By Andrew Lindsay

Long tail keywords can be a bit challenging. There's no doubt about that. It can be tough to organically fit them into blogs, and often times they're highly targeted to a subtopic and/or niche.

For example, "cooking the best pizza in an oven," is obviously going to exclusively target people who are looking to cook up their own pizza using their own oven. On the other hand, "best pizza" will pull in visitors looking for recipes, ideas, or maybe even a new pizzeria to try out.

However, because they're a bit more challenging, there's usually a lot less competition for long tail keywords, which means they represent excellent opportunities to pull in web traffic. What's more, people searching for long tail keywords are often much farther along in the buying process, which means that they convert better.

If you think you're up to the challenge and want to capitalize on these SEO opportunities, you need to do your research, and you need to do it right. Here's how.

Competitor Analysis

It's more than likely that some of your competitors have been taking a crack at some long tail keywords, and may even be ranking on them. Fear not, though, because this makes your job a little bit easier. Check out their meta tags, use a keyword density checking tool, and do a general scan of their content to see what long tail keywords they're using, which you can also use.

Forums and Comment Sections

Chances are that people don't exclusively search on Google -- they're also probably looking in forums and comment threads, too. So when you pick out queries on a web forum, you're also picking out long tail keywords. If you have a blog already, check your comments and feedback to see what things readers are wondering, because it's those very same things that you can target as long tail keywords.

Web Tools

Of course, you can also use either a free or paid web tool to help you find some long tail keywords. Google's Adwords Keyword Tool, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools are all pretty useful, but be warned. They're also quite popular and turn out the same/similar keywords no matter what. Whatever they tell you, they're also probably telling your competitors, too.

As nice as it'd be to rank on a simple search term, those aren't the ones that get the most traffic. While one or two word search terms get 30% of all search traffic, the other 70% of people are putting long tail keywords into search engines. Failing to take advantage of them would be a big mistake.

If you have any questions about doing keyword research, feel free to ask in the comments.