The phrase “the long tail” was coined in 2004 by Chris Anderson. In Wired Magazine, he wrote: “The Long Tail: Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.”
He was referring to the demand curve explained by this infographic:
The Biggest, Yet Least Competitive Part of Search
Long tail searches work together with head searches to bring traffic to your site. For a website that follows the stock market, the search “Good Stocks” would be a top search and “Good Social Media Stocks With Profits” would be a long tail search.
There is a greater chance that someone will find your site with a longer search. Creating content that incorporates both head and long tail search keywords brings increased search engine visibility to all websites instantly.
Long tail searches feature less competition and incorporating long tail keywords into content is an inexpensive way to increase the earning potential of any business by simply better utilizing resources, which already exist.
The Internet makes many niche businesses, which were impossible due to limited demand, not only profitable and feasible, but highly desirable. Long tail items, which were too obscure to be stocked by traditional retailers find buyers on the Internet. In fact, 70% of Internet search traffic is comprised of searches, which are considered long tail.
Furthermore, the fastest growing segment of search is for longer searches. In general terms, long tail searches tend to convert to paying customers or returning visitors at a higher rate than head searches. Consumers tend to search with longer terms when they are closer to making a purchasing decision.
Think About Questions Your Customers Ask
If you offer guitar lessons in Detroit, Michigan, publishing a great website with copy describing that you offer guitar lessons, are experienced in rock and blues, are available seven days a week and have 20 years of experience will be missed by many searches unless you mention that you are located in Detroit, Michigan as well.
Most people searching for guitar lessons would specify a location. For people interested in buying insurance, the search “insurance” would be a top search, while “home insurance in Denver, Colorado” would be a related long tailed search.
Research search terms customers are using to find your website now and expand on those. Build long tailed versions of the head keywords, which bring visitors to your site. The longer and more diverse the trail of long tailed keywords that are left for potential visitors on the web, the greater the potential they will visit you site and convert to paying customers, subscribers or returning visitors.