Short Tail and Long Tail Keyword – Which is better?

Editorial Team

Keyword Research

A long tail and short tail keyword are a topic or idea that someone searches on the search engine browser to find the content they are looking for.

It can be a phrase or a word that accurately describes the content.

When searching for content, image, or video on search engines, they use phrases or search queries to find relevant results.

You may be wondering, why should learn about keywords? Why they are important? And why marketing teams are convinced about the advantages of keywords in the business sectors?

Well, in this post, you will learn why keywords are important, why you should include the long tail short tail keyword in your blog posts, and why it is more effective than short tail keywords.

Why Keywords are Important?

Keywords play a significant role in marketing to target relevant audiences.

It helps your website rank top on the search results and drives more organic traffic on your web page. Using relevant keywords, you can promote your brand through SEO marketing.

Also, you can promote your brand by placing pay-per-click ads on specific keywords.

So, when the target audience searches those keywords, they’ll find your brand on the top searches.

If you heard about Google Ads before and had no clue what it is, it is a pay-per-click advertising solution.

SEO Keywords

But, SEO marketing isn’t as simple as it looks. A successful search strategy starts by choosing the right types of keywords.

When you have relevant types of keywords in the basket, you can generate qualified leads, increase website traffic, and boost brand conversion.

Eventually, it will positively influence your short and long-term business goals.

A notable technique to find relevant keywords for your marketing campaign relies on keyword segmentation. Creating segments help you to evaluate and choose the right keywords.

Types of Keywords

You can divide keywords into different types. But, the best approach is to choose keywords according to their length. There are two major types of keywords based on length. These are:

  • Short tail keywords
  • Longtail keywords

What are Short Tail Keywords?

Short tail keywords contain three or less than three words. These keywords focus on broad topics instead of specific ones.

For instance, “Real Estate Prices” are three words and are considered short tail keywords.

This is a broad topic that targets wide groups of people. But, these are not specific to a certain group that might be interested in purchasing real estate property in New York.

Often marketing teams use short tail keywords as seeds to find several long tail keywords.

There are few alternative names for short tail keywords. These are –

  • Broad keywords
  • Focus keywords
  • Head keywords
  • Seed keywords

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords are phrases with more than three words. These keywords are more specific and target a certain group of people.

The major difference between long tail and short tail keywords in SEO is the relevancy of the target audience.

Suppose a person is looking for a real estate property in New York. But, if they search “Real Estate Prices”, they won’t find results relevant to their neighborhood.

Meanwhile, if they search “Real Estate Prices in New York City, they will come across results that contain real estate listings relevant to New York City.

People who search for long tail keywords are aware of the search process. That’s why they use specific keywords instead of broad topics.

Long Tail vs. Short Tail Keywords: Comparison

ProTip – If you want a relevant or targeted audience to land on your web page, you must prefer longtail keywords.

But, let’s take this long tail vs. short tail keywords comparison to another level and understand why long-tail keywords are better.

Difficult to rank

Since short tail keywords target broad topics, these are highly competitive. This indicates that it is quite difficult to rank your website on Google’s top search results using these keywords.

Meanwhile, long tail keywords are specific and require less effort and time from your marketing team to achieve top rank.

Let’s understand this with a clear example

Suppose you have a retail store at a mall in San Francisco where you sell men’s shoes.

If you run a Google Ads campaign with a short tail keyword such as “Buy Men Shoes”, you will have difficulty ranking such keywords for your business on top Google searches because of high competition.

A plethora of businesses might be using the same common keyword to grab the attention of the audience.

On the other hand, if you will use long tail keywords, such as “Buy Men Shoes in San Francisco”, you will experience little or no competition to rank on top search. Perhaps you might acquire the first position in the Google search.

Learn more on keyword difficulty – What is Keyword Difficulty & How is it Calculated?

Higher ROI

Another benefit of using long tail keywords is that you can achieve high ROI or Return on Investment.

When you target a certain group of people or targeted audience, you are more likely to convert prospects into sales.

In other words, when your target audience is small but relevant, you can boost more sales than targeting a huge group of unrelated people.

Think why a person in Melbourne will contact your business when your retail store is located in San Francisco.

If that person won’t find relevant results with a short tail keyword, they will try long-tail keywords, such as “Buy Men Shoes in Melbourne”.

As a result, your SEO marketing campaign won’t be a success. Therefore, choosing specific long tail keywords is highly important for the success of your campaign.

Choosing a long tail keyword

The choice of long-tail keywords relies on your topic or idea. The effective approach would be to create a list of long-tail keywords and spread them strategically throughout your site.

Keep in mind that optimizing your website with a single keyword is not SEO-healthy.

Google’s algorithm to determine page ranking is quite strict. So, if your website won’t meet with Google’s Search Engine Optimization Guide, you won’t qualify for the top position.

Therefore, it is recommended that you create a list of long-tail keywords and spread them across your website. While choosing the list of keywords, you should consider the number of web pages on your site and the search results of your targeted audience.

Various SEO tools can help to create a list of relevant long-tail keywords.

Check out this blog on –

Local keyword

If you are a local brand with a retail store, you can add “near me” to your long-tail keywords to attract an audience in the neighborhood.

For instance, you can use “Popular Coffee Shop and Café Near Me”. So the people in your neighborhood looking for a coffee shop can find your café.


Long tail and short tail keywords are important to increase traffic on your website. That said, the solution for competition around major keywords is using long tail keywords.

These keywords are more specific than short-tail keywords and are highly advantageous to bringing an organic and relevant audience to your website.

Therefore, if you want to connect with your targeted audience, you should incorporate relevant long-tail keywords throughout your website.

Learn more about keywords and related marketing blogs or reach out to the marketing team for a consultation. Drop us your queries.

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