Long Tail Keywords or Short Tail Keywords – A Complete Guide

Search Engine Optimization is simple indeed. Just pick some terms related to your business, simply incorporate that with your website, refresh the search results, and there you go… Your Website Is On The Top!   

Fine, I know what you’re thinking. You could blame Google for this: “Dare you land me here!” Well, joking apart… SEO is not the thing to achieve overnight. While speaking about SEO, Keyword Research is the essential part (of course, nitty gritty) to skyrocket your website. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about Keyword Research out there. To make your SEO investment worthier, you should do Keyword Research wisely and make the world (SEO) go round.   

So, in this article, you’ll have the complete guide on Keyword Research, mostly about Short and Long Tail Keywords, where to use these two keyword variants, and essentially whether to choose Long Tail Keywords or Short Tail Keywords. They can vary a lot in the topic, and those differences can greatly impact how you optimize your site.

long tail short tail keyword in SEO

How to Figure Out Performing Keywords to Use?

Before diving directly into the Short and Long Tail Keywords, let’s find some really useful tips on how to identify and implement the right Keyword for your site.  

1. Initially, All About Users

Your Keyword Research can start at the source. Initially, you should answer the following questions before working to determine keywords: Who is your targeted audience? What are they looking for that you can provide for them? As a business owner or website holder, you must be clarified with these two questions.   

For instance, if your company sells ceramic tiles and you would like to go after the DIY market, what things would DIY customers look at if they search for a product like yours?  

Given how well you understand your product, you might create a list of the product lines, tile designs you provide, colors, and even phrases like “cheap tile”, “quality tile”, or “ceramic tile in the marble style”. 

 None of these are bad ideas, but if you take the time to speak with members of your target market, you can find that their perspectives on your product are different. It’s highly possible that they may search for “stone-like tile”, “Can I install it myself?” Or “Buy tile online”. 

2. Research

Once you complete step one, it will be easy to create a list of Keywords to target. Since you gathered the necessary information about your targeted audience, you can understand what people are searching for. So, what’s next? On the track, create a performing list.   

In the part of Keyword Research, there’s a multitude of tools available. The thing is, you have to find the right Keyword Research tool that works perfectly for you. Once you identify and fill up your sheet with potential key terms, it’s time to check which ones are worth targeting. Again, various tools are available, but the Google Ads Keyword Planner, previously called Google AdWords, is the best and preferable option.   

With the Keyword Planner, you can determine how many people are searching for the terms you’re planning to target. Simply put, the goal is to choose or find Keywords that’d be relevant to a wider group of users.   

3. It’s About Quality, Not Quantity

Remember that even though a Keyword has a lot of search traffic, you should consider incorporating it into your website or not. “Will the Keyword bring Quality traffic?”   

For instance, the key term, ‘glass tile’, has a huge amount of search volume, but if you offer only ceramic tile, your chance for click-through rate and sales from those visitors is pretty low. Hence make sure that the Keywords you target bring in conversions. Finally, we are back with our primary task, what to choose, Long Tail Keywords or Short Tail Keywords? It depends! Let’s jump on to that to know more.  

Long Tail Keywords or Short Tail Keywords, Which One Performs Well?

What is Short-Tail Keywords?

A search phrase that often has 1-3 words and covers a broad topic is referred to as a Short-Tail Keyword, also known as a “Head Term.” Short-Tail Keywords typically have more search volume than Long-Tail Keywords, which means that they attract more website visitors. 

Even though Short-Tail keywords can generate a lot of traffic, it’s not always of the highest quality because it’s a generic search that may not match the user purpose for your product or service, which can result in low conversion rates and a higher bounce rate. In addition, it is more challenging to rank Short-Tail Keywords because they are also considerably more competitive, especially if your site has a low Domain Authority.  

Moreover, it’s important to remember that there are multiple ranking factors, and Keywords only play a part in Search Ranking. For the best ranking results, it’s crucial to develop an SEO strategy.  

Why Use Short-Tail Keywords?

Short-Tail Keywords have a huge monthly search volume, one of the main advantages of optimizing websites for them, as was already established. The report claims that the 10,000 most popular Keywords out of millions of possible Keywords are essentially Short-Tail Keywords. They statistically represent roughly 20% of all queries. 

This makes using Short-Tail Keywords a fantastic way to increase website traffic and conversions. However, the broad meaning and great volume make Short-Tail Keywords more competitive. 

What is Long-Tail Keywords?

On average, Long-Tail Keywords receive a lower search than Short-Tail Keywords. In other words, they are the “least popular” search terms.   However, they are more specific than Short-Tail Keywords, providing search engines with more information and detail that clearly indicates search intent. Long-Tail Keywords, therefore, deliver more specialized results that are more likely to address user intent and, as a result, will attract higher quality traffic that is more likely to convert, even if you may receive fewer site visits per term. Typically, Long-Tail Keywords consists of three words or more.  

