Understanding the long tail concept and how it relates to article marketing is key to understanding who your audience is and reaching them.
It can help you understand exactly what type of audience you get from certain keywords and keyphrases you use to write articles.
If you’ve ever studied statistics, you might remember what a long tail distribution curve looks like. It’s where the tail of the curve is extremely long compared to the head.
Moving Along the Long Tail
In article writing and marketing, this distribution curve can be applied to the keywords from a niche to choose the most effective subjects to cover.
There are three sections to the long tail distribution curve for keywords. The further down the curve you move, the more specific and numerous the keywords become.
1. Head – Broad keywords that describe your niche (e.g. “weight loss,” “investing,” “home improvement”). There are a lot of people searching for this most broad type of keyword, and there’s also a lot of authors writing content about the keyword.
People doing searches for these types of keywords are looking for basic information on the subject. Articles written for the head of the tail are usually introductory to the niche.
2. Middle – A group of keyphrases that are more specific than the keywords from the head. These keyphrases are usually about 2-4 words long. There are fewer people searching for the more complex keyphrases and fewer authors writing content for the keyphrases (e.g. “weight loss for men,” “retirement planning,” “custom cabinetry”).
People doing searches in the middle of the keyword distribution are more invested in the subject and they’re looking for more specific information.
3. Tail – The most specific and complex keyphrases which may be about 4-6 words long. Even less people are searching for these keyphrases and there are few other authors writing on each subject (e.g. “weight loss for men with diabetes,” “retirement planning in a recessive economy,” “installing kitchen cabinets for less than $5,000”).
People doing searches further along the tail are the most invested in the subject and they’re looking for very specific information.
The long tail is where your expertise comes in the most handy. It’s where the most detailed articles come from and where you’ll be able to accurately target the types of people looking for your content.
Getting Max Exposure
However, don’t focus solely on writing for the tail of the distribution. You want to have a wide range of articles covering a lot of different keywords and keyphrases to maximize your exposure.
Probably the most complicated thing about writing for the long tail is getting past the counter-intuitive nature of it. Writing for a smaller audience actually gives you a higher click-through rate (CTR) for your articles. The audience reached with more specific keyphrases is already very interested in the subject and will be interested in additional information.
So, take advantage of this information now and do some keyword research to lay out the long tail distribution for your next set of high-quality, original articles.
Leave a comment if you’re still a little confused on the whole long tail concept, like Stanley, or if you have any keyword research success stories.