What if I told you to pay more attention . . . pay lots of attention to the “long tail” ? Would that mean anything to you? If yes, keep reading. If no, keep reading and pay very close attention, because this is the single most important issue for your business’ growth and your business change that you will encounter.

Any time. Ever. It’s that important.

What’s the long tail? As the picture in your mind suggests, it’s a connection to something that you can grab from far away. And why does it matter? Here’s the example:

One of the things that this company does is computer support. Another thing we’re very good at is management consulting. And then there’s the place where those two items converge . . . and they do.

So let’s say we decide that the world “needs” to know that, and we take steps to drive traffic to this web site. Let’s say those steps include concentrating on the phrases computer support and management consulting. Bad idea. “See you on the unemployment line” bad.

Why? Because those are broad phrases. They mean too many different things to too many different people. They’ll attract attention, for sure, but we’d be competing with many, many other companies trying to do the same thing, meaning both that our message will get lost, and that the people we attract won’t necessarily be the people we wish to land on our virtual doorstep.

If you believe that the only bad attention is no attention, that doesn’t matter. And if you believe that you’re good enough at weeding out the people who waste your time to make attracting the wrong attention a mere byproduct, then I applaud you. But what if you buy the phrase “computer support” from Google, pay six dollars every time someone clicks on your link, and manage to get three thousand people to your web site with twenty-nine hundred and nine-seven of them being people who simply won’t ever buy your services? And that’s the GOOD outcome?

The long tail is where you get lots of people to pay attention to you by grasping at the “tail” you hang out there. For example, if you search for “kindle censorship” on Google, the very first result points you to a blog post here from a few months ago. It’s part of our long tail, and if you clicked on either of those links you helped extend that tail for us. Is there direct impact on our bottom line? No. And that’s what the long tail is. You’re out there. People notice you. And then . . . you make sure they stay around once you’ve gained their attention.

Pay attention to your long tail. If you need help, we’re glad to provide it; Answer Guy SEO Consulting and Search Engine Optimization works.Just make sure you dangle that long tail out there if you want your business to keep growing.

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