What are Long Tail Keywords? Why Should You Care About Them?

What is a "long tail keyword" - and why should you care? First of all, it's a phrase used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) circles, and it's something that is used to try and reach higher in Google Search Results (as well as Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

What is A Long Tail Keyword? 

Long Tail Keyword: 3+ Words
Simply put, a "long tail keyword" is a phrase using 3 to 5 words, could be more, that appears in web content more than once, syncing with the future searcher who may well enter that same phrase in the Google Search Box when researching a particular subject matter.  (You may also hear things about "long tail marketing," etc.)

There are lots of "long tail keywords" in legal writing and in legal blogging (blawging). Right now, for example, the Boston Marathon Bombings are very recent and the phrase "search and seizure" is getting lots of Google traffic (33,400,000 just now).

Other phrases that are getting lots of interest today (according to Google Trends):

  • 2013 NFL Mock Draft (71,000,000 hits) 
  • Katherine Russell Tsarnaev (spouse of the slain Boston Marathon Bomber)(111,000,000 hits)

Why Should You Care?

There will be SEO Experts who throw this phrase at bloggers and lawyers as part of a strategy to get more traffic to the site.  Not to worry: for most legal writing for the web, the "long tail keyword" is a given:  most law firm blog writing includes long tail keywords automatically.

For instance, writers will write about -- and readers will surf for things -- that involve long tail keywords without stopping to consider that SEO is involved.  Long tail keywords often include:
  • case names 
  • legal phrases
  • names of parties
  • names of judges
  • legal jargon 
When writing for the web, many lawyers will automatically include long tail keywords in their piece without knowing they are doing so, especially when their intended readers are other lawyers or legal professionals with the legal savvy to be surfing for similar vocabulary.  Easy peasy.