Ever since the inception of Google Panda, a lot of things have changed on how SEOs would normally implement their campaigns. If quantity won over quality before, quality now triumphs over quantity. And I guess that’s really how things should be.
Apart from the removal of low quality posts and replacing them with original and unique content, one of the many changes webmasters have to figure out it is deciding which one is better to use – short tail or long tail keywords?
What is the difference between short tail and long tail keywords?
The difference between these two kinds of keywords is easy to understand. Short tail keywords basically have one to three words in a keyword phrase. In example, the phrase “outsource SEO” is a short tail keyword. One the other hand, long tail keywords, example “outsource SEO in the Philippines,” have three or more words.
When you look at these two types of keywords, which do you think will drive more traffic to your website?
Naturally, short term keywords are bound to give your website more hits since they are less specific. These short tail keywords are able to capture a bigger share of your target market. However, long tail keywords are more about giving quality hits than a large number of traffic. Targeting short tail keywords, however makes yielding positive results difficult and are often time consuming and expensive.
Let’s say you typed in the words “cat training” on Google and you see 285,000,000 search results. Unless you’re in the first page of Google, you may not get traffic at all because of the high number of websites trying to compete for the same keyword. In other words, there’s high competition.
But if you try typing “cat training supplies in Florida,” you get 14,000,000 results. Long tail keywords give you specific and targeted results. This type of keyword is often used by users with a specific brand, item, or service in mind and does not need to look around. This is the reason why long tail keywords give a higher conversion rate than its counterpart.
Balancing the Use of Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords
I’m not saying that you should permanently discontinue using short tail keywords for your website nor am I saying that short tail keywords should not be tried at all. Because of the many Panda updates that took place, Google has made it clear for webmasters to prioritize original and useful content for visitors while focusing on certain keywords to improve the page rank of the website.
With that in mind, using the right kind of keyword combinations should help you in the long run.
How to Use Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords Post Panda
Both keyword types have their pros and cons and using just one of them won’t be enough to conquer Google and your online competitors. So here are two tips.
Tip #1: Use long tail keywords first before using short tail keywords.
If you have a relatively new website or you’re starting over because of the ‘damages’ you’ve acquired because of the Panda and Penguin updates, it would be a good idea to start targeting specific long tail keywords.
Make sure you write good and value adding content for your readers with long tail keywords effortlessly intertwined in the article. Once you have gained a steady flow of traffic from your long tail keywords, that’s the time of utilize short tail keywords.
Amazon.com has already seen the use of long tail keywords for their website.
Tip #2: Once you’ve gained a steady amount of traffic with long term keywords, optimize your website for short tail keywords.
You might not know it, but you might already be targeting short tail keywords while targeting your long tail keywords. Short tail keywords can be incorporated easily in your long tail keywords. Fill your website with a lot of content using your keywords. Keep them original and fresh.
In a nutshell, choosing your keywords properly in these days can make the difference between high conversion rates for your website and just high to no traffic at al. Long tail and short tail keywords can work for you when used correctly.