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What are Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords?

What are Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords?

Keywords play a pivotal role in search engine optimisation (SEO) as they bridge the gap between what users search for and the content websites provide. When it comes to optimising your website, understanding the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords is essential. In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics and benefits of both types of keywords and how you can leverage them to improve your SEO strategy.

So what are short-tail keywords? 

They consist of one or two words and are also known as head keywords. These are broad and general terms that attract a high search volume but are highly competitive, for example, “shoes” or “digital marketing”. While targeting short-tail keywords may seem tempting due to their high search volume, ranking for them can be challenging due to intense competition from established websites. However, short-tail keywords are valuable for building brand awareness and attracting a wide range of visitors to your website, which is why we recommend using a mixture of both short-tail and long-tail keywords.

Here are some of the benefits of short-tail keywords:

Higher search volume. Short-tail keywords have a larger search volume, which means they can potentially drive a significant amount of traffic to your website.

Brand exposure. By targeting short-tail keywords, you can increase your brand's visibility among a broader audience and potentially attract new customers.

Broad topic coverage. Short-tail keywords allow you to cover a broad range of topics within your niche, attracting users at various stages of the buyer's journey.

Our Tips for Using Short-Tail Keywords:

Focus on relevance and ensure that your content aligns with the intent behind the short-tail keyword you are targeting. Create high-quality, informative content that provides value to your customer.

Optimise on-page elements and incorporate short-tail keywords naturally into your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content.

What are long-tail keywords? 

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that usually consist of three or more words. They are more focused and targeted than short-tail keywords and often reflect users' specific search queries. Examples of long-tail keywords include "best running shoes for flat feet" or "digital marketing strategies for small businesses." While long-tail keywords may have lower search volumes individually, they tend to be less competitive, making it easier to rank for them.

Here are some of the benefits of long-tail keywords:

Higher conversion rates: Long-tail keywords attract users with specific search intent, indicating they are further along in the buyer's journey. This specificity increases the likelihood of conversion and engagement on your website.

Less competition: Targeting long-tail keywords allows you to compete in a less saturated space, increasing your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

Better user intent understanding: Long-tail keywords provide insights into what users are specifically looking for, enabling you to tailor your content to meet their needs more effectively.

Our Tips for Using Long-Tail Keywords:

Research user intent to understand the specific problems, questions, or needs that users are trying to address with their search queries. Craft your content to provide valuable solutions or information related to those intents.

Be specific and incorporate long-tail keywords naturally within your content, headings, and meta tags. Create informative and comprehensive content that directly addresses the user's query.

Consider voice search. With the rise of voice assistants, optimise your content for long-tail keywords that mimic natural language and conversational queries.


Short-tail and long-tail keywords each have their own unique advantages in SEO. While short-tail keywords provide broad visibility and brand exposure, long-tail keywords offer targeted traffic and higher conversion rates. By incorporating both types of keywords into your SEO strategy, you can maximise your website's visibility, attract relevant traffic, and cater to a wider range of user search intents. Remember to conduct thorough keyword research, create valuable content, and optimise your website for both short-tail and long-tail keywords to achieve the best results.


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