Long-tail analysis seeks to identify, for your most common keyword categories (or “stems”), the phrases that pay where demand is relatively high but competition relatively weak; what I call relatively underexploited keyphrases. As an example, consider Sam Larder, owner of a luxury, ski-in–skiout chalet in Verbier, Switzerland. Sam has been spending a fortune on acampaign, selecting phrases such as “ski chalet” and “chalet verbier.” Given the popularity of the resort (and the number of competing accommodation providers) he has had to pay more and more to acquire his visitors. However, after reading this book, Sam thoroughly considers his business proposition and looks at the long tail in the light of this.
Brad investigates his competitors’ sites again (only this time going down much further in the rankings and trying many different searches). He settles on a group of multi-word phrases that appear most often on competing sites, of which the following are just a few examples:
- Two-word phrases: business cards, , compliment slips, printed labels, address labels, print design
- Three-word phrases: quality business cards, , , laminated business cards, letterhead stationery printing, online printing letterheads, avery address labels, printed address labels, sticky address labels, design brochures leaflets, full , business brochures flyers, business printing services, online business printing,
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- Four-word phrases: online business card printing, business card printing services, business card printing service, business services, cheap business card printing, business card printing company, custom business card printing, business card design printing, business card discount printing, business card printing Idaho, business card printing Boise Brad was interested to note that “business cards” appeared more often than “business card.” He has learnt another key lesson: Always pluralize your keywords where you can. You will achieve higher traffic this way, because of the way search engines handle queries and users perform searches. As I have said, learn from your competitors where you can! For a typical small (10-page) site, you should now have approximately 35–40 one-word and two-word phrases and perhaps as many as 60–75 three-word and four-or-more-word combinations.