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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 requires some research, determining which keywords will be used in your campaign, begging the question – how to use short-tail or long-tail keywords?

    Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords Defined

    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

    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.

    Long-tail keywords are more than three words, considerably more targeted and more specific. Long-tail keywords won’t return as much 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

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

    The Pros and Cons – AKA What’s the Difference?

    When you want to make a big impression, 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 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 searches 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 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 into content, 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 Campaign Success

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

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