Most people are familiar with the term “keywords.” This refers to specific words or terms you insert into your online content. The purpose of using such words is to help potential customers or clients discover your products and/or business. After all, if your intended audience can’t discover what you sell, they can’t buy it. But did you know there are different types of keywords you can use? Longtail and short tail keywords are both integral to any marketing campaign. Most businesses use plenty of short tail keyword terms, but not as many longtail.

Whether you work in a marketing department or you own a business, you should understand what longtail keywords are. You should also know how they can help your search engine optimization efforts. Longtail keyword terms are three to four words long, are more specific, and will help attract people who are ready to buy. So if your goal is to start making sales and raising profits, use longtail keyword terms. Here’s an overview of what longtail SEO is and what it can do for you.


What’s the Difference Between Longtail and Short Tail Keywords?

Before you can implement a successful SEO campaign, there are a few things you need to understand. In particular, you need to know the difference between longtail and short tail keywords. Once you understand how they differ, you can decide how to use them in your content.

Short tail keywords are generally composed of no more than three words. They are also known as “head terms” and cover broad search queries. For example, if someone’s looking for a new piece of jewelry to wear, they might type in a broad search term like “women’s jewelry.” This is a short tail keyword.

A longtail keyword, on the other hand, is very specific. It is generally composed of three or more words. It’s powerful because it is much more targeted to what customers want. For example, “black diamond engagement ring” is a longtail keyword. Longtail keywords are generally used by people who know what they want and are ready to buy. If you use such keywords in your content, you increase your ability to reach your target audience. You also have a greater ability to contend with your competitors.


How Do Longtail Terms Help You Rank?

When it comes to drawing traffic on the internet, your search engine rank is so important. If your content doesn’t rank well in search engines, no one will find you. Except maybe your mom, who knows exactly where to look and is your biggest fan. Research shows that people who search for things online don’t want to dig for information. In fact, most won’t even make the effort to look past the first page of search results.

If you have tried and failed to improve your search engine ranking using short tail keywords, it’s time to change your approach. Focus on longtail keywords instead. Short tail terms are extremely competitive. Everyone uses them to try to appeal to the widest audience possible. The key to successfully attracting the right audience and gaining more clicks is to appeal to a smaller audience. Tailor your content to people who want exactly what you offer.

For example, instead of describing your product as a “patio umbrella cover,” describe it as a “large red all-seasons patio umbrella cover.” The more specific you can be, the less keyword competition you’ll have. Longtail terms are much less common, which means they’re less competitive. This is good news for you because it means you’ll have an easier time ranking well when you use longtail terms.

Marketing doesn’t meet the official definition of a competitive sport. However, it is one of the most competitive industries you can enter. Companies around the world rely on good marketing techniques to outperform their competitors. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for you), many companies fail to use longtail words in their content. Take advantage of the situation and use longtail keywords to improve your visibility and attract more business.

In addition to making it easier for your website to rank well, longtail terms can also increase your conversions. That’s because the people who visit your website after typing in specific search terms are more likely to convert to customers.


When Should You Use Longtail Keywords?

If you’re a smaller company that doesn’t currently have a good online presence, start with longtail keywords. You’re probably thinking “Hey, I want to use keywords that get more traffic!” but keep in mind that everyone else is using those terms, too. You can use a popular term like “workout clothes,” but if your site is 60 pages deep in search results, it does you no good.

When you’re starting out, it’s best to improve your rank with very specific longtail keywords. They may not get as much traffic overall, but that’s OK. You’ll actually get more traffic to your site if you use them, because you’re more likely to rank within the first few pages of results. Additionally, the traffic you attract using longtail keywords is much more valuable to you. People who look for specialized content are more likely to buy from you than those who search for very broad, vague terms.

When your business successfully ranks well for longtail terms, you can start focusing more on short tail keywords. Be patient with your approach. You won’t show up in the first page of search results overnight. But if you keep at it and continue producing quality content and services, you’ll eventually start to improve your rank. You can also take advantage of paid advertising to help you earn greater visibility in the beginning. Paid advertising has powerful potential, especially when combined with organic methods.


How Do You Choose Longtail Terms?

Market research will help you determine which longtail keywords that are relevant for your products or services. For best results, consider purchasing keyword research products. They can help you choose longtail terms that will get results. There are also free or low-cost keyword tools available, including Google Ads, Google Correlate and Keyword In. These tools make it easy to generate longtail key phrases.

Once you have a dozen or so phrases, start to incorporate them naturally into your content. Always avoid black-hat SEO methods, such as keyword stuffing or using irrelevant words and terms. Using methods such as these might earn you a huge increase in traffic, but you won’t get conversions. You’ll also earn a bad reputation and will most likely get your website flagged. It’s just a matter of time before you’ll get caught for using dishonest SEO practices. To develop your reputation and attract the right audience, be honest. Commit to using best-practice longtail SEO techniques.


How Do You Get Started?

As with most things in life, getting started with your longtail keywords campaign is challenging. But it is worth the effort and will yield good results. If you need a little assistance developing your strategy, Boostability can help. We provide SEO services for small business owners at affordable prices that won’t break the bank.

To find out how strong your website currently is and identify weak areas that need to improve, submit your website for free here and get a list of recommendations which you can start working on now!


Mike is a former SEO Manager at Boostability and has been in the online marketing industry since 2012. He has extensive experience with SEO, email marketing and link building campaigns for in-house and agency teams around the country.