Booster Dewey, from the Power Brake Booster Exchange, Portland, OR

I have a client with an old fashioned .html website. It looks just like it was created in the early years of the web and he isn’t interested in changing it.  He’s so old-school, he sends me updates in a letter and I call him with questions. He has no email address and doesn’t want one.

His website works for him. Customers find his business easily and learn what they need to know from the site. The site is not hip or trendy. It has 2 pages. It is not optimized to work on mobile devices.  The only photos are of car parts and him holding a power brake booster.

So yesterday, I was doing his yearly price updates, and thought just for the fun of it, I’d check his search performance in Google.

And to my surprise, he owns the first page of search results! Every link went back to his website, which hasn’t had any SEO magic applied to it. I was amazed!

I tried several different queries and results were the same. Search for “power brake boosters”, and it’s all him. I know clients who would pay huge amounts to get that kind of coverage.

So how did he get such high search rankings? One is domain name longevity. You can’t buy a long-time web presence, and Google ranks it very strongly in their SEO ranking score. It’s a matter of getting in and staying there.

But the second factor, and most important, is his product is a unique one that fits the definition of the long tail perfectly. The long tail is the holy grail of search optimization and he’s nailed it.

The Long Tail

  1. Fits a very narrow definition.
  2. Appeals to a small highly motivated group of customers.
  3. Is not being used by many competitors
  4. Provides exactly what that group is looking for.

Or to borrow from one of the search experts:

Specific, niche search phrases, usually more than 2 words in length, that offer a low competition, low search volume and high searcher intent.
From SEO 101: Defining the Long Tail

So, let this be a lesson to anyone building a website: Figure out how your product or service is unique and appeals to a small, motivated segment of the market and wag that long tail. Do you sell t-shirts? Highlight your handmade, hemp t-shirts for allergic pregnant women. Promoting a park? Blog about the trails that feature Great Horned Owl habitat in the winter evening hours. Focus on what is unique about your product, service or subject and your search optimization will benefit tremendously.

Thanks to for the lessons learned and inspiration for this blog post. If you need a power brake booster for an older American car, go see my man Booster Dewey!


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