The long tail of search can be a mysterious place to explore, often lacking the volume data that we usually rely on to guide us. But the keyword phrases you can uncover there are worth their weight in gold, often driving highly valuable traffic to your site.
In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, Rand delves into core strategies you can use to make long tail keywords work in your favor, from niche-specific SEO to a bigger content strategy that catches many long tail searches in its net.
Now, for those of you who might not be familiar, there’s basically a demand curve in the search engine world. Lots and lots of searchers are searching for very popular keywords in the NBA world like “NBA finals.”
Then we have a smaller number of folks who are searching for “basketball hoops,” but it’s still pretty substantial, right? Probably hundreds to thousands per month. Then maybe there are only a few dozen searches a month for something like “Miami Heat box ticket prices.”
Then we get into the very long tail, where there are one, two, maybe three searches a month, or maybe not even. Maybe it’s only a few searches per year for something like “retro Super Sonics customizable jersey Seattle.”
Now, this is pretty tough to do keyword research anywhere in this long tail region. The long tail region is almost a mystery to us because the search engines themselves don’t get enough volume to where they’d show it in a tool like AdWords or in Bing’s research.
Even Search Suggest or related searches will often not surface these kinds of terms and phrases. They just don’t get enough volume. But for many businesses, and yours may be one of them, these keywords are actually quite valuable.
2 ways to think about long tail keyword targeting
#1: I think that there’s this small set of hyper-targeted, specific keyword terms and phrases that are very high value to my business.
I know they’re not searched for very much, maybe only a couple of times a month, maybe not even that. But when they are, if I can drive the search traffic to my website, it’s hugely valuable to me, and therefore it’s worth pursuing a handful of these.
A handful could be half a dozen, or it could be in the small hundreds that you decide these terms are worth going after even though they have a very small number of keyword searches