An important aspect of SEO is how to find long tail keywords which can gain quality traffic by targeting a large amount of specific keywords. Instead of selecting 2-3 words for the most competitive searches, targeting long tail searches is about choosing around 6 or more keywords which can bring targeted users to your site who are searching for something more specific.
The long tail was first used by Chris Anderson in 1994 “to describe certain business and economic models such as Amazon.com or Netflix”. Danny Sullivan last year wrote about the importance of the long tail search, using the example that:
“Right now, Overture and Google struggle with how to fill out the “tail” of search queries with ads. These are queries that happen only a few times per month but in aggregate represent a huge amount of unsold inventory.
For example, advertisers focus on high frequency terms such as “shoes,” which Overture reports had over 1,000,000 requests in April 2004. It sells for a top bid of around $0.55 and has 90 advertisers competing for it.
In contrast, “winged track shoes” happened only 27 times last month. No one is bidding on the term. That’s most likely because the low frequency doesn’t make it seem worth the time. Yet someone searching for something so specific might convert better than the more generic “shoes” searcher.”
I normally find using PPC keyword research tools useful to find the less popular, but more specific variations of keyword searches, for example searches for “long tail” gain 12,360 monthly searches on the Overture keyword tool, with less popular searches such as “longtail” with 1,400 queries, “Chris Anderson long tail” 299, “Anderson long tail” 62, “long tail search” 39, “long tail web 2.0″ 28 and “long seo tail” 6, “long tail strategy PPC” 3.