It can be hard to be a new blogger because no one knows you exist. Yes, you can tell family and friends about your blog and they can spread it. But while that might be a good start, it’s not a long-term plan for success.
By now, you’ve probably learned that traffic from Google and other search engines, also called “organic traffic,” can be a great way to earn exposure for your blog. How can a smaller, more recent blog like yours compete with the giants of internet?
You can target long-tail keywords.
In this post, we’ll explore what they are, why they’re so powerful, and how you can take advantage of them.
What you will learn today is extremely important but if you’re in a rush at the moment, don’t sweat it! This post can be pin for later.
What are Long-Tail Keywords and How Do They Work?
Simply put, long-tail keywords are more specific and less popular searches than big websites, which makes them less likely to be competitive.
Here’s an example, based on data from my favorite SEO tool Ahrefs:
The keyword phrase “how to lose weight” gets an estimated 125,000 searches per month. That’s huge. There are dozens of websites competing for this real estate. In fact, this search has a “super hard” competition rating of 85 out of 100.
You might think that means there’s no point in writing about weight loss as a new blogger — at least not if your goal is organic traffic.
You would be wrong, thankfully. Because there are many long-tail keywords options that still bring in decent traffic, but with less competition.
Here are a few:
Searches per Month
Competition Score (0 – 100)
How to lose weight
How to lose weight fast and without doing any exercise
How to lose weight in your thighs
How to exercise with bad feet to lose weight
How much sodium should you consume daily to lose weight?
Notice how the longer, more specific searches tend to be much less competitive — yet they still bring in enough searches to serve as a meaningful stepping stone toward growing your blog.
A single article can rank for multiple keywords. These three keywords phrases could be targeted by the exact same article.
“how to lose weight without working out” (4,700 searches per month)
“how to lose weight without exercising” (19,000 searches per month)
“how to lose weight fast without exercise” (30,000 searches per month)
This is pretty cool!
So, now that we’ve covered the general idea, let’s talk about where you can find long-tail keyword ideas for yourself.
Where to Find Long-Tail Keyword Opportunities
I mentioned earlier that I’m a big fan of Ahrefs, a popular SEO tool, for keyword research. But it is a premium platform — and priced accordingly. For new bloggers, that’s not always a practical solution.
Ahrefs also offers a tool called Free Keyword GeneratorYou can type in keywords and see basic statistics about similar alternatives.
With this handy tool at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to finding exciting long-tail keyword opportunities. But before we wrap up, let’s take a quick look at a few categories of long-tail keywords you might want to explore.
As we’ve already seen above with the weight loss examples, “how to” posts are a great place to look for long-tail keywords because you can almost always get a bit more specific and targeted.
Here are three other categories of articles you might like to consider.
1. “Best This for That” Posts
“Best of” articles are popular among readers because they can be very timesaving. Bloggers love them as they often lead to revenue opportunities for affiliates. But what can you do if the “best of” keywords you find are too competitive? Answer: Search for long-tail alternatives.
For example, let’s say you want to write an article about the “best podcasts.” That keyword gets 46,000 searches per month, and it has a competition score of 53 — that makes it a very challenging topic for new sites.
But “best podcasts for writers” has a competition score of only 13. And no, it doesn’t get 46,000 searches per month, but it does get 500 just for that one exact term, which could make this long-tail keyword a real and meaningful opportunity for a new blog.
2. “Cheapest” Posts
Along the same lines of the previous point, since so many people are competing for “best of” real estate, another pivot you can make is writing “cheapest” articles.
For example, let’s say you write about food or food delivery. “Best food delivery services” gets 1,700 searches per month, and has a massive competition score of 77. But “cheapest food delivery service” has a competition score of 38 — and it actually gets more searches per month!
2. “Worth It” Posts
When shoppers are considering a new product, they’ll often search for an online review in order to get a second opinion. They can also be very competitive because review keywords are great opportunities for bloggers. But don’t worry. It is possible to get around this with some long-tail creativity.
For example, “Blue Apron reviews” gets 3,500 searches per month, with a competition score of 34. Meanwhile, “is Blue Apron worth it” has a competition score of only 24 — a full 10 points lower. Even though it gets only 450 searches per month for this keyword, 450 people could be worth it.
You now have a game plan for growing your blog’s organic traffic, which is very exciting!
There’s a lot more to SEO than what I’ve been able to cover in this short article, but I hope you now understand the unique power of long-tail keywords, especially for new bloggers. They’re a great way to get in front of new readers and begin to grow your digital empire. Good luck!