I’ve always been an advocate of the long-tail search, especially for advertisers with small budgets (and more time), who can afford to spend the effort on building campaigns focusing on long-tail search phrases. For instance, if you are an online university, you’ll find that general key words such as “online degree” can cost as much as $20 per click. Yes, per click. But, phrases such as “online history degree in California” cost considerably less – by as much as 90%. So, if you have the time to build out these phrases, and to create adds that properly match the phrase – and then landing pages that coordinate, you can gain some great leads at a low cost.
Additionally, there’s a report out by MarketingProfs that discusses the same concept but for domains. They show that long-tail domains have higher CTRs for advertisers. Going back to our example, “online-degrees.com” might not have as high a CTR for advertisers as “online-degrees-california.com”, and so on.
Here’s that article: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/4605/long-tail-websites-deliver-higher-ad-ctrs?adref=nlt031111 which shows that CTR lift varies greatly by industry.