Why no one talks about the long tail anymore

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longtail_search

I’m sure you’ve heard it before;

“It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.” 

Nailing search has always been about reaching the right people, not the bigger crowds. So why do so many large online businesses still obsess over ranking for those single, oversaturated keywords? The ones they furiously compete for against 40 different competitors? 

Because they’ve never been able to target long tail keywords at scale, targeting one word is way easier than targeting three or more. 

The reality is, most enterprise marketers know their long tail of demand exists, some even know where to find it, but no one knows how to use it. So they spend their time and money battling it out on SERPs for coveted single keywords with high search volume like everybody else. 

What are long tail keywords?

If you’ve been in the eCommerce industry for less than ten years, you’ve probably heard the term “long tail search” thrown around a few times. If you’re a veteran and someone asks you to explain the concept to them, you’ve likely responded with either “we can’t target it”, “we can’t build the pages to serve it”, or “we don’t have the platform UX to support it… so forget about it.” 

Industry newbies say, “well, what exactly is it?”

what is long tail search

Long tail keywords are phrases consisting of three or more words. Consumers search using a long tail keyword when they’re looking for something specific and are ready to buy. They make up 50-70% of total online searches.

Short tail keywords (or head terms) are more general, consisting of one or two words. When a consumer searches using short tail keywords, it usually means they have an idea of what they want, but not the specifics. 

In general, the longer the queries are, the less traffic they garner. Data shows that around 96% of all search queries attract less than 50 searches a month. So when I say you want to be a big fish in a little pond, the little pond is actually a puddle. In fact, lots of little tiny puddles, each an unattainable long tail search term. 

As an eCommerce business, you want to be in these little puddles.

Yes, there’s less traffic, but there’s also less competition, and your chances of converting are much, much higher (because no one else can target them at scale). 

Little tiny puddles fell out of fashion years ago. 

 If long tail search makes up over half of all online searches;

there’s less competition;

and high probability to convert;

then why did everyone stop talking about dominating little tiny puddles?

Because it’s so far out of reach. To capture the long tail, even the most skilled marketer has to throw money at Google or wait in the Jira backlog to build and launch hyper-relevant, multi-product landing pages for the long tail of search. 

Think about how long and how much money it would take you to create 20,000 search-optimised (“hyper-relevant”) landing pages for the long tail? 

To make waves in each tiny little puddle, all at the same time?

I think you know the answer. 

Lots, and lots, and lots of dev work. And about 90-95% of your budget allocated to ad spend. That’s before you even find the long tail.

In fact, one LUX client (before LUX) was spending $10 million on ads that resulted in 26 million long tail searches that didn’t convert. That’s a combined $40 million in lost revenue! 

Even if you do manage to identify your long tail, there is no scalable solution to capture it, which is why so many marketers only ever target a handful of terms and not the full suite. 

So, somewhere along the way, lack of scaleable methodology or mechanism meant that tiny little puddles became a niche opportunity – a buzzword of yesteryear, replaced by the era of big data. 

The long tail is critical to commercial success, yet so few online businesses truly nail it.

The big opportunity in little tiny puddles 

 The long tail was always there; you just needed a platform to identify and capture it. So we invented it. 

LUX’s Customer Acquisition Platform lets you launch thousands of hyper-relevant, multi-product Smart Pages at scale for the longtail. LUX plugs into your native site structure to immediately add clearly measurable capabilities and acquisition opportunities without cannibalising existing traffic. 

Longtail-UX

We’ve invented the Smart Page

Smart Pages remove critical roadblocks that inhibit sustainable growth and do not interfere with your existing infrastructure or site navigation.

We create and maintain templates that mirror the look and feel of your native site and use them and configured keywords to form the basis of Smart Pages. 

Pages, keywords, templates, filter and sorting mechanisms, and UX are continuously optimised to enhance ongoing performance.

Smart Pages can be built and launched for every channel; Google Ads, Google Shopping Ads and for organic search.

Smart Pages

Smart Links drive organic performance higher

Smart Links are placed at the bottom of Smart Pages and throughout your native website pages and exist to drive organic performance higher. 

Smart Links

Smart Links provide authority through our ‘contextual proximity system’, meaning pages rank better due to greater domain authority (higher relevance to search).

Our Links are dynamic, creating a ‘virtuous relevance loop’ of integrated and networked pages.

Our people, platform and processes have proven the long tail is a gold mine of opportunity.

The long tail is a mass opportunity.

We’ve invented the platform to prove it.

We’ve set a precedent and have the evidence to prove that little tiny puddles – at least for enterprise eCommerce – exist, and big fish can certainly dominate them.

Our people, platform and processes have generated a combined $125m+ in revenue in this financial year alone, with:

1 million Smart Pages; 

Over 5 million Smart Links

And, almost 2 million leads.

What does it mean for businesses to finally capture their long tail? 

GRAYS: +19% total website new user growth

MYER: +40% organic traffic uplift within 9 months

CATCH: 29% Google page-1 rankings

ADEVINTA: +42% total website lead growth

But it means so much more than numbers.

LUX’s Customer Acquisition Platform transforms the way organisations conduct business. Instead of blindly throwing money at Google ads in the hope they stick, or spending days in the Jira backlog waiting to launch pages that are on-trend, marketers instead spend their time applying their creativity to campaigns with speed and scale.

They create campaigns around data and creativity instead of cramming them into suboptimal website functionality.

They have more budget to allocate to the long tail of demand and confidently capture new, ready-to-buy customers.

They’re able to enter new categories quickly, with high quality and very low cost of failure.

They become big fish in lots of tiny little puddles.

Ready to finally give the world what it’s searching for? Book a custom demo today to launch 100,000 hyper-relevant pages in 90 days to accelerate customer acquisition with Longtail UX.

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