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Is it a long-tail or a short-tail keyword industry?

11:36 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just read an interesting blog post where someone mentions that education is a long-tail keyword industry whereas poker is a short-tail keyword industry. Two expressions I havent heard in 2.5 years of SEO.

Is there any way of understanding this before starting the site and seeing it in your logs (where itll be obvious, of course)?

Is it as simple as typing in your main keyword into the google adwords tool and comparing broad search to exact match, etc.?

I think understanding this would help a lot with market research and deciding whether you want to enter a market or not.

If one market seems more competitive than another one keyword-wise, but the one that seems more difficult is a long-tail kw industry, whereas the easier one is a short-tail kw industry, then I might still go for the more difficult one if I can create content to optimize the heck out of the long-tail.

1:24 am on June 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 14, 2003
votes: 35

It comes down to what converts. Also short tail can be called head terms as well. Some industries convert better with general head terms and other convert better with long tail terms. Long tail is when people are typing in 3 or more words in a search engine when they are ready to buy. I would imagine most industries are long tail. There is always lots of traffic with head terms but most the time it is just people browsing around.

These terms mean different things to SEO than they do PPC. With PPC your concerned about cost per conversion and with SEO your concerned about how hard it is to rank for a term.


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