SEO Question: What Is Long Tail Traffic?

I’ve been told to focus on long tail traffic for my SEO campaign, but I’m not sure I understand the term fully. Please can you explain?

Deeho Says:

Keywords can be split up into several different categories. The main two are long tail and short tail.

Short tail keywords are the most competitive, one or two word phrases that attract the most traffic…. (although it is less targeted traffic). For example, you might be a car insurance broker, who is trying to rank for the term ‘insurance’, but imagine you achieved no. 1 rankings in Google…. you would attract a lot of non specific traffic that wouldn’t necessarily be related to your car insurance business.

You might get traffic looking for pet insurance, house insurance, life insurance, prosecution for driving without insurance, how to become an insurance broker etc.

Much of this traffic won’t convert into new business for you, but you will have paid for it, so you won’t gain as much as you could, in exchange for doing more work that you may have needed to do.

In our insurance example, targeting a long tail term such as ‘car insurance brokers’, ‘cheap car insurance’, young drivers insurance deals’ etc. will give you lower volumes of traffic but the visitors you get will be much more likely to buy from you because you have targeted them with specific long tail terms.

If you use Google keyword tool to create a list of keywords and phrases, you will be able to identify a long list of potential long tail keywords that will convert for you when people use them to visit your site.

It’s vital at this stage to ask yourself if each of these phrases will drive targeted visitors. If the term is ambiguous or too vague, don’t include it in your list of primary keywords.

Long tail terms are often less competitive than short term keywords, (this isn’t always the case), so it will often take less time, expense and effort to get your page into the top ten.

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