When it comes to on-page SEO, keyword research is one of the biggest factors in determining your SEO success or failure. When deciding which keywords to use, you’ll need to do some homework and research before deciding which ones to go for.

Short Tail or Long Tail Keywords?

A keyword can be either a short or a long tail keyword. Keywords that have over two or three words in it can be considered a long tail. If a search term has less than three words, it is often regarded as a focus keyword or a short tail keyword.

When you perform Keyword search and analyze search volumes of various keyword lengths, chances are short tail keywords will have a higher amount of monthly searches in comparison to long tail search terms. Despite being seemingly less popular, long tail keywords often can bring more targeted traffic to your website that will convert better compared to shorter keywords or focus keywords.

Short tail

Examples of long-tail keywords include: “summer women’s athletic apparel,” “super Blu Ray HD DVD combo player,” or “white diamond engagement ring.” Long tail keywords are obviously a lot more specific than short tail keywords; as a marketer this actually can work very much in your favor. But there are pros and cons to both types of keywords.

As keywords get longer, search volume becomes lower. However, all other metrics such as conversion rates go in favor of long tail keywords.

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Short tail keywords

Short tail keywords have several things working for and against them. For example if you are trying to drive a lot of traffic to your site, you should use short tail keywords. The challenge here is that if your site is “new” or if your search efforts are just beginning you are getting at the back of a very long line.

Volume: High

Competition: High

Focus: Low

There is also the issue of your search not being “targeted.” People searching for “DVD” may be looking for a player to buy but they also may be looking for a DVD player to rent, a DVD film, a DVD reproduction service, a list of DVD rentals and the like. You are going up against names like Samsung, Sony, and Amazon when you simply search DVD.

Cost: High

Conversion Rate: Low

While those one or two customers may be your bread and butter, the truth is that you may have more luck and less noise if you opted for long tail keywords.

Marketing Strategies

Conducting keyword research to find long tail keywords around a specific niche can be a fruitful marketing tactic, specifically in advertising and SEO.

Long tail keywords are more specific, so searchers are more likely to know what they are looking for and therefore more likely to buy something.

n online advertising, longer search phrases are also less competitive. In other words, more advertisers are bidding to place ads on the most popular  search engine result pages. This is also true when it comes to organic SEO efforts, with less competition for these queries,it can be easy to get ranking than for shorter, more popular searches.

Pinning advertising to long tail keywords can be a better return on investment. You can see better results from bidding on many long tail keywords rather than wasting your budget on one or two highly competitive phrases.

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