The Long Tail
According to Wikipedia, “The Long Tail or long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a ‘normal’ or Gaussian distribution. This has gained popularity in recent times as a retailing concept describing the niche strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities – usually in addition to selling fewer popular items in large quantities.”
How can we relate this back to digital marketing?
A good example is found in research of the relationship between Amazon.com sales and sales ranking. Results indicate that a large proportion of Amazon.com’s book sales come from obscure titles not available in brick and mortar stores.
Applying this line of thought to Pay Per Click ad campaigns and Search Engine Optimization can be an effective way to tap into a market truly seeking your wares. According to Wikipedia, “Recent long-tail keyword research has found that long-tail searches often exhibit a higher conversion rate by up to 200% compared to short-tail (generic) keywords, and can be extremely profitable for search engine marketers in terms of a lower cost per action and higher return on investment.”
In example, a search of the term “windows” on Google brings up 833,000,000 results. Obviously too many results. (Were we looking for software, those glass things that open on the sides of our homes, hm…?)
Okay, let’s narrow it down to what we really wanted… “thermal pane windows tax credit” yields 14,000 results. Now if I really want my visitor to find me, I’ll optimize for a localized listing of “thermal pane windows bellaire michigan tax credit.” Almost manageable with 5,780 results. But, you get my point.
So, when optimizing your website, consider the road less traveled, eg, less obvious keywords and keyphrases. Granted there may be fewer searches for those terms, but those who seek them, are probably looking for (and may just find) you!
Kellee Gabel is founder and president of The Web Professional, Inc.