It’s All About The Longtail

LongTail Keywords” – We’ve all heard of the term, but what is the {real~definitive~actual~factual}  *SECRET* to the long tail?

Well, there’s really no secret – every website owner or affiliate marketer knows that the only way to drive traffic to any web property they own is to focus on market or product specific keywords to show up on page 1 of the google search, or use paid traffic through Google Adwords or MSN Adcentre, Yahoo Search Network etc etc.   But what do you do when the keyword you want has 15,000,000 competing pages?    It’s likely that of those 15,000,000 pages, only a fraction of a percentage of the sites are really targetting that particular keyword specifically, so don’t let that rain on your parade.   If you search for more specific key phrases (as opposed to key words), you’ll usually find the competition much less fierce – in most cases… So you NEED to know what these key phrases are. 

So IF people are actually making it to your site – what was the keyword phrase they used to get there?  This information is GOLD and if you aren’t tracking this, you’re pretty much shooting in the dark.   It’s one thing to find a keyphrase that gets searched for a bunch of times, but it’s even better when you know that a certain keyphrase ends up converting to a SALE.

Let’s take a step back for a minute… Many factors play into the probability of your website and individual pages showing up in the search engine results.  Things like keyword density, meta tags, image alt tags, most searched key phrases, originating country, etc etc all affect the kind / amount of traffic that you can expect.  For example, if you happen to be running a website promoting a high-ticket marketing product written in English, yet you are somehow getting a ton of traffic that is being referred from a French speaking forum somewhere in Europe, your chances of conversion are pretty slim.

Now imagine if you had the power to gather vital information like this about the visitors to your site and HOW they came to your site – if you knew a lot were coming from a certain forum, you could customize your landing page to welcome them.   If you knew the exact keywords they were using to find you in Google, you could craft your content to be as relevant as possible to that keyword phrase.  If you knew that particular keyword phrase had a high search volume and you saw that there are relatively few competing pages SEO optimized for that keyword (and terms thematically related to it),  you have a great chance of being ranked very high in the SERPS.

Having said that, In this day and age of extreme competition on the web, it’s not enough to have a content filled, fancy looking website – you need to know as much about what your market is looking for as well as much information about your actual visitors as possible.  You also need to target the “long-tail keywords” that bring BUYING customers to your site – not just terms (broad or longtail terms) that “information seekers” type in.  

So how do you find out all the “who, what, where, how” of your visitors to your web-pages?   After you’ve done all that research and built sites, and monetized with adsense etc etc etc, what are you doing to ANALYZE the visitors that ultimately land on your site?  If you just said looking at your awstats or a webcounter – that doesn’t really give you enough ACTIONABLE information – you need something more detailed.   You really need something that can tell you that a certain keyphrase was searched for 25 times this week, that traffic was all coming from a particular forum post and when they came to your website, they all exited on a particular page.   With this kind of detailed information, you can begin to truly analyze what your visitors are looking for and what they are doing once they land on your site. 

For more information on how  you can use the “long tail” to analyze your visitor traffic as well the behaviour of your visitors on your site, check out this utility called Longtail Magic.

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