You can find that the majority of Keywords or search terms are Long-Tail, with nearly 94% of Keywords having less than 10 searches a month. So, it’s important to grasp what they are and how to use them to optimize your onsite copy.   

Examples of Long-Tail Keywords and Short-Tail Keywords

As we said before, Short-Tail Keywords frequently have higher search volumes but are also more difficult to rank for. This is so, because users may search with diverse intentions when utilizing Long-Tail terms.  

It’s possible that someone looking for “running shoes” wants to learn more about them or buy them. For a class assignment or their own website, they might also wish to hunt up an image of a pair of shoes.  

Due to this, wide keywords are more popular but also more difficult to rank for. Due to competition, Short-Tail Keywords have lower conversion rates and cost more to rank.  

Here are some examples of Long-Tail Keywords and Short-Tail Keywords, to know their difference.  

Local Keywords

Initially, let’s start with the Local Keywords. Generally, Local Keywords are specifically related to geographical locations. So, basically you need to go with Short-Tail Keywords and add local modifiers to get Long-Tail Keywords.  

Let’s use ‘Real Estate’ as an example for a Short-Tail Keyword and apply Localized Modifiers for a business based somewhere of Queen Anne, Seattle.  

Some of the Short-Tail, as well as some variations of Long-Tail Keywords, are; Real Estate, Washington Real Estate, Seattle Washington Real Estate, and Queen Anne Seattle Real Estate.   

Note: The results for the Keyword Research Data followed may mismatch later, based on the search volume. So, consider the data as an example.   

Keyword Data: 

For Real Estate, the Keyword Density: 97, Search Volume: 284K, Clicks: 158, 927 

For Washington Real Estate, the Keyword Density: 11, Search Volume: 1.3K, Clicks: 887 

Seattle Washington Real Estate, the Keyword Density: 42, Search Volume: 300, Clicks: 297 

Queen Anne Seattle Real Estate, the Keyword Density: 0, Search Volume: 100   

You can observe that the Keyword’s Search Volume and competition increase with its generality. 

 This is due to the fact that “Washington Real Estate” is more general and can be used in more contexts than “Queen Anne Seattle Real Estate”. 

 Additionally, this explains why more targeted terms have higher conversion rates. You are more likely to click on a website if it is nearby, if you live in Queen Anne, Seattle and are looking for a Real Estate Agent. 

 Gaining more clicks by being ranked number one for “Seattle Washington Real Estate” is advantageous. However, since more companies will be attempting to rank for it, it will be more difficult to rank #1. Additionally, you’ll see a decrease in clickthrough rate. 

Digital Products

Now, let’s go with the Digital Products, “WordPress Themes” as an example.  

Examples for the Short and Long Tail Keywords are, WordPress Themes, WordPress Themes for Blog, Free Responsive WordPress Themes for Blog.  

Keyword Data:

WordPress Themes – the Keyword Density: 83, Search Volume: 52k, Clicks: 44,677 

WordPress Themes for Blog – the Keyword Density:32, Search Volume: 40 

Free Responsive WordPress Themes for Blog – the Keyword Density: N/A, Search Volume: 0  

Once again, you can observe the progress of a Keyword as it grows longer and more precise on the graph. You should optimize your website to rank for the Short Tail Keyword if it offers WordPress themes. 

 That will increase the number of individuals who see your website and the number of clicks it receives overall. 

 However, you also aid in ranking for the Short-Tail Keyword when you optimize for the longer variations as well. This is because the seed Keyword is virtually always present in the Long-Tail Keywords. 

Long Tail Keywords or Short Tail Keywords

You might wonder if ranking for Short or Long Tail Keywords in the three scenarios is more valuable. Short Tail search terms could frighten you off because of the higher level of competition and awful conversion rates. Short-Tail Keywords, however, continue to have a lot more potential and are crucial for your company. Pros and Cons are listed below. 

Pros of Short-Tail Keywords 

  • Higher search volumes 
  • Great chance to place your website in front of potential customers.
  • More clicks and conversions for just one keyword.

Cons of ShortTail Keywords 

  • Pretty competitive to rank 
  • Wide range of user intent makes it more difficult to create the right content for users.
  • Lower click and conversion rates, higher cost per click.

Finally, optimizing your website for Short-Tail Keywords can give you more awareness of your brand’s total clicks. Long-Tail Keywords, on the other hand, give you higher converting traffic for less effort and cost. Obviously, choosing and determining the Keywords for organic search results is not an easy thing. Instead, it is a hassle with the toughest tasks in SEO and PPC. You can hire a Digital Marketing Agency like InfinityHub to hand off the SEO. Get your Free Proposal and Strategy Plan for your business. Get in touch today.   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *