The long tail, in reference to search engine optimization, is all the keywords and keyphrases that hold little traffic by themselves, typically longer 4-7 word phrases, but collectively add up to a large amount of traffic. Illustrated below is a diagram of the head and the long tail.

Longtail of SEO keywords

If you’ve ever ran a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, in your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts, for a popular keyword you can certainly appreciate what a drain on financial resources that can be. Especially, if you’re landing page content isn’t “sticky” and doesn’t provide optimal ROI with conversions. There is a much cheaper way of leveraging value of PPC campaigns while driving your organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts full force. The trick of this trade is maximizing the long tail search terms for PPC and the head terms for SEO.Longtail of PPC and SEO keyphrases
You’re probably wondering how you can find your what the long tail of your own Website is. There are a few tools out there for that. My favorite is HitTail. Through an external JavaScript placed on your Website, HitTail records all search queries coming to your site and separates the head from the tail. It shows you a diagram of the percentage of long tail visit vs the percentage of head visits. SearchtheWeb2 is a semantic search engine that clusters word phrases related to your search query via natural language processing. It clusters the popular keyphrases and the long tail keyphrases in a list for you to narrow down your search if desired. It’s great for seeing what kind of long tail phrases are related to certain keywords. Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool and Microsoft’s adCenter Lab Keyword Group Detection Tool are both really great to find semantically similar keywords that people might be searching for in their longtail queries. So bookmark these tools and revamp your search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies for maximum online profit.