Long tail keywords are the key to short-term success.  A long tail keyword with little competition and significant traffic means immediate success. But one thing that people don’t realize is that there is more than just low competition and traffic.

In a previous post about keyword basics I explained already that a long tail keyword consists of a sequence of keywords that contains the master keyword. Thus, instead of targeting “widget”, you target “long blue modern widget”, or something similar. But what most people don’t realize is that at the same time its targets all substrings and all words inside this long tail keyword.

Long-tail keyword

Long-tail keyword


I am always surprised to see that people do simply not understand how valuable this is. For example, take the long-tail keyword “foreign used cars for sale”. It has a global monthly traffic of just 480 searches. But do you realize that the individual segments constitute keywords of their own? “foreign used cars” has 3600 monthly searches,  “used cars for sale” has 1.5 million, “cars for sale” has 6.1 million, “used cars” has 11 million, “foreign” has 16.6 million, “cars” has 151 million and “for sale” has 185 million global searches/month. So this measly long-tail keyword targets in reality over 372 million searches/month.

Now, it is true that words such as “cars” have a ferocious competition. But while you build up your SEO for this long tail keyword, you are also improving your ranking in the searches for “foreign used cars”, which is much more achievable. And also for all other keywords that I have mentioned before. That it’s a very long shot? For these high-competition keywords, yes. But that needs not to be true for other search terms.

So, when you select your long-tail keyword, ensure the following:

  1. It has low competition
  2. It has significant traffic
  3. It contains inside other related keywords that also have low competition and significant traffic

Select this kind of long-tail keyword, and you will see how your SEO effort multiplies itself without doing anything else – because every single time you will be promoting all those keywords at the same time!

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