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Old 12th February 2007, 03:16 PM   #1
Logan
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Default HitTail - Keyword Reporting

I wanted to take a moment and have Mike Levin drop in here and tell us about www.hittail.com. Its a free keyword reporting tool that I recommend using if you already don't. It provides some good info to improve your exposure and focus on long tail keywords. While Mike will be telling us about the reporting and what's new, a (very) important thing to consider when selecting/targeting keywords... as a general rule of thumb - "The more words within the keyword phrase the higher the conversion rate will be." With this in mind, I think www.hittail.com is one free tool everyone should check out.

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Old 12th February 2007, 03:36 PM   #2
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I agree 110% Logan. I've been a user and fan of HitTail since it first launched. We've had it installed and running on our sites since day one and the info it provides is truly useful.

I'll second the suggestion that folks start using this tool. It's gold.

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Old 12th February 2007, 03:53 PM   #3
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the kind words, Chris and Duane. I've been in the SEO community since the beginning, although I haven't really been high profile. Back in those days, I got very addicted to viewing the search hits in real-time as they came in, and highlighted the keywords to make as nice a view as possible. The first part of HitTail is simply allowing you to view your search hits in as close-to-real-time as possible.

The second part is how it works as a writing suggestion tool for targeting long tail keywords. Many of us in the SEO circles know by now that targeting many less competitive keywords can produce more visitors, and often more qualified visitors, than going after the most competitive words. Many hours have been wasted collecting long keyword lists and figuring out which ones were best to target—especially when targeting them often meant making a dedicated page.

So, HitTail basically just analyzes your entire long tail keyword list and pulls out the ones where it thinks you can make the most ground in the least amount of time. In other words, take a suggestion, write about it in a blog post or optimized page, and go from X-pages in (which you were previously) to the first page or two. Keep that up over time, and you will grow a considerable amount of qualified natural search traffic.

There are a few tiny new things at HitTail. There's a long tail growth chart that can show the size of your traffic growing, both in terms of hits on your popular keywords (the head), and diversity of words that lead to your site (the tail). We've added timezone support, so everyone can see the time of their search hits in their local time. And we're working on HTTPS support.

There are a few other features in the works that will be part of our eventual paid service. But most of our effort is going into ensuring that we can serve the HitTail service to the entire world (performance, performance, performance). Our goal is to make our tool the essential blogger's companion, without reproducing the entire analytics suites, which we think are overkill for bloggers. Instead, we want to give you the ability to do what everyone in their gut really wants—to watch your search hits and new visitors as they occur, and give a safe and sustainable way of producing more.

I've known Chris forever through the forums and very much appreciate the chance to say a few words here. I'm happy to answer follow-up questions here on the Small Business Ideas forum.


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Old 12th February 2007, 09:23 PM   #4
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I was poking around a bit and found that HitTail was included in BusinessWeek's round up of the best ideas of 2006. Very impressive.

ADDED: LOL, I would have seen that if I'd gone to the HitTail site first.

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Old 13th February 2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Hi Robert. Is this Robert C that I know from SEF? Thanks very much for the mention. We're also up for PR innovation of the year from PR Week this March.

It turns out that we're hitting a few pent-up desires. The first is the ability to actually just view your own log files the way that is simply understandable. And of course, the second is a way of mining those log files for gems.

Business Week I think took to the idea because of it's roots, not merely in Chris Anderson's phenomenally popular long tail concept, but also because of how we talk about total quality management (TQM), and how a website can easily be converted into a sort of Web suggestion box, without even requiring your users to fill-in and submit forms. The suggestions are already there!

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Old 14th February 2007, 12:21 PM   #6
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I do have a new update that I forgot to mention. I'm trying to make people aware of HitTail's importance outside of the "SEO" and keyword-marketer crowd. There's actually broader social implications in providing a tool to rig your blog to be influential in search. What about the opinions being expressed? Is it fair to give EVERYONE a microphone, even if they're hate-mongers? I start to bring this up in some of my recent blog posts. The topic of SEO and societal undercurrents is fascinating to me. If this makes sense to anyone, feel free to hop in.

Perhaps it's not the most relevant topic from the small business perspective, but certainly small business owners have their own political climate they would like to promote—one that keeps the climate favorable for small business—tax incentives, net neutrality in order to reach all potential customers, etc.

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Old 14th February 2007, 12:29 PM   #7
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In my mind mike, it's a keyword research tool. The data has broad uses, across many different platforms.

Bloggers should know about it and use it.

There's a critical step that most bloggers miss, and that's getting keywords into an article title. This type of tool helps them compile a list - a cheat-sheet if you will - of phrases to reference.

Going to post an item? Check the list to see if there's a phrase you can work in, in a relevant manner.

So, yeah - it's a tool that more than just SEOs, keyword researchers and Webmasters should know about and use.

If you're involved online it all comes back to searches and volumes of traffic at some point - this tool helps you see the flow and filter opportunities for you.

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Old 14th February 2007, 02:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for the discussion guys. This seems like a great tool.

I have signed up and now I just have to install it on my sites.

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Old 15th February 2007, 12:15 AM   #9
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I've been meaning to give this a try for a while now, and have just gotten around to signing up. Thx for the prompt, Chris ... and nice to have you joining the discussion, Mike.

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Old 16th February 2007, 11:14 AM   #10
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Default Thanks!!

This is th perfect find for me!! I have been struggling with keywords and it sounds like like this is a perfect tool. Thank you.

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