For a while now, I've been beating the drums about concentrating on the long tail. Of course, 70 million others have done so as well. If you still haven't listened to me or any of those other folks, maybe you should stop for a minute and reconsider embracing the concept.
Matt Cutts had a blog post recently that I consider to be one of his best. If you don't feel like taking the time to read it, I'll summarize the key points here (or at least the ones that I'm concerned with for this particular post).
Find your niche. Discover something that is difficult to find on the web, and write about it. Become the authority for that small niche, and then build out to the larger niches over time.
Use word variations and long tail phrases in your title and url, as well as throughout your content.
One of the things I'm fond of saying is "It's all about the niche". I should really expand on that to be "It's all about the niche and the long tail". For those of you who already subscribe to this philosophy, good for you. For those of you who still haven't embraced it, please consider it. You will not only become energized as you discover new content that you can add to your site, but you will be surprised at the results, as the visitors start streaming in.
For anyone who still thinks it's all just hogwash, or a waste of your time, I challenge you just to try it. Let me know the results. Convince me I'm wrong. I'm willing to listen to an opposing viewpoint.
5 thoughts on “Repeat after me: It is all about the niche and the long tail”
Hi Donna, have a few questions for ya if you don’t mind…
What do you do with your long tail information? Do you create new pages targeting these keywords on your already exsisting niche? How do you go about getting external links to these long tail page? Or do you simply create new sites surrounding long tail keywords?
It would be great to see some examples of how you’ve used this information (if you haven’t already)
Yes, I create new content targeting long tail phrases on an already existing niche. And yes, I sometimes create a new site for a niche keyword. That’s usually more rare however. Whenever I do create a new site, though, I specifically aim for the long tail phrases right off the bat, rather than the money phrases. Doing so gets me quick rankings, immediate visitors, and helps me to forget all about a dirty sandbox. Getting external links is no different than for any other page. Most of the time, however, you don’t need to even worry about getting links for these phrases. Onpage most often will carry you into the rankings for them.
Anderson’s book “The Long Tail” is a mix of good observations and poor use of facts. Netflix, one of his main examples, is used incorrectly and it actually disproves his main idea. I wrote a review of Long Tail at http://www.insider-seo.com/book-review-longtail.asp The general idea is good (“long tail”, or the logrithmic distribution of data) but there is very little that can be done with this.
Tony asks how can one use long tail distribution. Well… start an Amazon.com. Asides from that, not much. If you try this in Google Adwords, you’ll be punished severely. Go ahead and drop two million keywords into your Adwords acct and watch your Quality Score collapse. Google Adwords will also raise your minimum bids to $10.
As I said, Long Tail theory is interesting, but it has little application.
I was talking about organic SEO rather than Adwords. In any case, I don’t understand why you say it has little application. If you have 1000 visitors coming to your site via long tail keywords, that’s 1000 opportunities to convert. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on it.
I have “long tailed site” although I hadnt noticed that term used before. Since our site (Nyfiken vital (swedish)) is a small non-profit newspaper it grows natural with a lot of long tailed titles and stuff.
It also grows over time and get quite a lot of natural links to the articles, which are good and needed, and of course visitors. A normal day about 75% of the readers come from Google.
A large present of the readers that came from Google come in “long tailed search words” (do I still say “long tailed” here?).
Could you or anyone else maybe recommend some other information about long-tailed sites and long-tailed searches?
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