Why long tail targeting is more important than ever

February 7, 2014 - Digital State Marketing

There are a lot of clients that still believe that keyword rankings are the be all and end all. Although it is a goal and is of importance, it’s important to remember that the main focus should always be a growth in overall search traffic to your site (and relevant traffic at that). For many enterprise companies, it is the search traffic that originates from “long tail” traffic and not the traffic from their “keywords” that has the best convertible traffic.

So what is “long tail” search traffic?

“Long tail” search traffic is a more specific search – usually niche phrases with less competition and low search volume but, with greater user intent and a position further along the buying cycle than a macro phrase would indicate. A good example of this is “real leather Kurt Geiger black 6 inch heel shoes” – This long tail search offers a higher intent; someone who knows exactly what they want.

To get the most of long tail targeting, one needs to understand the most popular searches out of your keyword terms as well as the user’s behaviour when on your site. A good way to help do this is to use your Analytics data, internal search data and PPC data (if you have that set up). To help articulate a broader range of keywords, you can use Google Adwords and Wordtracker to highlight industry patterns that can be important.

Currently there are many companies that put a lot of money into focusing on one key term and can ignore all the other possible keyword phrases. However there can be very highly competitive keywords in certain markets, it may be more realistic and profitable if you were to work on the ranking of a long tail keyword. This would work effectively in a competitive environment where a more specific keyword will place you ahead of your competitors. Not only will searches for your long tail keyword capture effective traffic, they will also have a look at the rest of your products (providing that you site is easy to navigate and there are other options for your user to view).

There’s no doubt that macro phrases are still important (particularly at the early stages of campaign management and strategic development). However it is important to look past these and on to the “long tail” where your traffic and your conversions reside and where success can be built.

Contact Digital State Marketing to start a bespoke SEO campaign and work on your return on investment, rather than wasting time on vanity rankings.