What is a Long-Tail Search? ~ What Does Long-Tail Mean?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing


What is a Long-Tail Search?long tail search

You may have heard this term in ActiveRain webinars or blogs around ActiveRain or the web but just not sure what it means or how it applies to you.

(This is following up my previous post of Instant SEO)

Numbers don't mean much when you're talking hits on your website anymore. It's the conversion rate that really matters. How many of those visitors stayed on your site longer than one second? So what if you had 10,000 visitors last month if your bounce rate is 99%? (BOUNCE rate is the rate at which a visitor clicks away from the page immediately.)

What you want is a LOW bounce rate with some serious visitors. This is where "long-tail" searches can really come in handy. What is a long-tail search? The longer, more detailed search phrase that someone might search for. There may be a million people and sites that search for or use the terms "Oregon Real Estate" but there may be just a few that really need to find a "La Grande Oregon Realtor or real estate agent". These are the detailed searches that can get you an actual lead rather than a click and a no-show.

I bet you have searched for some pretty specific things and you may have found a site with that exact phrase as the title. This is because you want to narrow down your search to the exact topic you are looking for. You don't want 18 million sites on something you really weren't looking for - remember Bing's commercial... "What has search overload done to us?"

So how do you do this?


- When you're blogging, here or anywhere you want to make sure you title your blog appropriately. Don't keyword stuff it with garble but make it be the exact thing your blog is about (IF you want to get found thas is. Playful blogs can have catchy titles if you don't care about the search engines) Then make sure you highlight those keyword terms or phrases in the blog itself so the search engine can look through and see, "OH, this really IS what this blog is about".


- Yes, Static pages are still getting found but sometimes not as fast as blog posts. But don't let that get you down. If you title your pages correctly (even the meta data - title, keyword, & description) then search engines will be more likely to display your site when that topic is searched for.


- Do URL's matter? Meaning does this URL: http://www.beeberanch.net/lotsforsale mean more to the search engines than this: http://www.beeberanch.net/%%page1432%pagedefault.url%manager

YES. Search engines like to see the pages actual title in the URL if possible. If your webmaster or site currently doesn't do this, I would suggest asking for it. It can make a difference.

So, do long-tail searches matter? Absolutely! Put them to work for you. Title your pages and blogs appropriately. Get specific and get those search engines to find you!

Here are some great examples of long-tail search pages that get results:

Posted by

Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

Personal SEO Facebook Page Personal SEO Instagram Page Tammy Emineth Pinterest Page Personal SEO Linkedin Page Linkedin Page


Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

Tim: 425-443-8372  Tammy: 425-344-0677

Comments (28)

Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

exactly. It's fun to catch peoples attention with fun titles but you have to remember about those pesky search engines too. HA! Thanks Kathy!


Jun 15, 2011 08:40 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Tammy, I can never hear this stuff enough! SEO is what I'm really focusing on this month.

Jun 15, 2011 10:20 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Connie, That's great! It should always be the somewhere between the forefront of your mind and the back burner! Ha.. Hope it was helpful! Thanks


Jun 15, 2011 12:53 PM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Thanks for sharing this information Tammy!  I've heard that long-tail SEO produces more concentrated efforts and often better results.  Perhaps, I'll give it a try while writing about some of the local communities I serve. 

Jun 15, 2011 02:48 PM
Toronto, ON

Hi Tammy - I haven't seen long tail searches being discussed to any extent on ActiveRain for quite a long time.

Jun 15, 2011 05:16 PM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Great post Tammy.

You mentioned that a low bounce rate is best. Is there a ballpark target rate that is considered good? there will always be "bouncers" but what is a reasonable rate? Any ideas?

Love your work!

Jun 15, 2011 07:00 PM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Lisa, absolutely! This should be at least about 10% of what you do. Once you become the local expert on your town people can't help but come across your name all the time. Thanks

Marc, I really haven't either yet the term is used frequently, I thought I should bring it up again

Tom, I like to keep my clients under the 40% mark if possible, anything under 20% coupled with a high volume of traffic is excellent results that should be generating some leads.

