We are the first to admit that the world of SEO is rather heavy on the jargon.
To the untrained reader it may appear that many search engine optimisation blog posts practically employ their own online language. Well we do our best to demystify this profession of ours by explaining the odd term here and there.
One SEO related phrase that seems to come up a great deal in blogs on the subject is ‘the long tail’. Today we’re going to give you a brief explanation and description of precisely what that means, so that next time you read it, well, you’ll know what on earth we’re going on about!
The Long Tail – a Brief Description:
A rather specific search term, usually a phrase (rather than a keyword) it will generally contain more than 2 words and have low competition, referring to a particular niche. Search volume will be lower than other keywords and phrases but a person employing the long tail to find your site will be a highly qualified lead.
And Now in a Bit More Detail
The long tail is best illustrated by an example so, for the sake of example, imagine that you sell wedding dresses. You’d love to rank number 1 for ‘weddings’ or ‘wedding dresses’ but it’s never going to happen, so you need to define your long tail.
Your long tail terms might include:
‘Designer X wedding dresses in North London’
‘Vintage look wedding dresses’
‘Tailor-made 1950’s style wedding dresses’
In an area so vast, where people’s requirements are so specific, your long tail terms can be specific too. What is unique about your product or service? What, specifically, might someone be searching for if they wanted to find exactly the product in your store? These are the questions that will help you to define your long tail terms.
Yes, the traffic for ‘wedding dresses’ might be extremely high but how likely is someone searching on that term to buy from your store, versus someone specifically searching for ‘tailor-made 1950’s inspired wedding dresses’? The second searcher knows exactly what she wants and is far more likely to buy.
Think of all your long tail terms and the traffic they generate should add up to near the levels of traffic generated by the main keyword BUT the traffic generated by the long tail will be far more valuable – perhaps that’s why we SEO bods write about it so much!