how to use google suggest to find long tail keywords

If you are using Google Adwords to advertise your products or services, you already know that you need to come up keywords that best describe what you are selling. There are several way you can come up with the keywords that you want to bid for. The long tail keywords is arguably the set of keywords that can give you the best return on investment for the effort.

We will quickly go through some easy ways to get keywords first before detailing the steps of using the Google Suggest functionality. Some of these are more suitable for Adwords users, while the others are suitable for content publishers.

  • Landing Page Content: Assuming you already have a landing page, you should analyze the content on the page and find what keywords the page is optimized on. You can also further optimize the page content to target a specific keyword. The content of the landing page is a good source of keywords that you should target.
  • Generic Keyword: You should have a good idea as to what the most generic keyword is that you want to rank for. The generic keyword might not be practical option because of the cost or high amount of traffic or for several other reasons. This keyword still give you a starting point to track down long tail keywords.
  • Google Keyword Tool: Google Adwords give you a couple of different tools, namely Keyword Planner and Display Planner that allow you to find popular keywords that match your niche or topic.
  • Paid and Free Tools: There are several other tools from third party vendors that provide you with information on Google search data. These tools can be used to get keywords that you want to market or optimize for. A simple google search should show you several keyword tools. UberSuggest is a good tool that I do use often.
  • Google Suggest: This is a functionality built into the google search that suggests other queries as you type on the search box. This allow you to get an idea about popular search queries. You can use this functionality to find popular keywords, especially long tail keywords that can be used.

All of the above can provide you with a good list of keywords and key phrases. In order to market efficiently, you will need to target specific long tailed keywords as well. You will also want to find out which long tail keywords that the users are using to search.

We will just concentrate on Google Suggest in this post. You can use this technique to find long tail keywords for any purpose: for Adwords marketing, creating landing pages or for optimizing your blog posts etc etc.

Using Google Suggest

The first thing to do is to choose a seed keyword. This will usually be the most generic keyword that describes what you are selling. In this post, we will choose an example that I can walk thorugh to explain how the steps or process works. We will assume that you are selling or marketing different types of cameras. We will go about and try to find specific keywords that you should target for this example. You should be able to re-purpose these steps for your own keywords.

The generic keyword in this example is, of course, camera. Obviously there are couple of more keywords (denoting types of cameras) you can come up without any tools such as: digital camera, dslr camera etc all of which can act as the seed keyword.

Now, fire up the google search page in your browser…..

Enter the term camera into the search text box. Almost immediately you will see a list of search queries in a drop down list format. These are the list of popular search terms related to the word that you have entered into the search box.

Google Suggest in Search

Now, our job is to see if there are any search queries in this list that we want to target. The one issue with generic keywords is that it does not always give you the very best of options because it is too generic and popular. In the example above, we do not see any specific queries of interest that we want to target.

Let’s try another much more specific keyword, such as DSLR Camera. Entering the term dslr camera into the search box will give you another list of popular searches related to it.

Google search - dslr camera

So, do we find any interesting queries? Yes, we do. The queries dslr camera deals, dslr camera canon, dslr camera with video all look promising in addition to the others. Remember that you might get a different set of queries than you see here.

Write these search queries down or save them. We can use these keywords for advertising or can be used as seed words later.

Now, select the most promising query from the list which is, let’s say dslr camera canon. This should give you an additional list of queries based on the new keyphrase. Write down or save the promising queries that you would want to target at each step. Doing this repeatedly for several keyphrases or queries will give you a good set of long tail keyword that you can work with.

google suggest search queries

Using Characters to Find Long Tail Keywords

Another trick to follow when looking for long tail keywords is to narrow it down using specific characters. You can enter a word or random character to further narrow down the list shown. For example, you can enter the character ‘a‘ after the keyword dslr camera and review the list of queries that are shown.

long tail keywords in google search

Now, continue this process with the character ‘b‘, ‘c‘ etc…..up to ‘z‘ and you have hundreds of matching queries. Most of them may not work in your context, but many of them will.

Using Words to Find Long Tail Keywords

Instead of the character as in the above section, you can use words such as ‘how‘, ‘what‘, ‘why‘ etc which are some of the common search words regardless of the niche. Using such stop words gives us another set of matching long tail keywords that we can use. So, if you use how along with keyword, you will  something like:

google search long tail keywords

The trick is to keep a running list of key phrases and search queries as you find them in each step. You can use these keywords and then use them again as seed queries to find more long tail keywords based on them using the techniques above.

Depending on your niche, it may not be unusual to find keywords that go up to 5 or 6 words. For example, the search query “best dslr camera for beginners” is 5 words long but still have a good amount of traffic in order to be targeted. The competition may be high, but is surely worth targeting. The Adwords Keyword Tool is a good way to see the monthly traffic for the keywords that you find and want to target. Getting an idea about the traffic can aid you in deciding whether or not you want to pursue the keyword.

keyword planner in adwords

After you have compiled a good number of long tail keywords, you can start to optimize on them depending on your requirement. You can use it in Adwords to target a specific exact match query. You can use it to write a highly optimized landing page and use it along with your Adwords campaign. You can use it to write a blog post if you are a content publisher…etc. etc.


  • Excellent website you have here. I have read a few of your articles today and I am very impressed with the quality of your writing. Your tutorials are fantastic.

    Also, thank you for mentioning the UberSuggest keyword tool. I would have never have known about this great keyword tool if it was not for this article.

    I bookmarked your website and will be visiting again soon. Keep up the excellent work.