There are numerous methods of driving traffic to your website, one of the most effective methods is “Long Tail Marketing”.

Long Tail marketing in its simplest terms is the on-site SEO targeting of niche keywords which are related to your website. These keywords are usually multiple word phrases and are highly relevant to your website. Long  Tail keywords tend to be less competitive but with this they usually also have fairly low search volumes. You stand a better chance of ranking for these terms however you may need to target many Long Tail phrases in order to bring huge volumes of traffic. This can also be fairly time consuming and is by no means a quick method of building traffic.

The diagram below illustrates these long tail terms.

Long tail marketing

An example scenario:

Let’s say you sell digital cameras, your primary search term might be “flowers” a more niche term which people may be searching for would be “white flowers” or “Japanese red roses florist Warsaw” you get the idea…

How do you find Long Tail phrases?

Here are a few examples how I go about discovering long Tail keywords.

1) Google AdWords

If you are running a Google Adwords PPC campaign for your website this is a fantastic place to find these terms. ( This technique only works for broad and phrase match types)

  • Select a pretty wide date range from the date picker at the top of the screen.
  • Click on the Keywords Tab
  • Click the tick box to highlight all the keywords, and then click “see search terms”

The report you will see includes all the phrases people typed into Google to trigger your advert. Any of these which are 3 words or more are essentially your Long Tail Phrases.

2) Google Keyword Planner

This is a great tool to help you discover long Tail keywords, simple enter your primary terms into the search box and Google will display all related search terms, along with the number of competitors using the term and an estimated search volume.

It is worth noting that this number of competitors is the number of people using the keyword in a PPC campaign.

Another point to note is that the search volume displayed has two major flaws, 1st it is an estimate gathered from an average over the last 6 months and 2nd the search volume is for a broad match type only. To get a better idea of the “exact” search volume you should take the suggested keywords and run them through a tool like SEOMoz pro. This gives you a better result.

3) Google Analytics Reports

GA is an amazing tool for us SEO’s, Conversion Specialists and Web designers alike. It is very useful for discovering longtail terms. In the traffic sources section under the search terms option. This report will give you a list of the search terms people found your website via the organic listings.

4) Google Webmaster Tools

Very similar to the report GA gives you, however this also provides an average rank for each term along with a CTR or click through rate, this is basically a percentage score of how often your site gets clicked on against impressions (each time your site appears in the search results).

By analysing these two metrics you can make educated choices of which keywords you should target, you are already ranking somewhere for these terms so you will already have a head start! It is simply a matter of improving upon these terms.

This is my preferred method.

Research The Long Tail Marketing Terms Before Using Them.

This step on “targeting the long Tail” is fairly straight forward, it is a matter of performing some keyword research on your discovered terms.

  • Start by putting together a list
  • Analyse search volumes using Exact Match type, SEOMoz will do a great job of this.
  • Analyse the number of competitors using this term, I perform a broad Google search and record the number of websites found, and then run a more advanced “allintitle:Keyword” search. This will give you the number of all the sites using this in their Title Tags. (I theory is figure is the true SEO competition).
  • Run a rankings report using these terms against your site currently, this will highlight the terms you can quickly improve.

I usually store this information in an Excel spreadsheet, see below for an example.

Once you have researched the keywords it is time to implement them.

How To Use The Discovered Terms.

There are 3 simple methods I usually use:

1) On Page SEO for existing content.

This technique is the fastest and the easiest, it simply involves re-writing your existing content to include your chosen long tail keywords.

As these keywords by their nature are less competitive simply editing existing content maybe a quick way of gaining some extra traffic.

If possible try not to disrupt the keyword targeting of the primary page terms, if possible try to include the long tail term in the Title tag of the page you are editing.

2) On Page SEO for Fresh Content.

This is pretty self explanatory, basically your will produce some fresh content whether it’s a blog post or a page on your site, it could even be an additional paragraph on an existing page. Either way you choose you will be creating content specifically targeting this long tail term.

3) Purely Off-Site Link Building

This method is more time consuming and more difficult to do well, (especially in the age of Google Penguin).

I have achieved results by simply using the Long Tail Keyword as the hyper link text linking back to my website. The secret to this technique is to target the most relevant page for this keyword, effectively the long tail term should be a synonym of the page keywords already in place.

Finally…

If you don’t see results for the pure on-site methods I would suggest adding the 3rd off-site link building to the mix, this should help the search engines find your content.

If you can think of any other ways to either discover or implement long tail keywords in your website marketing then please leave a comment below.

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