Long tail SEO is a lesser-known, yet incredibly powerful technique for building up organic search traffic for your business. Numerous studies suggest that long tail keywords are easier to rank for, bring in more combined traffic, and convert more visitors to customers, as compared to "head" keywords. In this article we're going to discover in detail what long tail SEO is and whether you should use this technique as a part of your keyword strategy.
What Is Long Tail SEO?
To answer this question, let's first dig deeper into different keyword targeting strategies.
When researching keywords, most SEOs consider the following three core keyword qualities (you should consider them too!):
Search volume – the average number of times people have searched for a given keyword during a specified period. Naturally, the larger the search volume a keyword has, the more visitors you can potentially bring to your website by targeting this keyword.
Competition – how easy/hard it is to outrank competitors with a given keyword.
Relevance – the more relevant to your specific product, service, or website topic a keyword is, the more likely it is that visitors who've found your website with this keyword will actually convert to paying customers.
Early SEO adopters (at the beginning of the Internet) were focused on targeting keywords that have high search volume. There wasn't much competition those days, making it relatively easy to get into the Top 10 of the search engine results page (SERP) virtually with any keyword.
Relevance wasn't of a much concern either due to large traffic volumes. For example, when you're in the Top 10 with a keyword that has over 100,000 searches per month, and your website's CTR (click-through-rate) for this keyword is only around 3%, you still get as much as 3,000 visits per month (100,000*3%). And if you are in the Top 3 with this same keyword, your website's CTR may rise up to 30%, meaning you will be receiving around 30,000 visitors per month from a single keyword! Chances are that some of the visitors will actually find what they are looking for on your website and become your customers.
But things have changed since those days. According to Netcraft's March 2016 Web Server Survey the total number of sites across the Internet has reached more than a billion (1,003,887,790). Compare this to only 603,367 sites that have been registered in the late 1996: