Increase Your Traffic By Focusing On Long Tail Keywords

by Gary on August 3, 2007 · 11 comments

in Keyword Research

Long Tail keywords aren’t actually your conventional keywords like “web designer” or “copywriter” or “pole dancer”, they are sometimes complete sentences. For instance, a lawyer looking for a web designer for his law firm may search for “web designer for law firm” instead of merely “web designer”, or someone looking for a pole dancer in New England will most likely search for “pole dancer in new england” rather than just “pole dancer”.

The fundamental focus behind Long Tail keywords is that instead of focusing on a few highly competitive keywords for your niche, you should also optimise for longer, less competitive phrases that can easily catapult your website to the first page of the SERPs. This I have noticed even while trying to optimise blog posts. I have often observed that it’s easier to rank higher for blog posts containing the entire search term expression. For instance, if you search for “tips to boost seo” on Google our post appears (at least as of now) on the first page. You can observe many similar expressions.

Why Long Tail Keywords Mean More Traffic

I’ll try to explain it with an example. Suppose you have optimised your website for “web designer” and you are getting, say 1000 hits per day because your link appears on the first page of the SERPs. Please keep in mind that “web designer” is a highly competitive word and you have to make a lot of effort first, to get there, and then, to remain there.

What if along with your primary keyword, you select 15 Long Tail keywords that will fetch very little traffic individually, but lots of traffic collectively? Since Long Tail keywords face little or no competition, it’s very easy to get a good ranking for them, and in fact, a lot easier than obtaining a good ranking for a highly competitive phrase like “web designer”. If you appear on the first page for almost all your Long Tail keywords and each Long Tail keyword fetches you say, 100 odd hits everyday, you’ll be getting 1500 hits all in all, and they will be more relevant because people are more likely to do business if they find a website for the exact phrase they are searching for. What if you can optimise for 30 Long Tail keywords? You can easily do the math.

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  • BeachBum

    I understand the concepts of long tail and have read the book. Most of my current traffic is long tail, but I think even that will slow down as more people get indexed for 5+ word combinations.

    BeachBum

  • Bespeckled SEO

    I agree, especially for sites with lower to medium PageRank, it’s virtually impossible to make it in the top 3 pages on Google for highly competitive keywords.

    Good advice!

  • Chase

    Dude I totally dig the long tail keyword vibes! I’ve learned how to use them well by writing a bazillion articles with things like “Southern California Drunk Driving DUI Lawyer” as my keywords. The other day I wrote an arb post looking at those paid surveys, and I got the following hits from Google:

    “paid online surveys south africa”, “online surveys for money south africa”, “how to make more on paid surveys,”

    and my personal favorite:

    “how to get money paid to you paypal instantly off surveys”, – although where the guy came up with this one, I dunno.

    All I can say is that if I know exactly what I’m looking for, I type in as many keywords as I can. That’s all I’m saying.

  • SEO Carly

    I agree, and i actually get more traffic from my long tail keywords then most the page one terms with big competition.

    For instance, page 1 for “Internet Design Company” from 330 Million results and it brings virtually no visitors. Yet long tail specific keywords with 1 or 2 million results bring dozens of visitors per day.

    Not only that, the traffic with long tail traffic is alot more targetted.

  • Chase

    I don’t get a lot of traffic from search, but almost all of it is long-tail keywords. In fact, i’ve pretty much stopped optimizing on a large scale for small keywords, as the SEO articles fields are just way too competitive.

    I’d rather have fewer visitors a day from highly targeted long-tail keywords than lots of visitors who opened up 10 other blogs like mine in separate tags and are closing them one at a time after reading headings.

    Now if only I could get at the blogger server logs to see how long they chilling on my page…

    • Gary

      Do blogspot not provide stats?

      • Chase

        Haha, good one:)
        Blogspot is for total noobs – something I didn’t know when a friend recommended it. It’s fine for me because I don’t know any code, but I use feedburner to tell me stats.

        It doesn’t give me a lot though, but it does tell me origin of visit, clicks etc and since it’s all a great big psychological experiment anyway I’m not too concerned.

  • Chase

    Oh ya and as for being “indexed for 5+ keyword combinations” – I really think this is unlikely. Think of dice:

    If we each have 2 dice, what are the odds of us throwing the same 2? I know there’s a lot more to consider with keywords, but if we’re going on chances then we’re in the same ballpark.

    Compare to the odds if we each had 5. There will never be as much competition for long tail keywords, because there are just too many variations.

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  • Dana Wallert

    I’ve also recently begun optimizing for long tail for several of my sites. Logically, I would agree to a point with Chase’s comment above about what are the odds of optimizing for the magic random phrase that someone will type in, but I’ve found that using both Google’s webmaster tools, my own stats log and Hittail’s free long tail service…that it’s pretty easy to figure out the best long tails to go for, and what is most likely a one in a million search phrase.

  • ITjobfeed.com

    I’ve implemented a strategy where I collect my top 1000 single keywords , and then create lists
    with combinations of related topics -, so you would have “car” as your main keyword , and then you could have “car ” and so forth