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Optimizing for Long Tail Keywords

Today we are going to take a look at optimizing for long tail keywords, and why this should be an important part of your SEO campaign.

When we talk about the long tail keyword, many people dismiss optimizing your site for these phrases.  The most commonly cited reason is that they simply don't have enough search volume. Is that really true?

Well, it's time to rethink that, and we're going to tell you why.

Recently we attended a niche SEO seminar, and one statistic really caught our attention.  When looking at keywords in general, there are typically your "core" keywords, then the long tail keywords.  The "core" keywords are your ultra competitive keywords and phrases.  Additionally, these are the high volume keywords. Example:

"Core Keywords" : Dentist
"Long Tail Keywords": Reliable dentist in Singapore

For the average niche, only 20% of all search volume comes from the top 10 "core" keywords, the other 80% of the traffic comes from the long tail keywords.  That's the bulk of the available traffic, 80%.  Why aren't we capturing that huge amount of traffic?  Because we are overlooking the long tail keywords.

For many businesses and individuals, there is a budget for advertising, and for every business, there are other, bigger fish out there with a larger budget.  Those budgets are invariably going after the top ten or "core" keywords in that particular niche.  Everyone in your niche wants to rank well for the same keywords, making those core phrases ultra competitive.  The more competitive your niche, the more work you will need to do, and the more money you will need to spend to rank well for these core terms.

Now I'm not saying you should abandon your high volume "core" keywords, but think about this.  75% of internet searchers do not leave the first page of the search results.  So if you are not on the first page of Google for your term, 75% of searchers will never have a chance to see your site.  If you're not on the second page, that 75% grows.

Instead of spending all of your efforts focusing on the large keyword phrases, spend some time going after the long tail phrases.  These are phrases with less search volume, but also less competition.  Ranking at the top of the search engines for "bachelor degree in communication" will be much less time consuming than ranking for "degree".

Let's take a look at another example below:

Short Tail Keywords vs Long Tail Keywords

Additionally, the modifiers that make these phrases "long tail" phrases actually will increase your conversion rates.  If you are selling weather resistant red widgets, you may only get 20 people to your site for that term, as opposed to the higher volume you would get if you ranked well for "widget", but those 20 people will be highly qualified leads, and will convert at higher levels.

The sum of these long tail keyword phrases is massive, and ranking well very quickly is a huge benefit of going after this traffic.  If you have not been going after the long tail keyword traffic, give it a try.  Your conversions will likely be better, you will rank more quickly, and over time, you can drive a lot of traffic with this technique.

Keep an eye out for more helpful hints, tips and ideas to generate traffic and rank better in the search engines.  As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.