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Long Tail Keyword, Long Tail Search Phrase:

This is a term relating to keyword research and keyword management in any given niche .

To understand what a Long Tail is let’s look at the results of a sample keyword research with the free Wordtracker tool for the arbitrarily chosen niche “tiles”:

Long Tail Keywords

The screenshot displays the first 32 keyword results sorted by the number of searches each one gets within a given time period. Plotting the keywords against their number of searches would result in a graph like this:

Long Tail Graph


This graph would look the same for almost any niche or parent keyword (a general keyword from which the more specific ones derive). In the red area there are the keywords with a high search frequency which are heavily targeted by most companies and marketers. This leads to a fierce competition. In above example the keywords “ceramic tile”, “tile”, “bathroom tile” etc. would belong in the red area.

The green area would consist of the Long Tail Keywords like “tile design”, “discount tile” etc. (in reality there would be no sharp line between the red and the green area). The designation obviously has to do with the shape of the curve.

In markets with high buying power the keywords with the highest number of searches are the most competitive, i.e. one runs against a huge number of highly optimised  websites for the first spots on the search result pages that makes it very difficult, time- and money-consuming to get one’s website in the top 10 or top 5.

In PPC advertising a great number of competitors can lead to such high bid prices and CPCs that only bigger companies can afford to run a PPC campaign for these keywords.

The solution for the little Internet marketer lies in targeting the keywords in the green Long Tail area of the graph. All together they combine a greater number of searches then the fewer red keywords. But of course, the searches are distributed over very many keyword phrases and each individual keyphrase gets considerably less searches than the red phrases. Still the Long Tail provides a good – and maybe the only – chance for an Internet marketer with a small budget to enter a competitive niche because by targeting a Long Tail Keyword Phrase he runs into considerably less competition and in many cases a high search engine ranking can be achieved fast and with a lot less effort.


Google Searches/month

Competition Websites indexed in Google for this keyword phrase





Long Tail Phrase:

[26 Samsung lcd hdtv]



(for the exact match)

It is obviously easier to rank high for the Long Tail Search Phrase but as there are a lot less searches the strategy should consist of targeting not only 1 Long Tail Search Phrase but several of them.

An additional advantage of this strategy is, that a high percentage of people searching for “hdtv” might be only interested in some information while people looking for “26 Samsung lcd hdtv” are much more likely to actually buy something. It is a fact verified by test that websites optimised for Long Tail Search Phrases have a considerably higher conversion rates.

[Long comes from Old English long;

Tail comes from Old English tægl, the Indo European base *dek- = something long and thin;

The origin of Key is unknown;

Word comes from Old English word = speech, talk, utterance]




Recommended Resources:

  • Free video  on how to use Long Tail Keywords to achieve high search engine rankings (amongst other valuable SEO techniques)

  • Free “ Bum Marketing ” eCourse (called Bum Marketing as it is supposed to be so simple that even a bum could do it) delivers techniques to find low competition keywords and how to use them to generate traffic


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