The long tail topic does not appear on our blog for the first time. Already 2 years ago we published an entry showing what exactly a long tail is in the case of keywords and how to choose phrases from a long tail. If you have not had the opportunity to read this text, and this topic is interesting for you, we invite you to read it.
It is not our intention to duplicate that post or refresh it after many years. Therefore, this time we will not present in detail what a long tail is and convince you why it is worth focusing on long tail positioning. We want to tell you how to prepare your website in terms of positioning for long tail and what good practices support it. It is also worth finding out how you can know your real long tail.
For whom will the long tail be especially important?
However, it will not do without a short reminder. The term long tail is used by positioners to define more complex, and therefore more precise and unique, keywords that generate traffic for a given website. Such a keyword phrase consists of a few words. While the long tail can often account for most of the traffic that leads to a given side, it varies greatly internally. There will be no clear leaders here – the most common keywords. However, since this internally fragmented pool of keywords gathered together gives valuable and converting traffic on the website, it means that it is worth taking a look at it and taking care of it. The long tail should not be underestimated.
Long tail will be especially important for online stores. This does not mean that websites presenting services will not benefit from them – they will definitely feel them, though on a different scale. However, it is the extensive websites with a rich offer that will be the biggest beneficiaries of optimization in terms of strengthening the long tail. Considering how influenced by the situation in 2020, trading has become more online than it has ever been before, it is definitely worth strengthening your online store.
Can I monitor long tail phrases?
Can a long tail be somehow grasped, examined, and the most “fat” pieces extracted? Definitely yes. Positioners have at their disposal specialized industry tools that allow you to assess, for example, how many phrases that Google connects to a given website are in the top 10. These tools perform a comprehensive assessment of the website, in isolation from the phrases that are included in the SEO contract and which are monitored. Sounds complicated? We will illustrate this with an example. We position a brand new online store that has just started operating. There is no traffic yet, nor are there any keywords visible in the top 10 on Google.com. By signing the contract, we declared that we would conduct detailed monitoring of positions for 200 keywords selected together with the client. For these phrases, Paraphrase-Online.com measures the position daily. Information on this subject is visible in the customer’s panel and in the reports that he receives periodically. Thanks to this, we know that, for example, after six months of the 200 phrases written in the contract, 150 words are in the top 10. But does this fully reflect the scale of the website’s visibility on the Internet? Another tool can tell us the four-digit number of phrases in the top 10.
By testing the website with SEO tools that do not know the provisions of the contract and the list of keywords, we can determine how many phrases generally related to this website are in the top 10, i.e. after entering how many keywords this website will be displayed in the top 10 search results for a given term.
The number of top 10 phrases for a given website may change by making a month-to-month comparison. When we are dealing with a website that already has a history and established visibility on the Internet, we can compare the results from before the start of positioning (e.g. a month before signing the contract) with the current ones. Thanks to this comparison, you can see how many activities of SEO specialists gave the website and how they increased its visibility in the top 10.
Both parameters – measurement in the context of keywords included in the contract and measurement made with the use of additional tools and referring to the website as a whole – are not mutually exclusive and do not collide with each other. Their combination gives a more complete picture of the effectiveness of positioning and the support it gives the website.
Is there any way to know your long tail beyond the paid tools for positioners in the pro version? The free Google Search Console tool comes to the rescue, which provides a lot of useful information, for example about queries that lead to clicks and visits to the website, and also estimates the position of the keyword generating impressions and clicks. The analysis of the phrases that are visible there allows you to identify those matching the long tail criteria, as well as assess whether they generate clicks and in what positions they are. For the record, we note that these criteria for catching page entry phrases will apply not only in the context of long tails. They will also help you catch shorter but valuable phrases that can be used for promotion, and which were not included in the original set of keywords for positioning for various reasons.
General phrases versus long tail
At the outset, we can say that general phrases should not be opposed to those of the long tail. They are entered into the search engine by various groups of potential customers and, as a result, have different functions. The extensive phrases characteristic of the long tail indicate more precisely expressed expectations regarding the product that our potential client is looking for. General terms are most often entered identically and at the beginning of your search, before the purchase, when you do not have precise expectations yet. General terms can also mean searching for information or a loose examination, rather than an immediate desire to make a purchase.
