Using Long Tail Keywords to Increase Search Engine Traffic

If you’ve never heard the term “long tail keywords” before, then you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and how can you actually use these to increase your traffic. Long tail keywords are different from your normal search engine keywords like “web designer”, “toronto restaurants” or “buy cds online”. They are much more specific, contain more words, and are sometimes on the brink of a full sentence! For example, instead of just searching for “web designer”, someone might search for “blog web designer for making money”.

The main reason for focusing on these long tail keywords, is because instead of using popular and more broad keywords which are generally much more competitive, you optimize your site for longer, more specific keywords which generally are much less competitive. When your keywords are hit, there is a much greater chance that your site is going to be returned on the front page of the search results, which increases your chances of a new page visit.

Many people tend to focus on the popular keywords, then end up sending the majority of search engine traffic to their sites. And when an optimization is done, that increases the traffic on those 10 or 20 keywords, people rejoice. This goes along with the 80-20 rule, that says that the top search terms provide 80% of the page views. The problem is, that after looking at a lot of different sites, this doesn’t really seem to be the case anymore, especially for small to medium sites, that just can’t compete with the giants.

In most cases, yes, those top 10 keywords that you’ve chosen for your nice website will provide you with a lot of search engine traffic, but not necessarily more then all of the other focused search terms added up. Think about all of those specific keywords that bring 1-5 visitors to your site, the ones that you don’t really put much thought into. Add all of those up, and chances are, it’s going to result in more total visitors then your favorite keywords that really bring in the visitors from search engines. This is the foundation of the long tail theory, that the length, or the total number of low-number search terms, out numbers the height, or the total of the top 10 or 20 terms.

A brief case study is posted on the SearchEngineWatch forums which shows one company receiving about 225,000 visitors from search engines, but only 70,000 came from their top 23 keywords which each brought over 1000 visitors each, the rest were all from these long tail keywords. Even once reported that they make 57% of their sales from keywords that aren’t in their ‘popular’ list.

Another benefit of using these longer, more specific keywords, is that it increases that chances that a visitor to your page actually wants to be there, and will find your site valuable. You will have less visitors that will quickly scan you site and navigate away, realizing that wasn’t quite what they were looking for. This means more page views once they’re there, an increased chance of a new subscriber for your blog, more ads they will see and potentially click on, and the potentially more sales. This means that there are two important benefits to using long tail keywords to increase traffic: more visitors AND visitors that actually want to be there! It’s a win-win situation.

Here are a few ways that you can this information to your advantage:

Keyword Analytic and Tracking Programs: Google AdWords, HitTail and 103bees are three programs that you can use to help determine these keywords for your website. Google’s tool will scan your website, and suggest keywords based on the content. It will also give specific information on each search term, such as how high the competition is, and how popular the search term is. The other too programs require you to add a few lines of code to your site template and they will start to suggest long tail keywords for you to used.

Analyze your competition: This is especially useful for websites that are just starting out. HitTail and 103bees aren’t going to be as helpful if your site isn’t already generating some search traffic. But if you start analyzing websites that are similar to yours, chances are they have already targeted several long tail keywords. Find out what some of these are, and start optimizing your site around those, or variations of them, and begin to create new content pages that include those keywords.

One way accomplish this is to visit their websites and analyze there webpage. Take a look at the source code, check out their title and met tags, and maybe even backlinks.

Another way to do this, is to use a tool like SEODigger to quickly find out what keywords a website is targeting, all you have to do is input their URL.

Brainstorm a list of long tail keywords and use them! This may seem like obvious advice, but sometimes the most simple solution is overlooked. Try to come up with a list of keywords and phrases that really describe the content of your site, and start creating new content that includes the phrases. Especially with something like a blog that is just starting out, you need to keep adding new content frequently. Create new posts make sure that you are using your keywords and phrases in the titles, tags, and inside the post as well. The key here is to add this new content frequently, and add a lot of it. This will help you to start to increase your visibility on search engines, and start to attract new visitors to your site.

Whether you are just starting out with a new blog or website, or you already have a profitable and popular site setup and running, making sure that you are aware of your long tail keywords, and how you can use them effectively, will definitle help you increase traffic coming from search engines.

One Response to 'Using Long Tail Keywords to Increase Search Engine Traffic'

  1. cds » Blog Archive » Using Long Tail Keywords to Increase Search Engine Traffic - April 28th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    […] jing^2 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptLong tail keywords are different from your normal search engine keywords like “web designer”, “toronto restaurants” or “buy cds online”. They are much more specific, contain more words, and are sometimes on the brink of a full sentence! … […]

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