Long Tail Traffic – What It Is and How to Get It


This is a guest article by Kirsty LaVier. You too can get in front of our readers by taking a look at our guest blogging guidelines.

If you’re looking for web traffic that converts better (and who isn’t?!), you should be targeting long tail traffic.  It takes some work on your part, but there are some huge benefits to getting long tail traffic.

What is long tail traffic?

Long tail traffic consists of the visitors you get from long tail keywords.  Long tail keywords are longer (at least 2 or 3 words) and are more descriptive than head terms.   For example, “headache” is a head term, while “stress headache remedy” is a long tail keyword.  People are more likely to search for long tail keywords, because it’s easier to get the results you need that way.  Searching for the term “headache” will bring back millions of results – from different types of headaches, to what causes headaches, to how to treat headaches.  If you’re looking for a way to get rid of your stress headache, you may never find what you’re looking for that way!  But, if you search for “stress headache remedy”, you will have much fewer results pop up, and it will be easier to find the information you need.

Since long tail keywords are more descriptive, you know that the traffic you’re getting from them is much more targeted.  For example, if your website sells a remedy for stress headaches, someone who found your site by searching for “headache” may or may not need your services.  But, if someone searches for “stress headache remedy”, your site is exactly what they’re looking for – and they’re a lot more likely to buy from you.

So, how do you get long tail traffic?

Through your content.

Your content tells the search engine spiders exactly what your website is about – and what keywords you’re trying to target.  The more descriptive your content, the more likely you are to rank well for your targeted long tail keywords.

And, when it comes to content, you have to work on more than just your homepage.  After all, every inner page should target different long tail keywords, so you’ll need good, descriptive content on all of them.

As an added benefit, it is much easier to rank well for long tail keywords, because they have a lot less competition.  The only downside is that they also have a lower search volume.  But, remember, those searches are also a lot more targeted.  You could get thousands of visitors every day, but if your site doesn’t give them what they’re looking for, they’ll never convert.

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  • Hi Kirsty,

    Long tail keywords help you to hit a targeted niche.

    As you note using a more specialized long tail keyword allows you to focus on a specific market. You cater to a targeted crowd so you won’t waste time having to filter out people who might not be clear on what you have to offer them.

    As for competition, using LTK is the way to go. Why battle it out with millions of other people when you can add a few keywords to your phrase and dominate a micro niche? All it takes is a little research and creativity in choosing the proper keyword placement and density.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Kirsty.


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  • Great post… All too often people focus on those big, million dollar keywords. By focusing on many little ones we can generate a lot more traffic with a lot less time. Thanks for the reminder of this.

  • I think trying to rank for long-tail keywords is an oxymoron.. Long tail keywords are those keywords that get a few searches a month and can’t be found out thru regular keyword tools since they’re not popular. Just write content as you normally do, and you’ll gain long tail traffic immediately.

  • Kim

    Kirsty, First, thanks for great topic.

    Long tail keywords are like Gem. They target merely few visitors sometimes but two things are common with them. (1) They can always help delivering focused traffic. (2) They are mostly very less or no competitive so easy to achieve your goal.

    Many PPC and SEO experts already build traffic using this strategy. It Rocccks!

  • Not bad, Kirsty, but you just started scratching the surface.

    Long Tail Matters, for sure. As an example: in Google, my site currently ranks #32 in the world for “long tail marketing”, and #368 for “longtail marketing”.

    Yes, that’s right; just interjecting that space makes that much difference. long tail matters, huh?

    DOING long tail is about the most advanced SEO concept I know. And that’s the most important point. I’m afraid you missed it . . . ;-(

    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO
    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP Computer Support, Business Change Coaching and SEO Consulting/Search Engine Optimization Services

  • Is one word keywords are more prominent than long tail keywords?

  • Thanks for the insight on a topic that way to many bloggers either don’t know about or have the wrong impression. I love what you’ve said.

  • Well that’s intelligent SEO. More specific we get more chances of getting ranked well. But eventually We have to admit that if you want huge traffic then you will have to target short tail keywords. Traffic is many times greater in general short tail keywords, so it should be our final goal. Yeah for temporary time period we can focus on long tail words.

  • does it make a difference if the long tail or short keywords are at the beginning of a product description – if so how many words / charicters are considered at the part which is crawled?

    or does it not make any difference?

  • rnd technologies

    Nice view.

  • John Lewis

    I was reading an article, and the term long tail traffic was referenced. I didn’t exactly know the meaning, and Bing led me to this article. By Kirsty LaVier, I think I’ve got it! Thanks, a bunch!