The Long Tail of Short Heads

I’ve been trying to think of a way to illustrate the point I was trying to make in yesterday’s post about the value of “micro-short-tails”* and came up with this:

Search Terms by Product

Theoretically, the bars on the map represent three products sold on a website. They vary in popularity with Product A being more popular in terms of both traffic (and revenue, in this case) than Product B or C. The horizontal access represents search terms, so the left side of the graph shows that some terms drive a lot more traffic than terms further to the right. A typical hockey stick style graph (this is based on real data).

The point here is that, while the graph for Product C happens to be smaller than Product A, it’s no less valuable when you’re looking at just that product.

When someone looks at the value of keywords at a very high level, the terms driving traffic to Product A will appear to be vital, but Product C’s terms may go unnoticed or become under appreciated. It’s kind of a battle vs war type issue.

The nice thing is that it’s often possible to figure out patterns of success. The types of terms that drive traffic to Product A will probably also work for Product B through infinity if applied in a similar pattern of ads, landing pages, offers, etc.

So, while it’s true that you’ll have less data to work with on really really long tail products due to low search volumes, it’s still possible to make some fair assumptions that more often than not will prove correct.

* I think better term for this would be “Micro-Short-Heads” rather than “Micro-Short-Tails”

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