In this video interview, SEO expert Eric Enge first explains the meaning and importantce of optimizing for multi-word, "long tail" search terms. Then he describes a technique his firm has used to produce for clients webpages optimized for long tail terms.
"Long tail" refers to a graph of traffic coming from search terms. Head terms, such as "digital camera" get this most individual queries, perhaps 10% of search queries. The "chunky middle" terms get a bit more specific, such as, "canon digital camera." But the greatest volume (about 70%) of search queries comes from "long tail," very specific terms, such as, "canon digital camera store in philadelphia pa."
Enge notes that it is at least four times easier to rank for a long tail term than for a head term. What's more, a specific query indicates that the searcher is closer to a final decision and is at least twice as easy to convert. Multiplying this out, the business you get from your website is 56 times more accessible in the long tail terms than in the head terms.
To get this long tail traffic, you must have webpages that address the long-tail terms -- but do so with unique content, not just templates of other webpages. Unique webpages are needed because your most important on-page elements that affect ranking are: (1) the title tag and (2) anchor text in links to the webpage.
Thus you must learn how to deploy a great number of webpages that cover a broad array of topics, each with unique content. Enge's firm has been able to achieve this by employing a team of writers based in India with local people, such as college newspaper editors, who edit the content for local language and terminology.
Eric Enge is president of Stone Temple Consulting, offering search engine optimization (SEO) services for seven years, for companies ranging from the Fortune 25 to new online start-ups. He is also a co-author of The Art of SEO (O'Reilly, 2010). This video was taped at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in Chicago, December 8, 2009.