How to identify long tail phrases

| December 6, 2009

Five ways to help you identify long tail search phrases

  1. Analytics software: Either use a dedicated programme or analyse your data yourself to find which long tail phrases people are currently using to find you. Bear in mind you need a decent chunk of data to get statistically relevant analyses
  2. Google Suggest: Not what it’s designed for, but Google Suggest comes up with really cool ideas using current data from the web’s most popular searches
  3. Keyword research tools:  There are loads of free keyword research tools online. It’s their job to help you create automatic lists of relevant long tail options
  4. Ask other people: “What would you type into Google if you were looking for a…?”
  5. Use your imagination: Do all of the above then shake your imagination hard and bring everything that falls out to the party

Once you’ve got a decent list you can winkle out your strongest options with a Venn diagram.


  • Revisit your long tail phrases regularly to make sure you’re on the ball and up to date
  • Get empirical evidence to back your assumptions – test long tail phrases to identify the most profitable

Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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