how to find long tail keywords using google keyword tool

Google’s Keyword Tool is a great resource for finding keywords that generates a lot of searches. The tool is primarily designed for Adwords users in order to find keywords that you want to advertise for. However, content producers can also take advantage for this tool to find out what keywords are being advertised for.

Long tail keywords are useful for both content publishers and advertisers. Let’s see how you can use this tool to find long tail keywords…

Firstly, you will need an Adwords account to access this tool.

  1. Log in to your Adwords account
  2. On the top menu, click on Tools
  3. Select Keyword Planner option in the drop down menu

Or you can directly access the tool using this URL:

Using the Seed or Head Keywords

Now, you will see several options in the page. Click on the first option which states: Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.

The first thing you need is a set of keywords. These are keywords that describe the general idea about the product, service or the post topic that you have in mind. These keywords can be as general or generic as it can be. It is usually an one or two word keyword. I call these the seed or head keywords.

As an example, let’s consider the set of keywords that deal with digital cameras. An ideal set of keywords might be: camera, digital camera, dslr camera, camera lens etc etc.

It helps if you already have an idea about the type of keyword you are looking for. Also, have a general idea about the monthly searches you are looking for and the length of the keyword. Let’s say for this example, we are looking for a keyword with more than 4-5 words and about 1000 searches a month. But don’t worry too much about it as this is not really required.

  1. Enter the keyword camera into the first text box (your product or services) and click Get ideas.
  2. Click on the tab Keyword Ideas. (we are not looking for ad groups here)
  3. Click on the Avg Monthly Searches column to sort by searches

google keyword planner tool

A simple trick to easily narrow down the option is to select the option to show only closely related ideas. On the left hand side menu, you will see the option Customize your search and Keyword options, which is where you can set this configuration.

  1. Click on Keyword Options section.
  2. Then select the option only show ideas closely related to my search terms
  3. You will see the blue button turned to On
  4. Click on Save

keyword planner search options

Now, we see that the term dslr camera tops the search. Let’s add this to the camera keyword and search again. It gives the following results, best dslr camera topping the list. We see several other potential searches: dslr camera prices, canon dslr camera, nikon dslr camera etc etc…

search results in keyword planner

Now search for best dslr camera, and we see several long tail keywords: best dslr camera for beginners, best nikon dslr camera etc.

We can try even more, let’s try best nikon dslr camera as our search term. We see best nikon dslr camera for beginners, best nikon dslr camera for photography etc. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of search traffic for these keywords. It is probably best to stick with the keyword that we found the previous step: best dslr camera for beginners etc.

Ok, it goes with out saying that you need save these long tailed keywords as you go. Write it down or save in a text file or something. We can now go back try each of the keywords that we found in the first step when we used camera as the seed keyword. Let’s try dslr camera price.

We see another long tailed keyword, with around 5400 searches: dslr camera prices in india. Now, just rinse and repeat. Plug in every single keywords that you found in the previous steps to further narrow down the searches.

Using the competitors’ webpages

Now, it is possible that you are out of ideas altogether. Either you have run out of ideas, wrote highly optimized pages for all the keywords or you have exhausted the list of keywords you initially had. Anyways, you can use your competitors (or any page on the web) to get ideas.

  1. Go back to the Keyword Tool Page
  2. You will see the option: your landing page. It is the second text box
  3. Enter the page url that you have into the text box.
  4. Click Get Ideas
  5. Click on the tab Keyword Ideas and Sort by Avg Monthly Searches

I have used the webpage ( as an example, just because it was the latest on Mashable when I put this together. Let’s say we are selling headphones or optimizing for headphones here.

keyword planner search headphones

We see several keywords that has the potential to be seed keywords: Sounds Effects, Noise Cancelling Headphones, beats studio etc. Now, go back to the technique we used earlier, and start entering these as seed keywords.

Use the Category or Niche

In addition to the above starting points, you could use your niche or category as the starting point for keyword tool. Go back to the Keyword Tool Page.

The third box on that section is a drop down menu of categories that you can select from. Click on the drop down and select the category that is most appropriate for the topic you are researching. You can filter the list by just typing your category.

Let’s try by typing camera into the box. We see the following categories and sub categories. We will select SLR camera for this example.

keyword planner niche search

By now, you should know how to get to the keyword page and sort it. :-). Now, we see more keywords with a good amount of search results. Pick out several of the keywords that looks good to you and start searching with these as the seed keywords.

We see that nikon d3200 and nikon d3300 are highly sought after search queries. Try these keywords as the seed and see if you can get to some long tailed keywords that you can target from there.

The trick to using the Keyword Tool is getting hold of some good seed keywords. Some that you might already know of, otherwise you can always use other webpages and categories to get them.