Using long tail keywords is a good way to attract buyers who are late in the buying cycle. But, it is important to know what those keywords are and how to find them.

Long tail keywords are essentially three or four word phrases that are specific to whatever is being sold. Online buyers who are on the hunt for a particular item will tend to use the exact phrase that spells out specifically what they are looking for. When shoppers resort to this method, they generally become buyers. As a result, creating long tail keywords to suit products can help lure customers to a site to make a purchase.

The online purchasing timeline

According to Wordtracker, online shoppers tend to follow this multi-step process for making purchases:

  • Becoming aware of a product
  • Seeking information about the product
  • Evaluating alternatives to the product
  • Making a decision regarding purchasing
  • Making the purchase
  • Evaluating the product

Ideally retailers want to catch prospective buyers around the fourth step. Since the shopper has decided to make a purchase, they will begin to search it out using some product-specific keywords to target exactly what they want.

Long tail pay-per-click (PPC) keywords rank higher

Due to their specificity, long tail keywords rank much higher than more generic keywords do. The more generic a keyword is, the more competition it will have from sites such as Yahoo as well as industry-specific sites. That could result in having a lot of unnecessary competition for attention from a prospective customer. On the other hand, a more specific long tail keyword can make a site stand among only a few other options for the consumer. For example, a generic keyword for heeled shoes would be “shoes” or “high heeled shoes”. These keywords would product an incredible amount of results. But, using long tailed keywords such as “black wedge heeled shoes” would narrow the results down to a few more specific results.

More pages

The natural result of using more specific long tail keywords is that more website pages need to be created. However, that is a big positive. Google likes websites that have lots of pages because they are more substantial and natural. The best bet to attract a sufficient amount of prospective business is to have a few pages that attract a small amount of traffic and a lot of pages that attract a lot of highly targeted traffic.


It is crucial to do some research on effective keywords. Research is the only way to know exactly which keywords produce enough traffic to make them worth using. It is important to keep in mind which keywords will rank a site higher than the competition’s site. Choose carefully to ensure the keywords specific relate to items or services offered at your website.Overtime this will also help generate much higher volumes of long tail ppc traffic.

Developing long tail PPC keywords

Long tail keywords do not just happen like magic; they need to be developed. Some long tail keywords are fairly obvious but others require a bit more effort. One of the best ways to develop long tail keywords is to incorporate the keywords on a website. Write copy for the website that uses the keywords. Some good ways to do this are writing blogs about it, presenting possible questions and answers about the keywords, and including the keywords in a forum. Anything that can get the keywords into the consciousness of prospective customers is fair game and should be used. As more content is written, and the more it improves, the higher the site will be ranked. Ultimately this should drive more prospective purchasers to your website.

Grouping and managing PPC keywords

It is not enough to just gather a bunch of long tail keywords; they need to be properly organized and managed as well. By organizing keywords into small groups according to shared or similar meaning, a business can more easily reach their target audience. Businesses can find software to help make this organization process easier and more streamlined.

Tips for choosing keywords for better long tail ppc traffic

Businesses that are having trouble coming up with good long tail keywords should try these strategies:

  • Run search query reports that tell which searches brought up your ads.
  • Check out the internal site search to find out what people are using your search bar for.
  • Be sure to use adjectives in your long tail keywords.
  • Localize your keywords.
  • Keep up-to-date on competitor’s keywords.
  • Do basic Internet searches.
  • Check out organic traffic.

There is no doubt that using long tail keywords can help drive quality traffic to a website. Taking some time to determine the right keywords and organizing them in the proper way can help a business grow and succeed. The goal is to reach out to your chosen target market and encourage them to take action.

Online marketing can be a real challenge finding the right mix of tools and channels to best reach your audience. If interested, we offer a free marketing assessment to help identify some key areas of your online marketing that could be greatly improved. Want to learn more? Schedule an assessment with us today.



Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with mid-size, established businesses as a growth and scalability consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel, CA home with his wife Safira and two children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”