The Long Tail is Infinite – Part 2

An infinite long tail implies your work as a keyword researcher is never-ending. The first step towards multiplying your traffic is analyzing the keywords driving traffic to your competitors. Previously on Part 1 I talked about the basics of long tail keyword research. Today we’ll explore three playbook to broaden your keyword list using the sites of your competitors.



Playbook 1 – Social Media Analysis

1.1 Use one of these SEO tools to scout your competitors website , start writing down the body and head keywords they are ranking for. Then head to the traffic monitors: Alexa, Compete, Quantcast, etc. These sites offer a small list of keywords that your competitor is ranking for. Repeat this for every competitor.

1.2 Now comes the fun part. Head to Twitter and start doing searches, manually or via API. Search for all of the head and body keywords of your niche. This will provide you with a dense list of linguistic patterns used in your niche or industry across social media!

1.3 A/B Testing of Patterns. Prepare multiple pages targeting each pattern (think two or three patterns per long tail keyword set). Let them get indexed by Google over the next week. Then drive some Adwords traffic to these pages and A/B test their effectiveness (consider using Optimizely or something similar). You want to shot for the lowest posible bounce rate and highest possible time on page. Keep every detail of the pages identical, save for the long tail keywords.


Playbook 2 – Blogosphere Analysis Network

2.1 Set up an informal meeting with the most prominent bloggers of your niche (you can find them using Technorati). Then offer a special promotion to all of those that install a snippet of your commerce store or content network. The idea is to craft a small ad distribution network that will store the referrer keywords of customers who are interested in your products.

2.2 Let this run for 15 or 30 days covering as many blogs as you can and, just to be nice, pay the bloggers triple or the average Adsense click price of the niche. Promptly end the campaign and analyze both the list of referrer keywords of the interested customers as well as the keywords present in the blog posts themselves.


Playbook 3 – Niche Site Acquisitions

3.1 Head to Flippa and start buying small sites in your niche. Think micro acquisitions of 100 to 10,000 per site. Request the owner to at least offer three months of Google Analytic data or similar. I suggest you buy at least ten of these microsites.

3.2 Craft a set of reports and procedures for long tail keyword analysis and pattern finding. Get some interns or Odesk freelancers on it. Summarize the results and pick the winners.

3.3 Go to the social media presence of the microsite you’ve just acquired and repeat the process. Feel free to use the Open Graph or Twitter APIs for your investigations. Again, pick the best keyword sets.

In the final installment of the series, I’ll share even more playbooks for keyword discovery and strategies that don’t rely on historic searches.

Now head to the final post in the series: The Long Tail is Infinite – Part 3.