Or Why Your Website is Like a Medieval Court
When you are competing in a cutthroat market, you might want to take a step back and ensure that you are using your resources and budget wisely. Content is king, and keywords are the heirs to the throne – but what about the spares?
Plenty of visitors come to your court to see the king and prince regent, and they may come away with some souvenir or trinket to remind them of their stay, but the younger sons may receive commissions for fleets and commands of their own, to become ambassadors to far away lands. They head up merchant ships, and can sell many times as much of your goods by spreading the word as your favored child.
This is due to the fact that most websites actually get only 20% of their conversions from their top ten keywords. Sure, the number one keyword might bring in a whopping 5% of your conversions – think of five building blocks stacked up. Your next best keyword brings in 4% – stack four blocks next to the five. The next two bring in 3% and 2% each (your stacks are starting to look like descending skyscrapers); and the final six, one percent each. Ten keyword, twenty percent of conversions.
Turn the block box upside down and shake it. What have we here? A bunch of slices of blocks. You start lining them up, thickest to thinnest, and quickly realize that you have enough slivers to wrap around the block a dozen times and then some. These are the other terms that have been searched and returned your site, generating a conversion. They account for the remaining 80% of your revenue.
The most amazing part? You haven’t even tried to optimize for these terms. The younger princes are still playing at sword fighting in the palace garden. Outfit them properly and send them out on crusade to article sites, and who knows what might happen!
The long tail keywords are the ones that count, in the end. 100% of ten is better than ½ a percent of a thousand. If you can corral the top spots on Google for long tail keywords, you can pull in the rest of the traffic, and give that spare princeling his own duchy.
Don’t neglect the long tail. It’s more important than you think!