This post is a guest post by Kirsty LaVier
Do you know what the long tail is? It is critical to understand the long tail and correctly use it in all of your online marketing efforts. This is the real secret behind successful Internet marketing, the one that brings people who are ready to buy, not just those browsing around.
The Long Tail refers to the long tail of searches people make. The big “head terms”, for example, “diet” tend to be made by people browsing and not ready to buy. ‘The best diet program’ is a much more specific search indicating a willing customer, hot on buying a relevant product. That is the long tail keyword phrase that you should aim in your online marketing strategies and tactics. More importantly, on most well optimized websites long tail searches make up 70 to 80% of the traffic. If you are simply targeting the big head terms you are missing most of your customers, especially the ones ready to buy.
First of all let’s talk about SEO – search engine optimization, as it applies to your own pages. Did you find a hot long tail that brings paying customers for your niche? Make sure that it can be found by the search engines web crawlers as part of the following components of your page:
- Page title – put the long tail as close to the beginning of it as possible.
- Page URL – as the name of your page
- H1 tags – it is better to have one per page.
- H2 tags – 2, 3 of those, no more.
- Bold and italics tags.
- Meta description – this text is shown by search engines as the short description of a page. Put both long tail and enticing copywriting to bring people to click on the link.
- Internal links anchor texts – more about these later.
With long tail traffic, as there’s not much competition for them, by having content – articles and so on – focused around a few core long tail phrases, with the page title targeting a slightly more competitive term, you can easily attract long tail traffic to your site. Most shopping cart software, for example, Interspire Shopping Cart, allow you to publish articles through a simple CMS, making it easy to get these articles up quickly.
As for the most important factor behind ranking high by Google and other search engines – it is links, links and links, both internal – between pages of your site and external – coming from other sites to you.
If you want your online shop to be found on the first page of organic search results, do your best to create as many links to the page as possible, both on your own site and on others.
Why is this so crucial? Because Google evaluates the relative importance of a site by counting the number of links and the quality of linking sites that send people to your pages. The more established and respectful is a site where that link is found, the more weight would Google give to the link from it to your site.
Kirsty LaVier is editor for Shopping Cart Reviews, the leading shopping cart information website.