Long tail vs short tail keywords | Pros and cons | Benefits

Long tail vs short tail keywords. Here are the Pros and cons of Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords, benefit in detail with definition and example. Know the meaning and start research.

Which ones should you be using on your website? So, the first question you have to ask yourself is what do you want to achieve from your website? Do you want lots of visitors or do want people ready to buy from you? 


Long tail vs short tail keywords

Long tail vs short tail keywords

Short Tail Keywords definition


Short tail keywords are search phrases containing one to three words. If you want to attract lots of visitors to your website then optimizing for short-tail keywords is the most effective way to do this. 

However, if you've never done any SEO before or it's a new website, you'd be joining the back of the long queue to get to page one. For this example, we'll use a footwear website. Ideal short tail keywords will be; trainers, Adidas trainers, and women's Adidas trainers. As you can see they're quite general searches. 

Pros and cons of using short tail keywords


One of the pros is that it has a high search volume, which means you are getting lots of visitors to your website. 

The cons are that its high competition which means that your competitors will want to rank on page one for the same keyword, there will be a low intent to purchase because it's a general search and there'll be a low conversion rate because the visitor will land on a general page.

In summary short tail keywords have a high search volume but also highly competitive and harder to rank in Google. But with a bit of hard work, patience, and strategy it is possible to rank above your competitors. 

Long tail keywords 


Long tail keywords are search phrases containing more than three words. 
  • Single word phrases: Cat
  • 2-3 Word phrases: White cat
  • Long tail keywords: White colored cat picture 

Benefits of Long tail keywords

The beauty of long tail keywords is that 70% of searches on Google and made up of long-tail keywords. Sticking with our footwear website, ideal long tail keywords would be Adidas Yeezy Boost trainers or Adidas trainers designed by Kanye West. 

Challenge with long tail keywords

The challenge with long tail keywords is that they're more specific. They have a lower search volume they're short tail keywords, but and it's a big but, the visitor will land on the specific page and have a higher intent to purchase. Don't forget that if you've not optimized your site for long tail keywords you're going to be missing out on these opportunities. 

Pros and cons of long tail keywords

One of the pros is that there is low competition, which means that everyone's going to be ranking for these keywords. There's going to be a higher intent to purchase because the customer is searching for a specific item and there's going to be a higher conversion rate because the visitor is going to land on the page they are looking for. 

And the cons are that there's a low search volume. Long-tail keywords account for 70% of Google searches, so the best strategy is to optimize for long-tail keywords, and that way you can catch customers searching for something specific. If you optimize for long-tail keywords then by default you'll be also optimizing for short-tail keywords so you'll cover all bases. You'll be ranked high for long-tail keyword searches capturing customers with high intent to purchase also you'll start to climb the ranks for short-tail keywords increasing your organic traffic. 

How can you apply this to your website? 

Well in my opinion optimizing for long-tail keyword searches is a great start if you're a brand new website or if you've never done SEO before. Targeting long-tail searches will get you ranking quickly in Google and also increase your organic traffic. If you do have to rank for your short tail keyword it is possible but it's just going to take time to get to page one. 

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