May 27, 2010
Long tail marketing consists of niche marketing to a great many niches, selling small quantities of many products or services to each. Customers are targeted with “long tail keywords.” What does the term “long tail” refer to?
Chris Anderson popularized the “long tail” in an October 2004 Wired magazine article. Long tail keywords and niche marketing go together on the Internet. To see the long tail, get a spreadsheet of related keywords with their monthly searches, sort the keywords in decreasing order by searches and make a graph of the searches. You should find a very few keywords with many searches and a long tail of the distribution with few.
Most of us can successfully compete only for keywords in the tail of the distribution. The questions are: Which keywords in the tail? And compete how?
You can divide the keywords four search bands: the super, the high, the medium, and the low search keywords. The border between low and medium searches can be set to somewhere around 500 searches per month; between medium and high around 1000; and between high and super around 10,000.
You can divide the keywords into four competition bands as well: the super, the high, the middle, and the low competition keywords. The border between low and medium competing pages — pages containing the exact keyword phrase — can be set to somewhere around 10,000 searches per month; between medium and high around 20,000; and between high and super around 35,000.
To use a metaphor, the number of searches is the quality of the fruit — the higher the number of searches, the more ripe, plump, and tasty it is. The level of competition is where the fruit is on the tree. The super competitive keywords are on the tip top branches. The low competition keywords don’t even require you stretch. There are two not perfectly consistent principles for harvesting the fruit: (1) harvest the best fruit you can, and (2) pick the low-lying fruit first. Here are some suggestions on how to do that:
- Remove the super high competition keywords from your list. You will not get that traffic.
- Remove keywords with too high a level of competition for the number of searches. Why bother competing for them?
- Do not target the high competition keywords first. Devote your time where it will do more immediate good.
- Usually it is worth optimizing web pages by hand only for middle- or higher-band keywords. An exception might be for selling products with a high profit per sale — provided also the searcher is intending to buy.
- You can devote web pages to low search and competition keywords if you generate the pages. That way, you only have to create the template once, but you get to reuse it for many keywords. It would not be worth your effort to write each one individually.
- You can use the high end of the low band keywords in alternative titles of ezine articles. When you submit the articles through a submission service such as Submit Your Article or Unique Article Wizard, those services submit randomized variations of a your article to hundreds or thousands of article directories and blogs. They permit many alternate titles. You can have many articles spread around the web with titles including the low band keywords, all with less than twice the effort of submitting a single article. All these articles invite interested people to come to your web site. For the low competition keywords, appearance in a page title and page name (both of which you typically get in an article directory) may be enough to get the article listed on page one of the search results. Many page-one listings with few searches apiece is in the spirit of long-tail marketing.
- There are a lot of searches for phrases the search engines have not seen before. You can devote a page as a destination for these very low frequency keywords. Create a page with a couple of thousand words of text filled with words and phrases related to your topic. When the search engine encounters some semantically-related but not yet indexed query, your page would be a good recommendation. You can also drop low-competition keywords into the text. They will bring a few searches themselves as well as contribute to the semantic classification of the page.
Divide your keywords by search frequency and by numbers of competing pages. It will help you plan your long-tail marketing.
For more information on using long tail keywords for ezine article marketing or to improve web site traffic, visit the web site http://ezinearticleshow.com/ created by Dr. Thomas Christopher, a Colorado Front Range public speaker.