Taking advantage of the Long Tail in Search Engine Optimisation

SEO and the Long Tail Theory

A simplistic explanation of the Long Tail theory is that modern day society is gradually moving away from a small number of mainstream products and moving towards demanding a large number of niche products.

How does the Long Tail theory relate to Search Engine Optimization?

The concept of the Long Tail is particularly relevant to the key phrases searched for in the world’s major search engines. Single and broad key phrases like “car” generate the highest traffic numbers, however, there is enormous value in the thousands of niche and specific key phrases like “ Holden car dealer parramatta”. These niche key phrases may be small in numbers when looked at individually, but when you group these key phrases together the total traffic opportunity is significant for any website owner.

Before we continue this article any further it’s important for us to define how we view search engine optimization which is that “ Search engine optimization is the process of generating the most amount of qualified traffic to your website at the lowest possible cost.” This is quite different to the conventional view of search engine optimization which simply focuses on the ranking of your website for a set number of popular key phrases and why we are passionate about the value of Long Tail search engine marketing.

Why are Long Tail searchers important to Search Engine Optimization?

Most searchers on the Internet are not generic in nature and there are specific words that are searched for 1-5 times per day, whilst most websites are optimised for the most popular keywords which attract a large volume of searchers per day. This situation creates a high amount of competition to rank highly for the most popular keywords, so achieving Top 10 rankings for these key phrases can be difficult, especially for new websites.

This is why optimising your website for the long-tail and niche search terms can be a very effective way of achieving high rankings for your website, plus attracting a smaller but more qualified number of visitors to your website. The long-tail approach to search engine optimisation also gives your online business the opportunity to quickly generate a return from your online marketing efforts which can be re-invested into optimisation for higher traffic search terms at a later stage.

For example, a domain name registration company would be much better off ranking number 1 for the key phrase “ domain names Melbourne” than being ranked 31 for the search term “domain names”.

The fact is that most website owners today focus on the thousands of visitors that come to their site from the most popular key phrases. This is a sound approach when you apply the 80/20 rule that the most popular key phrases will generate 80% of the online sales enquiries. However, in most cases the research at roi.com.au has demonstrated the opposite.

Our research indicates that the highest traffic key phrases provide lots of hits, however, not as much as the sum total of all the niche key phrases which generate traffic to your website. Plus, when you look a little closer at your website stats you will generally find that most of your enquiries which result in sales are generated from niche and highly specific search terms.

Is your focus on hits or conversions? If you are interested in delivering qualified traffic to your website talk to roi.com.au about how we can help your business take advantage of the long-tail in search engine optimization.

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