How long tail keywords can drive traffic in organic search

There’s an old advertising slogan which says, “If you wish to capture someone’s attention, whisper.”

It seems counterintuitive, but think about how others respond when someone whispers. They lean in to ensure that they can hear clearly.

The data-driven nature of the marketing cloud environment pushes the limits of customer privacy. But organic search is inherently non-intrusive. It reminds me of whispering, while other marketing techniques can get in the customer’s face and scream their name.

Clearly, a supportive approach is needed where marketing methods are naturally hand-offs in order for this organic ‘whisper’ to transform into an engaging conversation and a positive customer experience in a cross-channel environment.

A study from BrightEdge shows that organic search drives 51% of visitor traffic for both B2C and B2B enterprises. This results in more conversions and a higher average ROI than any other lead-generation inbound marketing effort.


Why do consumers respond in such great numbers to organic search marketing? There are several reasons:

  • Organic search is a customer-initiated event. It is never intrusive in its pure form. The logic is simple: organic search was launched because the searcher needed an answer to a question. If you did your SEO right, the answer will pop up in the search query results on page one, position one. Potential customers are happy after a positive customer experience is achieved. Your brand is the winner, and all you did was whisper in the customer’s ear.
  • Additionally, organic search is convenient. Consumers can explore at their leisure. It’s not a marketing push event where we shove things in front of them to force their attention on the brand. Rather, it’s a marketing pull event where people can engage with what they want and ignore what doesn’t interest them. If your SEO is on point, interesting, and relevant – you win. You didn’t put spam in their email folder, or interrupt their favorite show or their social media conversations.
  • When combined with paid search, organic search is an amalgam of content-driven and media-driven marketing messages with clear KPIs and ROI for both channels.

While I’ve compared organic search to whispering, this doesn’t mean it’s effortless. In fact, it can take a good deal of vocal control to speak softly, yet carry a big stick. 

To help gain some perspective on the influential power of organic search, we can analyze the role long tail keywords play in this form of marketing.

Long tail keywords: what and why

Keyword research is the lifeblood of organic search. Long tail keywords are three and four keyword phrases that specifically apply to whatever you are selling.

Whenever a customer uses an extremely precise search phrase, it probably reflects exactly what they intend to buy. Therefore, keyword research must be done in consonance with your product team so that your company’s product can be discovered in an organic search rather than the product of a competitor, simply by optimal selection of long tail keywords.

Uniqueness is a significant quality to consider when selecting long tail keywords that support brand campaigns. How do you discriminate your product from those of your competitors?

There are a lot of marketing clouds out there. Do you have a unique and catchy elevator pitch that describes your product, or perhaps some other form of media that differentiates it from the competition? Most importantly, does the brands’ message align with your long tail keywords?

The relevance of long tail keywords to the marketing engine

Every tool in the marketing toolbox has a message to deliver. Websites are created. Content is prepared. Audiences are segmented. Personalized messages are developed. Consistency and continuity of the marketing message in the cross-channel environment will make or break your campaign.

We call it by a hundred different names as it passes through creative design, to website content, to blogs posted promoting the product.

However it all comes down to saying the same thing: the agreed upon and relevant key phrases. Long tail keyword phrases provide the continuity and consistency that is required to yield campaign success.

In conclusion

Long tail keywords drive organic search, and organic search marketing is valuable because this is where we begin the courting of the customer – gently whispering in their ear and encouraging them to lean in and hear the rest of the message.

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