In their bid to attract customers many businesses chase search phrases used by lots of people. I’m talking about phrases such as ‘car insurance’. These could be thought of as headline search phrases.
The problem with this approach to securing web traffic is the competition for these headline search phrases is often intense and website owners can spend a lot of time and money chasing them, often for little or no return. In short the competition is just too stiff.
So what to do?
Along with headline search phrases there are many more search phrases used less frequently but when added up their total exceeds those of the headline searches. This is referred to as the long tail of search but let me explain by using our earlier example of ‘car insurance’.
Let’s say there are 2000 searches every day using the term ‘car insurance’. Along with these searches there will be searches such as ‘need to insure my car’ or ‘cheap way to insure my car’. Added together these long tail searches represent the majority of searches relating to car insurance.
These phrases are not referred to as long tail because they are long, they are referred to as long tail because they are used infrequently. It’s perfectly possible for a long tail phrase to be short!
At this point you might be thinking the way forward is to find lots of long tail search phrases and create pages optimised for them. You’d be wrong. This is a common misunderstanding with respect to long tail search and although some people believe this approach is valid I’m not one of them, and this is why.
By definition long tail search phrases are not used very often. If a phrase is used often it’s not a long tail search phrase, no matter how long the phrase might be. Remember, the term long tail doesn’t refer to the length of the phrase!
So by now I’m hoping you are wondering just how you can include a long tail strategy in your search marketing efforts.
The secret to securing long tail search traffic is simple, it’s content, lots of content.
By creating lots of great content you will be using lots of long tail search phrases naturally. This doesn’t mean you should be researching long tail phrases and adding them to your content in the way you might if you were chasing headline search phrases, it means you should just write naturally. By doing this you will use phrases people use when searching and over time your pages will attract search traffic.
This approach to search marketing requires commitment. You need to decide you want to add some value to the subject you’re involved with, but it’s a strategy that will not only send you valuable traffic, it’s widely accepted long tail traffic can be extremely valuable, but it will also build your site’s perceived overall value and authority.
In a competitive on-line world a long tail strategy is well worth considering and hopefully this information will help you to create a successful one.
About The Author:
This is a guest post written by Dave Robinson. Dave Robinson is the managing director of Scottish web firm Red Evolution. When he’s not doing web stuff he can be found either ballroom dancing, playing the drums or fighting fires.