So, HitTail is finally undergoing a soft launch. My plan is to get a few thousand users on relatively low-volume sites. People who already have high volume sites will hardly need the extra boost that HitTail provides. Its people who are just establishing themselves that will benefit most. People launching new websites will actually have the ability to watch every search hit as it occurs! In a way, it’s sad, but it is also a strategic advantage, because HitTail will inform you if it needs further refinement — the long tail keywords!
One of the important principles of HitTail is that it does not work in a vacuum. An existing site with a little bit of content built up is a perfect starting point, because HitTail will inform you of keywords that are on the edge of breaking out. But if you think you should be coming up on a diversity of terms that you don’t, you have the chicken and the egg problem, and it is time to float a few test balloons.
There is no easier publishing mechanism to float test balloons than Blogger. The beautiful part of Blogger is that it can plant your entire blog into the subdirectory of an existing site, if you have FTP access. The advantage there is that the snowball effect you are trying to achieve is on a per-domain basis, usually taking into account all three levels: www.domain.com. So, using TypePad achieves little for a corporate site, because you can’t plant it in www.domain.com/blog. You can with MovableType and WordPress, but you would need an unusual level of access to the corporate webserver. Better to FTP it into place.
Test balloons usually entail taking a writing recommendation under the Suggestions tab of HitTail, and only investing a half-hour to an hour of writing time on that topic. One of the dirty secrets of SEO is that your main objective is achieved merely by using blogging software and getting your title tag correct. You can almost leave the page blank and get SOME results. But it’s better to put out a quality page with quality content. The reason it’s a test balloon is because it will result in MORE suggestions being issued in HitTail. There will be word combinations you never anticipated, with a word from the top of your page combining with a word on the bottom of your page, and some very determined searcher going many pages into the engine and finding you. This registers with HitTail, and begins to solve the chicken and the egg problem.
For those people who have been lucky enough to discover the soft launch of HitTail, feel free to get started. Put the HitTail code on every page of your site through the template system. With Blogger, it is a breeze. Just copy and paste it as-is into your template somewhere between the body tags—but not between special blogger tags. Seeing the results should be almost instantaneous. Take the first reasonable suggestion, and make a new blog post base on it.