Long Tail SEO – What is it and How Does it Work

Long Tail SEO – What is it and How Does it Work

What is long tail SEO? And will it work for your website? Here we’ll discuss advantages of long tail SEO, and more…

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What is “long tail” SEO, exactly? To avoid misunderstandings later, let’s begin with the basics, i. e., the name. Long tail approach to SEO entails targeting a large number of keywords, some of which can be described by “long tail”. This approach is based on an assumption that a user likely to convert is the one that is specific in his googling efforts (searching for, e.g. a product). Therefore, we’ll be wise to make sure that our potential customer lands directly on a page that fits his queries best. Long tail SEO thus implies targeting and optimizing the website for complex key phrases. Instead of optimizing for general product features only, we focus on the more detailed ones.

Is long tail SEO really effective?

As a result of long tail SEO strategy, the user is more likely to find a product or a service fitting their needs perfectly, or nearly so. But is that strategy really effective?

It can positively affect the website traffic and the conversion rate. However, it’s not the only advantage thereof. Keep reading and you’ll find out there are more of those!

Long tail strategy begins with a simple assumption about user’s behavior: once dissatisfied with the results of general phrase search, they move on to the keyword specification. In this way they arrive at the so-called long tail – a phrase composed of at least 3 words. A number of further advantages of long tail SEO explain why many websites’ owners opt for such a positioning strategy.

“Long tail” is a concept by Chris Anderson. He formulated its basics for the first time in article published in “Wired” magazine – and it wasn’t about SEO at all. His argument was mainly about retail – more specifically, he argued that focusing sales on specific products, which evaded big trends’ analysis, profits more than selling what’s currently considered “the big thing”. But, how is that relevant for SEO? Can the above approach benefit your rankings and your conversion rate?

Long tail SEO
The benefits of long tail SEO. Source: neilpatel.com

The advantages of long tail SEO

1. A decided customer = higher sales for you

Long tail SEO makes more customers already decided on purchasing a given product land on your pages. As mentioned before, long tail strategy positively influences the conversion rate, because the page views we get are a result of a conscious, detailed query. The desired service or product parameters were determined at the stage of googling. Therefore, the long tail SEO contributes to a real increase in product sales.

Online shopping - long tail seo

2. Wait less for the results

To realize the benefits here, think about how competition for specific phrases works. The more general a phrase, the more popular they are. Although they are often used for googling, a SEO process that would result in ranking high for such phrases is difficult and takes time. It takes much less time to make a site rank high for far less popular key phrases.

3. In short, being SERP number 1 is at hand now!

And every company owner would like his business website to rank as high, as possible. Choosing a long tail keyword that specifies the details of the product in question, will allow us to gain an upper hand in SEO game. Merely ranking as 1st in search results boosts the Domain Authority and positively influences Google’s trust. If this effect becomes a pattern, i.e. our pages will rank as 1st for several specific long tails, and on top of that we’ll implement other SEO processes, too, the overall effect may exceed our expectations!

The relationship between competition and the popularity of phrases
The relationship between competition and the popularity of phrases. Source: yoast.com

4. Cost-effectiveness

When a general phrase is chosen for SEO process, it’s obvious that many companies target it. The stronger the competition is, the more effort it takes to win, and that, as you can guess, costs. For long tail SEO it works differently, since it’s much easier to achieve high ranking positions for specific, complex phrases.

5. A steady clicks growth

It’s a quite simple mechanism. If we focus only on a few phrases and manage to achieve high rankings, the organic traffic can grow only to a certain level, and then stabilize. Long tail SEO offers more growth opportunities – adding new phrases containing the exact product specification, we can generate more and more organic traffic – only sky is the limit. This advantage of long tail SEO leads us to another one. While optimizing website for many phrases, single ranking drops will not hurt as much as they would, should only traditional approach to SEO be implemented. To sum up – a correct long tail SEO process can increase the number of page views and secure a stably high SERP ranking position.

6. An optimal solution for online stores and e-commerce

Why is long tail an internet commerce best choice? When offering a wide range of products, there is a much higher probability that the customers will find our product not as a result of googling, for example, “computer speakers” but “computer speakers…” AND location details, manufacturer, model, color, etc. It’s then best to treat such product specifications as keywords and optimize for them.

7. Ranking for long tail phrases influences ranking for general phrases

A fortunate “side effect” of long tail SEO is ranking higher also for more general keywords, which are parts of complex long tail phrases.

Despite all these advantages, there are circumstances where long tail SEO won’t work. It’s especially true for underdeveloped websites, with few pages and products offered.

Long tail SEO is not everything!

Technically, long tail SEO process is not so different from other SEO strategies. A constant high quality link building, good content and social media visibility are therefore always needed. Long tail is defined by the scope of the process – we focus on many key phrases related to specific products. If your catalog is rich and your goals include increasing organic traffic, conversion, sales and ROI, long tail SEO is your man.

However, one avoid the extremes or considering long tail SEO as the only way succeed there is. After all, even a decided customer that lands on our page will not stay there for too long, should the content appears low quality. If the page takes too much time to load, the very same user may get bored before they know the exact product information. Long tail SEO is, as other SEO strategies, a team player. Works best if is only a part of a set of more complex activities contributing to one goal only: boosting the search engine page visibility.

Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

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