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The Long Tail of Search ? The Bulk of Your Search Engine Traffic Lies in the Long Tail

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Author: Ken Lyons

Long tail search engine marketing is a strategy where you target visitors who are searching on less frequent queries. What's compelling about the long tail of search is that it often contains the majority of searches and traffic for a website. Most people don't know it, but the amount of long tail (and mid tail) search queries dwarf more popular head search terms. Making the case even stronger for adopting a long tail approach to search marketing is the evidence that searchers are becoming more advanced. When running searches, more and more people are typing three or more keyword queries into search engines. So exploring the long tail of search only makes sense for todays search marketers. Benefits of Long Tail Search Marketing Now that you know more about the long tail, let's look at how specifically long tail search marketing can help your website.

Grab more action-oriented customers. As searchers cycle through the buying process, their search queries become more specific, long tail phrases. Instead of searching for the keyword mattress, as they get closer to a purchase they are searching for highly specific phrases like Buy Sealy Posterpedic Mattress. That's the long tail at work. Rank higher in the search engines. Niche terms are easier to rank high for than more general terms. By targeting long tail terms, you give yourself more of a chance to rank higher for those phrases.

Distinguish yourself from your competitors, If you're in a competitive query space, you can drill down to search terms that are super niche phrases, thereby separating yourself from the pack and dominating your long tail query space. How to Find Long Tail Keywords Conducting keyword research for long tail keywords can be difficult. It's important to get it right so you can effectively target these queries in the search engines with a greater degree of success. Target the wrong long tail queries, and everything you do with your search marketing efforts could be for naught. So where do you find long tail keywords to target? Keyword tools, There are a ton of free keyword tools on the Web that can give you an idea of the long tail terms people are searching on.

These tools give you some rough estimates of traffic numbers and suggest keyword variation to optimize for. Competitor sites Look at your competitors. What keywords are they optimizing their web pages around? Chances are, if your competitors are targeting these long tail phrases, these keywords likely bring in traffic and sales and may be worth competing for. Log files One of the BEST places to find long tail keywords is your own search data, which you'll find in your websites log files. Here, you'll get an accurate report of which keywords searchers are using to find your website in particular. Since these are keywords that are proven to bring traffic, these are the most germane to your search efforts.

Conclusion: Make the Long Tail Work for You By taking the road less traveled, you can create a ton of great traffic and conversion opportunities for your business website. The key is to find your niche, target the right long tail keywords and apply your research to the content on your website. Doing this is an effective way to ensure that your website reaches a new market and whole new audience.

About the author: WordStream provides Dynamic Keyword Management Solutions for search marketers who are looking to target head, mid and long tail keywords, through a full suite of PPC and SEO Tools that perform keyword analysis , keyword research, keyword discovery, Web analytics and keyword grouping.

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