Long Tail Keywords vs. Short Tail Keywords

Every successful SEO campaign uses keywords as the main foundation. There are two things that you should heed when picking keywords, search volume, and relevancy.

You may be wondering:

Is it okay to go after high search volume keywords?

No, especially if you are a small business that has just launched its website, it will take a long time (years) before you begin to see traction.

So, which is the way to go?

You should center on those keywords that are not as competitive but have search volume. These are the keywords that include 3 or more words better known as long tail keywords.

Many businesses and marketers are using long tail keywords frequently.

The following is a comparison of long tail keywords vs. short tail keywords:

Short tail keyword – beach hotel

Long tail keyword – beach hotel in Miami for relaxing

Your search results will be more actual in the second example compared to the first one. Reason being, the short tail keyword has plenty of competition. Alternatively, the long tail keyword example is much more targeted and is likely to have the best results and click-through rates.

In this article, we are going to look at the importance of long tail keywords. This will make you comprehend what long tail keywords are and why you should use them for better SEO.

Less Competition

If you own a small business with a new website, it will be difficult for you to rank with typical keywords due to the competition from well-established and large companies that offer the same services or products as you.

Here’s one example:

If you’re a small business selling customizable management software, the keyword “software” gets more traffic than “school management software” but this long tail keyword has much less competition.

Higher Conversion Rate

People or businesses that use long tail keywords are on the lookout for something specific and have dedicated time for research to narrow down their search. Short tail keywords won’t give you higher conversion rates because searchers are still in research mode and might not know what they want.

Back to our example:

If the long tail keyword “school management software” brings someone to your webpage that describes management software for schools, that page is more likely to convert.

Keeps Things Natural

Thousands of blogs are launched every day in different niches for sharing content. Some of the content is similar and in order to rank, many are forced to stuff keywords into the content. This is not a good strategy.

You might be wondering:

What should I do to get good traffic for my keywords?

The best strategy is to naturally fix your keywords. The keywords that are incorporated naturally are the long tail keywords.

Today, Google can penalize you for using the same keywords over and over again. These overused keywords are known as spammer keywords.

Learn how to use long tail keywords and you will improve the natural flow of your posts.

Less Expensive for PPC

Search engine optimization is a long-term process, investing in Pay Per Click (PPC) helps to get more traffic on a direct basis.

However, PPC is not cheap, especially if you’re targeting very competitive phrases.

The solution for this problem is targeting long tail keywords for your PPC campaign. Long tail keywords have less competition, meaning they will be less expensive but should bring traffic to your website.


When your SEO campaign starts to pick up, scale back on PPC efforts.

Makes it Easy to Connect with the Audience

Content that is written with long tail keywords makes it easy for you to connect with the audience.

These days, good content is key to a successful SEO campaign. If you focus on publishing good content, search engines will rate you highly.

The long tail keywords in your niche act as a clue to the information that people are searching for in your niche. If you write high-quality content with long tail keywords in mind, you will come up with content that helps you connect with your audience in a way that short tail keywords won’t.

Remarkable Search Volume

Long tail keywords have remarkable search volume because many people often elaborate on what he/she is looking for.

An example:

A person searching for phones will include the price range. This makes up a long keyword that will present the favored results.

Also, Google revealed that keywords with 3 to 4 words are mostly searched compared to a single keyword.

When starting your SEO campaign, it would be a good idea to carry out keyword research to get useful long tail keywords. Once you get your keywords, keep checking your analytics to see the long tail keywords that are bringing traffic to certain pages of your website or blog. Once you get these keywords, use them everywhere they are relevant.