Which are best for your SEO strategy— Long Tail Or Short Tail Keywords?

Which are best for your SEO strategy— Long Tail Or Short Tail Keywords?

Building an SEO Strategy:

Having an SEO strategy has become imperative for businesses that are online or plan to go online. A strong SEO strategy will help your website show up on Google’s search engine faster than your competitor’s website, which will subsequently drive more sales and hence more conversions. To build an effective SEO strategy, it is important for you to have a basic understanding of how keywords work, but more importantly than that, it is important to question yourself about your objective: What exactly are you trying to achieve?

  • Getting visitors to buy from you?
  • Increased traffic i.e. greater number of visitors to your website?

Once you have settled on a goal, you will have to determine the keywords to work in line with your SEO strategy.

Here are a few brief steps to building an effective SEO strategy:

  • Make a list of topics/words/phrases associated with your product or service. You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to identify their search volume.
  • Make a List of Long-Tail Keywords Based on These Topics
  • Create a webpage for each topic
  • Set up a blog
  • Post on the blog regularly to develop domain authority
  • Create a location-based link-building plan; for instance, if you provide Marketing and SEO services in Orlando, optimize your SEO according to that.
  • Stay updated on latest SEO practices and developments
  • Keep tracking the success of your SEO strategy


The second question is whether you should make use of long tail keywords or short tail keywords to optimize your website. First, let us develop a fundamental understanding of what long tail and short tail keywords mean and how they work.

Understanding Long Tail Keywords

If you want your site to show up when users search online to buy a particular item, use long tail keywords.

According to neilpatel.com, a staggering 70% of searches online consist of long tail keywords. Unlike short tail keywords, long tail keywords consist of phrases or more than 3 words.

When it comes to long tail keywords, you have to be very specific and careful. Don’t expect to get as many users as you would if you had used short tail keywords because due to lesser traffic, the chance of making higher conversions will be extremely low. However, the visitors that will end up on your website will be more relevant to your product, because they’ll know what they’re looking for and will come with a higher intent to purchase it.

The Pros and Cons of Long Tail Keywords


  • Higher conversion rates
  • Higher intent for purchases
  • Lower competition


  • Lowest possible search volume


Understanding Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords, also referred to as “head terms”, contain no more than one to three words. Even though these keywords can generate a lot of traffic to your website, they are difficult to get a hold of and require a lot of hard work, time, and consistency, since there is a lot of competition as it is. That is one of the reasons why business owners often choose to hire an agency to take care of their SEO needs because they find it difficult to dedicate their own time to SEO and its technicalities.

The real challenge that lies with short tail keywords is that if your website is new, or if you have never used SEO before, you will have a long way to go.

The Pros and Cons of Short Tail Keywords


  • Higher search volume


  • Lower conversion rate
  • Lower intent for purchases
  • Highest possible competition

Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords

The answer to long tail vs. short tail keywords is simple – it depends on your objective. The clearer you are on what you aim to achieve, the better you will be able to choose.

By taking a closer look at the two options, you will see there is a relationship between high competition and cost against the probability of conversions for long tail and short tail keywords.

As mentioned earlier, 70% of online searches consist of long tail keywords, because users also understand that there is a higher chance of them ending up on a relevant website that has what they are looking for if they type what they want in detail

At the same time, you must optimize your website using short tail keywords as well. The purpose of this approach is to cover all bases. If you play your cards right, your website will be positioned at the very top for long tail searches, meaning you will attract visitors with high intent for purchase, while climbing the ranks for short tail keywords too, so that the number of people becoming aware of your brand and product keeps increasing.

If you manage to successfully optimize your website for short tail keywords, you will also see your SEO improve by leaps and bounds. In turn, it will also help your website’s ranking for long tail keywords due to high click-through rates and increased traffic.


All in all, it really falls on how well you have used the right mixture of keywords to make your SEO strategy successful.

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