This post today about Long Tail SEO is, in fact, an answer to several questions that I have already received on different occasions from bloggers about these terms.
There are many people who have read something about the term Long Tail (long tail in Spanish), they know that, in some way, it is relevant for the positioning of their blog in search engines, but they do not fully understand why and, above all, everything, they don’t quite understand how it affects them .
So with today’s post I’m going to respond “in package” to everything that people like, for example, Mario have been asking me about what this “long tail” thing is and, above all, how to take advantage of it for your blog or any other type of website, which is really what interests us about the matter and, as you will see, if you know how to take advantage of it, it can be a huge boost to the visits to your blog from search engines.
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What is the Long Tail?
But before we get into the flour, I want to tell you where this important concept on the Internet comes from.
The idea of ??the long tail has its origin in Chris Anderson ‘s article , ” The Long Tail “ published in 2004 and later published the bestseller “The Long Tail Economy” .
The phenomenon he describes is the trend whereby, thanks to technology, the mass market becomes a niche market (another essential online marketing term that you will have read over and over again) because technology allows for the first time In the consumer society, selling small quantities at low prices is profitable .
This looks great, for example, with companies like Amazon selling low-cost eBooks from unknown authors that would never have become viable due to conventional editorial change or smartphone software marketplaces like Google Play or the Apple Store . .
The consequences of the change are enormous and pose very positive effects for the consumer such as a much richer offer (more varied) and challenges for the brands because, according to Anderson, in the Long Tail economy of the 21st century, the market will be dominated by whoever is able to monopolize minority sales.
In other words: there is a huge new market that is the sum of countless niches that have become commercially viable thanks to new technologies. That is the “long tail”: the head of the market would be the mass consumption products (those of “lifelong”) and the “tail” would be the low-volume specialized niches (those that are now viable) but whose sum supposes a an economic figure of enormous magnitude .
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The Long Tail applied to SEO
Well, very nice, but what does this have to do with the positioning of my blog?
Well, it has a lot to do with it because the Long Tail is nothing more than a very faithful representation of people’s tastes and interests . And thanks to the search engines, we know what these tastes are because they are perfectly reflected in the searches that people carry out on the Internet .
In other words: the Google search engine is not only a magnificent tool for locating information, but it is also a gigantic market study in real time that you can take advantage of for your interests. In addition, although Chris Anderson’s perspective is more focused on sales, if we equate “selling” to “reading”, in the world of blogs the Long Tail rules apply exactly the same whether it is to sell or simply to attract readers. Now look again at the header image of this post and you will see how it is about the long tail idea applied to searches.
You are probably not aware that you are, in fact, already seeing this information every day when you search on Google. Try, for example, entering Google and typing the word “shoes”, you will see that when you type it, a list of search suggestions appears like the one in the following screenshot. If you continue completing the word with the suggestions, for example with “party shoes”, you will see that it suggests new search phrases based on the previous one and therefore longer, more specific.
This is Google’s Autocomplete function that suggests popular searches while you type and with it at the same time it is “singing” to you what people usually search for on Google, information that is worth its weight in gold for a blogger for the reasons which we will see a little later in this post.
Markets, niches and conversions
In the previous example of the Google search we have been doing in a very simple way something basic that any blogger should know how to do: explore a niche .
According to Wikipedia, a market niche is “a marketing term used to refer to a portion of a market segment in which individuals have homogeneous characteristics and needs , and the latter are not fully covered by the general market offer. .”
Applied to the searches, we could explore, for example, the searches that are carried out related to footwear in the following way:
- “shoes” – A very generic search and a very large segment (165,000 searches per month), so large and generic that it makes more sense to qualify this as a market . Interestingly, the generic word that represents an even larger market and that would be “footwear” has much fewer searches (12,100) which shows that the volume of searches is not directly related to how generic the term is.
