The Long Tail of Search – Another SEO Strategy

The Long Tail of Search is a concept created by Chris Anderson, an editor at Wired Magazine. It defines the non-competitive keywords — usually three- to five-word phrases that site visitors use to find web sites. The idea of non-competitive keywords and phrases relates to the more specific terms that you can use to describe your products or information. The concept of the Long Tail of Search is that you begin any search with a very broad term. For example, if you’re searching for Italian dinner recipes, that term is broad enough to return far too many results to be useful.

Using the Long Tail theory, however, the more precise and less common keywords and phrases are usually the most effective. These are located at the end of the “tail” and are represented by a very small tip (as if on the end of a tail).

Normally, a product site gets visitors by several types of keywords and phrases:

  • Product names and brands
  • General keywords and phrases
  • Long-tail keywords and phrases

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The magnificence of the Long Tail of Search is that you don’t know how effective it is until you have optimized your site and have some content on your site to attract it. Sure, there will be some Long Tail queries in your logs, but it will be only a fraction of what could be there.

To conquer the Long Tail of Search, you need to create a rich foundation of content. The tricky part is knowing what content to create. If your focus is on providing value to your customers, it’ll be easier for you.

To capture the Long Tail, you need to create content that not only is relevant to your product or service, but is also related to your product or service, even if the relationship is remote. You do this because you need to target not only people who know about you and your product, or who know just what they need — that’s pretty simple — but you need to attract people who have the same problems as your target audience and who are looking for a solution.

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