How Your Search Marketing May Be "Short" Sighted

Last Updated Mar 3, 2008 4:34 PM EST

Apple Pie Marketing image by greggoconnell [cc, 2.0]I like to call the early days of web marketing the 'apple pie a la mode' days. Back then, all you had to do was fill a web page with specific valuable keywords ("mortgage online", for example) and the traffic just flowed in -- easy peasy.

It's not so much like that any more. One of the points that was driven home to all of us who descended on SMX West was the essential need to target the long tail of keywords. No longer could you hit it big with the two-word or one-word keyword phrases. Whether it's PPC or organic search, your site just can't compete with other sites that have been trying to capitalize on that market for years.

Where you can win big is in the long tail of keywords -- the search strings that nobody can truly target, because they're like breadcrumbs versus the entire apple pie with the ice cream. A vast opportunity exists in these breadcrumb phrases (e.g. "30-year fixed, online mortgage for less than 6%," instead of "mortgage online.") Though the volume of individuals seeking this particular type of mortgage could be small, your chances of succeeding from click to conversion is much higher in this realm. That's exactly why you should focus on the long tail to avoid being "short" sighted with your online marketing campaign.

Apple Pie Online Marketing image by greggoconnell [cc, 2.0]