Catherine "Cat" Seda

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Find Your Tail Terms

In my April Internet marketing e-zine, I answered two questions from my readers (the first Q&A was "Is Someone Stealing Your Web Articles?"). Here's the second one:


Hi Catherine. Your Entrepreneur magazine article “Not So Fast: Don't just throw more money at pay-per-click--make it work for you,” was interesting. I am trying to make a mark in a niche market for educators. I have hooked up with Google AdWords in the hope I could make more contacts, but their methods of limiting common keywords at an unreasonable cost seems counter productive. Can you clarify what you mean by "tail terms" in your article? Thanks for your assistance.

~ Al Baggetta, Baggetta_Ware English Teacher Software and Testing Resources


Thanks for your question, Al. “Tail terms” are low-cost, low-volume keywords that are highly targeted for your business. In search marketing, these are gold.

See, bidding on single words (or even broad phrases) could quickly blow your budget on pay-per-click (PPC). For example, if you sell car insurance, DON’T bid on “insurance.” With the competition these days, even “car insurance” may be too broad and cost too much (generally speaking, more competitors mean higher bids). Instead, dig deep to find a targeted tail term like “florida car insurance quote.” Now that’s targeted! True, not as many people will search for that keyword, but the ones who do are definitely your ideal clients. That’s why tail terms are very, very profitable.

Tail terms are valuable in search engine optimization (SEO) too. It’s much easier to get ranked for them. Let’s see…there are currently 405,000,000 results in Google for “insurance.” You want a “Top 10” ranking? Good luck! Here’s an easier way…there are only 1,650,000 results in Google for “florida car insurance quote.” Ah…much better! (I know 1.6 million seems impossible but really, that’s not so bad.) So, optimize your web site for tail terms and you’ll catapult to the top of the organic search results a whole lot easier and faster.

Here's my “Not So Fast” article Al is referring to.

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To Your Online Success!


  • This is some great advice, Cat!

    By Blogger manny hernandez, at 6:33 PM  

  • You're welcome, Manny. Feel free to share a tip or two...I know you got 'em!

    By Blogger Cat Seda, at 6:40 PM  

  • I sent this article to a few friends. Thanks for the advice.

    Chris Edwards

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:10 AM  

  • Great article but don't you think that too many people are trying to over complicate long tail terms? Surely common sense prevails. Use your top key words at top and factor the rest of the terms according to relevancy further in your site. Perhaps I paint an over simplistic picture and may be missing a vital 'something'.....

    By Blogger Sunday Jam, at 8:56 AM  

  • Interesting idea. I think marketing tail terms is "common sense" for corporate folks, but not entrepreneurs who are new to PPC/SEO. Almost always when I work with these entrepreneurs, their initial keyword list includes a bunch of single words and two-word phrases that are too broad to bring in profitable business without investing a lot of time and/or money. Your thoughts?

    By Blogger Cat Seda, at 9:46 AM  

  • I agree.

    It got me thinking a lot particularly with regards to a PPC campaigns using long tail terms.

    How about

    1st page placement good traffic - main key word terms - high costs - good traffic - good returns/conversions

    my thinking

    2nd Page placement - using long tail terms - cheaper placement - granted less traffic - but better return/conversion - why? well if you go to 2nd or 3rd page SERPS to find something and click thru if feel you're more likely to have found what you are looking for? - in my experience. Again this may be way off the mark...

    By Blogger Sunday Jam, at 3:06 AM  

  • Neat angle. I suppose you could test that theory by using PPC. If you do that, please come back and share your findings!

    By Blogger Cat Seda, at 8:48 AM  

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