Nov 222011

Long tail SEO – how to approach it in order to get the most out of optimisation

Optimising for specific keywords varies according to the type of target to be optimised. There are three main types of targets when it comes to optimisation: short tail, mid-tail and long tail SEO.

Optimising for short tail requires more link building and normally up to three words are used. As an example, ‘guitar lessons online’ will automatically work for both ‘guitar lessons’ and ‘guitar lessons online’ because of the way search engines semantically index links. There will also be a weak connection between ‘guitar’ and ‘online’, so if you were also to optimise for ‘guitar online’ you would also benefit from the initial link building on ‘guitar lessons online’. Unlike long tail SEO, this kind of link building is used for links in blogs, forums etc, and competition is usually higher for these keywords. As a result, more links are needed to achieve good rankings.

Next, mid tail includes more words and is often an entire phrase – such as ‘how to play casino games’, ‘how to win at poker’ and so on. Some people say phrases like these can be considered long tail SEO since they are formed with more than three words. And after this, any other phrases that users employ to search for things on the internet, very often randomly, could also be categorised under long tail SEO. For such areas like sports-related searches, long tail is very common because it if often generated by content and very specific combinations of words. Because they are more specific, long tail searches tend to have a much lower bounce rate and are usually good sources of customers for businesses.

Depending on the business, website and so on, a certain type of ‘tail’ is usually chosen, and often optimisation professionals employ a combination of both short and long tail SEO to get results for the right keyword or combination of keywords . It has to be mentioned that a certain degree of onsite optimisation has to be done before offsite work is carried out, but this is valid for most web sites on the internet. Regardless of business, one thing will also be valid: do the right keyword research first! Good research will suggest whether short or long tail SEO is better suited for your niche. Getting to know your competition and what they rank for is another great idea – you might decide to study the first ten results on the first page to get a good idea of what is needed in order to rank. It’s worth also adding a lot of the long tail SEO is randomly associated with sites and content by the search engines’ algorithms.

Whether short or long tail SEO, there is no getting away from the fact that good optimisation requires a lot of work and the area will only become more competitive as the internet increases in sophistication.

 November 22, 2011  Posted by  SEO matters

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