Thanks! :)


Jun 16, 2011 12:45 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the excellent explanation of long tail search terms.

Jun 16, 2011 12:48 AM
Don Reinhard
Itegrity Arizona real estate sales - Lake Havasu City, AZ

I love that you work on that for me so I can concentrate on business.

Jun 16, 2011 02:25 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I always get a little something extra from your blogs which is why I mentioned you in the article I wrote recently about fixing old articles.  You mentioned this is less detail in another blog long ago and I've been using it ever since.  I really like the clear explanation.  It would be great if you could post a couple of examples of good and bad titles.

Jun 16, 2011 03:19 AM
Gabrielle Jeans
WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach - Toronto, ON
Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach

I'm glad you said hits don't mean as much anymore as much as conversions. People used to be excited about website hits. Website hits are still good. Traffic is always good for your website however how many leads are you converting from the traffic. Same thing applies to Facebook ads. Impressions and clicks used to mean a lot but now its how many people convert when they get to the landing page that counts.

Jun 16, 2011 08:50 AM
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

Tammy, you make it so simple. i am going to try to use some of your ideas in my bloggign

Jun 16, 2011 03:37 PM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Thanks Gabe and Don!

Bryan, thanks for the mention. Good and Bad are all relative to your area. If you are competing for "Las Vegas real estate" forget it. If you are competeing for "5 bedroom homes in MacDonald Ranch in Las Vegas" you're probably golden. But if you live in a very small town where there is only one other agent in town you can probably rank really well. AGain, though it's finding those gems of keywords that will get searched for but are solid leads. All trial and error I think too.

Thanks Gabrielle. Those leads really do count much more than basic hits. Thanks for stopping by!

Ridhi, it can be simple if you just start with the right tools. Thanks! Let me know if you need help.


Jun 17, 2011 02:10 AM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Tammy,

The teacher comes out again!

Good post, and it helps explain why long tail is better than short tail.

(It can wag more vigorously, of course!)


Jun 17, 2011 11:35 PM
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA

Tammy thnx so much...Again I learn


Dec 04, 2011 06:36 AM
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Tammy, I found this through a link in a more recent post of yours. Thanks for the SEO Blogs they are a great help.

Jan 20, 2012 08:00 PM
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

Tammy, I was wondering if you could help me (I know that's scary) :). I want to write a bunch of short sale posts and I know I probably need to have my title with keywords relating to my area and of course short sales. I work in multiple towns and the biggest one is Jacksonville, I know I shouldn't put multiple towns in the title, but my dilemma is, I don't want to always have my title about Jacksonville short sales, when I also want someone in Fleming Island to also find me. What do you think would be the best way to target the multiple cities I work in?

Feb 01, 2012 09:16 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Pam, can you do one for each? Jacksonville FL short sales / Short Sales in Fleming Island... etc.. each post needs to be about 50% different from the others but should have their own title. YOu could do one with the multiple areas or somthing like Northeast Florida Short Sales.... etc... Yes, you may need numerous posts that are similar but for different areas but that all adds to the authority you have about the area and the topic. Let me know if that helps.

Feb 01, 2012 09:54 AM
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

I was thinking I would need to do the same topic for multiple areas, but wasn't sure about them being the same and getting dinged for having the same content. The 50% part would keep that from happening. I need to check to see how many searches there are for Northeast Florida Short Sales, that would cover all my areas actually. Thank you Tammy for commenting so quickly with some great info! :)


Feb 01, 2012 10:31 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Yes, do a variety of searches with that in mind and even if there isn't that many, you are probably find the right people. you want a search phrase that doesn't have much competition meaning between 50K and 300K .. you will see this in the search results when you search for that phrase if you put it in parenthesis. Good luck! :)

Feb 01, 2012 10:36 AM