Focusing on long tail searches should be a big part of your SEO efforts for a couple of reasons. Users who use a long tail search are performing a more specific search, which means they’re more interested, have often already done their research, and are ready to convert. Long tail keywords are also easier to rank for than more generic search terms. This means a PPC campaign targeting long tail search terms is less expensive, and it’s easier to rank naturally for these terms. Let’s take a look at a great way of targeting long tail search terms: the question and answer site.
What is a Long Tail Search?
There are varying opinions as to what exactly constitutes a long tail search, but in general a long tail search is a string of multiple words, and is often phrased as a question. For example, “Ohio widgets,” doesn’t qualify as a long tail search, but “Where can I buy widgets in Ohio?” definitely does.
A question like this implies the user has already done his research, and is ready to make a purchase. This is great news for you, assuming you sell widgets in Ohio! Questions like these are often posted on social question and answer sites, and represent a valuable area for your long tail search efforts. The key is to find relevant questions and answer them with a link back to your own site.
A List of Useful Q&A Sites
Quora: Quora is a general question and answer site. You can easily search through existing questions containing your search terms, or add your own question.
Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a site for programming discussion, and is a valuable resource for technical sites, web applications, and web tools.
Yahoo Answers: Yahoo Answers has been around for a long time, and is easily the best known of these three sites. However, you may need to do quite a bit of searching before finding valuable questions to answer here.
How to Use These Sites
It’s easy to search through these sites using valuable key terms, and answer questions with a link back to your own site. Because people who ask questions on these sites are looking for helpful answers, answering questions related to your niche is a great opportunity for driving traffic to your site. People regularly search through previous questions, and these sites can be valuable for referring traffic to your site long after you’ve posted your response. A good rule of thumb is to sprinkle some valuable keywords along with the link back to your site. Google will look at the text surrounding your link when determining how relevant your site is to the original question, and it’s worth taking the time to craft an SEO-friendly response.
Why Q&A Sites are Valuable
Google loves question and answer sites. Not only are these sites well known and reputable, but Google likes to diversify the types of results it provides for any given search. Going back to my original example of “Where to buy widgets in Ohio?” Google might want to provide some e-commerce sites that sell widgets in Ohio at the top of the SERP, but blogs, question and answer sites, forums and other types of sites will be included, as well. These sites are well established, and answers posted to them often rank very well in SERP placement. The questions you answer become part of that site’s archive, and future users who want to find a good place to buy widgets in Ohio will see your previous answers. It takes a bit of time and effort, but effective use of question and answer sites can drive significant traffic to your site.
Tyler Moore is an SEO and marketing consultant living in Indianapolis, IN. He specializes in white-hat SEO, with a focus on on-page SEO, guest blogging and effective PPC campaigns. Tyler currently works for DocRaptor, a web-based HTML to PDF converter that uses a simple HTTP POST request to convert code into PDF format. DocRaptor can also be used to convert HTML to Excel format, and interprets style sheets more accurately than competitive programs.
About Shivbhadra Gohil
Very passionate and dedicated about my work. I am one of those fortunate blokes who get to work on the things they love. I love SEO to the core. If you keep really really quiet you can hear my heart beats calling out.. SEO.. SEO.. SEO... Lol..Jokes aside. I would love to learn everything there is to learn about it and am happy to help out anyone who needs my help to get started.
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