What are Long Tail Keywords? Why Should You Care About Them?

What is a "long tail keyword" - and why should you care? First of all, it's a phrase used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) circles, and it's something that is used to try and reach higher in Google Search Results (as well as Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

What is A Long Tail Keyword? 

Long Tail Keyword: 3+ Words
Simply put, a "long tail keyword" is a phrase using 3 to 5 words, could be more, that appears in web content more than once, syncing with the future searcher who may well enter that same phrase in the Google Search Box when researching a particular subject matter.  (You may also hear things about "long tail marketing," etc.)

There are lots of "long tail keywords" in legal writing and in legal blogging (blawging). Right now, for example, the Boston Marathon Bombings are very recent and the phrase "search and seizure" is getting lots of Google traffic (33,400,000 just now).

Other phrases that are getting lots of interest today (according to Google Trends):

  • 2013 NFL Mock Draft (71,000,000 hits) 
  • Katherine Russell Tsarnaev (spouse of the slain Boston Marathon Bomber)(111,000,000 hits)

Why Should You Care?

There will be SEO Experts who throw this phrase at bloggers and lawyers as part of a strategy to get more traffic to the site.  Not to worry: for most legal writing for the web, the "long tail keyword" is a given:  most law firm blog writing includes long tail keywords automatically.

For instance, writers will write about -- and readers will surf for things -- that involve long tail keywords without stopping to consider that SEO is involved.  Long tail keywords often include:
  • case names 
  • legal phrases
  • names of parties
  • names of judges
  • legal jargon 
When writing for the web, many lawyers will automatically include long tail keywords in their piece without knowing they are doing so, especially when their intended readers are other lawyers or legal professionals with the legal savvy to be surfing for similar vocabulary.  Easy peasy.  


Quick Prenda Update: Hilarious Article by PopeHat's Ken White.

It's Monday morning and I don't have time to write a long blog post now, but this was in my Feedly today and it's so funny thought I'd share. Started laughing at the "self esteem" edit and it just got better from there: "Angry Prenda is Angry" at TechDirt, article by attorney Ken White who posts at PopeHat. .


Is Your Marketing Newsletter In Compliance With Federal Law? FTC Regulates Commercial Newsletters: Fines If You Don't Comply with CAN-SPAM Act

Have you heard of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (“CAN-SPAM”) Act?

If you’re sending out newsletters via email for marketing purposes, then you may want to insure that you (or your firm) are in compliance with this federal law designed to curtail unwelcome spam messages. 

Together with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the CAN-SPAM Act works to protect all of us from unwelcome and uninvited messages in our email inboxes or in text messages on our cell phone. 

They’ve been on the books since 2003 and they’re enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These federal laws regulate ALL commercial messages sent via email or text message; therefore, any marketing campaign that includes email newsletters or text campaigns must be in compliance with these federal laws.

1. Is your communication a “commercial electronic mail message” as defined by the Act? 

From the CAN-SPAM Act: 

  • The term "commercial electronic mail message" means any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose). 
  • The inclusion of a reference to a commercial entity or a link to the website of a commercial entity in an electronic mail message does not, by itself, cause such message to be treated as a commercial electronic mail message for purposes of this chapter if the contents or circumstances of the message indicate a primary purpose other than commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service. 
  • Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term “sender”, when used with respect to a commercial electronic mail message, means a person who initiates such a message and whose product, service, or Internet web site is advertised or promoted by the message. 
  • (B) Separate lines of business or divisions: [i]f an entity operates through separate lines of business or divisions and holds itself out to the recipient throughout the message as that particular line of business or division rather than as the entity of which such line of business or division is a part, then the line of business or the division shall be treated as the sender of such message for purposes of this chapter. 

In essence, the federal law requires the reader of your newsletter or series of emails to consent to these messages being sent to their inbox if the messages meet the definition of “commercial electronic mail message.”

2. Need for Consent from the Recipient for Commercial Email Messages 

The FTC has rules in place that require written consent for text messages to a phone; for email inboxes, the consent can be oral or written (say, in an email message subscribing to the messages or newsletter) if the message meets the definition of “commercial electronic mail message.”

 Your Newsletter Needs to Meet Requirements under Federal Law 

 The Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the power of email marketing on its website; it quotes Pingdom research for a Return on Investment of $44.25 for every $1.00 spent on email marketing in 2011. 

ROI of $44 to $1 means that newsletters work: therefore, the goal is not to back away from email marketing but instead to make sure that the newsletter comports with federal guidelines.

To that end, the SBA provides details and suggestions on how to take advantage of the benefits of this marketing tool without falling afoul of the federal laws and regulations.

Read more from the SBA here.

And remember: the FTC does enforce this and does fine companies it determines to be in violation of these laws. Here’s a helpful video from the FTC on this issue:


Prenda Update: Judge Wright Clears His Docket for the Day, Hearing is Done in 12 Minutes. Wow.

Prenda Law latest:  the Big, Fat hearing that was scheduled in California today ended really quick when everyone and their dog took the Fifth.

The federal judge that had cleared his entire day's docket for this hearing sent them all home after only 12 minutes.

What will Judge Wright do now?  Here in Texas, I think I feel the ground shaking as his frustration and angers builds ....

For details, including predictions on what we'll be reading in Judge Wright's order, check out:

  • TechDirt - 1 (summary)
  • TechDirt - 2 (all the details from a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who was there, also seen at Popehat)
  • Forbes (main stream media's take on things)

Wonder if these guys know that they're waiting to hear back not only from an angry federal judge but also from a U.S. Marine who served in VietNam and then spent several years as a deputy sheriff?

Take the Fifth with this guy?
Wow, it's like facing off with Raylan Givens or something.