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SEO, Keywords

Long-Tail vs Short-Tail Keywords

Long tail and short tail are two classes of keywords, both unique in their own way. These two sets of keywords are commonly used but we might be quite unaware of. This article touches on the key differentiators between short and long tail keywords.

What are Keywords?

Before we dive deep into the long tail and short tail keywords it’s better that we recheck our knowledge as to what exactly is a keyword.


Keywords are words or phrases that users use to find information, product or service on the internet.

Basically any word or a phrase you type on the search bar that is coherent and holds meaning is recognised as a keyword. Keywords are vital and play an important role in SEO and have the potential to drive traffic, boost engagement, and improve organic visitors.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords, typically 3 words or more,  are less popular, more specific keywords.  These are more detailed phrases that clearly indicate search intent. But these unpopular keywords are efficient in their own style as users who search for this are usually those who have clarity in what they are looking for and are more likely to convert.

Consider “vanilla pastries from xyz bakery” for example. This phrase clearly tells us that the user is craving for a vanilla flavoured pastry and wants to buy specifically from xyz bakery.  This is how long tail keywords work.

Short Tailed Keywords

Short tailed keywords are typically 1-3 words covering a broad topic. They have a higher search volume. Being generic in nature these keywords do not indicate what users are actually looking for due to which the conversion rates are low . Because there is obscurity in search, users are more likely to tap that close button and exit the page as quickly as possible. For example: when we type in the word “shoes” the intent is ambiguous. We cannot pinpoint if the person is wanting to purchase or just browsing or seeking information on new designs.

Keyword Difference

Long Tail or Short Tail?

Well neither are better than the other. Both have their own plus points.Businesses have a higher chance to rank better using both short and long tail keywords.


Long tail keywords are specific and so if you want to precisely cater to your visitors needs, provide pinpoint solutions and answers long tail should be your go to.

If your website is new you might want to target long tail keyword since they are less competitive and you have a better chance of converting your customers.


Because they have higher search volumes, short tail keywords can help increase traffic to your site. For those looking to boost visibility and awareness about their brand, short tail keywords are ideal. And if you need to know about the basics of keywords and the roles of keywords click here.