Alright, this is for all those who are complaining of low traffic and bleak revenues from their websites and will do anything to get the top three ranks for their keywords. Read on…

Well, somehow most of us have the “notion” that SEO is all about getting top ranks for the first three/five keywords for their websites. And we all know about – a) Keyword Research Tools b) Keyword Analysis c) Keyword Competition d) Keyword profiling and all that ! Also, we’ve done all that we can to get that numero uno position for “the keyword”.

Well, things looks okay for now, but there is a problem we cleverly ignore here.
And that’s the obsessive compulsive disorder of doing everything around your primary keyword.

Yes – one glaring mistake many of us do is to focus too much on the primary keywords and waste your time in trying to rank number one for them.

Why waste – you ask. Good question.

In fact, trying to rank number one for a particular phrase is not the problem. The problem lies in the fact that you are ONLY optimizing towards that keyword/keywords.

The fact is that if it’s search traffic from the search engines that you are targeting, then it’s the long tail keywords that will help you more than the top primary keywords.

For instance, if you are targeting the keyword “free softwares”, you would’ve definitely used one of those keyword research tools for the keyword “softwares” and they threw up “free softwares” with 1 million search – so you picked it !

Technically, this is the right decision. But when it comes to reality, you’ll find that the 1 million search traffic has already been ploughed upon by other big giants and you don’t stand a chance to rank number one for it, in the near future. (In SEO, future means three months or next Google PR update.)

So the problem here is that,

  • Even though that traffic generated for top keywords is huge, it’s not easy to tap all of that immediately.
  • You can tap into that traffic volume only with a number one or two ranks, nothing below it.

So basically, you waste your time optimizing the content for a keyword that won’t give you any traffic.

Now, a wiser strategy.


In the same example, you find that “free softwares” is worth 1 million searches, but there is immense competition for it already, so let’s drill down to even precise data. You find that there are 50,000 searches for the keyword “free software downloads with reviews”, and there are only 20 guys really  working towards it. So, wouldn’t it be better idea to rank for a couple of lower traffic volume keywords (long tail keywords)  that are easy to break into rather than trying to rank against download.com for the keyword “free download”?

The goods about SEOing for longer keywords is that,

  • Easier to break into the league of first pagers.
  • Shorter time frame to rise up in ranks
  • Possibility of getting more traffic from numerous longer keywords.

So basically, the long tail keywords are the ones that give you little traffic for each keyword, but on the whole give you a huge chunk. Optimizing pages towards long tail keywords (longer keywords/phrases) are easier and quicker that trying to rank for “the top keyword”.

If you’ve been mad about your primary keywords and have been stuffing it around everywhere possible on the blog, think again. you might want to give some space for the long tail ones too.

So who said keyword research tools are always right ? someone ?

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  1. i not really like to use keyword research tool but what u say was right, keyword research tool not always right

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  2. hmmm…. long tails are not that easy to get. but they are far easier than top keywords

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    Mani KarthikNo Gravatar Replied:

    Right Louis, the trick is in finding the low hanging fruits.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. “Good things take time” - quite true in this case too.

    Great article, thanks :)

    [Reply to this comment]