Understanding the basics behind keyword research and types of keywords is necessary before attempting to optimize search engine ranking. Keywords are commonly split into two broad categories, short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. Originally coined by Chris Anderson in his best seller “The Long Tail”, this new phenomenon in the internet marketing world is garnering wide attention and interest. The book’s premise suggests that a given product’s collective sales in low demand can in fact exceed that of popular bestsellers.

This same thesis is highly applicable to internet marketing where website owners are continually manipulating site content and keyword structure to increase traffic and sales. Knowing how to consistently attract more site viewers demands an appreciation of the popular theory. This post will serve to define and summary the importance of long tail keywords.

You can easily remember the difference between the two types of keywords by their length in a search engine box. Short tail keywords such as “domain names,” “DubLi”, “web 2.0” or “bookmarking” are either one or two words in length and result in millions of search results.

Long tail keywords are generally three to five word search queries visitors use to arrive at a site.

Their longer form reflects a more targeted and refined search and thus a greater need for specified information. Ideally, long tail keywords more accurately define what the webpage will teach, review, sell, etc. As a marketer the objective is to create content with various long tail search queries in mind. Using the last example in the above paragraph, long tail keywords include:

“social bookmarking websites”

“automated social bookmarking sites”

“social bookmarking for backlinks”

“social bookmarking with onlywire” (used in the video)

According to the graph, the theory implies that the internet economy is moving away from the head and toward the tail of the demand curve, thus emphasizing the need for niche products and services. So what are the main benefits to DubLi online marketers?

Benefiting of long tail keywords

Rank viability. It’s far easier to rank for long tail keyword phrases because of decreased competition. The difference in search results between short and long could be three million compared to 300,000, for example. Ranking for the latter can be done in a matter of days.

Website traffic. Targeted traffic to your website will also increase since your individual pages containing long tail keyword titles will go up over time. The aggregate result is more visibility and thus more traffic..

Conversion rate. Simply put, multi-phrase search queries lead to more direct purchases, more affiliate purchases and more Google ad clicks. These viewers know precisely what they want; it’s your job to fill that need and offer your product or service.

Readership. When done effectively your individual posts will meet your viewers need. This enhances the likelihood of them remaining on your site longer and eventually subscribing to your RSS feed. It’s only logical for initial readers to extrapolate their liking to all of your content, assuming you have related posts. Over time this expands your audience and allows for greater monetization potential.

Watch the video proof of my onlywire bookmarking blog post by visiting my blog and searching “long tail”.