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Why are Long Tail Keywords called long-tail?

Last Updated : 01 Dec, 2023
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The term “long tail” is derived from the concept of the long tail in statistics, which refers to the distribution of certain types of data. In the context of Long tail keywords, the “long tail” refers to the vast number of unique search queries that may be low in volume individually but collectively account for a significant portion of total search demand.

Chris Anderson popularized the idea in his 2004 Wired magazine article “The Long Tail” and subsequent book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.”

The term “tail” in this Long tail keywords context refers to the lower-selling or specialty products at the very end of a distribution graph. As opposed to the “head” or more popular, shorter keywords, long-tail keywords indicate the less common, more precise, and less frequently searched terms.

Grasping the Concept of Long-Tail Keywords

In the digital marketing landscape, particularly in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), keywords are pivotal. These are the terms that internet users input into search engines to find what they’re looking for. Among various types of keywords, long-tail keywords have gained significant attention for their effectiveness in driving search traffic and enhancing website rankings.

Long-tail keywords are extended, highly specific keyword phrases that users tend to use when they’re nearing a purchasing decision or when they’re utilizing voice search. These keywords typically comprise three or more words that refine the focus of search results, yielding more precise outcomes.

Illustrations of Long-Tail Keywords

To provide a clearer picture, let’s consider an example. If “running shoes” is your primary keyword, long-tail variations could include:

  • Running shoes for women.
  • Running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
  • Top running shoe store in New York.

These long-tail keywords might not have as high a search volume as “running shoes,” but they target a more defined audience. This level of specificity can lead to higher conversion rates as the individuals searching these terms are likely seeking exactly what you’re offering.

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