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Long Tail Keywords: Answers to Popular Questions About Long Tail Keywords

What are "Long Tail Keywords"?
Long Tail Keywords are search terms that typically contain three or more words. For example: "vintage silver necklace". They are sometimes referred to as "niche" keywords. These search terms are not searched as often as "broad" or "head" keywords, but are popular because many people are able to use long tail keywords to dominate a niche and make a decent income from using these keywords in their listings.

So why is it called "long tail"?

It is called long tail because visually it looks similar to the long tail that you might expect to see on a dinosaur. The "head" is a small set of search terms that have very high search volume, but the tail is a much larger set of search terms that are searched very infrequently. Unlike the dinosaur, there is no obvious line that separates the head from the long tail queries.

What is so special about long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords are often searched by people at the end of their decision making process: when they are ready to buy.

To explain how this is so using very simple keyword examples, let's look at a typical decision making process that a shopper goes through:

  1. Research: person gathers background information and starts to conduct research. Typically they use broad search terms like "necklace" or "gift for her".
  2. Comparison: person now knows what they want to buy, have started to filter out unwanted items and are now comparing the remaining listings. At this stage, they may be searching for something like "silver necklace".
  3. Transaction: this is when the person knows what they want and they are ready to buy. Here, they are searching for very specific terms, for instance "vintage silver necklace".

As you will see by the simple examples above, as a person gets closer to buying they will typically get very specific with their search terms and use longer phrases of 3 or more words.

Picking good long tail keywords and optimizing your listings for them can help get your listing in front of people when they are ready to buy.

Below you can see where "necklace", "silver necklace" and "vintage silver necklace" appear on the search distribution chart. While "vintage silver necklace" is not searched very often, it can still be very beneficial because of its high purchase intent. Additionally, this search term has 1/20th of the competition that "necklace" has. Win-win!

How to find long tail keywords

Since Etsy don't tell us what their most popular search terms are, it is very hard to find long tail keywords. People may try Google Keyword Planner, Bing Ads Intelligence Tool and other places. If you are an EtsyRank PRO member, the Keyword Tool will now show you where your keywords appear in the Long Tail Graph, like in the example below. Additionally, we also include a Search Trend graph, which can help you determine if a search term is increasing in popularity, steady or declining.