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I’ve been very determined to learn more about the Long Tail as I think it’s an important concept to understand for small business owners.

 

WHAT IS THE LONGTAIL?

According to Wikipedia, it can be described this way

” a market with a high freedom of choice will create a certain degree of inequality by favoring the upper 20% of the items (“hits” or “head”) against the other 80% (“non-hits” or “long tail”).[4] This is known as the Pareto principle or 80–20 rule.”

Several years ago, the term “the long tail” became popular after Chris Anderson wrote an article then a book on the topic.

 

SAY AGAIN?

Your business website needs to have some very general terms on the home page.  Location, hours, the industry you’re in and the like.  Unfortunately, it’s probably the same information that every other company in your category also has.  This means that your general information gets lumped together with everyone else’s in a very large list of search results.

In terms of long tail content for your website, I’ll use the following example to illustrate my point

Let’s say I’m in the market to purchase a new bike.  The following is a list of search terms followed by the results

Bikes : 229 Million results

Road Bikes: 13.5 Million results

Reviews for road bikes: 3.4 million results

Trek Bikes: 1.5 million results

Trek Bike Shops in Calgary: 105,000 results

Now, lets say that before I buy my bike I want to know more about safe routes to ride and groups I can join…

safe cycling routes in calgary: 31,000 results

calgary cycling routes: 26,000 results

group rides in calgary for cyclists: 16,000 results

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

In a generic search, you’re business is likely to be lost in the abyss of results because there is so much competition for my attention.   As my search gets more specific two main things happen. First, the competition for my attention decreases and second, I’ve moved further down the buying cycle and will be a better lead for your business.

For these two reasons, blogs matter.  They allow your company an unbelievably easy way to add relevant content to reach out to your core audience with audio, video, photos, maps or articles.  Customers can review you on your blog.  Each post can be SEO optimized for the specific topic that it relates to.  The more relevant content you have, the more links you’ll get directing people back to your site

 

I’M NOBODY,  I CAN’T COMPETE.

What you need to realize is that no matter what your company sells, you are a media company.  Dedicate some resources to developing your community and publishing content.  The internet is the great equalizer.  Your media division has the potential to reach the same scale of audience as every single major company on the planet.  Want some proof?  Have a look at these comparisons.  Ever heard of the last two “nobody’s”?

Starbucks – 9400 subscribers on youtbue, 20 million Facebook friends, 1.3 million Twitter followers

Home Depot – 7700 subscribers on youtube, 250,000 Facebook friends, 34,000 Twitter followers

Ray William Johnson – 3.2 million subscribers on youtube, 2.1 million Facebook friends, 361,000 Twitter followers

MysteryGuitarMan – 1.8 million subscribers on youtube, 297,000 Facebook friends, 166,000 Twitter followers

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

The number of followers you have isn’t important.  What I’m talking about is beyond numbers, it’s not about connecting.  Think about your best customers.  Think about the staff that you have.  Find a way for your staff to produce content that your best customers will love.  The more content they love, the more they’ll love your business.

In my own experience, I can confidently say that permitting your staff to create (with direction) will give you a competitive advantage, and invigorate & motivate your staff.

 

MORE LINKS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL

SEO Google Optimization – strategies to increase the hits to your website

WordPress – totally free blog site with fantastic designs, easy navigation, and amazing add-on features

 

What content would you like to read about?

  • Pingback: Connecting the Dots between Traditional and Digital Media | Marc Binkley Marketing

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UMC6KSX7SG4QK7ZXLX3AKCN7JE Miranda Crew

    Advice that comes directly from search engines tells that featuring a blog is very productive from an SEO point of view. From an SEO perspective, blogging is important on many levels. From a marketing point of view a blog allows a company to communicate with the world. This means speaking to devotees as well as those unfamiliar with the product. Thanks for the article- I appreciate it so much.

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    • http://twitter.com/marcbinkley Marc Binkley

      Thanks for adding that Miranda.  I’m glad to have helped.  If there is anything I can research for you please let me know.

      Marc

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDDKIY3EGSWRG5P3ZWPPOEGJXA Thesbi Pyramus

    The primary reason why blogging is important for your business is that the search engines love blogs. Blogs provide fresh content to meet the demands of information thirsty Internet searchers. Most blogs are updated at least one time per week  and even as often as every day.
    Search Engine Marketing Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Website Design Miami Fl

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