October 01, 2009 - Comments Off on Should you Ignore the Long Tail?

Should you Ignore the Long Tail?

One of the very first activities to conduct at the beginning of any SEO campaign is to determine which keyphrases to target. It is no surprise that search volume is the main factor when deciding which phrases to focus your SEO campaign on. Often search volume is the only factor that is taken into account. However, there is one factor that many forget…

As competition for the top positions for high volume keyphrases continues to grow, the investment required to reap the benefits of the top Google positions will continue to rise. However, there is a way to avoid this high competition and the high costs associated with claiming those top positions.

The answer comes with long tail keyphrases. Targeting longer keyphrases can have added benefit over targeting single or double word keyphrases. Finding low competition keyphrases and securing high rankings can ultimately generate revenue for your website in less time and with less effort than investing large amounts of time and money for the most competitive keyphrases.

It has been reported that search queries are getting longer. This developing trend could be read in two ways. Either search engine users are becoming frustrated with the lack of relevant results they are receiving from one or two word searches, or users are becoming more sophisticated with their search queries. Either way, there are significant levels of search volume for long tail keyphrases out there waiting to be captured.

Due the very nature of long tail keyphrases they relate to more specific topics, products or services. Consequently such keyphrases receive fewer searches. However, competition for the top ranking positions in the search engines is far weaker for longer keyphrases than their more generic, shorter counterparts. In making the decision to target a specific long tail keyword that is relevant for your business/ website you are increasing your chance of first page ranking success before you have even begun. Whilst a top ranking position for a long tail keyphrase will not bring the same level of traffic as a general keyphrase, the traffic you do receive will be more targeted and consequently may be more likely to result in a sale.

With less competition for top ranking positions, along with the potential to secure higher conversion rates from long tail keyphrase traffic, in ignoring the long tail you could well be  ignoring a significant opportunity.