and stack two keywords up against each other to see how their popularity compares. You can also filter interest according to regions and subregions, which is useful when you're targeting a specific geographic area.
This is an incredibly simple (and, as a result, limited) tool from Google that is completely free to use.
Long-Tail Keyword Tools
As ranking for search engine results become extremely competitive, long-tail keywords are your saving grace. In general, they are more specific than short-tail keywords, carry more purchase intent, and are much easier to rank for.
Amp up your content strategy with the help of these long-tail keyword tools.
Once you've got a good handle on your keyword strategy, get the all-in-one marketing and lead form plugin for your WordPress website to convert your inbound traffic into customers.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 14, 2020 5:00:00 AM, updated May 15 2020