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Discover Profitable Long-Tail Keywords in 2024 with Semrush

Selecting the right keywords is crucial for getting traffic to your website and ranking high in search engines. Targeting long-tail keywords with low competition but decent search volume can help drive targeted organic traffic. In this article, we’ll look at how to find these “golden” long-tail keywords in 2023 using Semrush.

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are more specific multi-word phrases that users might search for, such as “best places to hike with dogs near me” or “how to make homemade pasta sauce.” They are longer and more specific than short head terms like “hiking” or “pasta.”

The advantage of targeting long-tail keywords is that they drive very targeted, relevant organic traffic. There is also usually way less competition for them compared to short head terms. This makes it easier to rank well in search engines with decent content.

Why Use Semrush to Find Long-Tail Keywords?

Semrush is one of the top SEO tools that provides detailed keyword data and analytics. Here are some of the key reasons it’s great for discovering lucrative long-tail keywords:

  • Huge keyword database: Semrush crawls search engine results pages to find millions of keyword ideas. This includes many specific long-tail variations you may not have considered.
  • Search volume and competition data: See monthly search volumes and keyword difficulty scores for terms to gauge interest and competition levels.
  • Click-through-rate data: Analyze real CTR data from search engines to find keywords users are more likely to click on.
  • Related keywords: Get suggestions for additional long-tail options related to any seed keyword.
  • Filters: Filter keywords by search volume, CPC/CPA, competition level and more to pinpoint the best opportunities.

Below we’ll walk through exactly how to leverage these features to surface profitable, low-competition long-tail keywords with Semrush.

Semrush vs Ahrefs - Which is Better for Long-Tail Keywords?

Keyword database size71M+ keywords207M+ keywords
Search volume accuracyGoodBetter
Keyword difficulty accuracyGoodBetter
CTR dataYesNo
Position trackingLimitedFull position data
Backlink analysisDecentMore in-depth

Both Semrush and Ahrefs are excellent for keyword research. Ahrefs has a larger database and its keyword difficulty and search volume data is more accurate overall.

However, Semrush provides unique CTR metrics that Ahrefs lacks. And it has a full featured SEO toolkit going well beyond just keyword research.

So Semrush may be the better choice if you want CTR insights or a broader feature set. But Ahrefs edges it out on pure keyword data quality.

Step-by-Step Guide to Find Long-Tail Keywords with Semrush

Follow this simple step-by-step process to surface low competition long-tail keywords that could drive targeted organic traffic to your site:

1. Enter a Base Seed Keyword

Start by entering a short head term or phrase that’s relevant to your content focus into Semrush’s keyword tool. For example, if you have a blog about hiking you might start with “hiking” or “hiking gear.”

This will pull up all keyword ideas related to hiking.

2. Filter by Keyword Difficulty

Next apply filters to narrow down keywords by their keyword difficulty (KD) score. This estimates how hard it will be to rank for a term.

  • Try setting max KD between 0-50 to surface long-tail keywords with low/medium difficulty
  • Can also filter min volume over 10/mo if you want keywords with some search volumeThis will exclude high competition keywords and surface easier long-tail opportunities.

3. Scroll to View Long-Tail Suggestions

Browse through the filtered keywords and look for very specific long phrases with high CTR and commercial intent. Here are some examples for “hiking”:

  • “best hiking spots southern california”
  • “hiking trails with waterfalls washington state”
  • “dog carrier backpack for hiking with large dogs”

Review each suggestion and look for keywords relevant to your content pillars and topics. The longer and more specific, the better typically.

4. Export Keyword List

Once you’ve compiled a list of promising long-tail candidates based on difficulty, relevancy and CTR, export them by clicking the dotted icon next to each one and choosing “Export.”

Or optionally click “Export all results” above the list to download the full filtered data.

5. Create Content Around Keywords

Now it’s time to start creating content around these long-tail keywords!

Focus your content on providing comprehensive value around the exact phrase to maximize relevancy. Answer the query and cover related questions to create pillar content that ranks.

Also include secondary long-tail keywords sprinkled through naturally to hit other opportunities.

Following this process you can continually mine Semrush for fresh new long-tail keywords in your niche to target with new content. This will help you attract laser targeted visitors through search engines vs more general terms.

Tips for Ranking Long-Tail Keywords

Here are a few bonus tips for actually ranking your content for those long-tail keywords:

  • Optimize H1 & subtitles: Include keyword verbatim in H1 and sprinkle into subtitles.
  • Internal links: Cross link related content around secondary long-tails.
  • Anchor text: Use related long-tails as anchor text for internal links pointing at the content.
  • Page speed: Images, scripts and hosting impact page load speed which impacts rank.
  • CTR optimization: Use keyword in title/meta description and create engaging preview snippet.

Getting long-tails to rank does not require massive backlinks either if the competition is low enough. Just focus on nailing on-page SEO and some internal links from related posts.


Why should I target long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords allow you to tap into very specific search intents with less competition. This drives targeted organic traffic from rankings that are easier to achieve than short head terms in most cases.

How long should a long-tail keyword be?

Ideally long-tail keywords are 3-7+ words and very specific to stand out from short head keywords. For example “hiking trails bay area with waterfalls” vs just “hiking trails”.

Can I rank long-tail keywords without many backlinks?

Yes, long-tail keywords often don’t require massive backlinks to rank if the competition levels are low enough. Just focus on nailing on-page optimization. Backlinks will help but are not always necessary.

What CTR should long-tail keywords have?

Look for long-tail keywords with over 5% CTR, meaning at least 5% of searchers are clicking through to the SERP result. Higher CTR indicates commercial intent and willingness of users to click.


Using Semrush to find low competition yet decent volume long-tail keywords is a proven SEO tactic. It allows you to surface ultra specific queries that drive highly targeted organic traffic.

Hopefully this guide provided a framework for discovering and targeting new lucrative long-tail opportunities in 2023. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

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