The Long-Tail Method: How to Write Great Titles So Easily, You’ll Wonder Why You Didn’t Do It Before

Write for the Long Tail to Be Seen by Readers

Many like to toss around the phrase “the long tail” without much explanation, leaving plenty of Expert Authors confused. It’s actually quite a simple concept that takes some basic steps and a little practice.

The long tail depicts the frequency with which a topic occurs and its demand. Here are the characteristics of the long tail concept:

  • Head: At the top of the curve, the Head targets a large audience with a high content saturation, demand, and competition.
  • Middle: Connecting the head and the tail, the Middle moderately targets an audience with an average content saturation, demand, and competition.
  • Tail: The Tail targets a highly focused audience with content that’s in low supply, demand, and competition.

By targeting your audience and creating content along the long tail, you will exponentially increase the likelihood of your articles being seen by readers.

Create Great Titles Using the Long-Tail Concept

Find the long tail in your niche with these easy steps – don’t forget a pen and notebook!

1. Identify Your Keywords

Try keyword tools like Wordtracker, Google’s Keyword Tool, and your article’s Traffic Search Terms. Write these down – know that many of these keywords will target the Head of the long tail, but they are a good lead for your next step.

2. Narrow Head Keywords

Refine Head keywords (e.g., “weight loss”) by finding keywords that target the Middle (e.g., “weight loss for women”). Create a list of Middle keywords to expand on later.

3. Refine Again …

Select a set of your Middle keywords and enter them into a Google search (e.g., “weight loss for women”). Note the related searches (e.g., “weight loss supplements for women,” “weight loss exercises for women,” and “weight loss for women over 40”). Additionally, you can create a list of focused topics (e.g., supplements, organic foods, and exercises) relevant to the Middle keywords that don’t appear in this search.

4. Add Benefit Oriented Words

Effective titles not only inform the reader what they can expect to discover in an article, but they clearly define a benefit the reader will achieve. Coordinate motivating benefits with power words (e.g., “quick,” “painless,” and “easy”) to resonate with your audience.

Middle: Weight loss for women over 40
Benefit: Drop a dress size
Power: Quick, painless, easy, etc.

5. Create Long-Tail Titles

Writing powerful headlines isn’t always easy and a little practice will go a long way in your efforts. Using your Middle keywords, benefits, and power words, infuse a little creativity and originality to brainstorm some great reader-oriented long-tail titles and articles.

Using the examples above, here’s a long tail title:

“Weight Loss for Women Over 40: Top 7 Quick, Easy, and Painless Tips to Drop a Dress Size or More!”

This long-tail title may not draw a general audience (e.g., men over and under 40 as well as women under 40), but its chances of finding an audience increase exponentially. Why? It won’t have to compete with the over-abundance of articles in the Head (e.g., “10 Weight Loss Tips” and “Best Weight Loss Diets”).

It’s that simple! Use this easy step-by-step formula to write for the long tail and get your articles on the screens of readers who want to read your content. In doing so, your article writing efforts effectively increase your exposure, your credibility, and traffic to your blog or website.

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27 Comments »


1

Brilliant simple outline – thanks Penny!

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM

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2
Nolan Wilson writes:

The importance of an effective title cannot be overstated. Thanks for this easy to follow guide. Every writer should use this to develop titles for their web pages and blog posts.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

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3
Wally writes:

Title are what make people click on search results. I like the EzineArticles tool for nice titles for articles. However, long tail keywords are great domain names too because many people will type into those very terms and if your link is that, it’s likely Google that will place on first page if you content is relative.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

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4
Glee writes:

Very useful tips! All the while I thought Ive been using long tail keywords but this post made it clear that I was actually hitting the middle. However, I think its also necessary to point out that in order for the title of the article to quickly get indexed by search engines and/or displayed as a whole in search results, it should have at most 15 words.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

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5
Jose Quintero writes:

The way you set up the Title will help Search Engines to find and categorized your Content.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM

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6
Randall Magwood writes:

I generally make my titles like a ‘mini headline’. Just enough to convince them to keep reading to learn more, and my sub-headers (mini titles) encourages them to read more and more.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM

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7
Jason Boyd writes:

I’ve heard about long tail keywords and even practiced a little, but this article was great at distilling all the info I’ve tried to learn into one easy to understand article. It really helped me say “Yes. Now I understand.”

