And Google confirms it. Along with links, content is the most valuable part of determining where you’ll rank in any given search. The more relevant your content is to the search term entered into Google, the higher up your content will come in ranking.
But with billions – trillions of searches performed each year, that’s a pretty tall order.
While Google may not release all of its information on how it derives what websites to place where, we know links and content are the highest on the list. You know it. We know it. And a lot of other people do too. That means it’s a race to the finish line, and lots of people are adding content and links like crazy to their web pages in hopes of being “noticed” by Google.
Some will win. Some won’t.
How can it be you?
The answer lies with long tail.
What exactly is long tail?
Let’s look at the book market for a minute as an example. In 2017, book sales in the US alone pushed $2.7 billion. Self-publishing produced 786,935 titles. That means at any given moment, there are millions of books ready and waiting for your attention.
If you visit a book chain like Barnes & Noble, you’ll only find several thousand of those titles on their store’s shelves. The ones that take up prime real estate on the end stands or with their own display – they’re selling like hotcakes and bringing in the retail store thousands of dollars every day.
But what about Amazon? They’ve stretched way beyond the few thousand in a retail location and offer you access to almost everything produced. They don’t care if they sell one of this title and one of that. In the end, they’re selling A LOT of books. And they could care less if it’s by the ones and twos.
That’s the concept of long tail.
Many website owners flock to trying to get ranking for very specific keywords. Yet it’s the long tail keywords that ultimately can bring you in far more traffic. And it can do so in a less expensive and more efficient way.
Golf is a major keyword. Golf putting videos would be long tail.
Subaru is a major keyword. The 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited would be long tail.
How do your customers think? In the beginning, they may start out with basic search terms. It’s all they know. But the more they search, the more they refine, the closer they come to getting what they want, the more long tail their searches become.
And that’s where the sweet spot lies.
If you’re selling a golf putting video, for example, would you rather have a viewer come over to your site under “golf” or “golf putting videos”? Would you rather have 100 viewers under golf, or 10 under golf putting videos? Which do you think would net more results?
How does long tail work with your marketing?
In the beginning, businesses created a simple website with just a few pages of content. As time went by, websites began adding more content, especially if you have products to sell and can add them to shopping carts.
SEO became the “in” thing for marketing. It’s still there because it works.
But Google has always looked for ways to refine the way they rank to make it as organic as possible. They want to reward companies who are creating websites the right way, and penalize those who aren’t.
That’s where content comes into play. That’s why blogs have done so well and will continue to do well way into the foreseeable future. With a blog, you can create content for every long tail term you can think of. If your customers are searching for something specific, create a post about it and dig into the nitty-gritty details.
Your customers will love it. Google will love it. Win/win.
So I need more content, right?
I know what you’re thinking, especially if you have a business with a lot of inventory. How much content are we talking here?
Don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert writer to bring this idea to your social media marketing strategy. That’s what we’re here for.
The idea is to get inside of your client’s mind and write what they are looking for. Every client may have a different question or ask it in a different way. If you have different products and different services, you can continue to drill down and touch every subject in new and unique ways.
That’s where your content comes from. That’s how you decide how to focus each post.
Start with your core industry. Then long tail it.
If you change the oil on today’s cars, you can go broad and narrow:
We change oil on all makes and models.
We specialize in changing oil on all Japanese vehicles.
Or maybe you’re a professional plumber looking for a way to expand your water heater services. People will Google all kinds of questions that can open the door and let you rank high:
When is it time to replace a water heater?
Why is my water heater making a funny noise?
Why isn’t my water heater producing hot water?
Are traditional or tankless water heaters better?
What’s great is the more you think like your customer, the more content you can create. And once it’s on your site, it’s there working for you for the life of your site.
That sounds like a lot of work … do I really have to go that deep?
We hear you. And there are many ways to approach your online marketing. PPC (pay per click) is a great way to instantly get the traffic you desire. You simply pick the keywords best suited for what target audience you’re trying to reach, and you’ll pay every time you attract one of them to your site. PPC is an excellent way to target searches and get the traffic quickly.
But content is more of a long-term, organic solution to the same issue. It’s a way to build up search ranking based on what you build into your site.
The good news is once it’s there, it works for you over and over again. And once it’s there it’s paid for – you don’t pay for the clicks every time someone visits by clicking on a Google ranked result.
A lot of companies prefer to build a two-prong strategy: PPC for instant traffic, while content building is built for the long term.
Content works. It’s not going anywhere. Google said so itself.
And that means using long tail may be the perfect way to dive down into what your company does best, and get it into the search engines and out to your desired market.
Are you ready to talk about how this can work for you?