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The Truth About Google Ads Long-Tail Keywords

What is a Long-tail Keyword?

It’s a keyword that you would target which usually has about three to four words or more. That’s how most people would define it.

So instead of just targeting a keyword like “chiropractor”, you are targeting keywords like “chiropractors in Philadelphia who accept insurance”. The idea is that by targeting long-tail keywords, there will be less competition, and you will pay less per click.

Now from what I can tell, this idea originally came from the Search Engine Optimization world. And when we’re talking about SEO, it’s true that you probably couldn’t rank a website for a keyword like “chiropractor”, but you might be able to rank a website for something like “chiropractors in Philadelphia who accept insurance”.

For SEO, long-tail keywords do make sense, but the same idea does not apply to Google Ads. It doesn’t work that way with Google ads because of keyword match types.

Let’s say you target the word “chiropractor” as a broad match or phrase match keyword. Now if someone searches for “chiropractors in Philadelphia who accept insurance”, that search is possibly going to trigger your ad…just like it is for everybody else who’s targeting the keyword “chiropractor”! The competition is exactly the same! So your cost-per-click isn’t going to be any lower simply by targeting that phrase as a long-tail keyword. And as a side note, if something gets searched for fewer than 10 times per month, Google doesn’t let you use that keyword anyway.

Let’s see what they have to say about this:

If you have a keyword in your account that’s getting fewer than 10 searches per month, Google is going to tell you that “People don’t search for this term very often, so it’s not eligible to show your ads”.

So if you have an account full of nothing but long-tail keywords, your ads are not going to be shown as much as they should be if you’re also targeting shorter keywords. The idea that you can find a bunch of long-tail keywords that nobody else is bidding on (and you can add them to your campaign to get more traffic at a lower cost per click), that’s just a flawed idea. It does not work that way.

Now there are reasons to use long-tail keywords. For example, the keyword “chiropractors in Philadelphia”, that’s probably going to be worth a lot more to a chiropractor than a keyword like “chiropractors”. The “chiropractors in Philadelphia” is a lot more specific, that person is more likely to be in need of a chiropractor right now.  That means we probably want to bid higher for that keyword so that we can try to get as much traffic from those keywords as possible. The only way to bid differently for these searches is to actually add them as different keywords. So even if you’re targeting a short keyword like “chiropractor”, you’ll benefit by adding keywords like “chiropractors in Philadelphia”, “chiropractors near me”, and so on.

Bottom Line:

Long-tail keywords are EXTREMELY helpful when it comes to controlling your bids, but they aren’t a way to find magical hidden keywords that nobody else is bidding on.

If you want to see the easiest and quickest way to add hundreds of long-tail keywords to your Google Ads campaign, check out my Keyword Burst software. It lets you make a list of keywords and a list of location names (or some other type of modifier), and it combines all of them together in every possible way. You can control the match types, organize different ad groups, and all kinds of other cool stuff.

Keyword Burst is part of my Adleg Software Suite. Here’s the link for more information: