What is a Long Tail Keyword?
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Today, I am doing something a little bit different. I thought I would bust out my wipe board and make a video on long tail keywords! I'm not sure exactly what prompted me to throw this video together, but I was in the moment and just went for it. So, I would appreciate any feedback as to whether or not you would like to see more or less of these types of videos.
Anyway, I did this impromptu discussion of what exactly a long tail keyword is because I still think there is a lot of confusion over what they are. And this is really a pretty critical factor as the entire theory of building and profiting from niche websites is based on this long tail theory. I have personally put a lot of time and research into understanding the importance of this theory - and so far its paid off nicely. Anyway, all of the text after the video here is the transcript of the video - so enjoy!
What is a Long Tail Keyword - Video
Transcript of the above video:
Hello - Spencer here with nichepursuits.com and I wanted to do something a little bit different today. I wanted to draw on the wipe board - The kids are a swim lessons and I have a quiet house! I thought I would discuss a couple of things. A lot of people talk abo.ut long tail keywords all the time, and I think there is a lot of misconceptions about what long tail keyword is. So, I wanted to show you what my interpretation of a Long Tail Keyword is and 2 different strategies to take advantage of those keywords.
What I am going to do is draw a graph. This is just a normal distribution curve. You will have to excuse my ability to draw, its not so great. Essentially what we have is a long tail curve. What this shows - and if we label the 2 different axises here - we have search volume down here and competition here. So, let me explain a little bit of history first. If you haven't read the article " The long tail" by Chris Anderson - it was written back in 2004 for Wired magazine - you should.
This really discussed how the ability for online stores to sell digital goods has changed the way we buy things. Because it costs so little to hold an additional title such as a book title or a music title that online stores can sell very few copies of the long tale title or those titles that maybe only sell one or 2 copies a day but if they have a million of those small selling items - They actually make more money on those long tail items versus a best selling novel where they are only selling one title but a million copies. So they make more money selling maybe 1 title and a million copies versus selling 2 millions titles maybe only 1 time a day. So that is kinda the theory behind it but I'd recommend reading that article.
When we look at a keyword however, we are thinking about the same thing. We have high search volume. So the search volume is from high to low. The further you get down here on the tail - the lower the search volume of the keyword. That's what the tail refers to - its this curve. Its referred to as a tail. So as the tail gets further out, the search volume for those keywords get lower. On the other hand here we've got high volume search volume keywords. Then we've got competition here from low to high.
For example, we've got high search volume and high competition keywords. So maybe up here, we might have "credit cards" something that if you could rank in the top of Google for that - you are going to make a lot of money but the competition is extremely high so it becomes difficult. So most of us have to move down lower on the competition level and as we do that - typcially less competition keywords also get lower search volume.
What a Long Tail Keyword Really Is
So as we come down here maybe we have got something that we can rank better for but we also get lower search volume. One of the keywords that I have discussed in the past that I have build a website on is "Worm Farms". That's a long tail keyword. Notice that the length of the phrase you know "Credit cards" vs "Worm Farms" - has absolutely nothing to do with whether a keyword is a long tail keywrod. A keyword up here - maybe "credit cards with low interest" is still higher up here on the curve then maybe "Worm Farm Business". So even though this one has more words, "Worm Farm Business" is more of a long tail keyword because it is on the tail of the curve. So that is what a long tail keyword is. It has nothing to do with how long the phrase is.
So "Worm Farm Business" you are definitely more likely to rank well for because its low competiion , but you also have to realize that its low search volume so you are not going to make as much money - you are not going to get as much traffic. So I hope I made that clear.
How to Make Money From Long Tail Keywords
So there are 2 ways to profit from Long Tail Keywords.
The first is with small niche websites. A small niche website is what I have talked about on my blog all the time. So you find a long tail keyword - so lets say Worm Farm Business - I have no idea how much search volume that keyword gets - but lets say it does meet that minimum criteria that I always talk about.
And you can register the exact match domain and you might build a website surrounding that 1 particlular keyword and you might have some other articles that go into some more detail. You are much more likely to rank well because of the power of your domain name and the laser focus of the topic of your entire website.
So that is why niche websites are so powerful, because you can outrank bigger websites that dont target your long tail keyword quite as accurately as you can. You really have an advantage over bigger websites because you can have an entire websites focused on a very small topic that they might just brush over briefly. So that is one way that you can profit from long tail keywords.
The second way is to build more of an authority site. Of course this is all talking about how to use Search engine optimization to build a profitable website when we are talking about long tail keywords. So you can also build an authority site. An authority site would still preferebly target one particlular phrase or keyword but maybe instead of something down on the long tail graph - maybe you come up and target something with mid level competition.
You will build a website - maybe you can still buy an exact match domain - if its available, but maybe that's not quite so critical. So maybe you have a personal finance blog that targets one of these mid level keywords. You want to make it an authority site, so instead of making it with 10 or 20 articles that a small niche website might have - the expectation is to put 100 or 200 or more perhaps articles that are all sort of within the same niche that all target similar topics - but you can flesh out the discussion much more in depth than you might on a small niche website. Now the key is that for all of those additional articles that you are adding - lets say maybe you have 100 articles on your website - for each of those articles you want to target a long tail keyword.
So, you might be targeting one primary keyword for your domain, but each of your articles would preferably target a smaller long tail keyword. Because you have more articles, lets say typically for a small niche website maybe you want to find a keywords that has 3000 exact match searches that you would target. For an authority websites you can maybe target keywords that have 500 searches or less per month. So you can actually target keywords that are further down on the long tail with each article.
Okay I have to apologize the camera actually just turned off there, but I was simply stating that to build that authority website you are going to want to target these potentially even smaller long tail keywords. And I was going to let you know that I have built a couple of authority websites in the past. These websites began as small niche websites, but as I saw potential for growth and because they did target a potential market that was big enough, I added more content and I do have a couple of sites now that have about 100 articles or so that would fit into this authority site type category.
My Authority Site Project
And actually going forward, my next big project I actually do plan to initially to target building an authority website. In fact in the last week or so I have purchased a domain name that targets a good mid level competition keyword. I expect it to take me six months to a year to rank well for that particular keyword. I have already ordered about 50 articles or so, and I plan to have at least a couple of hundreds articles on that site that target those lower competition keywords. This is my next big project that I am working on.
Your Thoughts Appreciated!
I just wanted to give you a couple of ideas of how you could implement long tail keywords into your business strategy. I hope that you have found this information useful. And as always I would appreciate any thoughts questions or comments that you might have about this video - Just go ahead and leave those in the comment section below. Thanks very much for watching!
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