Long tail keyword research

Keyword Research Apr 9, 2007

HitTail has long been referred to as one of the tools for long tail keyword research. But on searching the term, I did not see it on the first page of results. Just about every entry on page one of the Google results was a HitTail review. But the site itself was oddly missing.

Here, we notice another HitTail issue. It’s based on long tail keyword “actuals”. Just because a word combination CAN lead to a site, doesn’t mean it ever will. As it turns out, the HitTail site is currently found eight pages in. But that happenstance surf, click, suggestion will never occur, because too many prior pages are good candidates to the curious searcher.

What can we conclude? Well, HitTail is uniquely suited to spaces where all the prior pages are unappealing, and they STILL find you. This is why it’s SO EASY to pick up the traffic from a HitTail suggestion. The implication is that not only is it a keyword where traffic exists, but it’s a space where all the other content is unappealing.

But then, how would I ever think to target the new term? The answer is, I didn’t have to. I actually am incredibly optimized on that term, because there is functionally no escape from HitTail once you’re researching that phrase. But the question we must ask as the HitTail developers, is whether that is a generality. Should we keep our suggestions hardwired to actuals, or should we “spike” them with speculative terms from other sources?

BlogKing hits on the chicken and egg issue in his latest post, where he recommends reading the news in the morning, commenting in the afternoon, and checking your traffic in HitTail in the evening (or a few days later) to go another round. Going another round implies zeroing in on where the traffic is REALLY at.

And therein lays the true answer to what this post asks. Start with keywords that you KNOW SHOULD lead to your site, based on whatever sources, be it intuition, brainstorming, keyword inventory tools, the morning news, or wherever. Once you’ve “seeded” your site with content, watch what HitTail is trying to tell you in its capacity as a web suggestion box.

You might have been close with your original post, but you could really hit it home and optimize your website for natural traffic with just one more post.

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