The underestimated potential of Long Tail: what to keep in mind implementing it in your PPC strategy

Long-Tail-Part2On Tuesday, I tried to illustrate why it is important to consider the Long Tail in your PPC strategy. It not only leads to better CTRs and quality scores, but also raises profits and improves the cost-turnover ratio. Today, I want to tell you what to keep in mind implementing the Long Tail in your PPC strategy in order to achieve all those great things I just listed.

Regularly updating and entering relevant queries

As mentioned in my last post, Long Tail search queries are often intercepted by Short Head keywords. This causes a couple of challenges: when matching Long Tail search queries with Short Head keywords, the ads displayed will most certainly have a bad or at least irrelevant ad copy that does not match the searched criteria. This causes the click rate and subsequent quality score to suffer. Furthermore, only in the rarest cases does a Long Tail search query, which has been intercepted by a Short Head keyword, link you to the corresponding landing page.

The ratio of profit and costs is, as we’ve seen, far better for search queries with higher word counts. If you pay special attention to a profitable modulation of your PPC campaigns, you should therefore pursue a Long Tail strategy and make sure that relevant (Long Tail) search queries are updated and entered regularly, as well as repriced at regular intervals.

Transfer traffic from Short Heads to Long Tails 

In addition to search queries which are covered by the exact keywords entered, there are always still these wide-reaching matching search terms (Broad Matches) which are intercepted by Short Head keywords. Ad copies and bids for these intercepted search queries cannot be directly controlled, but it can at least be indirectly influenced through an intensive “negative” strategy with negative keywords.

If you can make sure that all relevant search queries are entered in your account and that the search queries run via the exact keywords, then you’ve already got an excellent starting point for profitable campaign management. In this way, it’s possible to generate better advertisement copies for corresponding search queries and linkage to relevant landing pages. Subsequently, you should shift a large part of the relevant traffic from Short Heads to the Long Tail area. However, make sure that the campaign and ad group structure is placed as granular as possible. Only then can it be ensured that the Long Tail and negative strategy can work together.

Strategically considering buying behaviour 

Of course your business can not rely solely on Long Tails. When it comes to the customer journey, Long Tails often come into play right before or during the last phase of a transaction. So then, when it comes to the customer’s last purchase decision, only one part of the chain is covered. If users are not addressed by paid search ads in the preceding phases of the transaction – especially at the beginning of a customer journey – there’s the risk that you will not play any further role in the last purchase process.

For this very reason, you are strongly advised to intercept specific users who are close to conversion by implementing Long Tail keywords. Short Heads are, however, very well suited for maintaining a kind of ambient noise and to be in the run for the targeted group in question. It should be kept in mind, that often more than one click is necessary before a user actually completes a purchase.

Automatically assigning target URLs and ad texts

Technologically, Long Tails are no problem anymore. With the help of semantic solutions like camato, keywords can be automatically identified by specific characteristics, such as colour or brand names. With the help of these characteristics, matching target URLs and ad texts as well as simultaneously determined campaign structures can be provided. Experience has shown that such technologies save up to 30 percent of the working time; time that can be invested, for example, in the expansion of the account and in an establishing a profound Long Tail strategy.

If you want to profitably adjust campaigns, you should include Long Tails in your PPC strategy and put strong emphasis on it. The budget can then be used more effectively and the campaign can yield more profit. Last but not least, the consumer also benefits: with a PPC strategy taking Long Tails and Short Heads into account, you can better meet the demands of users in search engines and provide relevant advertising.


Maximilian Hainlein

I'm working for crealytics as Social Media and Marketing Manager since 2011. My motto: "It's better to be the needle than the haystack."