By Joe Pulizzi published March 17, 2011 Est Read Time: 1 min

Why Long-Tail Search Rules (and what to do about it)

Listened to Chris Baggott from Compendium talk yesterday at the AMA Content Marketing conference about the power of mixing social and search. Here are some stats from Chris that will get you thinking:

  • 88% of clicks come from organic search (left side). The remaining 12% of clicks go to paid keywords (pay per click). Where are you spending more money?
  • The fastest growing type of keyword search is a length of eight words.
  • The type of search that converts at the highest rate is the four-word search.
  • 80% of readers coming to your blog (on average) are first timers.
  • 70% of searches are considered “long-tail searches” (see chart). Long-tail searches are less competitive and convert at a higher rate.

Long Tail Keyword Effectiveness

Some advice:

  • Chris suggests to take the advice from Zig Ziglar and create content around the “similar situation sale”. In other words, buyers search for information about others who are having the same problems as them.
  • Google’s latest algorithm update places more emphasis on the social sharing of content. That means brands are rewarded in search for content that is shared more in sites like Twitter and Facebook.
  • For long-tail searches, blogs win and win big. Once someone gets detailed enough to type in up to six or eight words, blogs that cover that subject rule the rankings.

A final thought…just checked the Content Marketing Institute analytics.  Over the past 30 days, the CMI site has been accessed in search through 2,249 different keyword variations.  Only 10 keywords received more than 20 visits. That shows you the power of long-tail search.

To get to that point, for the past nine months we have released a blog post every business day, which amounts to over 200 individual blog posts.

Sometimes less is more, but sometimes more is better.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the bestselling author of seven content marketing books including his latest, Content Inc. He has founded four companies, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), and his newest venture, The Tilt. His podcast series, This Old Marketing with Robert Rose, has generated millions of downloads from over 150 countries. He is also the author of The Random Newsletter, delivered to thousands every two weeks. His Foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to children in 35 states. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi