‘Long Tail’ Keywords Can Drive Leads For Your Business
The Long Tail theory was developed by Chris Anderson in his Oct 2004 Wired Magazine article describing how the web might influence business. Anderson, Editor of Wired Magazine at the time, later authored his best selling book ‘The Long Tail’ to better detail his theory.
As it applies to better search engine optimization and marketing – the idea with ‘The Long Tail’ is to be visible for as many variations of one’s core business subject focus (via indexed keywords in published website content) as is possible. The proven theory being that, while a business may generate less search discovery per keyword variation (i.e. 3 Bedroom Condos For Sale New York City) than it will for the most obvious & highly targeted keywords (i.e. New York City Condos) due to the amount of competition for those obviously targeted keywords, the collective impact of a broad set of variants might easily exceed that of the most targeted. Again the more varied (or long tail) a search term is, the less competitive it is to be discovered in search results. An SEO strategy focused on long tail keywords is one capable of not only capturing more traffic, but more highly qualified traffic.
This is NOT meant to suggest a business should give up targeting the obvious searches (i.e. New York City Real Estate). On the contrary, the argument is a potentially cost-effective approach to being a great deal more visible in the search engines. It means being visible to extremely qualified people demonstrated by how specifically they search. Search visibility can be some of the cost- effective advertising period; however, pursuing the most competitive search topics can easily become be cost- prohibitive.
Research shows that people do search more specifically. To demonstrate this ‘Long Tail’ theory, here are traffic analytic data drawn (compiled in 2007) from a publish content- committed Vail CO Real Estate agency client. This agency had broad keyword indexing for both the most sought after (and then also the not so sought after) targets. The agent focused on being indexed for everything going on in its’ community as it relates to Real Estate. We examined one month of data to demonstrate ‘long tail’ search discovery success for this (albeit anonymous) agent in Vail, CO.
- Short Tail being the town’s name and state plus the words property, real estate, home or homes
B. Total ‘Long Tail’ search discovery equaled 825/1,015= 81%
- Long Tail being as many variations relating to obvious town searches as is possible
a.) different areas of the town were equal to 130 total searchers
b.) condominium complexes equal to 299 total searchers
c.) new developments equal to 89 total searchers
d.) local clubs equal to 101 total searchers
e.) local business news | info equal to 27 total searchers
f.) listings or specific streets equal to 32 total searchers
g.) developers equal to 56 total searchers
h.) random/ miscellaneous equal to 91 total searchers … hey, they blog about what’s going on locally a lot!
Albeit anonymous, the data above demonstrates the ‘Long Tail theory’ and success based upon discovery for less targeted keyword variations; discovery amounting to 81% of the overall search traffic and 435% more visitors than what the short tail of search delivered. That’s a lot of traffic and potential leads! We’d argue the Vail Real Estate Agency are not only cost- effective marketers, but even better – they are capturing highly qualified eyeballs!