We talk all the time about keywords. When the search engine marketing industry talks about keywords, you’ll frequently hear the terms “head,” “torso,” and “tail” to describe the amount of volume that each of the keywords receive.
Head terms are the high volume, more generic and competitive terms. Tail terms are just the opposite.
I’ve recently had a lot of internal and external conversations around the value of the keyword spectrum. We’re asking ourselves:
- Has Google Instant killed the long tail?
- Do head terms provide brand awareness, and feed tail traffic?
- At what point are you done building keywords, and exhaust the long tail?
In order to answer some of these questions I dove into some keyword level data for our clients, and found some interesting stuff.
CTR by Keyword Phrase
Most would broadly define what is a head or tail term by the number of words contained within the keyword phrase. The general thought is you should see a higher CTR when there are more keywords in the phrase because it’s more descriptive.
I took data from two different clients (both one name companies), and plotted out the CTR by word count per keyword phrase. In the first example I included both branded and unbranded terms, and in the second example included only branded terms.
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