The Benefits of Applying Long-Tail Keywords for PPC

@Nicole | Conversion Optimization, Search

In PPC campaigns, long-tail keywords can be just as successful and important as shorter keyword phrases. Long-tail keywords tend to contain at least 3 or more words and are more specific in topic and scope. Though these words often have lower search volumes, they are less competitively ranked and will have a lower cost per click.  Therefore, long-tail phrases can be an area of opportunity for your businesses to take advantage of a targeted customer market. Combining quality long-tail keywords with shorter keyword phrases in search campaigns can boost click through rates and your campaign’s quality score.


Long-tail keywords offer high quality search queries, a necessity for successful PPC campaigns. Individuals who use a long-tail phrase know exactly what they are searching for and will be more likely to click and convert if your landing pages are optimized for those keywords.

Developing quality long-tail terms rather than over-engineered phrases is key to avoiding potential pitfalls when utilizing this PPC approach.  There are 4 elements to long-tail development that can help you identify proper keywords relevant for your search optimization and that will help you improve overall campaign performance.

Recognizing Long-tail Areas of Opportunity

    1. Create Search Term Performance Reports
      Adwords offers performance reports during the lifecycle of your PPC campaign. One is the Search Term Performance Report, which identifies all phrases searched that led to clicks or conversions for your campaign. This is a great place to start digging for long-tail keywords. With people having searched using terms that are not already within your keyword list, you have a ready-made list of potential areas for keyword expansion. Furthermore, long-tail keywords are coming directly from users, improving the odds of finding quality additions for your campaign.
    2. Include Descriptive Terms
      Add additional terms to your existing keywords such as the product, model or type that will further describe the keywords. If someone is searching for a specific product or service that your business offers, creating long-tail keywords with descriptive terms can offer direct access to a new customer base to your site.
    3. Find Location Related Terms
      Use your existing keyword list and add localized terms. These can range from country, state, city, or zip code. If your business operates in a specific location and services are offered only in that area, localizing can assist in targeting your desired audience.
    4. Explore Your Website
      Your website still offers a viable place to find long-tail keywords, just like it offers a place to find shorter keyword phrases. As opposed to other sources, your website offers longer, more detailed descriptions of your products or services that will be quality search phrases for customers.

The largest drawback to long-tail additions is the evaluation keyword performance; individual long-tail keywords cannot offer precise return data. It is often difficult to correlate ROI through a single keyword as one is unlikely to receive a lot of volume. Instead, these keywords should be examined as a whole to understand if the overall cost exceeds the number of conversions. Long-tail keywords should not be producing a high cost with little benefit to your campaign.

If applied correctly to your PPC campaign, your business can see positive growth in conversions and quality leads through the simple addition of longer, targeted terms. Long-tail keyword expansion can be a great way to broaden your paid search campaign in a low cost way.

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