Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords don’t refer to monkeys, but to the typically longer keyword phrases that are very specific to what your website is selling and what people are looking for. They’re called “long tail” because on the bell curve of keyword search frequencies, these keywords are out at the edge. These are different from the shorter and more heavily-searched keywords referred to as “the head”.
|The Head||The Long Tail|
|mountain climbing||California mountain climbing tours|
|laundry detergent||environmentally safe laundry detergent|
|hardwood floors||recycled pine flooring|
|cribs||convertible wood baby cribs|
|car repair||fix Service Engine Soon light|
You need an appropriate mix of head keywords and long tail keywords. Long tail keywords have less competition from competing web sites, so it’s easier and quicker to get great rankings. But they have much less search volume than head keywords. People who find you with a long tail search are much more likely to convert into a paying customer, client, or patient, but there are fewer of those visitors to begin with. The trick is to select the long tail keywords that are most likely to convert for you.
Long tail keywords are most effectively used in PPC marketing, because you can make up for the low volume of searchers on any particular term with a large number of different keywords. It’s less effective in organic SEO, where you need to optimize for specific keywords. For organic SEO, we recommend a middle ground. Find a mix of keywords that are specific enough to convert well, but which are searched for often enough to make it worth your while.