Attendees at marketing conferences are often looking for concrete advice, and this morning at Search Engine Strategies New York, they got some.

Google's analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik had some clear tips for PPC purchases: go after the long tail.

Kaushik has some thoughts that can often be heard from analytics guys:

"You will never achieve greatness on the internet unless you can quantify what greatness is."

And yes, general digital measurement matters. But Kaushik pointed to some easy ways that you can measure — and increase the effectiveness of paid search campaigns. To explain, he cited his own personal blog.

Of the 87,861 visitors that have come to his website recently, 40,662 came through search. That seems accurate for many websites online, and as Kaushik says:

"If half of your traffic doesn't come from search, you're probably doing something wrong."

But the really interesting thing that he found was where they came from. Those 40,000 visitors got to Occam's Razor from searching on 26,137 different keywords. Kaushik blogs on one topic: analytics. And yet, viewers got there by searching tons of different terms.

"People found 26,000 different ways to come to my blog. And I only write about one thing. Think about if you're a real business and you sell 5 or 10 things."

Of course there were a few terms that really outperformed most. Only 13 key words were responsible for 5,128 visits. That said, 26,124 key words brought in 35,534 visitors. That is tremendous. And companies that are able to tap into that longtail have a lot to gain.

And while companies may be turned off by how much one of their main keyword terms might cost, long tail phrases have the benefit of being cheap. And widely searched.

Kaushik pointed attendees to Google's Search-based keyword tool and explained how easy it is to find cheap phrases that can greatly improve a site's search relevance.

He also used a number of examples to show how big companies are missing out on getting customers who are searching for items that they sell. There are multiple search key words that Kodak is not purchasing, for example.

"Everyone likes to bitch about how expensive the key word digital camera is. But there are thousands of keywords that they can buy for 10 cents, and find even more poeple."

And Kaushnik pointed out that Kodak is missing a low, easy opportunity to generate sales. And brands like Best Buy that are purchasing key words for specific items and then sending viewers to the home page are wasting money.

He called Long tail searchers 'impression virgins' who can be turned into customers. Kaushik then showed the audience an image similar to the one above and explained:

"Whether you show up or not, all of these searches are going to happen... Stand over here and open your mouth."

Image: Treehugger

Meghan Keane

Published 24 March, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (4)

Rob Mclaughlin

Rob Mclaughlin, VP, Digital Analytics at Barclays

Great, solid advice from Avinash. Getting over the image/brand you want to project and understanding how your customers/potential customers see you and find you is so important. It is all there too, for everyone, via paid or free analytics tools plus Googles Keyword Tool.

over 8 years ago

Phil Dunseath

Phil Dunseath, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at UK General Insurance

It's true that real efficiencies can be found by searching out value in longer tail terms

over 8 years ago



I tried this once, including every movie title and every actor/director of our dvd rental shop (around 7'000 titles) as a keyword on AdWords. But.. When too few people search for a specific keyword, the keyword is deactivated by Google. Or the minimum click price is set very high. Unfortunately.

over 8 years ago



I think keywords are just very important in general, whatever the type. Great post though.

over 8 years ago

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