June 11, 2023

Difference Between Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords in SEO

difference between long tail and short tail keywords in seo

Table of Contents

As the core of any search term, keywords are essential to search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding the difference between long tail and short tail keywords in SEO is crucial for effective keyword optimization. We shall examine each sort of keyword’s properties, advantages, and recommended procedures in this blog post. The success or failure of your SEO plan necessitates some keyword research in order to choose which keywords will be employed in your campaign, which begs the question, “What is the difference between long tail and short tail keywords?” And how are they put to use?

What is Long Tail Keyword Research?

long tail keywords

The difference between long tail and short tail keywords comes down to popularity. Specific keyword phrases that are longer and more descriptive than general search terms are referred to as long tail keywords. These highly focused keywords often include three words or more. They correctly represent the user’s search intent and are typically more precise.

Definition of Short Tail Keywords

short tail keyword research

Short tail keywords, on the other hand, are shorter and more generic keyword phrases that consist of one or two words. These keywords ideas tend to have a broader scope and are more competitive due to their popularity.

The differentiation of Search Volume and Competition

Long Tail Keywords

When it comes to the difference between long tail and short tail keywords in seo then the differentiation of search volume and competition need to be discussed as well. Long tail keywords generally have lower search volumes compared to short tail keywords and are easier to rank. However, they also have lower competition. The search traffic may be lower because they are more specific and cater to a niche audience.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords often have higher search volumes due to their generic nature. However, they also face intense competition, making it harder to achieve a top ranking for these keywords.

How to Choose Long Tail Keywords? Specificity and Intent

When we write about the difference between specificity and intent during the discussion of difference between long tail and short tail keywords in SEO, it is important to know the following topics bellow:  

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords excel at providing specific search results that align with the user’s intent. As these keywords are highly targeted, they attract users who are more likely to convert or take specific actions. For example, a long tail keyword like “best hiking boots for women with ankle support” clearly indicates the user’s intention and provides a specific solution.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are more general and can cover a wider range of topics. While they may attract a larger audience, the intent behind these keywords can be less clear. For instance, a short tail keyword like “hiking boots” can encompass various aspects, including reviews, buying guides, or general information.

The difference Between Conversion Rate and Relevance

It is important to know the difference Between Conversion Rate and Relevance  when we elaborate the topic discussion about the difference between long tail and short tail keywords in SEO.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords often lead to higher conversion rates. Since they target specific queries, the content or products associated with these keywords are more relevant to the user’s needs. This relevance increases the likelihood of users engaging further and completing desired actions.

Short Tail Keywords

While short tail keywords may generate more traffic, their conversion rates can be lower due to their broader nature. The relevance of the content or products might not be as precise, resulting in lower engagement and conversion rates.

Targeting Strategies of Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords in SEO


Long Tail Keywords

In SEO, long tail keyword research is highly effective for targeting niche markets and specific user segments. By optimizing content around long tail keywords, businesses can attract a highly interested audience with a higher chance of conversion. Additionally, long tail keywords can help establish authority within a specific domain.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are valuable for capturing a broader audience and increasing brand visibility. They are often used for building brand awareness and attracting users at the top of the sales funnel. However, due to their competitiveness, it can be more challenging to achieve high rankings for these keywords.

The Differentiation of User Experience and Engagement of Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords in SEO


Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords contribute to a better user experience as they provide users with precise and relevant information. By addressing the user’s specific query, websites can increase engagement and encourage users to spend more time on their pages. This enhanced user experience can lead to increased satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Short Tail Keywords

While long tail keyword research may bring more traffic, it may not necessarily provide the best user experience. Users may see a range of search results that might not entirely meet their requirements. As a result, user engagement and happiness may be lower than with long tail keyword searches.

Difference between Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords in SEO: Content Creation and Optimization


Long Tail Keywords

Optimizing content around long tail keywords allows businesses to create highly focused and targeted content. This optimization can be achieved by incorporating the long tail keywords naturally throughout the content, including headings, subheadings, and body paragraphs. By catering to specific queries, businesses can provide in-depth and valuable information, thereby enhancing their chances of ranking well for long tail searches.

Short Tail Keywords

When optimizing content for short tail keywords, it is crucial to strike a balance between specificity and general relevance. Short tail keywords should be used strategically in headings, subheadings, and body text to demonstrate relevance. However, it is important to provide comprehensive and engaging content that covers multiple aspects of the topic.

Last but not least differentiation between Ranking and SERP Positioning

Long Tail Keywords

Achieving higher rankings for long tail terms can be comparatively easier due to lower competition. As a result, websites focusing on long tail SEO keywords can attain prominent positions on search engines results pages (SERPs) and attract qualified organic traffic. Over time, this strategy can contribute to higher domain authority and visibility in specific niche markets.

Short Tail Keywords

Ranking well for short tail keywords can be challenging due to high competition. It requires significant effort, authority, and comprehensive content to compete against established players. While short tail keywords can attract more traffic, ranking on the first page of SERPs may be more difficult, especially for newer websites.

Read More: The ultimate guide line of On-Page SEO Checker


In conclusion, both long tail and short tail keywords have their merits and can be used strategically in SEO campaigns. Long tail keywords offer specificity, higher conversion rates, and better user experiences, making them ideal for targeting niche markets. On the other hand, short tail keywords provide broader visibility and brand awareness but face more competition and may have lower conversion rates. By understanding the differences between these two types of keywords, businesses can develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that optimizes for both relevancy and reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

The choice between long tail and short tail keywords depends on your specific goals and target audience. Long tail keywords are effective for niche targeting and higher conversion rates, while short tail keywords offer broader visibility but face more competition.

To find long tail keywords SEO, you can use keyword research tools, analyze user queries, explore related Google search suggestions, and review competitor websites within your niche.

Ranking well for short tail keywords with a new website can be challenging due to high competition. It often requires time, effort, and a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes building authority and creating content.

Targeting both long-tail and short-tail keywords as part of a balanced approach is recommended. This gives you the ability to target certain niches while also raising awareness and attracting a larger audience.

To optimize content for long tail keywords, incorporate them naturally into headings, subheadings, and body text. Focus on providing valuable and comprehensive information that addresses the specific queries associated with the long tail SEO keywords.

Although exact low-volume searches that are just one or two words long (such as many brand names) are also regarded as long-tail keywords, long-tail keywords typically include at least three words owing to their specificity.


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