The 8 Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords in High Competition Markets

  • February 8, 2024
  • SEO

Long-tail keywords play a critical role in a well-crafted search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. They allow you to hone in on niche markets and cater to specific search intents which often leads to better conversion rates. Since these keywords are typically less competitive, they provide an opportunity for your content to rank higher in search engine results, even when the broader market feels saturated.

Since these keywords are typically less competitive, they provide an opportunity for your content to rank higher in search engine results, even when the broader market feels saturated.

Embracing long-tail keywords in your content not only helps in boosting your search rankings; it also enhances the user experience by aligning with the specific inquiries of your audience.

By focusing on these specific search terms, you’re likely to bring in traffic that has a higher possibility to convert and drive more meaningful engagement and builds sustained growth for your online presence.

Long-Tail vs. Short-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are typically phrases that consist of three or more words. They’re specific, detailed, and often closer to the natural language that users use when searching. While bearing lower search volumes, they have clear advantages: They encounter less competition and usually boast higher conversion rates. These keywords allow your content to resonate closely with users’ intentions and deliver precisely what they’re searching for.

Let’s break it down:

  • Length: Usually 3-5 words long
  • Specificity: Highly specific to user queries
  • Intent: Indicative of users closer to a purchase decision
  • Competition: Lower competition in search results
  • Conversion Rates: Potentially higher due to relevancy

Short-tail keywords, on the other hand, are broad, often limited to one or two words, and highly competitive. They generate more traffic but convert at a lower rate than long-tail keywords.

The high competition for short-tail keywords also means a higher cost per acquisition, especially in paid search campaigns. The narrower focus of long-tail keywords ensures you’re not just attracting traffic, but the right traffic — users who know what they want and are more likely to convert once they find it.

Strategic Advantages of Long-Tail Keywords


1. Less Competition

Long-tail keywords face less competition than broader terms. For instance, “organic coffee shops in Toronto” has fewer competing pages than “coffee shops,” which makes it easier for your content to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs).

This lower competition can be particularly advantageous for new or smaller websites that may struggle to compete with larger, more established sites for popular keywords. Focusing on long-tail keywords, you can see that these sites can find opportunities to appear in search results where they have a better chance of being seen by users who are looking for exactly what they offer.

2. Higher Conversion Rates

Keywords with more specificity tend to have higher conversion rates, as users searching these terms are often further along their buying journey. A searcher looking for “waterproof trail running shoes Canada” is likely ready to purchase compared to one seeking general information.

As highlighted by an article on Content Bacon, long-tail keywords convert at a higher rate than short-tail keywords because they are more targeted towards the searcher’s intent. When your content matches the specific needs and queries of users, it’s more likely that those users are ready to engage, purchase, or take another desired action, leading to better conversion rates for your website or business.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

When using long-tail keywords in paid search campaigns, the cost per click is generally lower. This reduction occurs due to the decreased competition for these precise terms.

An article on DataBidMachine explains that by targeting long-tail keywords, advertisers can reduce competition and CPC, which can lead to more efficient use of their advertising budget. This means that for the same amount of money, you can potentially get more clicks and, as previously mentioned, these clicks are often from users with a higher intent to purchase or take action, which can further improve the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts.

4. Improved Content Relevance

Using long-tail keywords into your content strategy improves the relevance of your content to user searches. This helps attract audiences that finds genuine value in your offerings.

This relevance is rewarded by search engines with higher rankings in search results, as the algorithms aim to provide users with the most pertinent information for their queries. Improved content relevance not only helps with rankings but also increases the likelihood that visitors will stay on your site, engage with your content, and convert, as the content is more likely to satisfy their search intent.

5. Voice Search Optimization

Long-tail keywords are conversational, matching how people speak during voice searches. Phrases like “Where can I find a vegan bakery near me?” are typical voice search queries that long-tail keywords can capitalize on.

When people use voice search, they tend to use natural, conversational language rather than the more traditional keyword-based queries they might type into a search engine.

An article on Pioneer Marketer emphasizes that long-tail keywords align well with the conversational and question-based format of voice search queries. By targeting these keywords, you can increase the chances that your content will be selected as a voice search answer, as it matches the natural speech patterns of users.

6. Niche Targeting

Utilize long-tail keywords to target specific niches within larger markets. They allow you to address particular interests or localities, such as “gluten-free bakeries in Vancouver”, effectively funnelling a focused audience to your site.


When you focus on these specific phrases:

  • You experience lower competition.
  • You cater to users with a higher conversion intent.

With 70 percent of searches falling under long-tail queries, including them into your strategy means you’re aligning with the majority of online search patterns. Remember, most Google searches contain four words or more.

To recap, long-tail keywords can:

  • Boost your chances to rank higher in search results.
  • Connect you with a more targeted audience.
  • Enhance the relevance of your content to user queries.
  • Increase the potential for higher conversion rates.

Adopting long-tail keywords is not just a strategy, but a powerful component of a sophisticated SEO strategy, especially in highly competitive markets. Your diligence in research and keyword selection can lead to significant gains in visibility and engaging the right consumers for your business.

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