Why Are Long Tail Keywords Better Than Short Keywords?

By Strahinja | Tips

Dec 03

The debate lingers.

You will get supporters for both sides of the issue. Some people are sure that short tail keywords are better for SEO rankings while others take the opposing side and say that long tail keywords are the best.

Which ones are best in your eyes, depends on you and your preferences. Strong cases can be made for both sides of the argument but in the end, long tail keywords may be better than short tail ones.


What Are Short Tail And Long Tail Keywords

To avoid beating around the bush, we will get right to the point. Short tail keywords are phrases that contain 3 or fewer words. Some times these keywords may be quite broad or general in their applications.

why are long tail keywords better than short keywords

Some examples of shot tail keywords are pet, car, planes and so on. Or you can say ‘pet feeders’, ‘plane engines’ and so on. You are not being very specific when you use short tail keywords.

On the other hand, long tail keywords are longer than 3 words and can get very specific. You can get a lot of detailed information in a long tail key word. For example, ‘heart shaped sapphire diamond ring’, or ‘large, automatic pet feeders’ and so on.

why are long tail keywords better than short keywords

Those details narrow the search to removing a lot of extraneous results that would show up normally in a short tail keyword search.

Reasons Why Long Tail Keywords Are Better


Short tail keywords do have their advantages but the advantages of using a long tail counterpart may help boost you up in the rankings. Here are some of the reasons why long tail key words are better than their shorter relatives

#1. Less Competition

Not many people are using long tail keywords in their articles and advertisements. That means you have less competition and your words can get noticed faster than shorter keywords.

traffic details

The bigger corporations are also avoiding using long tail keywords so you are not up against large budgets and powerful competitors.

#2. They Are Easier To Rank

Part of the reasoning for that result is that there are fewer people using long tail keywords. This lack of competition allows search engines to rank your website a lot easier. Plus, seeing the relevancy to your website content is not as hard to do.

why are long tail keywords better than short keywords

The downside is that long tail keywords do not create the volume of searches that short tail keywords do. But that is easily overcome if you use the right long tail keywords. Just keep to a regular posting schedule and your long tail keyword use should pay off in the long run.

#3. Buyer Intent Is Revealed

By that we mean that a generic search for cars, as an example, will provide a myriad of results for the person making the search. They may get worldwide web pages to look at and those could be numbering in the millions as there are a lot of websites using the keyword ‘cars’.


A long tail keyword, for example Buick Skylarks for sale in Seattle, the search results will be a lot lower and a lot closer to home. The long tail keyword reveals that the person making the search wants to buy a Buick Skylark in the Seattle area.

#4. Long Tail Keywords Support Short Tail Ones

The two are not in competition with each other. Instead they complement each other and work together to help boost traffic to your website. The short tail keywords you use should get a boost in the rankings when you add in some long tail ones to help.


Also, the long tail keywords help provide that relevant, supportive factor that search engines are looking for.

#5. The Cost Factor

While short tail keywords generate volume and possibly traffic, you may end up paying more for their use over time. Long tail keywords are not as expensive as short tail ones and should be more cost effective.

computer with money

When you use short tail keywords, you have to keep in mind that a lot of other people are using them as well. Demand always influences prices up, not down. So if you are on a budget, you may want to consider using more long tail keywords so you do not blow that budget and spend too much money.

#6. Conversion Rates Matter

This is an important factor when using short tail keywords. Their conversion rate is very low. You may get, let’s say 50,000 hits, 5,000 clicks but only 5 decisions to buy. Your short tail conversion rate is very poor in this case.

downward graph

Even though those 5 purchases per day, week or month are enough for you, you are losing out on a lot of potential customers and revenue. Long tail conversion rates may not produce the high volume of searches or hits. Nor may they produce a lot of clicks but when searchers do click on your website the conversion rate is a lot higher and more encouraging.

#7. You Get The Customers You Want


When you use long tail keywords, chances are that the people clicking on your website are looking for the specific item you listed in the long tail keyword. In other words, the people coming to you want those specific items you are selling and are motivated to buy.

Some Final Words

While the world may focus on short tailed keywords, long tailed ones provide a key ingredient to your website business. They are better than short tail keywords because they help those little words produce search results.

why are long tail keywords better than short keywords

They also bring those customers looking for specific items to buy and that translates into a higher conversion rate. That also brings more revenue to your online business. Long tail keywords cannot be ignored because they have a lower volume search result.

They are just too vital for your business. Plus with their ability to rank better, you could go up in the rankings a lot faster.

Thank you for reading.


About the Author

Hi there. I'm just a regular guy that worked many different jobs before finding out about affiliate marketing. Decided to give it a try, followed the instructions, worked hard and started making money online. Here to help you achieve same thing. Working from home is possible if you have the proper training and people.

  • Philip says:

    Hi Strahinja,

    I was just doing some research about long tail keywords and came across your article. I have learned so much and often I wonder if my titles are too long on my own site.

    So I have taken some good notes here today and I have bookmarked this article for future reference.

    I will try to apply better long tail keywords going forward. Thanks Strahinja.

    • Strahinja says:

      Thank you for leaving a comment Philip.

      Using long tail keywords is the way to go if you are new to affiliate marketing and want to get to those people who are really interested in the topic.

      Have a wonderful day.


  • Isilda says:

    Hi Strahinja,

    Thank you for sharing all this great information, I’ve been using long tail keywords, I’m gonna see the results, I’m just starting my website yet.



  • This so educative,have learn so much in this article specialy about long tail keywords.It definitely the best!

  • Judy says:

    Thanks for the information.

    I’m already using mainly long tail keywords with my site, as I’m trying to avoid the big competition.

    You mentioned the cost of using short tail keywords.

    Could you explain what this means? Do you mean buying lists of keywords?

    I completely agree with your view that long tail keywords can rank well. This has been my experience too.

    Thanks again, Judy

    • Strahinja says:

      Thank you for the comment.

      Regarding your question. Some keywords are very popular and they bring more money, if you are positioned number 1 on the ranking. Short tail keywords are usually very popular because many people search only for them.


  • Kevin says:

    Hi Strahinja,

    Great post. I always get a bit confused with the difference between long tail and short tail keywords and your article has helped me make sense of it all. Thank you.

    I will continue to mix them together and mix and match different keywords. I will definitely look to use more long tail keywords too. Thanks for a great post,


  • Kat says:

    Hi Strahinja, I haven’t considered the impact of short-tail keywords compared with long-tail keywords. You have highlighted interesting things to consider that I haven’t realized would be relevant but actually are. It makes me reconsider how I use my keywords more acutely now. Thanks for raising my awareness around this.

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