Crack the Long Tail

Posted By on May 13, 2010 | 0 comments

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Keyword research is becoming a bigger chore. Why? Because the competition for popular search terms and phrases gets tougher every day.

Unless you’re Sony, CNET, NewEgg, or a big box distributor, you simply can’t compete for words like “lcd tv” or “high definition.” That does not, however, mean you can’t compete in a space where your product is LCD TVs.

There are 24,900,000 global searches for “lcd tv” every month. You might think that’s great because there’s enough for everyone. But there are 2,800,000 organic* results for that term of web sites with that exact phrase in the title. There are 52,000,000 results for the term altogether.

In other words, lots of competition trying to get prospects to their web sites with that one. (*Organic results are those that are not paid for but are retrieved in the search because the pages are optimized for the search term.)

What do you do when the most probable, common sense keyword phrases you’d expect to use for your web site are dominated by companies with lots of mojo on the web? You go for the long tail.

Long tail keyword phrases are those that fit a niche within the larger ecosystem of phrases. On the web it means that if you can determine keyword phrases that have a larger search volume per month than there are organic results in the search pages, you have a much better shot at being competitive for those keywords.

If you were a patent attorney, you might want to use the keyword “patent,” yes? There are 2,240,000 global searches per month on that keyword. There are 3,210,000 web sites competing with that keyword in their title. Not likely that you’re going to easily get to the top of the heap (page one in the search results).

But you can use the free Google Keyword tool to find keyword phrases that don’t have so much competition. Let’s say you found that the phrase “patent farmed salmon” was searched for 2,200 times per month and only 70 web sites used that in the title of their web site. You could optimize a page on your web site for “patent farmed salmon” and compete very nicely for that niche.

You could pay your mortgage with enough of these long tail keywords bringing you business through your web site. Wordtracker has an article that says this all with metrics:

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