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The Benefits of Optimizing the Long Tail of Search


Many Marketers approach SEO by targeting keywords in their industry with the largest monthly search volumes while neglecting the ‘long tail.’ Disproportionate focus on these ‘head terms’ is often exacerbated by the executive who wants to be at the top of Google for highly competitive terms.

Yet the savvy search marketer understands that it is often significantly easier to move up the search rankings for multiple keywords whose search volumes, when combined, total that of the one desirable keyword.  

In this study, Conductor examines the impact of implementing on-page recommendations to natural search visibility, and analyzes the difference in movement for long-tail vs. head-term search queries.


Long Tail Keywords ChartKey Findings

  • Rank Movement: Keywords with on-page optimization activities moved, on average, more than one full page in the search results (11 positions), compared to a downward movement of more than 2 positions for keywords without on-page optimization activities
  • Head vs. Long-Tail Terms: Long-tail (low volume) keywords with on-page optimization moved, on average, more than one full page in the search results (11.24 positions) compared to half a page (5.28 positions) for head terms (high-volume)
  • Website Conversion Rate: Conversion rates for long-tail terms were 2.5x higher than for head terms