Going Long Tail, is It Good?

longtailThere have been a number of studies this year suggesting that search queries are getting longer- to put it bluntly, fewer people are searching for “cats” and more people are searching for things like “getting your cat litter trained” and the like. This is possibly the simplest way I can describe a long tail search. Survey says that search queries 5 words or longer increased by roughly 10% in January 2009, when compared to January of 2008- and I of course bring this up as we’re coming on through December and that time frame will soon be ready for analytics once more.

Quite a few people thought that Google Suggest was going to end long tail searches as we know them, but the truth is, if you run a quick Google search. Let’s go with “Getting Your Cat Litter Trained”. The list of suggestions is as follows:
Getting Your Cat Declawed
Getting Your Cat Spayed
Getting Your Cat Fixed
Getting Your Cat [that was a kind of offensive drug reference- but still, 6 word query- that’s long tail, too.]
Getting Your Cat Neutered
Getting Your Cat To Eat
[Two more getting your cat on drugs references. Again, long tail, though, both of them.]
Getting Your Cat To Drink Water
And Finally,
Getting Your Cat To Use The Litter Box

Of those listed suggestions, none of them are single keywords. All of them are more than three. I really don’t think Google Suggest has put a damper on long tail keywords, at all, given that example. Basically, a well done long tail keyword group can help you in several ways- firstly, the search engine sees that, and then when the user keys in the exact phrase- they get your keyword. You can see why this would be advantageous to relevancy, for both search engines and end user. But also, this helps in creating content that doesn’t look like it’s been stuffed with keywords and it does make for a much better flowing distribution. On another front, these are incredibly specific to what you are offering, be that product, services or information- so the target is spot on, and as such, a pretty powerful tool in that, as well. When you consider that someone using one of these long tail phrases in the search bar is probably already looking to be a buyer- well, it makes sense to integrate them into your existing keyword listing.

You do your keyword research on long tail exactly the same as you would for generic single word keywords, and you’ll be able to come up with an exact list of the terms you need. From there, just as easy as it is for someone to key in: “Getting Your Cat To Use The Litter Box” into that search bar, it’s pretty easy to include that in your website content, as well.