Keyword Discrimination – Why longtail keywords matter

Generating targeted traffic for clients is the ultimate goal for any SEO campaign, but it’s surprisingly easy to lose track of this aim. Often, we try to optimize websites for keywords that could bring huge amounts of traffic, without thinking about whether or not the visitors will convert into customers.

It makes far more sense to find keywords to target that show specific user intent. We call these types of keywords ‘longtail’.

Longtail keywords should be the cornerstone of any good local SEO campaign. Read below to find out more about their use.

What is a longtail keyword?

When we talk about longtail keywords, we’re talking about low competition, low search volume keywords that are variations of broader keywords. So, if ‘Scottish hotels’ is your main keyword, ‘Budget Scottish hotels with a pool’ would be a longtail equivalent.

 Why are they called longtail?

Longtail refers to the shape of the graph that we use to measure competitiveness of a keyword. Popular keywords are at the top of the graph, whilst longtail keywords appear at the end of the graph. They have far less search volume than keywords at the top of the graph, but are also far less competitive.


Why are they important?

Finding longtail keywords has always been essential for PPC campaigns, as they tend to have lower CPC. But longtail keywords are also a vital aspect of any effective SEO campaign, particularly for businesses operating locally.

Longtail keywords present an opportunity for businesses to be found for highly targeted searches related to the services or product that they provide.

The reason that targeting longtail keywords can be so effective is because they catch searchers much later in the buying cycle, and present them with relevant information exactly when they want it and need it.

How are they used for Local SEO?

Imagine you had a small hotel in Blackpool. Trying to rank your website for ‘Hotel in England’ might send lots of visitors to your website and make you feel pretty good about yourself, but the traffic probably wont convert very well. Your visitors might not want to visit Blackpool, and the hotel might be too small for their needs. .

A much better idea would be to target a longtail variation of your chosen keyword. So rather than ‘hotel in England’, we could target ‘small hotel in North West England’. Not only is this keyword far more relevant to the services that you provide, visitors to your site will also convert into customers better. You will only receive a small fraction of the searches that you would receive from ‘Hotel in England’, but the traffic that you do receive will be far more targeted and therefore likely to convert into customers.

How do we use longtail keywords?

The great thing about longtail keywords is that there are so many to choose from – you just have to get creative. We begin every single one of our SEO campaigns with in-depth keyword research, establishing keywords relevant to the services that you provide.

Because they provide very specific services, our work with HPIL has involved targeting several longtail keywords related to their business and the services that they provide. Targeting the keyword ‘orbital welding Scotland’, which receives a handful of monthly searches, we were able to quickly rank them at the top of the first page of Google, sending them targeted traffic every month.



And longtail keywords aren’t just limited to targeting services that you provide. Blog posts can be used to target keywords related to your business, helping to drive relevant traffic to your site. Cobra Security have various blog posts discussing Glasgow nightlife and topics related to the services that they provide, including a popular post targeting the keyword ‘Glasgow nightlife security’.


We create separate pages and posts for every longtail keyword that we target, each packed with unique content that benefits your whole website.

If you’d like us to begin an SEO campaign for your website, feel free to get in touch with us today.