The Hadouken Approach to Long Tail Content Marketing

Like most kids growing up in the 80s and 90s, I loved Nintendo. One of the most popular games we used to play was Street Fighter. Street Fighter was a fighting game between two players who punched, kicked, and did special moves to defeat their opponents in combat.

I had a consistent strategy that drove my friends and cousins crazy.

Two characters in the game had a special move called the Hadouken. This move created a blue fireball that shot out of the hands of the character.

Hadouken Content Marketing

My strategy: Hadouken, Hadouken, Hadouken, until it hit the other player.

People hated it. It was boring…but it worked.

The Hadouken Approach to Creating Content

When I finally began to grasp the power of SEO, I recognized the value in finding what works and repeating it again, and again, and again until I ranked highly for certain keywords.

Hadouken, Hadouken, Hadouken…ouch!

Once you find a keyword that brings in a lot of traffic through keyword research and web analytics, think of additional phrases with similar stems that will bring traffic as well.

My main website is in the religious education niche and attracts homeschooling families as well. I found that there were a few base keyword stems that could be used again and again with other combinations of words.

Example Keyword Stems:

  •  ________ activities
  • ________ lesson plan
  • ________ prayer
  • ________ resources
  • ________ ideas
  • ________ strategies

I did some keyword research and found the most popular combinations of keyword phrases with these words as the stem. Now I’m working from a list of these combinations to develop unique and valuable content that my audience will enjoy and that additional people will find through search queries.

Long Tail Content Marketing

Essentially I am talking about long tail content marketing. Long tail content marketing includes taking a keyword or phrase in the “fat head” of search volume and focusing on the “chunky middle” or the “long tail” keyword phrases that branch off of it.

The classic long tail keyword graph from SEOmoz:

SEOmoz Long Tail Keywords Chart

The vast majority of searches are in the long tail. In fact, Google estimates that around 20% of all search phrases done in a given 90 day period have never been searched before! This means that there are keyword stems that have various combinations but relate to the same topic.

The long tail should always be the focus of niche marketing especially when you are just starting out. You want to narrow your focus on the exact people who will be looking for your content, community, products, and services.

Find a popular keyword stem (resources, recipes, ideas, strategies, tactics, tools, deals, software, programs, etc.) and add additional words that related directly to your niche and unique approach. Use this strategy consistently to achieve results.

Long Tail Content Marketing Case Studies

Like the people below, I don’t really think of Street Fighter when I create content. But I have found a lot of success taking a stem keyword and expanding upon it to attract traffic and increase conversions from the long tail.

Probably the best example of this strategy is in the cooking niche. The word “recipe” has a nearly infinite number of variations that could be used in the hadouken approach by focusing on recipe types with a high number of searches (pasta recipes, chicken recipes, etc.)

Long Tail Content Marketing Example

Simply Recipes (

Elise Bauer over at Simply Recipes is crushing it. Capitalizing on the popular search phrase “simple recipes” (22,200 exact searches per month), Elise has done a great job of dominating the search rankings for many types of recipes.

You’ll notice the long list of recipe types in the left sidebar. Elise posts excellent recipes regularly and categorizes them by various recipe types. She has opened up these category pages to be crawled and index thus increasing their chances to rank highly in search.

She does a good job with the “Recipe Index” section, which links to the various recipes.

The simplicity of the blog is excellent and she has clearly gotten creative with the AdSense monetization of the site.

Gluten Free Cooking School

Mary Frances of Gluten Free Cooking School offers another example of long tail content marketing (the hadouken approach). A growing number of people are being diagnosed with a gluten allergy, thus opening up a great need for gluten free foods and recipes.

The keyword phrase “gluten free recipes” alone pulls in 60,500 exact global searches per month alone.

Her keyword stem may seem obvious (gluten free), but she uses many categories as variations:

  • gluten free flour mix
  • gluten free pizza crust
  • gluten free diet
  • gluten free menus
  • gluten free recipes

With nearly 30,000 subscribers at the time of this writing, Mary Frances is doing quite well for herself. She has set up a nice affiliate program for her eBook and they have developed some eCourses for their audience as well.

Long Tail Content Marketing Bonus Tip

Turn your category pages into resource pages focused on content and conversion.

Most people rely on their blog categories or topics to sort by these keyword stems. I like to use the keywords as categories when first starting out, then once content is built up enough, create a resource page with the various posts and pages manually linked and designed as link-worthy content. This allows you to control the content that is showcased on these pages rather than a list of the most recent posts under that category or tag. You’ll find your search engine traffic increase and your conversion rate jump.

Copyblogger does it.

Pay Flynn at Smart Passive Income does it.

Derek Halpern can’t stop telling people about it.

I did it and saw a jump in both traffic and conversions. One particular resource page is getting a 7.84% conversion rate to my eNewsletter compared to a 1.48% site average.