How Long Tail Search Can Increase Traffic

by Brian Toomey, JB Analytics CEO

How do we write content that ranks ranks high on Google?

This is one of the first questions that our clients ask us when building a new website or updating their old webpages. What’s the use in writing brand-new copy if no one will see it?

Our clients at JB analytics almost always come to the same first answer to this questions — they focus on the frequent, heavily-searched words and phrases related to their products.

For example, one of our clients is Debug Pest Control, a pest control business based in Rhode Island. Some of the broad search phrases they originally focused on were “pest control rhode island”, “pest control companies”, and “cockroach free home” among others.

Ordinary companies would write content full of those phrases and stop there. But – surprisingly! – most of the SEO benefit of keyword-rich copy comes from less frequently searched phrases. These specific, niche phrases are often known in SEO as The Long Tail.

What is the Long Tail?


The Long Tail graphic above shows how individually more specific phrases get searched less frequently, but in total get searched more often than general phrases.

For example, when we dug into the analytics for Debug Pest Control, we found the keyword data that we expected to based on the Long Tail. Debug’s largest incoming search traffic did come from general phrases such as “pest control rhode island” and “cockroach free home”. However, they had tens of thousands of hits from specific, one-off phrases such as:

  • “how to get rid of carpenter ants in the kitchen”
  • “what invites a cockroach to the house”
  • “emergency raccoon removal rhode island”
  • … (and on and on and on)

All together, phrases like the above accounted for more than 70% of Debug’s search traffic hits. That’s a lot of one off traffic.

At JB Web we have found this pattern over and over again with our clients. We use the phrase “Be the answer to as many questions as possible” to summarize our strategy for leveraging the Long Tail for our client’s advantage.

How to Profit from The Long Tail

long_tail_meme How users searching long tail phrases are feeling when they visit your web page

If 50-70% of the traffic to your website is going to come from one-off search phrases, how do we write keyword-rich content to profit from this fact? At JB Web, our solution is to run our own custom suite of keyword analytics for both your site and the sites of your competitors to find the right group of landing pages to maximize search visibility and customer conversion.

Then, we use the results of our data mining to decide on the focus and target phrases for the copy of each landing page.

Our long-tail, keyword-rich copy accomplishes multiple goals at once:

  1. Google loves unique content. Because JB Web casts a wide-net with our copy strategy, the webpages we write look vastly different than the repetitive boilerplate most companies use. The more unique the text, the higher the Google ranking.
  2. Long Tail terms are more likely to convert to paying customers. Behavioral economics has shown that customers further along in their purchasing decision cycle use more specific search phrases. Our data-driven copy will get your site ranked higher for more of these critical, high-profit keyphrases.
  3. New, under-served customer niches. Our analytics often uncovers customer niches that a company either wasn’t serving or was only marginally serving. For example, Debug Pest Control was able to expand their services in snake removal as a result of our work.

If your company would benefit from a 30%+ increase in organic traffic and a 40%+ increase in conversion rates, contact us now to put our analytics to work increasing your traffic and your profits.


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