A Short Primer on Targeting Long Tail Keywords

Sit down for some research on website marketing and it won't be long until you're bombarded by advice regarding keywords, those magical little tickets to success on the Web. Much of that advice will center on primary keyword phrases of one or two words. But the fact is, primary keyword phrases account for about 30% of searches. The rest? Well, that's the long tail, and that's what we're going to talk about next.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords, which command 70% of a given search engine's time, are search phrases containing three to five words, chosen to cut through the background noise and locate specific, rather than general, information. When search engine visitors have gotten beyond kicking the tires and nosing around the edges of a subject or proposed purchase, these are the phrases they'll use. In fact, a long tail keyword, such as, say, "finding and using long tail keywords" may be the reason you're reading this now. And if it is, we won't disappoint you, but we'll talk more about that in a minute.

Why Are Long Tail Keywords Important?

Attendees in a presentation

Think of the difference between users searching for primary keyword phrases and those searching for long tail keywords like this: users searching for primary keywords are like attendees at a presentation. These users are interested, but that might be as far as it goes. They might stay for the whole show, a show in which you've invested considerable resources, or they might get up and wander off to some other presentation. Or they might decide it's lunchtime.

Fans supporting their star

Users searching for long tail keywords, however, are the people who take the time to come up and talk to you after the presentation. They're the ones who want to know more, the ones who are already just a bit - or maybe a lot - more sold than the others. They're more receptive to your message and less interested in your competition. The time you spend with them will cost you less in almost every sense and pay you higher returns. And that, in a nutshell, is what makes long tail keywords so important.

Finding Long Tail Keywords with Concentrate

Okay, long tail keywords are important, but how do you find them? The most inexpensive, but labor-intensive, way is to dig them up manually. To do that, you'll need tools like Google's AdWords Keyword Tool, Microsoft's AdCenter Keyword Forecasting, and Wordtracker's Free Basic Keyword Generator, in addition to some heavy reading on the subject. For those with the time and interest, this very hands-on approach can be a workable option. But for those who'd rather spend time and energy on their core business, expertise, or whatever they do best, a more automated method is the way to go.

concentrate analytics screenshots

Concentrate's long tail search analytics takes care of a lot of the legwork involved in identifying the best long tail keywords, allowing you to focus on understanding and serving the online prospects who use them to find you. Concentrate integrates results from a broad base of data sources, in addition to leveraging your existing resources, including competitive intelligence, industry keyword lists, and paid search query results. And like any search analytics tool worth considering, Concentrate lets you take it for a spin at no cost, giving you a chance to see how much time and money it can save you in your search for high-quality long tail keywords.

Using High-Quality Long Tail Keywords

Once you uncover the long tail keywords that searchers are using to find you, it's critical to use them properly, both to draw searchers to your site and to make them glad they visited.

To help search engines find you, you'll want to use your newly identified keyword phrase in your title tag, as well as your headings or subheadings.  Just be careful not to overdo it - Google and other search engines don't like it when you try too hard, loading your tags and content with excessive instances of your keywords.

So, what's the Goldilocks zone for using long tail keywords in your online content? Generally, a frequency of three to seven percent is ideal, but don't get too hung up on the numbers. The most important thing is to craft content that's genuinely useful to your visitors. If you focus on that, keyword densities tend to take care of themselves. After all, the algorithms used by Google, Bing, and other search engines are simply using math to pick out content that's most likely to be relevant and informative to those searching for a given term.

Grab Hold of the Long Tail with Concentrate

Want to know more about long tail keywords (which can be a very long tale, indeed)? Interested in our keyword analysis tools, which can help you grab hold of that long and profitable tail without becoming a search optimization pro yourself? Sign up today - we'll be happy to help you draw high-quality, pre-sold visitors to your site with long tail keywords.

More about Concentrate

Typical search analytics is limited to the top 100 or 200 keywords. Concentrate gives you manageable views into ALL search traffic - both your own and your competitors'.

At the heart of Concentrate is a powerful natural language algorithm that automatically discovers patterns within search query data. These patterns include keywords that share similar text strings and related words such as cities, states, product names, etc.

Finding common patterns is the key to making search data understandable and actionable.

Next Steps:

Sign Up Now!