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How to Implement a Long-Tail Search Strategy to Gain Eyeballs

Clayton Stobbs
Director of Account Management

In his groundbreaking book The Long Tail, author Chris Anderson took a long-held marketing concept and stood it on its head. He argued that online sales of low-demand, niche products can be greater than sales of popular, high-demand products, and that having a “long tail” of online inventory can lead to enormous profits.

Sounds great, right? The challenge, though, is crafting a search engine strategy with well-chosen keywords that allows customers to find these products easily. That demands smart search strategy.

Is Long Tail Right for You?

The first decision to make is whether you need such a strategy. An essay on the website Search Engine Land describes the ins and outs of a long-tail strategy. “If you have a limited number of products, operate in a limited number of markets, or your primary campaign goals are focused on branding, there may not be a true ‘long tail’ to the set of keywords that users associate with your offerings,” blogger Matt Lawson writes.

On the other hand, “retail companies with catalogs that have millions of SKUs for example, may find it useful to purchase inventory for the various keywords associated with their products. Similarly, companies with content that is exceptionally seasonal or dynamic may need to apply strategies for updating ads for thousands of products that are constantly changing,” he says.

If that sounds like your company, the next decision to make is whether to invest the time and money in long-tail search. “Expanding your keywords to millions of terms doesn’t happen without cost,” Lawson says. 

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