What is the long tail in long tail targeting?

December 16, 2014 - Digital State Marketing

The terms “long tail keywords” and “long tail targeting” are often discussed within SEO circles but to someone new in the field they have little meaning. They certainly don’t relate to cute, fluffy creatures with long tails.

lemur with long tail

A cute, fluffy creature with a long tail

Here at Digital State Marketing we have created this quick guide to help you understand what the longtail is all about.

If keywords for your website are investigated you will find they come under broad terms such as “ring”. This short keyword describes what you sell but it is very general – there are a lot of variations on the term “ring”. This keyword will form the head of the long tail. If a user goes online they will generally have a specific type of item in mind so they will search for more than “ring”. They may search for “gold ring” or perhaps “gold and diamond ring” or “gold ring online”. These more specific search terms with 3 or more words are what form the long tail.

It is commonly thought that these long tail variations account for around 70% of organic traffic. As a result of this many SEO companies will use long tail targeting meaning they will target the long tail keywords rather than a broad keyword.

Long tail keywords often have less competition than other keywords meaning you are more likely to rank for the keywords and therefore be found by users. This means that even though there are fewer searches you will be found more easily. The table below shows the long tail in action.

long-tail graph

The “long-tail” graph of search traffic volume

It is important that you choose the right long tail keywords for your site.

You want to choose terms with a reasonable number of searches per month and that are very relevant to your site. For example, there is little point in targeting a long tail keyword that brings traffic to your site but isn’t fully representative of your product or services as this will lead to an increase in bounce rate.

If the right long tail targeting is used effectively it should lead to an increase in conversions, with more users going to your site and better rankings.

If you would like some advice on long tail targeting and the benefits it can provide then contact the Digital State Marketing today.