In most cases, the top 10 terms provide a lot of traffic, but not nearly as much as the total terms after the top 10 or 20 most popular. Add up the terms that refer 1-3 visits during the month, and chances are, they will add up to more total visitors than the top terms. On closer examination, most sites will have the majority of their business (sales and leads) generated from these terms that are rarely tracked. This is the heart of the long tail - that the length, or total number of low-number referred terms outnumbers the height, or the total of top 10 terms.In practical terms, targeting the long tail is about adding descriptive words to your content. If you're targeting widgets, you already know you want to work the word widgets into your content. But have you thought about making sure you are adding words to describe things like size, color and price or actions like buy, review and sample? Good SEO writing is no longer just about creatively and subtly working keywords into your content. Now it's about targeting the long tail by adding less-searched for, yet still important qualifiers to your content.
In other words, the terms that are most popular, most managed by site owners, are rarely those that provide the most business. In most studies, the success of the site was from the hundreds or thousands of referrals outside of the most popular terms.
"Joe's Vintage Autos has your dream car! We carry hard to find American cars from the 60's and 70's. Visit our online database and photo gallery to view our latest inventory.Long tail targeted text:
"Joe's classic car dealership specializes in rare corvette convertibles and muscle cars that harken back to the glory days of American made hot rods. Imagine yourself driving down the highway in a bright yellow 1972 corvette convertible while the wind blows through your hair. That's the dream we deliver here at Joe's classic car dealership. "Search our extensive online database of classic cars, or visit the showroom and take one for a test drive."Now, you may be thinking "how in the world does she expect to target all those keywords on one page?" The answer is, I don't. In the little snippet above, I'd be actively targeting the phrases "classic car dealership" and "corvette convertibles." But thanks to the use of descriptive words like "rare," "American made," "hot rods," "bright yellow," and "1972" the site would also have a great shot at drawing traffic from really specific keyword searches.
Specializing in weddings, our unique creations set us apart from other cake shops. Our staff works with each bride to create the wedding cake of her dreams. We use only the highest quality ingredients and materials, which brides are free to sample!Long tail targeted text:
The Crumb Shop is located in Hubbard, Ohio and has been creating unique and inspired wedding cakes for Northeast Ohio weddings for more than a decade. Our skilled cake designers spend time working with each bride to create the wedding cake of her dreams. We have existing relationships with banquet halls in Hubbard, Brookfield, Youngstown, Girard and Austintown. We also deliver anywhere in Trumbull and Mahoning counties. We're happy to offer a free tasting and design consultation for local brides in our shop on Main Street in downtown Hubbard. Call 330-555-CAKE to schedule your appointment.The bakery example has been rewritten with the local long tail in mind. While the majority of people still tend to search on a broader geographic scale (say "Ohio weddings" or "Columbus wedding cake") there are long tail phrases that focus in on specific towns and cities. If you are a local business and you aren't addressing long tail locations in your site copy, you may be passing up potential business. The example above not only targets "wedding cakes" but also targets one state, two counties and five specific cities.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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