Long tail keywords are a type of keyword phrase that has at least three, and some times as many as five words in the phrase. Long tail keywords are used when the website wants to refine search terms to the web page, as well as when the searcher is looking for something rather specific. Like normal keywords, long tail keywords are used to define what is on the web page and what the publisher wants to be found under in search engines and on search engine results pages. These keywords are highly specific, and draw less traffic for the website, but tend to draw more quality traffic, which leads in more conversions than normal keywords. Long tail keywords can also be used by publishers and visitors in different ways.
When publishers are using long tail keywords, they are searching to corner a market that might be smaller than normal, but has just as much potential as other, larger, more exposed markets. Using long tail keywords can also be less expensive when it comes to pay per click biding, and other paid inclusion methods, as there are less people attempting to place bids on those keywords for pay per click ads on search engine results pages. Visitors use long tail keywords to narrow down what they are searching for. When a visitor is looking for “blue fuzzy carrot shoes” it makes more sense to put in the entire phrase than to put in “fuzzy shoes,” “fuzzy carrots,” or “carrot shoes” and attempt to filter out any of the search results that have nothing to do with blue fuzzy carrot shoes.
Working with long tail keywords successfully means that a publisher needs to know which long tail keywords actually get hits or are searched for on the major search engines. Research is the only way to know if long tail keywords will work or not, and that if the smaller investment will still pay off at the end of the publishing campaign. There is also the fact that drawing attention to a particular long tail keyword may also slowly make it more popular, and rising the price of bidding on it eventually.