What is the difference between Short-tail keywords and Long-tail keywords?

Short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords are two different types of keywords used in search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research. Here’s an explanation of the difference between them:


  1. Short-tail Keywords:

    • Short-tail keywords, also known as head keywords or generic keywords, are short and commonly used search phrases that are usually one to three words in length.
    • These keywords are broad and general in nature, and they have high search volume and competition.
    • Examples of short-tail keywords include “shoes,” “digital camera,” or “best restaurants.”
  2. Long-tail Keywords:

    • Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that usually consist of three or more words.
    • These keywords are more targeted and reflect the specific intent of the searcher, often indicating a higher level of purchase intent or specific information need.
    • Examples of long-tail keywords include “red running shoes for women,” “best affordable digital camera for beginners,” or “Italian restaurants in New York City with outdoor seating.”

Difference between Short-tail and Long-tail Keywords:

  • Search Volume and Competition: Short-tail keywords generally have higher search volumes and higher competition, as they are more generic and widely searched. Long-tail keywords have lower search volumes but also lower competition, making it easier to rank for them.
  • Specificity: Short-tail keywords are broad and don’t provide much context or specificity. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are more specific and provide clearer intent, targeting a niche audience.
  • Conversion Potential: Long-tail keywords often have a higher conversion potential because they reflect more specific user intent, indicating that the searcher is looking for something more particular. Short-tail keywords may attract a larger audience, but they might not convert as well due to the broader nature of the search.
  • SEO Strategy: Short-tail keywords are often highly competitive, requiring significant effort and resources to rank for. Long-tail keywords are less competitive and can be an effective strategy for targeting specific niches and capturing relevant organic traffic.

In summary, short-tail keywords are shorter, more general terms with high search volume and competition, while long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases with lower search volume and competition. Both types of keywords have their advantages, and incorporating a mix of both in your SEO strategy can help you reach a wider audience and capture more targeted traffic.