Driving more visitors to your website is what you want as a business owner.  More visitors generally means more enquiries, which hopefully lead to an increase in revenue.

But what if you aren’t seeing an increase in traffic? Or worse still, what if the number of visitors has fallen? Maybe it’s the keywords you are targeting.

Long tail keywords will be your secret weapon and this strategy should most certainly be in your search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign.  But how do you find long tail keywords for free?

If you have a new website, you’ll know that it’s hard to rank for competitive phrases.  Even if your website has been around for a few years, if you are in a very competitive niche, it’s still going to be hard to rank better than your competitors and higher on Google.

Why? Because your competitors are using the same tactics as you are and those that rank well are working hard to do so.

So, if you are struggling to drive visitors to your website, then it’s worth going back to basics.

The first place to start is your keyword strategy, and finding long tail keywords.

You may not have implemented a strategy in the first place, which is an issue I see a lot. If you did implement one and it’s just not working for you, now is the time to review it.

Before we discuss how to find long tail keywords for free and why they are crucial for driving visitors to your website, let’s go one step back to what a keyword is.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a term to describe a word or a group of words an Internet user uses to perform a search in a search engine or search bar.

That is a mouthful.  But all it means is that keywords are the words people are typing into Google or another search engine to find the product, service or information they are looking for.

And remember, a keyword can be just one word, or a longer phrase.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are terms with low search volume.   It has nothing to do with how long or short a keyword phrase is, how well it’s likely to convert or how specific it is.

Long tail keywords are defined by search volume and not because the actual keywords are long or have a certain number of words in them.
But naturally, in most cases, long tail keywords are going to be lengthier since more words often communicate a more specific query.   But this isn’t always the case.

Why are they called long tail keywords?

Ahrefs analysed approximately 1.9 BILLION keywords in their database and found that 92.42% get ten searches per month or fewer.  In other words, the vast majority of Google searches are very specific and unpopular.

If you take the example below,  the term “bed” has a high search volume and has one word in the keyword phrase.  While “double bed with storage drawers underneath” has a much lower search volume.  So, these low volume keywords are called long tail keywords because they lie on the tail of a very long search demand graph.

long tail keyword graph

Source: Savvy SEO

Related: 4 SEO low hanging fruit for non-SEOs

Why are long tail keywords important for your SEO strategy?

1. More likely to convert

Long tail keywords are generally specific, detailed search queries. As already mentioned, these keywords usually have a much lower search volume than short, broad keywords, but also much lower competition.

If we take the bed example above,  the long tail keyword “double bed with storage drawers underneath” is searched much less frequently than “bed”. But the key thing to remember in all of this is that it demonstrates a much more specific search intent.

The first two keywords, “bed” and “double bed” might be informational searches with no intention to actually buy a bed.  But it’s more likely that the person typing in “double bed with storage drawers underneath” is ready to make a purchase.

So, if they come across your site and you sell beds with storage, you’ll have a much higher chance of converting them.

Look at it this way.   A term might have thousands and thousands of searches a month but if none of them buy from you, it doesn’t matter how many searches there are.  A term might only have 50 searches a month, but what if you manage to convert a third of those enquiries?

You’d be happy, right?

2.  Easier to rank for long tail keywords

It is much easier to make your website rank well on search engines for long tail keywords because of weaker competition. In other words, there are fewer websites competing for high ranking.

3.  More visitors to your website

By targeting long tail keywords that are specific to your niche, you’ll attract people who want to buy that product. This means that visitors will stay on your site for longer because they know they’ve come to the right place to get what they want.  A lower bounce rate means a higher ranking and more visibility and therefore more pages indexed.  This all leads to more search engine traffic.

So now you know what long tail keywords are and why they are important. But now you want to know where to find those long tail keywords and for free too.

Where to find long tail keywords for free

There are many places to find long tail keywords for free and this is by no means an exhaustive list. The more keyword tools you consult, the more long tail keyword variations you’re likely to find. But who wants to check in dozens of places anyway?   I’m guessing you are too busy for that.  So, here are 5 ways you can find low competition and low volume keywords and it won’t cost you a penny.

1. Google Suggest

The Google Suggest function is a great way to find long tail keywords.   Simply type in your primary keyword into the Google search box and see what variations Google suggests.

google suggest example

If Google shows you these suggestions you’ll know that it’s a phrase people are searching for.   So, this is a great place to start.  In fact, I always start with this when I’m researching long tail keyword options.

Here you can see that “how to cook rice in microwave” has a lower search volume and is less competitive than the shorter term “how to cook rice”.    While this screenshot is from Ahrefs, where the free version is limited, there are free keyword tools out there to find out what the keyword difficulty and search volumes are.

how to cook rice in a microwave search volume in ahrefs

how to cook rice keyword volume in ahrefs

2. Google’s related searches

The second way to find long tail keywords for free is again with Google.  This time it’s at the bottom of the search engine results page.  These are called related searches.  This will give you even more ideas as to the type of content you could create and ideas you might not have already thought of.

Google's related searches

3. Ubersuggest

Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is a free tool to help you find those long tail keywords.   The free version is sufficient to give you more suggestions, but there’s always the option to sign up for the paid version.   Keep adding long tail keyword suggestions to your spreadsheet.  You might have found enough keyword options to keep you busy for the next few months, but if not, there are more ways to find those long tail keywords.

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are fantastic tools to use.   You can link your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console so if you’re logged into Google Analytics you can see your Google Search Console data here too.

To find the queries that people have already been using to find your site, go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries.   Play around with the data. Change the time frame or search for specific terms such as question words (what, why, how, etc.).

GSC queries in Google Analytics

5. Search in Q&A sites

Question and answer sites like Quora are a great source for finding long tail keyword ideas.  Questions are long tail keywords by their very nature.  If people have questions, they need answers.   In many cases, the answers given to a question lack depth even if there are lots of answers. So this is a great opportunity for you to create a stellar piece of content that answers the question more comprehensively.

So there you have it.  5 ways to find long tail keywords for free.  There’s no excuse now not to create great content.

Want to learn more about long tail keywords?  Ahrefs has a great short video to explain it in more detail.