The Buzz on Long Tail Keywords [Infographic]

Today I am going to look at a process in nature that occurs all around us and compare it with an SEO process that is often overlooked. To truly appreciate both of these processes it requires looking at them from a broader perspective.

Bees are marvelous insects. The first thing that most people think of when talking about bees is honey, which is perfectly normal since bees make honey, hence the name “honey bee”. The other thing that we associate with bees is pollination. Bees are responsible for about 80 percent of all pollination. Fruit trees, flowers and all types of vegetation rely on pollination to grow, so besides making honey, the honey bee also has a very big impact on the ecosystem. Similar to the bee and pollination, optimization for one or many main keywords has a very big impact on many other keywords and the rankings of all other pages of the website.

Long Tail Keywords

At the start of an ongoing search engine optimization campaign there is normally a list of keywords chosen to optimize for based on the keyword research that was done. Rankings and return on investment can be tracked for these targeted search terms over the duration of the campaign. What is often not tracked is the related long tail keywords that also benefit from the SEO strategies used to improve rankings for the main targeted search terms. Because the keyword phrases are closely related and are often found in the content of the targeted landing page, the related long tail keywords also receive a boost in rankings. This boost will not be apparent in reports focused on the primary keywords alone because these terms are usually not tracked with the main targeted keyword phrases.

Example Main Search Term (Bees)

  1. Related Long Tail Keyword (Honey Bees)
  2. Related Long Tail Keyword (North American Honey Bees)

Long Tail Keyword Example

So then what should you do if after several months you are not seeing an ROI for your main targeted keywords? Look at the website traffic from a broader perspective. Look for long tail keywords that relate to the main targeted search terms and find revenue generated by those keyword phrases. That revenue is also part of the ROI for your SEO campaign.

Parent and Child Landing Pages

Similar to the process of researching and choosing main search terms to target, landing pages will also be chosen and have selected keywords mapped to them at the start of an SEO campaign. Progress of these pages can be tracked in ranking reports and through analytics. Over the course of the campaign the targeted landing pages will move up in the search engine results pages and traffic to the pages will increase. What’s typically not noted in these reports is the improvements in rankings and search traffic to the pages that are linked to from the targeted or parent landing page.  The linked, or child pages, receive a boost in page authority and rankings because the increase in page authority from the parent landing page gets passed through the links to the child pages. So even if I am not directly seeking out links for the child pages with my SEO strategies, with every link to the targeted landing page, additional page authority is also passed on to each of the linked landing pages.

Targeted Landing (Honey Bee) Page

  1. Linked (Honey) Landing Page
  2. Linked (Orchard Pollination) Landing Page
  3. Linked (Alfalfa Pollination) Landing Page

Targeted Landing Page Example

As you monitor the progress of your SEO campaign, keep in mind the effect that SEO is having on the website optimization as a whole. Look at other pages that are linked to from your main landing pages and see what type of revenue they are generating. That revenue is also ROI that you are getting from the SEO strategies being implemented for your main landing page.

Remember that just like the honey bee affects many things directly and indirectly through pollination, SEO affects many keywords across the entire website. Your keyword focus may be on a specific set of chosen keywords that have been mapped out to specific landing pages, but SEO is going to have an impact on the entire website. Don’t get attached to those main keywords and ignore the full value that your SEO campaign is producing for you.

The Buzz on Longtail Keywords Infographic

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  1. Steven TRACY says


    I got a graphical report from SEOMOZ that I show to my prospects and clients that illuminates the fact that four word phrased keywords are the keyword phrases that make the best (targeted) and the most conversions.

    Example :

    “Outdoor wooden decoration for terrasses” brings a lot more targeted trafic and converts much better than just “outdoor decoration”

    A person looking for wooden decoration for his terrasse would start out by searching “decoration” then “outdoor decoration”
    then “outdoor wooden decoration” and finally “outdoor wooden decoration for a terrasse”

    When I explain that to clients or in a SEO training course their eyes open up wide and then you get comments like “now I understand why I have trafic but no conversions”

    Thanks for your post. It’s another proof to show that long tail phrases bring in 80% of the conversions.

  2. John Thomas says

    This is an excellent article. When doing marketing of any kind the number one thing is conversions. Sometimes people think that the big phrases will always bring the biggest success simply because there is more traffic which is simply not true.

  3. Dr. Michael Haley says

    Is it possible that the only reason the "child" pages are doing better is because they are linked to from a more primary page?  That is, from a page closer to, say, the root directory? Or even just because they have one more link to them? As far as the "long tail keywords" go, when you optimize a page for a long tail keyword and then check the Google Analytics, does it really show you that you have lots of traffic from the longtail keyword phrase? From my experience, analytics is filled with traffic from various search strings that I never imagined. It seems I am better off making sure my page contains a greater diversity of related words rather than being optimized for a certain longtail keyword phrase. Though I do see value in the title. But if someone already used the longtail phrase in their title, taking the number one spot for it seems impossible. It seems there is some kind of 1st priority rank factor, like the first one to use the phrase wins. Those are just my thoughts on this.

  4. says

    I am looking to find as much as possible information about longtail keywords for my employees as i can. Your article is very clear and i think will help them a lot in understanding it more . Thank you for a great article with a lot of handly graphics.

  5. says

    uhuuu, thanks for the article, is now clear to me that people who use long phrases or long keywords in a search on google or any other search engine, are the people who knows what they want and what they are looking for…
    I really like it. 

  6. Best Fixed Rate says

    Fantastic article. Love the clarity, simplicity and statistics. I am relatively new to SEO, however, after limited research I have found that popular one word phrases, such as “shoes” will come up with millions of hits. Ranking (and converting) for “shoes” would be extremely difficult. However, a phrase such as “womens high heeled shoes” would return far fewer hits, but would target an audience looking for exactly that item. Having high traffic is important, but conversion = money.

  7. Erfolg im Internet says

    I have written an article about this topic in german. And I come to the same conclusion. I think it is for beginners in the online business the best way to focus on long term keyword phrases.
    Your Infographic is very inspiring. It contains many infos about the long tail topic and the qualitiy of the graphic is absolutely brilliant. I think good content combined with high qualitiy graphics is the best way to become a leader in your field.
    Thank you for great article!
    Best regards,

  8. Kopfschmerzen Hilfe says

    Thanx for the info. Sometimes people think that the big phrases will always bring the biggest success simply because there is more traffic which is simply not true.

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