- “party shoes” : we are going through the Long Tail to the right and now we reach a point that does fit with the previous definition, it is already something more specific and it seems that it already makes more sense to talk about a niche, a specialized segment of the market , although in this case it is a very large niche (27,100 searches) and, therefore, in principle, very attractive. In any market there are many niches to explore , in this case another similar one would also be “bridal shoes” (22,200 searches).
- “Madrid party shoes” : this is already a very defined niche, so much so that it would not be unreasonable to even speak of a “micro niche” (the borders in this are somewhat diffuse…). With 320 searches it is a rather small niche.
If we were to explore all the searches that start with “shoes”, as Google suggested in the example above, a tree would be formed with increasingly numerous and specialized variants of searches.
You can test this much better than with Google with the Übersuggest tool ( thanks to Edmundo for suggesting mentioning it) which is a kind of extended Autocomplete function and allows you to greatly expand the combination of phrases and with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner , both tools are free .
On the other hand, the keyword planner will provide you with more open combinations of keywords (it is not limited to the strictly hierarchical scheme of Übersuggest) and, above all, it will give you traffic volume information for each search .
As soon as you enter the tool you will find a screen that will ask you “What do you want to do?” and then offers you a series of options. If you click on the “Search for new ideas for keywords and ad groups ” option , you will be able to specify some searches like the ones you can see in the following screenshot:
In this case we have used some very generic keywords that correspond to large markets, these types of keywords are also known as “seed keywords” since they are the starting point from which an infinite number of market niches are born that are what we interested in discovering .
To do this, a tool such as the keyword planner that I mentioned before and which is the one we are using in the screenshots of the examples is essential.
Now, there are also more optimized payment tools that make it easier for you to discover the keywords that really interest you, saving you significant time . In addition, they add essential features such as tracking your positions in Google search results. I enter all of them, I strongly recommend Semrush , which is the one I use.
In the following screenshot you can see how, based on the seed keywords, the tool suggests other related searches that, depending on the case, correspond to entire markets or niches and that we can continue exploring until we reach the niches that interest us.
Take advantage of Google information for the SEO of your blog (or any other type of website)
You can apply the ones we have just seen to your blog at any level you want , either to focus on the general theme of the blog, to focus on the basic categories of content that you want to address or to optimize the On-Page SEO of your blog.
Important :What I say here applies to any type of website, regardless of whether it is a blog or not . For the purposes of Google, a blog post, a blog page or any web page are exactly the same thing: a URL with a content . So when I say “blog” you can also understand “web”.
Applied in a general way to your blog, this means that you can estimate a priori if there really is an audience for the topic that you propose for your blog. Doing this before creating a new blog will save you a lot of disappointment .
On the other hand, applied to specific content (posts and pages) this means that when you write content you try to reconcile it as best as possible with the niches related to that content, that is, that you find related searches that fit that content and optimize the content for those searches.
Applied to the content, doing it with a running blog that is not going as expected can also be an excellent way to revitalize it by looking for a re-orientation or simply reviewing the content thoroughly and optimizing its On Page SEO , which in many cases It will be more than enough to give the blog a great boost.
This means that if you are going to write a post about where to find party shoes in Madrid, make sure that the search phrase that most interests you (for which you want to position the post) is found as faithfully as possible in:
- In the page title . It corresponds to the HTML <title> tag of the web page, it is the title that is seen in the web browser tab. Blogs usually take it from the title of the post. In WordPress, with plugins such as Yoast SEO , you can expressly specify it by differentiating it from the main title of the post if you want.
- In the main title of the post (tag <h1>, in blogs it usually coincides with the title of the post)
- In one or more subheadings (tags <h2>, <h3>, etc.).
- In the post URL .
- In the meta-description (for this you will also need a Yoast SEO type plugin in WordPress).
- And that it is used several times throughout the content .
Here is a video of the plugin that will not only allow you to differentiate the main title (h1) from the title of the page and add a meta-description, but also includes endless configurations that will allow you to fine-tune the SEO of each of your content and your site in general:
On the other hand, analyzing the searches will reveal some very interesting information . In this case, for example, you will discover that almost no one searches for “find shoes” , but that the expression that people actually use is “buy shoes” .
