Keyword Research – The Lure of the Long Tail

Are you paying attention to long tailed keywords in your online marketing campaigns? If not, you could be leaving a lot of money of the table.

As an Australian internet marketer, you keenly understand the importance of finding the right keywords. Keywords offer insights into searcher intent. Plus by optimising your website for various relevant keywords you increase your chances of being ranked well in the search engines and being found by your target visitors.


If you’ve tried optimising your site for popular keywords in the last few years, you know how it difficult it’s become to rank well. In the old days, you could just throw a mass of spammy links at your site and see your site shoot up the SERPS. Unfortunately, so could your competition. Then Google changed everything.

Black or even gray hat activities such as link farms and link buying are now a ticket to the bottom of the search results or even to the limbo of the supplementary index. So how do you rank in this brave new world?

Latch Onto the Long Tail

The concept of the long tail was popularised by Chris Anderson in his book of the same name. In it he explained how minimal storage and delivery costs made it worthwhile for firms like to stock specialised books and other items that had very low sales volume.

What does this have to do with keywords?

Long tailed keywords are those phrases that get a relatively low search volume but are very specific. Compare ‘top budget sydney harbour view hotel deals’ with ‘sydney hotels’, for example. It’s obvious which one is easier to rank for.

But ease of ranking is not the only factor that makes these types of keywords attractive. Long tailed keywords are more focused and thus more likely to convert.

‘Sydney hotels’ is an example of an ‘information seeking keyword’. Even if you rank well for the term and get boatload of visitors, you probably won’t get many sales.

But by optimising your page for ‘top budget sydney harbour view hotel deals’, though you may only get 10 visitors per day, you’re more likely to make sales as the buyer intent is so focused. It’s an example of a ‘buyer keyword’,  which is just what you need for a commercial website.

Ultimately, it’s all about the one thing Google prizes the most – relevance. Give the searcher exactly what he wants and you’ll be rewarded.

So as an Australian SEO firm, be sure to consider the long tail in your next online project. It will help with every stage from inception through to planning and operation. You’ll be giving both Google and your searcher exactly they want, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
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