How to effectively support long tail?
Effective support for long tail phrases can take place at the level of building or optimizing an existing website. We selected 4 elements that are important in the context of long tail optimization, and which are not associated with complicated interventions in the website.
A. Meta title and meta description
The fact that the meta tags: meta title and meta description are particularly important for positioning has been mentioned more than once in our publications on SEO. Since the optimization for long tail concerns mainly subpages with products and subpages related to product categories, it is important to take care of meta tags for these subpages. Setting the same meta tags for the entire website will be a big mistake. Such a duplicate is definitely undesirable from an SEO point of view. We realize that setting up unique meta tags for each product “out of hand” is quite a challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to automatically generate meta tags, which will use, for example, a unique product name (or product category – in the case of category subpages), and at the end there will be e.g. a suffix with the name of the store or company. If we use pagination and products from the same category are visible on more than one subpage, then you should also take care of the uniqueness of these meta tags on subsequent page views. The solution may be to reach for a cleverly interwoven note such as “page 2”, “page 3” etc. What can be done in terms of unique and non-duplicate descriptions? In this case, you can use unique content published on subpages, which will become the basis for meta description. It is worth emphasizing that the meta title tag is more important than meta description in the context of SEO.
B. Page headers
We will write about the importance of headers in terms of diversifying the content in point 4 dedicated to content issues. It’s a good idea to place headers on your website and use keywords in them. If we have a subpage dedicated to, for example, women’s tracksuits available in our offer, then instead of the casual “women’s” headings, it is worth placing keywords describing our offer in the hx headings: women’s tracksuits – cotton, pastel, oversize, printed, etc. Of course, all the keywords and terms that they form a long tail need not appear in a single header. In such a situation, it is worth dividing them among several headings. Of course, there may also be a headline on the page that does not include keywords – not everyone has to include them. However, it is worth using at least some of the headers as space for keywords and terms that may become key to the search.
C. Url address
Words keywords and words that are used to search for products from our offer can also be placed in the url of subpages. We do not encourage the machine to change the current, even imperfect addresses of subpages – improper approach to this topic may cause damage to the website. However, if we are faced with adding new subpages or rebuilding the website, then when planning a new structure and addresses of subpages, take into account that they contain important passwords, in full wording. Referring to the example from the previous section: it is better to have the term “women’s tracksuits” in the subpage address of the category than “women’s”. The subpage of the product should also have a user-friendly url that takes into account specific passwords. However, do not go overboard with the length of the url, as an address of more than 100 characters is too much. Blog entries are also a problem more often than product pages.
D. Content matters
Of course, you can identify the best-selling products and product categories for an online store. This pool is most often reflected in a keyword set, which is saved as an attachment to the SEO contract. These are also phrases for which position monitoring will be carried out – daily research that allows to capture drops and increases or the phrase entering the top 10. Potential customers, however, enter much more variations on the query than is usually included in the list of keywords selected for monitoring. There are some important features for them. When analyzing the keywords that led to entering the website, it is worth knowing what words and terms to use when describing the available product or service. Rich content corresponding to inquiries – not only the most popular ones – is an action supporting positioning, taking into account the long tail. The best place to introduce content supporting phrases described as long tail will be the subpage of the product categories or the products themselves. Being aware of the enormity of the project, which is content optimization (not only for long tail phrases), we encourage you to do it in stages. It is better to gradually implement new content, even in small portions, than to abandon the idea entirely.
The content published on the page on the page must be visible to robots in order to be indexed. They must also be unique content if they are to positively affect the SEO process. It can be said that all the rules for good content that apply in the context of optimization also apply to enhancing content in terms of long tail. As a reminder, it will be:
– uniqueness – the text on the website should not be duplicated on other websites,
– don’t skimp on words – an extensive text will be better than a casual approach to the topic,
– the text should not be monolithic, it is worth using the division into paragraphs, use headings and include keywords in them,
– the text should be linguistically attractive and correct, encouraging people to read, and at the same time providing information that will facilitate making a consumer decision,
– available for network robots,
– systematically developed.