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Work the long tail and the traffic will come

Asad Imam
Asad Imam
Head of SEO
16 December 2011

In this blog post I want to focus on strategies that you can adopt to increase the number of long tail keywords that can be associated with your website.

Long tail keywords are the hundreds and (in some cases) thousands of keywords and key phrases that can drive visits to a site from search engines. If your search engine marketing strategy only focuses on the top 10-20 keywords to drive traffic you’re missing out on countless opportunities to acquire visitors to your site!
My first tip is to add fresh content to your site regularly. This is a quite obvious recommendation but it is worth mentioning because it’s something that some web managers allow to fall through the cracks. The SEO benefits are numerous, but in terms of a long tail keyword strategy, it essentially gives search engines more terms to link your website to. Furthermore, if your website is in Google Index and being crawled regularly, terms in your fresh content should be added to its web index. Based on a recent Google blog, for your fresh content to be ‘valued’ more by Google it needs to be timely as well. As you develop your content, make sure you tap into recent news pieces produced by authorities in your industry or trusted journals. You can also reference Google news and unearth great information pieces using Twitter. Don’t forget to apply some basic SEO content writing skills based around contextual keyword usage and you’ll be off on the right track, eg. more content and more keywords that a search engine can attribute to your website.

Another tact to consider is creating individual sitemaps, really only applicable if your company is providing a range of service or products on a website that can be placed in silos. I assume your website information architecture is structured around these individual silos, so creating individual sitemaps per silo would 1) keep things organized and 2) you would see an improved percentage of your webpage URLs that get indexed. The more URL’s indexed means more the content indexed and more the content indexed therefore means more long tail keywords will be attributed to your site.

My third and last tip is institute guest blogging on your site. You should target relevant bloggers who have reputable, high traffic volume sites. All guest blog posts should link and be linked from the invited blogger’s website. It is a great way to acquire content for your site, gain quality links and increases long tail keywords associated with your site. To get the long tail keywords benefit, make sure your links to/from the website use anchor text because search engines will reward your site for building links and the content.

In the world of SEO it is common to be obsessed with target keywords which provide the lure of high volume of traffic based on the popularity. However, it is important to remember that traffic in current scenario not only can be won in the dozens of mega-popular terms but also in “thousands of dozens” of terms that may only result in a single visit, but cumulatively the number is still in thousands.

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