The Long Tail Keyword Marketing Effect

The Long Tail Keyword Marketing Effect

Long Tail Keywords…

How do I find out what these keywords are?

…and why are they so important?

Long Tail keywords are those 3 and 4-keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling.

You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.

In virtually every case, such very specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales than general generic searches which tend to be geared more toward the type and depth of research that consumers typically do prior to making a buying decision.

Here are the typical steps (on average) a consumer goes through when seeking a service or product to purchase on the web:

  1.     Consumer becomes aware of a product.
  2.     Consumer seeks information about that product in preparation for possible purchase.
  3.     Consumer evaluates alternatives to product (features, pricing, etc…).
  4.     Consumer makes their purchase decision.
  5.     Consumer pulls out their credit card and completes the transaction.
  6.     Consumer then evaluates the product after buying it and decides if they want to keep or return it.

Using the above six step process as our model, you can probably already see that you want to target the consumer who is somewhere around step 4…
Consumer makes their purchase decision.

…because once they have made their decision to buy something, that’s when they start using very specific search phrases to seek out their target purchase.

Now for the GOOD news…

Highly specific multi-word phrases tend to be far easier to rank well for than the more generic single keyword or double keyword phrases. That’s because most businesses tend to target the high traffic keywords, without paying attention to how well they convert.

Here’s a specific example. Let’s say your site sells guided mountain climbing tours in North Georgia.  At first, you might consider targeting a generic phrase like travel.  After all, an adventure tour is generally the type of excursion people like to participate in while traveling on vacation.

However, if you tried to go after that phrase, you’d be facing direct competition from big sites like, and  It’s unlikely you’d be able to knock any of those sites out of the top 10 unless you’re willing to invest a pile of money and a mountain of time.

But, even more important, travel isn’t the best phrase for you to target anyway. That’s because many people who search using that phrase are looking for items such as plane tickets, ocean cruises or just doing very general research on where they might like to go. They’re probably not saying to themselves…

“I’m looking for someone who sells guided tours for beginners to climb the Blue Ridge mountains so I can take my family on a fun trip this summer.”

If they were, they’d be entering something different than travel.

Even if you were to target a more specific phrase like mountain climbing you’d still be up against heavy hitters like,, and the USDA forest service. And, unless you sell everything related to mountain climbing for every mountain around the world, the traffic you’d get for that keyword isn’t likely to convert to many sales.

So let’s look at some of the keywords that are specific to what you’re selling—keywords that you can start ranking for and generating traffic and sales right away.

Here are a few highly specific keyphrases that relate to customers who are much later in the buying cycle—at least at step 3, probably at step 4 and possibly step 5:

  •     North Georgia mountain climbing tours
  •     Beginner mountain climbing in North Georgia (or Georgia)
  •     Guided mountain climbing tours
  •     Blue Ridge Mountains family climbing tours

Of course, these are just a few examples. I’m sure you could think of many more. However, the point is twofold:

  1.     The long tail keywords are much easier to rank for.
  2.     People who search by using long tail keywords are far more likely to become buyers!

More Good News…

Of course this suggests that you should be creating pages that zero-in on snagging searchers who use long tail keywords. And, since there are potentially so many different long tail combinations that searchers may use to buy what you offer, this means you’ll likely be creating more content.