IS IT A PLANE? IS IT A BIRD? NO, IT’S LONGTAIL!
WHAT IS LONGTAIL?
No, it isn’t a type of newt or lizard, or any of those little critters for that matter!
The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.
Longtail describes how niche marketing works on the internet. For example, shops that sell products like DVDs and CDs can only afford to carry the most popular releases. More people would buy said popular products, so the company is able to afford their overhead expenses. However, by taking geographic location out of the equation, the internet changes everything.
DEFINITELY NOT A NEWT
So now that we’ve established that Longtail isn’t a type of reptile, why should you use it? Hang in there, we’re getting to it! The idea is that if you create content and optimise the keywords that aren’t as popular as other terms, you will encounter less competition for the terms and so will ultimately get more page views. With fewer results to choose from, it increases the likelihood of a potential client finding your site! So instead of focusing entirely on optimising your page for one or two really popular trends, go for Longtail results, meaning a smaller competition and still plenty of room for popularity and profit.
In short, Longtail keywords are those phrases that don’t have as large a search volume as the more popular terms out there. For example, I want to buy a pair of shoes. I want some turquoise-coloured shoes. So, I go ahead and type into my Google search bar, ‘turquoise shoes’. Bingo! 42,200,000 results. Oh dear, that’s a lot of shoes to look through. So I get more specific. I want these shoes to be heels and I’d like them to be peep-toes, too. This brings my options down to 2,050,000 web pages to choose from. Let’s narrow down that search again, shall we. I’ve decided that I’d like these shoes to be suede and have an exact heel-height of four inches. We’re now down to 71,500 results. Not bad. Instead of typing in the single phrase, ‘turquoise shoes’ and getting specific, I’ve significantly narrowed down my selection. Typing ‘suede turquoise peep-toes 4 inch heels’ is by far more effective than my original, ‘turquoise shoes’. Get it now? Of course you do! The longtail keywords actually makes up 70% of the overall searches performed, compared to just 30% for the “popular” search terms!
So, if your business depends on potential customers/clients finding you through a Google search, the Longtail technique is for you. So rather than focus all your efforts on making your webpage the most popular, concentrate on making lots of pages that serve niche markets.
OUT WITH THE OLD…
So, you’ve identified your Longtail phrases, now what? Well, you need to make sure that your site is optimised for them. You can do this by updating old content, or creating new – or both of course!
Creating is of course always good because it means you’ll have more content on your website, meaning more pages are available to be found in a search. Remember, you’re optimising Longtail keywords now, so get specific! So, instead of using the phrase, ‘long-tailed lizard’, you need to include the keywords, ‘Asian’ and ‘grass’, giving you the ‘Asian Long-tailed grass lizard’. Much more specific and a lot more effective!
You might be able to say no to us, but how could you ignore this little guy? Listen to the Asian long-tailed grass lizard. Get long-winded, go Longtail!