Long tail – What it is, definition and concept | 2023

Long tail is the name given to the set of words that form a phrase notably used to search for something specific in web browsers.

That is, they are phrases that are used for Internet searches aimed at finding something with the aim of acquiring a good or service. In Spanish, it would translate as ‘long tail’.


An example might be ‘fishing shorts’. In the field of digital marketing, specifically web positioning or SEO, companies that are dedicated to marketing this type of product will try to make these types of phrases relate as much as possible to their business.

Origin and uses of the long tail

The beginning of the use of the term long tail began as a result of an article by journalist Chris Anderson in 2004. In this article he explained two business models:

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  • Model based on quantity and competitive prices.
  • Model based on quality and high prices.

In the field of economics and business, it was argued that the most profitable businesses were those with the highest turnover of merchandise or stocks, and that those that sold higher-value items with little turnover were likely not to be very profitable.

This fact was reflected in his article, showing that a third option could also be offered: models based on quality and competitive prices. He placed special emphasis on the example of companies such as Amazon or Netflix.

Then, the term long tail in this article referred to the fact that a company did not have to have a high inventory turnover to be able to function in the short or medium term.

On the other hand, the term has ended up being used frequently in statistics and digital marketing.

In this sense, reference is made to the keywords that in web positioning (SEO) are used to relate web pages of companies that seek to be found by potential customers from the Internet.

long tail example

Given the company ROPA DEPORTIVA PACO SL, it seeks to position it on the internet as well as possible.

Single words like ‘sport’, ‘soccer’ or ‘basketball’ are highly valued and are already very difficult to relate to a business that has not already been done. The competition is fierce.

In addition, the sports store has a very large section of paddle tennis, fishing and hiking clothing. They are sports activities that, a priori, the competition is less.

However, keywords are a tool that is used by all online stores. Looking for a more specific segment. This is where the long tails come in. Then, these are some of the long tails used by the ROPA DEPORTIVA PACO business:

  • Paddle shirt with bullpadel technology.
  • Special fishing boots for the river.
  • Mountain and hiking vests.

In short, with this type of phrases indexed to the online store, it is intended to attract a highly segmented public that, although it is very low in number, its conversion rate from visit to purchase in the store is much higher than the average.

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