short tail vs long tail keywords

Short Tail vs Long Tail Keywords – Which Should You Use?

Keywords – the life blood of search engines. But which keywords should you be using on your website to get the most visitors and appear at the top of Google?

The first question you need to ask yourself is, what do you want? More visitors coming to your website or more visitors ready to buy from you?

The next thing you need to know is the different type of keywords you can use. After you’ve done your keyword research, finding the best keywords related to your business, you’ll have a good list to whittle down. Your list will be made up of short tail and long tail keywords and you need to figure out which ones to use for an effective SEO strategy.

So which keywords should you use?

Short Tail Keywords

Do you want to drive a lot of visitors to your website? Using short tail keywords will often be the most effective way to do this. The challenge with short tail keywords is if you’re just starting out and never done any SEO work before you’ll be joining the back of a long queue.

Short tail keywords are generally more competitive and harder to rank. But with a bit of hard work it is possible to rank for these.

An example of a short tail keyword is “trainers”. Although it’s a highly competitive keyword it would generate thousands of visitors if you could rank for this keyword on Google.

Long Tail Keywords

More than 70% of internet searches are made up of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are more descriptive and allow you to target specific demographics.

The challenge with long tail keywords is that they are more specific. You’ll receive less visitors to your website, but the visitors you do acquire are searching with a higher intent to purchase. This means you’re more likely to get a conversion on your website and turn your visitors into paying customers.

An example of a long tail keyword is “Adidas Yeezy Boost trainers”. This keyword is less competitive which means it’ll be easier to rank your website in Google, but there is a higher intent to purchase. From this phrase you know that they are searching for a specific brand and type of trainer. If your web page is optimised for this phrase and is found on Google, the visitor will land on the exact page they were searching for.

Compare this to a short tail keyword search. The visitor would land on a page optimised for “trainers”. This could be any brand or type of trainer, making the search less effective.

Long Tail Keywords vs Short Tail Keywords

Which Should You Use?

If you take a look at the image above you can see the relationship between the competition and conversion rates for short tail and long tail keywords. The best approach is to use a mixture of short and long tail keywords, this way you can capture the searches with a high intent to purchase but also climb the ranks for short tail searches.

The best way to introduce long tail keywords to your website is to create content with a minimum of 300 words per page. The longer the content, the more opportunity you’ll have to include long tail keywords naturally.

If you do have success with ranking short tail keywords this will improve your overall SEO and help your long tail keywords rank because you’ll be receiving more traffic and higher click through rates.

What Next?

If you’re looking to increase your website visibility and visitors, using the correct short and long tail keywords is the key to success. We can take the stress out of choosing the best keywords to use and apply them to your website, increasing your visitors and customers.

Email us or call 0161 791 0100 if you’d like to know more about our SEO services.

3 thoughts on “Short Tail vs Long Tail Keywords – Which Should You Use?”

  1. Keyword research is essential part of search engine optimization and search marketing. As both users and search engine depends on keywords to find out about your site.
    Selecting correct keywords either long tail & Short tail which match your content means your site is optimized for showing up in search engine results whenever someone searches for those keywords or phrases.

  2. I would have to say – use both. It’s good if you can rank high for a competitive keyword, but to not target more specific queries is a loss. After all, most second-attempt, refined queries tend to target long tails, not to mention voice searches.

  3. Thank you for this revealing post. Since I started blogging I have focused completely on long tail keywords. And I agree while the traffic is low, conversion is high. I will start incorporating short tails henceforth to see how the traffic will go. But, I think if your blog or site focus has a buyer intent, then a laser-focused keyword may be better; except where your interest is in the general or broad term. In the end, I think it’s all about experiment and drive.

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