Posts Tagged ‘newport’

The long tail of SEO

SEO is about more than just a few marquis terms.

Month-over-month, a client of ours just saw a 22% increase in traffic to their site from search engines. Looking at their list of target terms, there wasn’t all that much improvement in placement. Of course, this is to be expected, SEO isn’t a game of ranking for just a handful of terms.

A popular business book came out a couple of years ago. It’s called the long tail. It’s principles apply to SEO in great ways. First let me give you some basics:

The concept of the long tail is pretty mind-blowing. We now live in a world of options. Volume is often the name of the game. We no longer live our lives in a 25 mile radius. We have access to so much.

For example, google returns millions of records for most of your searches. Content on blogs is being created every second. itunes offers millions of songs, just imagine trying to fit all of those on the racks of a music store. Just a few decades ago, you could only get 6 or 10 TV channels. Now, you can subscribe to hundreds!

Long Tail of SEO

Long Tail of SEO

The Long Tail principle tells us that many actions follow a graph like the one to the right. The numbers start high, but degrade rapidly at first, then much more slowly. Total user volume is calculated by taking the integral of the curve. sorry if I just scared you back to high school calculus.

Let me bring this back home. 75% of those millions of titles on itunes sell at least once a month. The top 20 or 50 get a lot of press, but Apple makes the vast majority of it’s revenue from the millions of other songs in its catalog.

SEO works the same way. If you think SEO is about ranking for a few terms, you’re dead wrong. If you think that users only type in a few terms to search for the property that you sell or rent, that’s false too.

Searchers type in all sorts of strings. For example, if you think they’re going to google for “Newport Real Estate” and only for that term, then you’ll miss out on everyone who searches for terms like “Newport real estate for sale,” “Newport vacation homes” and “newport houses.” Not to mention the folks who might be very specific and google for “newport real estate open houses” or “newport 2 bedroom house.”

The point is that you may think that there are 20 or 40 terms that will bring you traffic, when the reality is that strong traffic comes from leveraging hundred and thousands of terms. Lots of those terms may only bring you 1 or 2 visitors per year, but when you add them all up, you’ll see real, lasting traffic.

The book: The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More

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