Pursuing the HitTail “Ah Ha!” Moment

HitTail Best Practices Jul 5, 2006

So, we get a fairly constant stream of people discovering HitTailing, be it through the close-knit SEO circles and the many fine forums that have allowed us to announce our beta, to the growing number of more general blogs covering because we’re new or cool. A special shout-out goes to Dazzilng Donna’s SEO-Scoop who arguably discovered us, Saurier Duval’s The Museum of Modern Betas, that recognized and legitimized us, and Jason Calacanis’ Beta Netscape that effectively “SlashDotted” us. Now, we’re in the enviable position of keeping up with demand. But there are a few issues of “positioning” still to address.

We see a stream of blog articles taking notice of HitTailing, and pointing it out as noteworthy, such as the humorous Keyword Mullet from Sunday. They give a fair and generous assessment, but end with the statement “Do you need to use HitTail.com? Probably not. You can accomplish the exact same thing with AWstats or most other web analytics program. Should you try it anyway? Yes.” Again, THANKS to Badi Jones and SEOLogs. We love coverage and encouragement. But I want to point out an “ah ha!” moment that took place on one of the forums very recently.

On the AdSense Chat forum, Todd of WM8C.com had the initial observation of HitTail:

“Thanks for the info and they both appear worth a look. Hittail provides the same info I can get from my server reports but Adlogger looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing…”

…to which wwwSENSERELYcom responded…

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking hittail is like google analytics or your web server reports, have a look at it, the good part of it is SUGGESTIONS.”

Well, the very next day (June 28, 2006), Todd comes back with the following to say about HitTail…

“Now that I’ve had some time to look at this tool and examine the features and start discovering the potential for increasing site traffic all I can say is wow! This is cool stuff. I don’t have much extra cash to be throwing around on the ‘get rich quick’ stuff everyone seems to be promoting and it’s refreshing to find another fantastic ‘free tool’.

Thanks for the suggestion of this site and it’s exciting to think of all the missed search opportunities that might be collected using the long tail process of finding the right phrases and words to draw in more traffic hence increasing the possibilities of adsense clicks. I would suggest reading the blog too, as it’s full of great information as to what long tailing is about and how to use it.”

So you see, it’s just not that easy to get this nuanced point across. Google had an easier time conveying superior search results, because all you were asked to do was type in a few words and look at the resulting list. With HitTail, you have to register, put the code on your site, give it time to collect data, look at the words under the Suggestions tab, and maybe even use them in a blog post, and wait some more to see how quickly it comes up top-10 before you can say whether it’s great or not (of course, it is).

So thanks very much to Badi Jones and the world of other bloggers who are picking up the HitTail story. But to those folks who have had the “ah-ha” moment, do us a favor and help convey it as you pass the link around. Maybe post some suggestions here of how you got it across. We are always learning from our users!

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