Is it worth your precious time search engine optimising for the long tail of search or should you stick to the more competitive keywords ?.
Getting the most from your interior pages has been discussed on this blog. This method will increase focused traffic to your inner pages. It allows you to interlink your content a lot more effectively, funnel pagerank back up to your home page and also generate more sales/increase conversions. On Thursday I created an article on another of my sites for a long tail keyword, did a bit of linking and this brought in 200 visitors in 2 days. Not bad for about 30 minutes of work.
The most common method of going after the long tail is to create lots of new pages for those specific keywords. This has the added benefit of increasing the amount of pages you have indexed which in turn increases the amount of internal link juice you have. I came across a great little tip from Stompernet where by the the suggest folding in long tail keywords into already popular pages instead of creating the extra content. This would assume you did not include long tail keywords in the original page and can now interweave them into both copy and your internal link scheme. They also highlight the important of grabbing keywords from your analytics package. I have recommended this before. This keywords can not be found by your competitors as they may be unique to your site.
I would be a fan of both methods. If you have a wordpress blog as your central hub then really it makes it a lot easier in terms of throwing up an article to target a niche keyword. But the problem with wordpress is often these pages get pushed down onto another page, well they should be if you are writing lots of content. Moving into the secondary pages affects their rank some what. One solution I am implementing is to create pages instead of posts at times(I am still rolling this out). So under articles you can link to popular posts or create pages for content that may be popular. For example, some of my post popular content is around creating sub domain tracking for Google Analytics. I can simply create a page for this that holds all this content in one place (using in content links to make it readable). This creates one large page full of rich content. Now taking Stompernets advice from above you can roll in long tail keywords to these pages instead of altering your posts.
This may cause problems if those articles have already received links. But you could simply contact all people who have linked to you and ask them kindly could they link to your new piece of content, which is bigger and better than before !!!
How do you keep your archive pages fresh and close to the home page ?? Do you like Stompernets suggestion ??