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM

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8
Lance Winslow writes:

Interesting strategy, maybe I should consider this, although I have also been successful just writing a solid smart title describing exactly what the article is about. Maybe folks should use this strategy in reverse, and write about sub-topics of popular subjects in their niche, and then produce the appropriate title for the article, which I guess amounts to the same thing in the end.

Comment provided February 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM

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9
James Smith writes:

Just wondered as you said above, It’s one of the best articles to create long tail article titles which helps you to reach target audience. Going to follow long tail article creation title strategy.

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 12:11 AM

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10
Sujit Paul writes:

Excellent. Always try to keep title with minimum words but it will be meaningful. Thank you very much.

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 1:19 AM

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11
Ashok Sinha writes:

Penny… you are so sweet, you keep giving us valuable tips…again SUPERB- Thanks & Congrats

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 3:00 AM

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12
Terri L Maurer writes:

Best, most clear article on this topic I have ever read! All previous articles do little more than mention ‘long tail and assume everyone knows the intricacies of what that means. Thanks so much for clarifying this for us.

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

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13
Tulugaq N Bean writes:

Great article! From experience I’ve found this out the hard way but after hammering down the long tail method when coming up with effective articles that target the intended audience. Thanks for writing.

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 7:14 PM

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14

That is an excellent explanation of long tail keywords and how to use them to our benefit. Thank you.

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 9:41 PM

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15
Gracious Store writes:

Thank you for this illustrative write up on how to write great titles. I’ll try to use this strategy going forward for all mt article titles

Comment provided February 6, 2013 at 10:50 PM

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16

Great post Penny, using long tail keywords in your titles makes perfect sense to me, thanks for informative content!

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 3:21 PM

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17
Robert Connor writes:

Greta post that is easy to understand!

Comment provided February 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM

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18
Suma Seelan writes:

Awesome & Valuable Tips!! Using LongTail keywords for Blogs will be easy following your steps. THANKS!!

Comment provided February 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM

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19
Vijay Khosla writes:

An excellent attempt to put the ocean of knowledge in a pot!

Comment provided February 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

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20
Mike Rana writes:

How your tips benefited me during writing of my book 5th generation, is beyond description. No wonder people return to your site again and again.

I am still not ready for your ezine article publishing but I will do it soon

Comment provided March 1, 2013 at 7:49 PM

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21

sometimes, its hard to keep the title short (and/or sweet), and without resorting to use shortforms or too much acronyms..

Did you guys notice that if you have a long title, and if your keyword(s) happen to be at the end part of the title, Google will truncate or “chop off” the title, and your article will not fall within the front pages of their search results..

Thus, it might be good to include your keyword(s) at the start of the title, rather than at the end

Comment provided March 2, 2013 at 8:35 PM

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22
nate writes:

Love the concepts discussed, great explanation, and very helpful. But isn’t the title you ended up with in your example excessively long? (I counted around 80 characters.) This length of title would be to cumbersome for a blog post, wouldn’t it? It must be limited to use within a publication such as EzineArticles, etc.

Comment provided April 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

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23

Helpful but soooo complex. A little intuitive brainstorming would probably come up with the same title, I would think.

A tool that I sometimes find useful for blog posts (and sometimes not) is Zemanta. I’m not sure if it works with all blogging software but it definitely interfaces with WordPress and Blogger. Just install it and it will suggest keywords, related articles and even photos (very limited selection) while you type.

Comment provided April 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM

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24
Green writes:

Good article; it has changed my conception regarding choosing specific keywords for articles. I will now try some long tail keywords.

Comment provided April 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM

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25
Betty Eriksen writes:

Great article which explains long tail keywords so clearly. Many thanks.

Comment provided May 25, 2013 at 3:43 PM

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26

It’s so simple! Thank you!

Comment provided January 1, 2014 at 12:39 AM

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27
Sandi writes:

Such beautiful advice, thank you Penny! I have found that the more “interesting” a Web page’s title is, the more likely I am to click on it! It’s really silly that so many websites have no idea about the way the Search Engines work. Clearly you know how they work, else how did I get here? Love your site BTW. Thanks..Sandi

Comment provided January 1, 2014 at 7:13 AM

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