Tapping Into Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

By: Jeff Alderson

Locating a website owner who doesn't want to see an increase in traffic is something akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Increased traffic can equal more sales, more readers and more advertising revenue. Tapping into the power of long tail keywords has become the latest craze for making this happen, and rightfully so.

The idea that gave birth to the use of long tail keywords came from an article Chris Anderson published in Wired Magazine. Anderson put forth the notion that the collective sales of niche products could outpace the sale of popular products - especially since so much competition exists on the popular front. This idea has since been applied to the Internet and methods for driving traffic to sites.

Anyone who uses Internet search engines very likely already understands what long tail keywords are. These are nothing more than the phrases that people type into search engines to find sites that are more targeted to their needs. Rather than sending a searcher to a site that's rich with the most popular keyword, this type of search targets results. In essence, it sends people to the sites that fit their desired niche or need.

This theory basically plays off of how people actually use search engines. Rather than looking for "bread", those looking to learn how to make it would likely type in more defining terms. For example, "bread recipes for kids", or "bread making instructions" would be used. While these terms might not have the search engine ranking the more popular single terms do, they can play to a website owner's advantage. Since they don't have the competition out there that more popular words do, obtaining a high ranking is generally easier.

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.

Driving traffic to a website isn't always easy. Going through the back door by targeting niches can be one way to make this happen. Long tail keywords are the key that can unlock it all. It is extremely important to use them.

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About the 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 find profitable keywords
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