Short-Tail Keywords (also known as head keywords or head terms) usually consist of one or two words. They relate to very broad topics and are usually entered into search engines by users at the very beginning of their search.
Since Short-Tail Keywords are very broadly diversified, they have a high Search volume and are therefore also very competitive, which makes it difficult to rank for them.
Examples of short-tail keywords
An example of a short-tailKeyword is "vacation resort". Users who enter this term into Google are usually in the first research phase.
The broad term "vacation destination" can be refined with descriptive words, such as "Vacation destinations in India," "Best summer vacation destinations in the world," "Cheap vacation destinations," "Family-friendly vacation destinations," etc.
"Running shoes" is another example of a generic term. It could be refined as "running shoes for women", "running shoes for pronation" or "best running shoes for beginners".
What is the difference between short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords?
While Short-Tail Keywords are broad and concise, are Long Tail Keywords specific and usually consist of more than three words.
Long Tail Keywords are usually entered into search engines by users who are looking for something very specific and are approaching the final stage of the purchase funnel.
In the example above, "best running shoes for beginners" or "family-friendly vacation destinations" would be long-tail keywords.
Long tail keywords have a lower Search volume as Short-Tail Keywords and are therefore less contested and easier to rank for, making them an important part of any Keyword-strategy.
Here is a table with 10 examples in which Short Tail Keywords (short, general search terms) and long tail keywords (long, specific search terms):
|Short Tail Keyword
|Long Tail Keyword
|Red sports shoes ladies size 39
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 128 GB Blue
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Ultrabook
|DeLonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110.B fully automatic coffee maker
|Fitness studio Berlin with yoga classes
|Vegetarian pizza with goat cheese
|Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses Polarized Lenses
|7 days round trip Ireland
|Trekking bike with 28 inch frame
|Wedding photographer Munich vintage style
In this table the Short Tail Keywords general terms, while long tail keywords represent more detailed and specific search queries. Long tail keywords tend to be less competitive and can achieve better conversion rates because they are more closely aligned with user needs.
What keywords should you use in your SEO strategy?
Short Tail Keywords (Short Keywords)
- What they are: Short, snappy keywords, usually one or two words, like "cell phone" or "sneakers."
- When you should work them into your SEO strategy:
- Increase awareness: You can reach a lot of people with Short Tails. They are great for increasing brand awareness.
- Big budgets: If you have the resources for staying power. The competition for these keywords is brutal. It can take a lot of time, content and money to rank here.
- Already high domain authority: If your website is already recognized as an authority in your industry, you can leverage the power to get into the SERPs (search engine results pages) for short tails to climb to the top.
Long Tail Keywords (Long Keywords)
- What they are: Longer, more specific keywords, often three words or more, like "iPhone 12 Pro Max leather case" or "vegan hiking boots for women."
- When you should work them into your SEO strategy:
- Targeted Traffic: People who use long tail keywords often know exactly what they want. This makes them perfect candidates for conversions.
- Niche Approach: If you operate in a specific niche or write for a specific audience, long tails are perfect.
- Less competition: Especially if you're just starting out or have a limited budget, long tails are your friend. Less competition means you see results faster.
- Content strategy: If you produce a blog or regular content. With Long Tails, you can create super detailed and helpful content that addresses the exact questions and needs of your target audience.
At the beginning of your SEO journey or when you are just building a new website, long tail keywords are usually the best place to start. They help you achieve visible results quickly, and you can benefit from this high-quality Traffic benefit.
Then, as you begin to build authority in your field, and your site becomes more Traffic and Backlinks gets, you can gradually Short Tail Keywords tackle. That's the moment when you really take off and get the big Traffic can pick up!
So think of long tails as your foundation and short tails as the roof of your SEO house. You start with the foundation and build your way up. Good luck with that! 🚀📈
How to use short-tail keywords
To increase your chances of attracting a customer - whether through organic search or paid search - it's best to include in your Keyword-strategy, you can use different types of keywords that target different audiences at each stage of the sales funnel. This way you can reach a wider range of people.
Short-Tail Keywords should be used as a thematic Keyword that appears over and over again on your website. Although the goal is not necessarily to rank for these keywords, they add context to your web content and help search engines define page topics.
Short Tail Keywords or Long Tail Keywords?
Both Short Tail Keywords and long tail keywords have their advantages and disadvantages. When you should focus on which one depends on several factors, such as your business model, industry, competition, and SEO goals. Here are some reasons when you should focus on Short Tail Keywords or long tail keywords:
Short Tail Keywords:
- Awareness and visibility: If you want to increase awareness and visibility of your brand or business, you can Short Tail Keywords help, as they usually have a high Search volume have
- Large target audience: If you want to appeal to a broad audience, you can Short Tail Keywords be useful. These general terms appeal to a variety of users who may be interested in your product or service.
- Strong competition: If you are in a highly competitive industry and have the financial and human resources to appear in organic search results for Short Tail Keywords to compete, you can focus on that.
Long Tail Keywords:
- Higher conversion rates: Long tail keywords are more specific and fit better to the needs of the users. Therefore, these users are more likely to become customers when they reach your website.
- Less competition: Long tail keywords are usually less competitive because they are more specific. This means that you can potentially achieve good rankings in search results faster and easier.
- Niche markets: If you operate in a niche market or offer specialized products or services, long tail keywords can be very effective. They help you reach exactly those users who are interested in your offer.
- Content marketing strategy: Long tail keywords are great for a content marketing strategy because they help you create valuable content that is tailored to the exact needs of your target audience.
Ideally, you should have both Short Tail Keywords as well as long tail keywords in your SEO strategy. Short Tail Keywords can help you reach a broad audience and increase your brand's visibility, while long-tail keywords help improve your conversion rates and provide more targeted Traffic to generate. A balanced combination of both Keyword-species is often the key to success.
Conclusion on Short Tail Keywords
The use of Short Tail Keywords in SEO is comparable to casting a large net into the ocean of search queries. There is a chance to catch many different fish (users) who are interested in the more general terms. Although this method is rather less targeted and is subject to high competition among the other "fishers" (competitors), it can still be valuable in increasing brand awareness and reaching a wider audience.
Short Tail Keywords are like the main streets of a city, where most of the traffic is. They attract a large amount of visitors, but the chances that these visitors will find exactly what they are looking for are lower than for the more specific long tail keywords, which correspond more to the small side streets where the unique stores and boutiques are located.
A good balance of short tail and long tail keywords is like a good mix of basic ingredients and spices in cooking. The Short Tail Keywords form the foundation on which you can build, while the long tail keywords add that extra something to give your SEO menu a custom touch and target your audience.
Overall, the use of Short Tail Keywords in SEO is an important part of any holistic Search engine optimizations strategy. However, they should always be used in combination with long-tail keywords and a well thought-out content marketing strategy in order to be successful in the long term and to exploit the full potential of search engine optimization.« Back to Glossary Index