Long tail and short tail keywords explained

By November 28, 2011 July 16th, 2012 All members

keysWhat are long tail and short tail keywords? ‘Keywords’ = words / phrases used by search engines to find relevant web pages.

Some keywords are used frequently. Within SEO* these are known as ‘short tail keywords’. As they are so popular, it is relatively challenging to rank highly for them, within organic search results.

Other keywords are searched for less frequently. They are known as ‘long tail keywords’. Interestingly, according to Google, some 20% of the searches they see on a daily basis, have never been used before. It is quite possible to achieve page one rankings for long tail keyword phrases. However, the trick is to stay at the top and also to convert this traffic into business.

Within The Marketing Compass, we recommend that our members have an alphabetical list of keywords. Generally, it is a good idea to have a balance of popular (short tail, or ‘broad’) and less popular (long tail, or ‘narrow’) keywords / phrases within your website. However, your SEO strategy will depend on a variety of factors, including target market(s), geographical reach and the importance of SEO within your promotional mix.

If you have any questions about long tail and short tail keywords explained – as always – just ask.

* SEO Search Engine Optimisation – click here for a brief introduction.

Keywords are also used within SEM (Search Engine marketing or PPC Pay Per Click marketing), i.e Google AdWords.


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