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Old 16th August 2005, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Keyword Strategies The Long Tail

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/bailey/005362.html


"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 and sales than the top terms. "

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Old 17th August 2005, 02:18 AM   #2

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This is a great article Matt. I have been finding this trend in my PPC referrals for a while now, but didn't have a name for it before! Finding and targeting the long tail in PPC campaigns is a great way to save high click costs yet still get tons of clicks and conversions. So many PPC advertisers seem to forget this tactic and create bidding wars for generic or highly competitive terms. What a waste!

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Old 17th August 2005, 08:58 PM   #3

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Default The Long Tail

A long tail with relevant terms that pull visitors is one thing -- and is a worthy goal for any SEM. A long tail made up of meaningless permutations of keywords and of terms that build off of barely-related thesaurus finds does a disservice to the client. I remember one particular campaign I inherited. I did a dump of the previous year's data, and out of some 8,000 keywords, at least half had not received even a single impression during the year. A couple thousand more had received minimal impressions, but no clicks. In the article, the author writes about a company who got most of their visitors from just ten keywords, but 80% of their sales from the tail keywords. I bet there is a point where even the tail keywords stop delivering.

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Old 18th August 2005, 03:31 AM   #4

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The article does make sense. If I for example look for something on amazon I wouldn't type in stuff like "buy books online" but I would choose something like "Tom Clancy ...". The one I am actually looking (and likely to buy) for.
Now here's my question:
I as a more or less newbie in the SEO business wonder how you can deal with those hundreds of keywords. I mean practically optimizing your site for them seems quite difficult considering a keyword density of about 5% which is supposed to be optimal. Can anybody help me out on that?



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Old 19th August 2005, 01:54 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Chucke99 and MattLeh!

(Good to see you back too, Kal )

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Old 20th August 2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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The "long tail" is almost something that happens without most site managers knowing it. It is extremely effective in large ecommerce sites, where hundreds to thousands of pages are indexed by the search engines.

(By the way, the majority of my study in this area is in organic keywords, not PPC, as AdWords hasn't been too friendly to long-tail campaigns)

What I have observed is that the content, especially in a ecomm site is intrinsic to creating a long-tail benefit. Well-written product descriptions that are clear, provide user benefits and persuasive content will help to create the hundreds to thousands of related terms. Buyer benefits are the foundation of long tail-type key phrases.

I don't really stick to keyword density formulas; it messes up the content, IMO. Once visitors reach the page the most important thing is that they convert - that is only done by content that markets the company and product, and then persuades people take action and really want to buy/know more/etc. When that is the focus, long tail is something that tends to just happen.

A simplistic view, I know - it's been around for years - we just didn't have a cool name for it.

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Old 20th August 2005, 03:54 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, Matt!

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Old 21st September 2006, 10:47 PM   #8

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Default general procedure

Hi guys,

I read the article about the Long Tail strategy. It's nice, but the problem I have is, how to continue once I have selected those keywords for my business.

I mean, how should all the SEs know that I want to rank high for that certain long tail keyword? It has probably something to do with filling the content of your page(s) with these keywords but how many pages are needed and in which manner should someone do this?

Let's take an example:

#1 selected keyword: "alternative ways of investing"

How shall I write the content in order to rank high for this keyword?
"Besides the regular ways of hoe to invest your money there certain alternatice ways of investing you should know."

Is that ok and how shall I continue with the text? Is it important that I always mention this keyword in this jointed form or are separations of these words also possible or even better?

Now, maybe a more important question is, if those chosen long tails are really used by online users. It's of course critical to know that in upfront, before beginning to work on it.
How is it possible to gauge or to exactly know if my chosen long tail is worth concentrating on? Ok, maybe you will say "Wordtracker", but it there another way. The question is also if Wordtracker's results are really fully reliable!

Thanks for any comment or help

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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:11 AM   #9
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Hmmm, I think you might be overanlysing this, although I would love to hear what some of the others have to say about this too. My "interpretation" of the long tail fwiw:

The "long tail" should come naturally in your writing if your pages are topically focused and written for the average user (within your target market of course). So, in your example, you might only use that exact phrase once or twice in your body text, but if that page's content is well rounded, other closely related phrases will naturally occur in the copy. And the tail will "lengthen." A good thing, right?

(I would also guess that the search engines likewise appreciate a "long tail" approach to content. i.e. why couldn't their algos analyse the semantic proximity between various topically related terms and then make a judgement on that page's relevance to a particular subject matter?)

So, I'm not sure if you would be "optimizing" for the long tail per se--at least not in a formalized manner--you are rather relying on the long tail to sort of inadvertently attract those surfers who are seeking something very specific (and thus are more likely to convert when landing on your site via these highly specific search terms).

This is at least "my" interpretation of writing for the long tail.

But I would still like to hear others' comments on what I think is a very fascinating topic!


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Old 22nd September 2006, 05:09 PM   #10

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As a local B & M business the long tail is the key. My best conversions come from phrases that combine a variation on the bus term with a variation on the local terms.

There are myriads of combinations...but they are the keys to getting lots of valuable convertable traffic.


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