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The wisest person's guide to long tail keyword marketing

The Wisest Person's Guide to Long Tail Keyword Marketing

For example, there may be massive competition to rank first on Google for the term “SEO”, therefore it is more difficult to obtain a #1 ranking. But it is much easier, and there is far less competition, to rank highly for keywords such as “SEO marketing in NJ” and “NJ SEO marketing help.” While not as many people may be searching for those longer four word terms, taken as a whole they should represent more search volume than just the popular one word keyword.

So how do you use long tail marketing in SEO? The answer is simple, and is at the core of this long tail case study: Niche marketing. In my keyword example, you may have observed that anyone searching for the term “SEO” may be actually looking for any of a number of topics. They may want to know how to optimize their web pages for search engines, or they may want to know how to use a robots.txt file appropriately, or they may be looking to hire an SEO professional. If you are someone marketing SEO services in New Jersey, you probably don’t stand a good chance of converting any of those visitors into sales once they come to your site. But if you focus on marketing in your own niche, which is SEO Marketing in NJ, you can begin to target more relevant queries and visitors using long tail techniques.

How do you know which long tail keywords to use? That happens to be a much more difficult question to answer. You really can’t anticipate all the long tail keywords visitors might use to find your website, since they are, by definition, so varied and obscure.

One answer is in statistics – you just can’t have enough. I’m always checking out my keywords in Google Analytics (click on Traffic Sources > Keywords). If you’re not using Analytics or some other kind of traffic statistics tracking, go out and get some. In my case, my blog mostly ranks for long tail terms since I’m not actively promoting nor marketing towards any high-volume one-word keywords. By reviewing these long tail keywords, I know how people are finding the site, and I can optimize for those terms.

Another great tool I use is Hittail.com. To use Hittail you add some non-intrusive javascript code to the bottom of your page (just like Google Analytics), and it in turn tracks all incoming queries for your website. Hittail will then make suggestions about which long tail queries are finding your site, but which are not optimized (usually this means which long tail keywords for which you are ranking below #1 or #2 in the SERPs). They will also show your long tail results in terms of top ten vs. long tail rank. For example, my biggest top ten hit is my own name. Quite fitting, since that’s my name. Top ten results are those which occur the most frequently, and appear within the top ten of all queries by volume for your site. So on this blog top ten results comprise just 12.7% of all queries which find my site. Long tail keywords comprise 87.3% of all my incoming search engine traffic.

Other sites’ statistics may vary, but long tail theory always talks about the 80-20 rule. In SEO and search engine traffic volume, I apply the 80-20 rule thusly:

Roughly 20% of your website traffic is probably coming from top ten queries, and 80% is (or should be) coming from long tail keywords.

If 80% of your traffic is coming from anywhere, you better pay attention to what that anywhere is and how it’s getting to you. Hence the importance of studying your long tail results and optimizing for them.

In the end, marketing for your long tail is just like chasing your own tail; something you should always be going after and constantly striving to market towards. It’s an evolving, never-ending marketing push to optimize your site and your keywords, and if you’re lucky, you may actually one day become the wisest person at it. At least in your own niche market, which is of course considerably smaller than all over the world, or in your own mind, which is hopefully even larger.

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