For too many online marketers, the long lemur tail in the image looks like a question mark for a reason. They either aren’t familiar at all with the concept of the “long tail” in search engine optimization, or they aren’t sure how to increase their exposure using long tail search terms. So, let’s take a look at what the term means and how it can make a huge difference in how your PPC ads and SEO content work for you.
“Long tail,” in the SEO discussion, simply means a search phrase that contains a number of words, a “longer” search phrase. The extra words, over say a simple short search phrase like “cotton candy,” might add words that increase the search phrase and focuses it more on a tighter subject or idea, such as “cotton candy ingredients,” or even longer, “cotton candy recipe ingredients.”
What’s the significance of this discussion? Well, let’s think about it for a minute. You’re bidding against other marketers for position in the PPC search results. Part of the competitive environment is the number of searches on the phrase or keywords you’re wanting to place for. So, the more searches people are doing on a phrase, the more you’re going to have to pay, and likely the lower you’ll appear in the very competitive results.
But, there’s more. Let’s say that you’re selling a product or eBook related to cotton candy, and it includes recipes. Would you rather pay more for a tougher competitive environment for the phrase “cotton candy,” or pay less for a less competitive environment for “cotton candy recipe ingredients?” Sure, there are going to be far fewer searchers using the longer phrase, but look how focused they’re going to be on your specific product! You’ll pay less, get a higher position in search results, AND you’ll draw prospects who are actually interested in your precise product reference.
The image shows another real-world example for someone marketing in the weight loss niche. In this case, they have a book of recipes for weight loss shakes. Now, they could, and maybe they will, work for those 74,000 searches. Of course, they’re going to get site clicks from people wanting to simply buy shakes. Another approach that could be far more profitable at a lower cost would be to target the only “Medium” competition item in the list, as it is also precisely what this marketer is selling, weight loss shake recipes. My bet is that they’ll get more clicks and more sales out of those 5400 more targeted searchers than out of that big 74,000 group.