Long Tail Is In, Pareto Is Out

What does statistics have to do with websites?  Everything.

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle.  For example, it might be true that 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your clients.  That’s the 80/20 rule.

With internet marketing, some experts say the Pareto principle does not apply.  Instead, a long tail distribution does.

The marketing theory goes like this: Prospects near the end of the buying cycle – that is they are ready to buy – tend to use longer search phrases than people who are “just looking.”  For example, someone entering “Plano, TX bookkeeper for realtor” is more serious about finding someone than some who simply enters “bookkeeper.” This type of search makes a long tail because there are far fewer searches in volume but the odds of generating revenue are much higher.

The bottom line for your website is to have as many of these long tail search phrases in your copy as possible.  Having a niche expedites the process tremendously compared to generalizing your services.

Long Tail Keywords

There’s a whole SEO science about when and how to target long tail keywords to get results, but let’s simplify it with some accounting examples.  Here are some possible long tail phrases:

  • “Xero bookkeeper for Nebraska graphics design business”
  • “help with tax return Phoenix, AZ”
  • “retail sales tax advice in Manhattan”
  • “estate tax return in Cleveland”
  • “hair salon needs QuickBooks bookkeeper”
  • “help to answer an IRS letter”
  • “Reno CPA for loan assistance”
  • “QuickBooks person for cleanup”

Each of these has two or more components that you can apply to your situation:

  • Location
  • Specific service or help needed
  • Industry they’re in or type of business they have
  • Specific solution or result they are looking for

As you are creating your online profiles, posting to social media, and writing articles, keep the long tail in mind.  Long tail keywords and searches will result in quality leads over quantity for your business.