Therefore, a title like “Where to find party shoes in Madrid at a good price” has less positioning potential than a title like “ Where to buy party shoes in Madrid” .
So by finding the right keywords , with this last title and a URL like miblog.com/comprar-fiesta-en-madrid-shoes” you would be optimizing your post for at least two real searches that you know people do :
- “buy shoes” (40 searches per month)
- “party shoes in madrid” (320 searches per month)
And finally, two final notes :
- Keep in mind that the more specific the search within the niche, in principle the search volume will also decrease, but at the same time conversions will also increase because you are fitting better and better with what the user has in mind. So don’t take search volume as your sole criteria, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean less traffic.
- Don’t obsess over this. Sometimes suitable and sufficiently attractive niches are found for content and sometimes not, in that case nothing happens , don’t waste time trying artificial things. The priority is still to give value to your readers and good content that is shared will continue to receive a good amount of traffic and your content may end up being positioned for searches that you did not expect.
The bad news: you are not alone, you have to compete with other websites
To close the circle we need to talk about a vital issue : the fact that you are not the only one who wants to position yourself in a niche and that, therefore, you are going to have to compete for positions in search results with other websites.
Here the concept of “authority”, “strength”, “reputation” or “relevance” of a website comes into play. In this sense, the strength of the web domain and the strength of a specific page are usually differentiated, which will vary according to the page in question. As you can imagine, the more authority a page has, the better, the more competitive it will be. This authority is built according to the number and quality of the links that point to it.
Before we talked about SEO On Page , now it’s time to talk about the other fundamental facet of SEO that is SEO Off Page (SEO “outside the page”) and that basically focuses on achieving maximum authority for the domain and the pages. for which, therefore, it will fundamentally try to get as many links as possible and that these are of the best possible quality (which in turn have a lot of strength). In the blog you have several references that explain techniques to get links ( Linkbuilding ) and thus increase the strength of your domain and pages (or posts in the case of a blog).
The most important indicator of the authority of a page is the Page Rank , although it seems that Google is leaving it aside as public data (not as an internal indicator), which is a problem for our purposes.
In any case, it doesn’t matter much either because fortunately there is an excellent alternative that practically all SEO experts use : Mozrank , the indicator created by Moz, one of the most important companies worldwide in the SEO sector.
It is an indicator that is quite similar in its purpose, but with a finer scale than PageRank and, in addition, Moz distributes Mozbar for free, which you can install as a Chrome or Firefox add-on that integrates in a very comfortable way in the search results of Google. With this plugin, Google will show the number of links from each of the search results pages, their strength and that of their domain , as you can see in the image on the right.
The capture corresponds to the results of the search “party shoes in Madrid” (without the quotes) and thanks to Mozbar we can quickly see that it is a relatively uncompetitive niche since the page in the second position does not have much force and the following positions, although they already have more force, no longer correspond to the exact search (it does not contain the term “madrid”).
When you’re competing for search, it’s all about your Page Authority (PA) being higher than other pages .
As a general rule, a PA of up to 15-20 is relatively easy to overcome, where it starts to be really difficult to compete is from a PA of 30-35 , even for consolidated websites, since reaching these levels of authority requires a significant number of links . On the other hand, the authority of the domain (DA) will also influence, but it is a secondary factor compared to the authority of the page.
Logically, the effort is not the same for a new blog as for an established one. To reach these values ??from the beginning, it will be necessary to do an Off Page SEO job to get the links you need for it.
At a point of authority and dissemination of your blog after a few years of constant work on your blog, things will be much easier because the links will come to you by themselves thanks to your community and the dissemination of your content . If you have a good community and social media outreach, you might get to an AP of 20-25 doing almost nothing except basic social media outreach. As an example, practically any page from the last year of this blog easily exceeds a PA of 25 within a few weeks of its publication.