Start With Keyword Research
As with other online marketing campaigns, you want to start long tail optimization by performing keyword research. Start by searching your primary product or service in Google, and then examine the keywords used by the top 10 sites, and other competitors.
Google has a search-based keyword tool that will give you keyword ideas based on your (or your competitor’s) existing pages. The Google keyword tool analyzes the website entered and matches it with searches already being performed by users in Google, giving you a list of potential keyword phrases. The results also indicate the number of monthly searches, amount of competition, and suggested bid. This is a decent tool for exploring your competitor’s keywords. You can quickly sort the results by number of daily searches and competition by clicking the header tags.
Once you have a decent list, scan it over and make sure it includes variations specific to your product/service including sizes, colors, descriptors (review, discount), conditions (new, used), brand, model numbers, city/town, state/zip, etc.
Long Tail Phrases That Convert
Remember, long phrase doesn’t automatically mean long tail phrase and less competition doesn’t automatically mean better converting. To learn which phrases will result in sales, you need to test using PPC. If you can’t make a sale with a keyword phrase in PPC, you won’t be able to make money organically with that phrase. Once you know which phrases convert, you’ll know where to focus optimization efforts as explained in this SEO Article.
Long Tail Optimization and Site Architecture
Keep long tail optimization in mind when building new sites, creating categories, and naming pages. Give each page a unique Title, description meta tag, header tags, content, and anchor text that includes the converting phrase. Thinking long tail can also give you direction and inspiration when creating a content schedule.
Research, Test, Target
Many site owners lock in on highly competitive terms and never look back. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious, but making money is nice too! A better approach is to research, target, and test long tail phrases. In fact, some terms might have such little competition that quick page optimization might be enough to get you the conversions you’re after. Just remember, long phrase doesn’t necessarily mean long tail and not all long tails convert–you must test to see what works.