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It’s pretty well established by now that long tail keyword phrases have value in and of themselves. But what constitutes the long tail?

Generally, the long tail is defined by those keywords that are less competitive than the broad search term. For instance, “website design” would be considered a broad search term. As of this writing, there are 1.79 billion results in Google for that search phrase. But we can narrow the search field by narrowing the scope of our search. Let’s try “website design for churches.” Barely more than 5 million search results.

OK, so now let’s put our keyword phrase in quotes and search. Just 11,200 results for the exact search phrase “website design for churches.” There’s your long tail.

What Long Tail Keywords Can Do For Your Business

If you were to target that keyword phrase, you wouldn’t get a lot of traffic. But if you do website design for churches, then it’s a targeted keyword phrase that would be easier to exploit for traffic purposes and you stand a much better chance at getting on page 1 for your search engine optimization efforts.

The long tail represents opportunities for you to capitalize on less often search terms that could still be profitable for your business. Think about this hypothetical-but-realistic scenario:

  • The most popular search phrase in your industry delivers 10,000 unique website visitors to the website in the No. 1 position in Google. It’s not you. In fact, as a new business, you are down somewhere on page 100 of the search results. You get no traffic from that phrase.
  • One long tail keyword phrase delivers 50 unique website visitors to the website in the No. 1 position in Google for that phrase. You’re No. 3 and get 10 uniques a month from that phrase.
  • You target 100 long tail keyword phrases and get an average of 25 unique visitors each month from those keyword phrases – a total of 2,500 unique visitors.

Let’s stop there. With 100 long tail keyword phrases you are able to capture 2,500 very well targeted website visitors each month, and let’s say you convert 10% of them into sales. That’s 250 new customers per month. If your average sale is $30, that represents an income of $7,500 per month. Would you rather have that or 0% of 10,000?

Long tail keywords are great opportunities for new businesses online. In time, you can turn long tail keywords into broad search income. But it takes time. Be patient.

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