Do Not Ignore The Longtail

February 26, 2011By

Do not ignore the longtail.

In a 30 day period Country Music Life received 1,235 unique pageviews for the Garth Brooks Songs post I wrote. The main term I was targeting for this post was “best garth brooks songs“. It’s not a huge traffic term, but there is some traffic there. CML now has a good ranking for that term – #1 and sometimes #1, #2, and #3 on a good day.

Great news.

The interesting thing is that first position ranking generated a total of 321 pageviews. The top keyword generated just over 25% of the total keyword traffic for this post.

Where did the rest come from?

Longtail keywords.

Do Not Ignore The Longtail

Getting the top ranking for a pretty good term was great, but it’s striking that only 25% of the traffic to the Garth Brooks post came from the main term I was targeting. The other 75% was coming from a mix of 165 or so other longtail keyword phrases.

This post was an early example and I wrote it early on after the launch of CML. I actually didn’t target the long tail on purpose. It took me a while to catch on. Search engines were picking up longtail keywords from within the post in the content I had written like “top garth brooks songs of all time”. Somewhere in the post I had used the word “top” and search engines picked it up.

Over the months after the Garth post I started realizing the importance of the longtail. SEO experts have been talking about it for a long time – it just took me a few months to realize.

For posts like Sad Country Songs I included words like Depressing, Saddest, and Lonely in the title tag. Now that song gets half its traffic from “sad country songs” and the other half from longtail words including “lonely country songs” and “depressing country songs”.

The same is true for posts like Chris Young Tomorrow. A third of the traffic for this term comes from “Chris Young Tomorrow”, another few percent from “Tomorrow Chris Young” and the rest from longtail words. Along the way I realized that adding the words “Listen”, “Download”, and occasionally “video” and “song” work well for longtail terms.

Summary

It’s been interesting testing stuff with longtail keywords.

After messing around there are a few formulas that work right now for CML. I’m sure things will change over time, which requires constant testing.

It’s fun and the lesson is…

Don’t ignore the longtail.