Long Tail Search and Why it’s important
Long Tail Search is a very specific search term that is generally associated with a more serious type of searcher. In a transactional search, where a user is looking to make a purchase or open an account, a long tail search is usually very targeted and a searcher is more likely the to make a purchase. Before we go into more detail however, you first need to understand how those searches even make it to the page. Lets touch briefly on a few key things that will help Crawling and Indexing.
Anyone who knows anything about SEO and wants to know How to rank on Google or Bing needs to understand first how they think. In order to provide users a great search experience, search engines perform something known as Crawling. So, what is crawling? In regards to SOE, crawling is when a search engine goes out and discovers as many websites as possible so they can potentially display them in a users search results.
Now, you might be thinking, how to they search the entire internet? The answer is they don’t. Search engines look at the content as a series of inter-related pages. Think about it in terms of giving a friend a recommendation. There is a link between you and your friend. They are credible because they are connected you to. That is why it is important to link to credible sites. Paddy Morgan goes into it in more detail her State of Digital blog post. This will help in your website ranking.
What does it mean to be indexed by Google. Well, google builds a database that contains what they deem as important search terms on each page that has been crawled. Search terms are not the only things that Google collects. They keep a close eye on the pages that link to and from a page. Additionally, they keep track of the anchor text within a page. These are all things that a search engine will collect.
Why Long Tail Searches can be Lucrative
Rand Fishkin has explained it very eloquently: why is long tail a great search option. He discusses the numbers behind long tail search in his blog. Essentially, 30% of the search traffic is for very generic search terms. These terms bay be clothes, or shoes. However, the remaining 70% is for more specific searches. Think about it, why would you try to rank for simple terms, in a competitive market? It makes more sense to attract a more focused demographic. People tend to start searching for a product to find with a very generic search term. They then become more educated and really hone in on what they are interested in. As a business, would you rather rank for a search term to help educate someone, or rank for a search term while they are ready to buy? That is a pretty easy argument to make. You will want to want to do long tail search keyword research.
Long Tail Can Save You Time and Effort
Lets go back to a consumer example. If you are trying to rank for shoes, how hard is it going to be to rank number 1 on Google? There is so much competition. Why not pick your best selling shoe, or your most profitable shoe and try and rank for that. It will be much less competitive to rank for “Men’s hand made loafers” then “shoes”. One, it helps you to attract focused buyers, and two it is much less work to rank for. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but it will be worth the effort in the end. You want your competitors to educate the buyer on shoes and ultimately buy on your site. The important thing is that your site is their last stop.