What is long tail - Vero Contents
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You may have heard of the term long tail or long tail, like this short tail e head tail. These are apparently technical terms and full of details, at first. But it's really just an impression.

In this post, we will talk about the concept of long tail and head tail and how to use these concepts in digital marketing.

Where did the term long tail come from?

Author Chris Anderson was responsible for popularizing the term long tail. In an article written for Wired magazine in 2004, the term first appeared. It later became the best seller “A Cauda Longa”.

Chris states that the web leverages niche markets, a strategy even adopted by internet giants such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix. According to what he wrote, any company, no matter how segmented it may be, has its space guaranteed in the sale of products via the internet.

But the term long tail is actually used in Statistics, and shows a curve of data along a tail, as shown in the graph below:

Long Tail or Long Tail Chart - Vero Contents

The graph shows on the X-axis the popularity for products and services (Y-axis). It can be seen that, in the case of mass markets, this popularity is extremely high. In the case of niche markets, this popularity is low but, as the graph shows, the curve is extremely long.

This concept is used not only in online businesses, but also in other segments. These are economic models, viral marketing campaigns, social media mechanisms and microfinance.

Keywords long tails, short tails and head tails

The same concept is used when we talk about key words.

Head tail keywords are the most generic ones, which have broad results and high search rates. In turn, long tail keywords are those that are more specific, which result in less broad searches and are generally longer expressions. Short tails are between the two, with greater demand and lower conversion rates.

To understand exactly what we are talking about, let's use the example of searching for digital marketing. “Marketing” is a head tail word, as it is more generic and broad. No wonder the number of results in search engines is enormous. The word “digital marketing” is a more specific word, although it is still head tail, but it is closer to the long tail in the graph.

In the case of a long tail, we would have the expression “digital marketing agency”.

Other examples can be used, such as “chairs” (head tail). And, in the case of long tail, “used office chairs”.

Long tail keywords have less traffic, with lower search volumes. But when we talk about lead generation, they result in higher conversion rates (as well as sales, too). This happens because they are more specific searches, generally more related to the background of the funnel of sales.

Furthermore, they tend to have less competition and, therefore, offer more opportunities for you to rank in the top positions of searches.

Working on long tail and head tail keywords

Many people think that they must work on head tails to have high search rates. In fact, the strategy must be designed to work both the head and the long tail words.

And this depends on other factors, such as consumer purchasing journey, the search volume for each keyword and the competition. Working on long tail keywords will allow you to bring in very specific traffic. And, in this way, it will also make you gain authority in specific niches, if there is a job well done on your blog.

To assemble a well-structured sales funnel you must have your head tail keywords well worked out so that you can have volume at the top of your funnel. This will allow you to work with your audience, so that this generic search turns into sales conversions. This will happen based on the certainty that your product or service is the most appropriate choice when the lead is at the end of their purchasing journey.

How to find out which searches are performed

The way to discover long tail and head tail keyword searches will come through the use of tools. Using Keyword Planner, Google's own tool, keyword.io and the SemRush, you will be able to know which terms are most searched for and where they fit.

Firstly, you can start with Keyword Planner by entering a set of keywords simulating a campaign. The tool will suggest the use of other words, with the values including clicking on the Google Ads. This research can also provide insights into the construction of a SEO on your blog or website.

Also use keyword.io to search for terms used on Google and SemRush to analyze monthly searches and finalize your strategy.

In the post How to put together a keyword strategy, we explain the step-by-step guide to putting together your strategy. Already in the post 19 digital marketing tools you have to know We give you some tips for using tools.


It is essential to learn how to use long tail keywords in your business. One of the great advantages, in fact, is that the more segmented you work, the more viable in financial terms your strategy may be. After all, search volumes are lower, and so is the competition.

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What is long tail

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