Why Long-Tail Keywords Aren’t Always Good To Use

Keywords are an important part of a successful SEO strategy, and incorporating them into your page content helps search engines understand your website, allowing it to better serve it in the search results.

A properly implemented keyword strategy helps your web pages rank higher in the SERPs, which will in tern drive higher quality traffic to your site, which will help you get more sales at the end of the day.

There are two different kinds of keywords you can utilize – short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.

Short-tail keywords are general search terms that contain typically no more than about three words and covers a broad topic. They usually have higher search volume than long-tail keywords, and attract a higher volume of visitors to your site.

Long-tail keywords are specific and less common than short-tail keywords, and focus more on a niche topic. They have a lower search volume, and can be less popular, but will attract higher quality traffic that will have a higher chance to convert. Long-tail keywords contain over three words in them.

When using long-tail keywords, you want to be careful how and when you use them, due to the lower popularity compared to their short-tail cousins.

According to LinkedIn:

Marketers frequently believe that ad bids will be more accurate when using long-tail keywords. However, this argument isn’t proven at all because of how long it would take to gain enough data on returns in order to make a clear judgment—long-tail keywords have lower impressions per keyword per month, so the overall time it takes to get enough data on bidding accuracy is much higher. 

Simply put, long-tail keyword traffic from search terms between five and seven words long will likely generate 10-20% of conversions, so you shouldn’t ignore them altogether. But adding extraneous amounts of long-tail keywords where they wouldn’t naturally occur in order to capture that traffic really takes a lot of your time.”

They continue:

Instead, you should focus on spending the most time on your top 20% of short-tail keywords, which will generate 80% of your conversions, and then from those, build out your ad account with more mid to long-tail keywords to accurately reflect those effective phrases you’re targeting.

LinkedIn recommends that your keywords should be between two and four words. Depending on your market or industry, even single word keywords can work just as well.

Here’s a graph of how the search volume decreases as the search queries get more specific. At the same time, the possibility of conversion dramatically increases

Source – SEMrush

Scott Davenport

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