When I say "long tail" I am talking about the key word phrases that you place in your web site pages body copy, photo meta tags and in your blog posts that allows search engines to chose to show your web site page over another.
You first need to weekly or at least monthly research with your available anylitics to find out what current visitors have used for their search words to find you.
Gone are the days of just a few key words working. You need to create complex long tail phrases to help pin point customers directly to you instead of the competition.
And don't be suprised by the phrases you find. Some may be very difficult to figure out how to incorperate into your page copy.
I will go through some of ours to show you what I mean. I knew right away that Soap Warehouse was going to have a hard time with certain key words, especially with product names. One - because most of the names where too common ie: "Hood Cleaner" for our hood cleaning product or because the name was senominous with something else ie: "Brown Derby" like the restaurant of old in LA or currently at Disney World. Or "Top Gun" our aircraft cleaner with the same name as the movie.
Because of this right away we had to use multi key word phrases "Top Gun aircraft cleaner" "Brown Derby truck wash" "Hood Cleaner kitchen exhaust cleaner". But these will not help if people are not actually using them to search with. More often we would see that our top search results where things like: "brown soap", "truck soap", "aircraft soap", "sodium hydroxide cleaner" but even these would bring in very low numbers because too many sites had simular key word phrases.
So we constantly are adding long tails we knew people had used to find us like: "acid cleaners for aluminum", "best degreaser for chinese kitchen grease", "algea cleaner for gloeocapsa magma". You have to take these phrases and go into your page content and match the phrase word for word to gain the maxium effect.
For instance the part of the discription we had for "Hood Cleaner" read "This product has a good performance history in Chinese restaurants." That phrase now reads "This is our best degreaser for chinese kitchen grease." See how we incorporated the long tail search phrase into the body copy. Now the next time someone searches that same phrase we have a much better chance of being the first page to show up for that.
For the phrase "algea cleaner for gloeocapsa magma" we wrote a blog post on the topic and included that phrase in the text.
Even using long tail phrases in free on line directory sites can bring you targeted searches especially for your local area. This is not something we do since we do not try to get just local business but for contrators limited to a specific geographic location it can be key to new business. For example if you would like to have more clients in an affluent area, like Brookhaven here in Atlanta, you might list or showcase some before and after photos with the photo named and meta tagged as "Spectacular house wash in Brookhaven". Then when someone in Brookhaven searches for "house washing Brookhaven" you will be at or near the top of the list.