One of the most important part of search engine optimization is knowing what keywords to use and how to use them. All internet marketing outsourcing companies know about this and have done comprehensive research on the relevant keywords they have to use for every online marketing technique they implement – be it in content, ads, blogs or other marketing media. As most SEO experts will attest, keywords are critical in getting high ranking with major search engines.
For every SEO campaign, efforts will start with an extensive keyword research and analysis in order to identify the relevant keywords that will play a major role in achieving search engine rankings, increased site traffic, etc. During such research, search engine optimization professionals are bound to encounter two keyword terms – short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. These two words need to be understood clearly and what impact they have in SEO campaigns.
Short-tail keywords are more generic – with a much broader scope. A short-tail keyword is 1 to 2 word phrase. Such short phrase may refer to a very broad subject or topic. In SEO terms, short-tail keywords will generally be difficult to rank in search engines due to lack of specificity. They are widely used in the many websites running across the internet, and search engines are having difficulty deciphering which pages should rank for such widely used keywords.
To better illustrate and understand, finding a short-tail keyword for a law firm specializing in divorce, based in Chicago that is trying to attract customers within a 100 mile radius of its Chicago location, will lead to “attorney”, “Chicago attorney”, among others. If you key in the keyword “attorney” in Google search box, it will return with about 374 million global results. Doing the same for “Chicago attorney” will yield about 212 million global results. While these results could mean great traffic, the problem lies in making the keyword on your website rank with Google’s first SERP.
Internet users and consumers usually start their search for a product using short-tail keyword. When one doesn’t find the specific product being searched, more specific words will be used to help get the page wanted and needed up in the search engines results page. When you become more specific with your search, your keywords become longer and more targeted.
It will be more difficult and costly to survive the competitive market by using short-tail keywords. With many sites using the same, it will be difficult to guarantee fast ranking with search engines without investing so much time and money in building such keywords for your site or brand. Your site will definitely be included in the SERPs, but the question is which page will your site be?
Like search engine rankings, the conversions on short-tail keywords are not as high compared to more specific or long-tail keywords. This is because a searcher using a generic keyword to search for something will not likely stop with the search until they find the specific result. And to achieve that, the searcher will likely end up adding words to the broad keywords that will indicate specific qualities or characteristics of the item being searched for.
As such, search engine optimization specialist from online marketing firms would rather exert their effort using long-tail keyword as their primary keyword to easily rank websites, and then use short-tail keyword as secondary keyword to somehow help in increasing site traffic, site ranking and the much wanted conversions.