As you can live without blood, your business cannot survive online without keywords. You need a sufficient supply of oxygen to your organs to function correctly. Likewise, your website needs the combination of long-tail and short-tail keywords to get ranked in search results.
Before you understand both types of keywords and why they are essential to getting your website ranked in top search results, you should know precisely the keyword. The keyword is the term typed by people in the search bar when they make a query.
For instance, if you want to know about loans for people on benefits, you can use a couple of keywords like loans for unemployed people or loans for people with benefits. These keywords define the type of query people make, and then search crawlers show the results accordingly.
Note that the search results will show only those websites that have optimised these keywords. If you have not targeted this keyword in your web page, you cannot rank in the top search results even though you have created the web page around this type of loan.
This is because Google cannot find it relevant to the user. Note that Google algorithm is a robot, not a human being, so in case of missing keyword, it cannot find your page relevant for your users despite the fact that you have written this page so well.
This is why it is crucial to optimise the keywords you are using in your content, whether it is a web page or a small classified.
When does it make sense to use short-tail keywords?
If you are looking to increase the traffic to your website, you should use short-tail keywords. This is because most of the people use these keywords. However, it can take a bit longer time because they have very high competition.
If you have made a new website and have just started SEO, it may not be the best time to use short-tail keywords. You should target these keywords after you made your online presence by targeting long-tail keywords.
Although most of the digital marketers do not appreciate the use of such keywords, you should not ignore them altogether. This is because these keywords will help you for better brand reach.
These keywords can help you connect with a lot of people that may not be possible if you use only long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are not usually longer than three words. Most of the time, they are less than three words.
When does it make sense to use long-tail keywords?
If you are looking for more visitors but with high conversion, you should use long-tail keywords. Although short-tail keywords can help your purpose for branding, long-tail keywords will solve your purpose for lead conversion.
Around 70% of queries are made using long-tail keywords, which is why you cannot ignore them under any circumstances. These keywords consist of at least four words.
Since they make the search more specific, you will likely get those visitors that are serious about their buying decision. Though the number of visitors will be lower compared to that of in case of short-tail keywords, most of them will likely be converted.
The use of these keywords over short-tail keywords makes more sense when you have just made a website. At the outset, you need to work harder to get your site in the top search results.
You will be able to make your online presence quickly by targeting long-tail keywords because they have low competition. Low competition can help you rank on top search results, and you will likely get a majority of people with intent to buy your product and service.
However, search volumes are generally lower for these keywords than short-tail keywords. This is why the number of visitors will not be much. After a certain point, it can be hard to push the rank of your website up.
How to make the most of both short-tail and long-tail keywords
If you want to make the most of the marketing strategy, you will have to use the combination of both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Here is what you should do:
Small keywords can guide you well
Undoubtedly long-tail keywords help you keep your search narrow, and hence they are fruitful to convert your prospects into sales, but short-tail keywords will help you target broad categories. They both play a paramount role to make your SEO strategy effective.
For instance, digital marketing is a short-tail keyword that you can optimise in your content, but you can further categorise it into long-tail keywords to avoid letting your effort go in vain. By doing so, you will be able to use both short-tail and long-tail keywords simultaneously, which can solve the purpose of using both types of keywords.
Understand the placement
The placement of keywords plays an imperative role in making your SEO strategy successful. If you do not take care of the placement, Google can consider your content spam and penalise you by throwing you out of search results.
You will have to integrate all keywords smartly in the content body. As a part of it, make sure that you have used it in Meta tags.
It is not necessary to use all keywords in the Meta title and Meta description. Consider an SEO expert who can guide you about the proper placement of both types of keywords.
Focus on the customers’ needs
Although the use of both types of keywords is crucial, you cannot emphasise their use over customers’ needs.
No matter how smartly you have used both types of keywords, Google will never give rank to your content if a user-friendly factor is missing. Make sure that your content provides what your target audience is looking for.
The final word
To make your SEO strategy successful, you should use both short-tail and long-tail keywords smartly. However, you have to take care of users’ intent as well. Make sure that you follow Google guidelines strictly to get your website rank in search results.