What are Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords?

Boost Media Group

boost media group

Keywords are another big factor that can make or break your on-page SEO. When deciding which keywords to use, doing a careful keyword research is important. But which type of keywords should you focus on? Should you be using short tail keywords? Or are long tail keywords better for your business?

What are short tail keywords?

Also known as ‘head terms’, short tail keywords contain 3 words or less. Examples include “content writer,” “blue jeans,” or “sports camera.” They are likely the first thing that crosses your mind when you need a certain service or if you are looking for a certain product.

boost media group

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords contain more than 3 words. Although they are slightly different from the short tail keywords, long tails are a lot more targeted and specific. Examples include “online marketing content writer,” “tattered Levi’s blue jeans women” or” “HD action sports camera cheap.”

What do you want to achieve?

Ask yourself why you need short tail or long tail keywords. Do you want to drive a lot of visitors to your website? Or do you want to capture more people ready to do business with you? The type of keyword you need to use for your marketing will vary depending on the type of traffic you want to generate.

Short Tail Keywords

Volume: High

Focus: Low

Conversion Rate: Low

Competition: High

The biggest advantage of a short tail keyword is that it has high search volume. You could certainly get lots of organic traffic once you could rank for a short tail keyword. The downside is that while these keywords can bring more visitors to your website, they may not exactly the ones you want. You are also likely targeting visitors that may not even find your website useful. Out of the thousand searches and clicks you get, your conversion rate may only come from one or two visitors.

Another challenge is that short tail keywords generate heaps of competition in search engine rankings. If you are just starting out with a new website or with SEO, you will find yourself at the back of a very long line. However, the reward is high once you rank for these terms. Hard work and patience alongside with the right SEO strategies are the keys to the success of your short tail keywords.

Long Tail Keywords

Volume: Low

Focus: High

Conversion Rate: High

Competition: Low

While long tail keywords cannot bring in a high volume of visitors, you can reach a more targeted audience. They may not provide that much traffic but they certainly bring in the traffic you need. More focused keywords also attract the customers that will find your business beneficial, thus pulling in more leads and improving your conversion rates.

boost media groupSince long tail keywords are less in demand, the paid search costs will typically be lower than short tail keywords. They are also easier to rank as they have less competition. This means you can achieve a higher search engine ranking with less effort.


Ultimately, the key factor when deciding the type of keywords depends greatly on your goals and target audience. Regardless of which type of keywords you focus on, it is crucial to choose the ones that will be valuable to your business. As with any marketing strategy you run, it all boils down to what is best for your small business. Our team is ready to implement solutions to improve your rankings and performance. Get started with a free marketing analysis.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Table of Contents

Recent Posts