Long Tail Keywords Deliver The Traffic

By: Jeff Alderson

When website traffic is up, owners can experience greater sales or increased ad revenue. Knowing this and actually making it happen requires a little strategizing. This is where the use of long tail keywords can be extremely helpful.

Chris Anderson's article in Wired Magazine about the benefits of tapping into niche markets over selling popular products gave birth to the idea for long tail keywords. Anderson proposed that it makes more sense to operate in a market with a targeted niche and less competition than to compete on the popular front where competition is high. Anderson's theory has been put to work on the Internet rather effectively.

Before diving into the concept, it helps to understand what long tail keywords are. They are nothing more than longer keyword phrases that people use during their Internet searches to help them find sites of interest. Rather than single keywords that most website owners and managers are used to optimizing for, the long tail involves the less frequently searched keyword phrases. These keywords tend to be more focused and targeted than a single world search. They also tend to reflect exactly what a searcher needs to find. So, in essence, they are the "niche."

If a person searching is looking for information on training a dog, for example, it's possible they would go beyond typing in "dog training". Their actual search might include terms such as "training a golden retriever", "housebreaking Labrador puppies", "agility training for dogs". These particular terms might not have the ranking or traffic potential that that main keywords do, but they have proven very useful for tapping into traffic in a different way. The trick here is that these phrases don't have the competition that main words might.

Long tail keywords don't work exactly the same way that more popular keywords might, but they can be rather effective. By working to drive smaller, steady streams of traffic to a website, long tail keywords can pay off with increased traffic, conversions and even search engine rankings. These words make it easier to compete and lead where the competition isn't as high.

To make long tail keywords work for a site, they have to be chosen and put into action. There are a few ways to select the right keywords.

One way that site managers often use is to purchase or use a tracking program such as HitTail.com. This program analyze a site and makes suggestions on long tail phrases that might work. HitTail is easy to use and very helpful. Another method involves actually looking at the phrases visitors to a website type in for internal searches. This can be a great way to find out exactly what things visitors are searching for, which can lead to better optimization. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool and other similar programs like Ad Word Analyzer software can also be quite beneficial.

Other options for optimizing traffic with the right phrases exist. They include looking at the competition to see what long tail keywords they use and even just allowing a natural development to take place. The latter involves simply adding more content to a website on a regular basis, using core keywords and phrases as the backbone.

Getting started in optimizing a website with long tail keywords isn't very difficult. Most people suggest looking at competition sites to see what they do and then figuring out the best phrases to use in the optimization process. Next comes a need to increase content that could help in tapping into the traffic. And of course, do consider using keyword tools to speed up the research process.

Increasing traffic on a long-term and steady basis takes work. It's not necessarily a snap, but it is ceratinly worth the effort. Long tail keywords can make this happen.

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Author Jeff Alderson is a Florida based Internet marketer. He is an expert on PPC and SEO strategies. To boost sales, Jeff suggests using a keyword tool to uncover profitable keywords
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