Years ago Chris Anderson wrote a book called The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.
Basically it makes the case that it is easier to sell 100 units across 10 products than 1000 units of one product given that people increasingly specialize and produce products / services designed specifically for a target audience. Example: Blankets with niches of red blankets, blue blankets, fuzzy red blankets, fuzzy blue blankets, 600 thread count red blankets, 600 thread count blue blankets. You get the point… Manufacturers and service providers need to specialize because people SEARCH online based on niches and the desired goal. The more specific the better the match of search results.
Fast forward 5 years and we find that, at least online, Google is injecting their own products / services into the search engine results, thereby diminishing the benefit of long-term SEO marketing. By including their Google Books, Google Adwords, Google Maps and adjusting their algorithms through updates (Panda and Mayday) the infographic below highlights how marketing the “long tail” online is being diminished. Website owners no longer will get large increases by marketing for long-term keywords… at least when compared to just a few years ago.
I thought the infographic from SEOBook was highly relevant for SMB owners around the holiday shopping season.
How can a SMB owner offset the impact of Google and diminished results from longtail marketing?
1) Having a solid 1-1 connection with your customer via email marketing is always recommended but this is somewhat diminished because many consumers have grown wary of email marketing and “open rates” for many businesses are down versus 5 years ago.
2) Google doesn’t control social media and every SMB owner has a chance to turn social media connections into relationships and sales. The old marketing adage is that marketers need to be “where the conversations are being held” and today that is increasingly via Facebook Pages, Twitter, Yelp, Open Table and LinkedIn pages.
To Your Success,