Long Tail Traffic is Where The Action Is

Trying to rank on Google for a popular keywords these days is hard.

The big players have long ago established a beachhead for those types of queries and are not letting go anytime soon.

The good news is that for many websites, long tail queries make up the bulk of their overall traffic.  Instead of just ‘digital cameras’, people are typing in “where to buy a Canon Powershot sx230 in Seattle” for example.

Long Tail Traffic is Where The Action Is

Source: http://www.hubspot.com

How Do You Know What Long Tail Keywords to Target?

The short answer is….you don’t.

Predicting how people are going to find your site is extremely difficult.

Did you know that out of the 4.7 billion search queries Google received in 2011, 16% or 752 million were queries they’d never seen before?.

In another study, Douglass Karr from the popular Marketing Tech Blog, claims that 72% of their daily traffic comes from keywords they don’t even rank for on Page 1 of the Google results page.

Review your own analytics. I’m sure you’ll be surprised how people find you.

I’m constantly amazed at our reports. And not just the creative queries people use, but also how Google is able to match up those queries with our web pages.

So if popular keywords are too difficult to rank for and it’s too hard to predict what queries people are using to find your site, what’s a marketer to do?

Cover Your Keyword Universe with a Big Content Footprint

Long tail keywords, by their very nature, have low search volume. So to get a significant amount of traffic you need cast your net wide with lots of content. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you to go out and create a bunch of low quality articles. Google Panda has largely solved that problem last year.

But I am an advocate of stepping up your content game by creating lots of useful content in your particular specialty.

In other words, it’s about covering  your keyword universe by creating a critical mass of useful content under your domain.

Blogging Gets You There

Business blogging is the easiest way to amass the content you need to drive sufficient traffic to your site.  It’s relatively easy, search engines love’em and you don’t need the IT department to create new web pages.
How Big is Your Content Footprint

Let’s do a quick experiment to see the keyword coverage effect of frequent blogging:

  • If you blog one, 500-word post every month, you’ll have 12 posts at the end of the year and 6,000 words indexed by the search engines ready to be found by people typing in queries
  • If you blog one, 500-word post every week, you’ll have 52 posts at the end of the year and 26,000 words indexed by the search engines
  • If you blog one, 500-word post every day, you’ll have 365 posts at the end of the year and 182,500 words indexed by the search engines

Which content footprint do you think drives the most traffic?

Hubspot Drives Traffic Through Their Massive Content Footprint

Don’t just take my word for it.

Hubspot, a popular marketing automation software platform, has created demand for their product almost exclusively from content marketing.

  • Hubspot has over 2,000 indexed web pages; most of them blog posts and landing pages
  • Hubspot has over 13,000 subscribers to their blog
  • Hubspot has over 6,000 customers paying an average of $500 per month for their software.

In a recent survey of 4,000 businesses, Hubspot discovered that businesses who blogged 16 to 20 times per month got over 2 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month. Those who blogged at least 20 times per month had 5 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month.

How Big is Your Content Footprint?

Have you been writing keyword-focused blog posts for over a year? Has your traffic increased in that time? How about your leads? Are you seeing a lot of keyword phrases driving a small amount of traffic from each keyword? If so, you’re on the right track!

Please write about your experiences in the comments!