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  • In today’s digital world, social engagement and interaction are key to successful advertising and marketing. The goal is to stand out from your competition, understand your target audience, and connect with them in the long term. This means relevance in advertising, especially regarding internet advertising and website landing pages, beginning with the successful use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The success or failure of your SEO strategy requires some keyword research, determining which keywords will be used in your campaign, begging the question – what is the difference between long tail and short tail keywords? And how are they used?

    Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords

    If you’re new to the world of Google search and SEO, you may have heard the terms “long tail” and “short tail” keywords thrown around. Essentially, short tail keywords are shorter phrases that are more general in nature, while long tail keywords are longer phrases that are more specific.

    What Are Short-Tail Keywords

    Before deciding on which to use for your advertising campaign, it is important to understand the difference. Short-tail keywords are a maximum of three words, like:

    • Birthday cake
    • Pineapple necklace
    • 1939 food prices

    birthday cake google search

    Also known as “head terms” these are the first words which come to mind when deciding where to eat “sushi” or “gluten-free pizza”, finding a birthday gift for grandma (“bracelet charms” or “petite women’s apparel”), or where to take your furry friends on a walk (“dog parks” or “dog-friendly hikes”). Short-tail keywords are broad in scope and return large amounts of traffic, often way more than you were targeting.

    What Are Long-Tail Keywords

    Long-tail keywords are more than three words, considerably more targeted and more specific. Long-tail keywords won’t return as much organic traffic but will attract the traffic you were targeting. Examples include:

    • 80th birthday bracelet charms
    • Gluten-free make your own pizza
    • Easy dog-friendly hikes near me

    gluten free pizza google search

    For marketing and advertising, long-tail keywords are often most favorable – but both have positive and negative attributes.

    The Pros and Cons

    When you want to make a big impression on the first search engine results page (serp), both long-tail and short-tail keywords can work to your advantage. Many long-tail keywords used together in a campaign can mean substantial volume while generic short-tail keywords will drive loads of search traffic to your site.

    Long-tail keywords have a higher CTR (click-through rate) generally because of less competition (fewer search returns). In turn, this means lower CPC (cost per click) as low-bidders mean lower prices, plus long-tail keyword search queries results in higher positions. Long-tail keywords often result in a higher conversion rate simply because you are attracting more of your targeted audience with more specific keywords – you are engaging them, often when they are in decision-making mode and ready to make a purchase.

    But what about the bottom line – ROI (return on investment)? Regarding website content, when you create original content intended to connect with your target audience (no matter how narrow), the long-tail keywords will come naturally as part of the conversation. As your audience is engaged, more visitors will follow, and your organic long-tail keywords will reach further.

    Short-tail keywords are easy to develop for your content strategy, but you need to ensure these short-tail keywords flow easily, not awkwardly, into the subject matter. Having keywords that fit naturally, will increase your quality score as well as your relevance among your audience members.

    Finding the Right Keywords for SEO Success

    Doing your research and knowing your target audience will aid you in the selection of the best long tail and short tail keywords for your business. Should you need assistance, please contact us to optimize your next campaign for success.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which type of keywords should I use for my business?

    The type of SEO keywords you should use for your business depends on a variety of factors, including your target audience, industry, and business goals. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to focus on long-tail keywords that are specific to your products or services and lower search volume and low competition.

    Which is better long-tail or short-tail keywords?

    If you’re looking to cast a wide net and attract a large audience, short-tail keywords may be the way to go. If you’re looking to target a specific niche or audience with highly relevant content, long-tail keywords may be a better fit. Ultimately, it’s important to research your audience and competition and choose the keywords that will best help you reach your goals.

    How do you come up with long-tail keywords for your website?

    To come up with long-tail keywords for your website, start by brainstorming words and phrases that are related to your business or industry. Consider using keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify relevant keyword suggestions and their search volume. Think about user intent when searchers look up your focus keywords.

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