The Long and Short of It

9th May, 2016

| by Karishma Desai

 Are you using the right keywords to grab the attention of your target audience? 

Most of businessmen are not aware about the long and short end of key words, and trust us, an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert is also not going to give his trade secret away for free!

That’s understandable, as SEO work is not that simple. Yet we’ll take the risk, knowing that even if you are outsourcing the work to an SEO agency, you should know what they are doing. In other words, what you are paying for.

Let’s get cracking.

For starters, let’s understand that keyword research is one of the most significant and basic part of the making your website, SEO-friendly. Long tail keywords are used to target niche demographic rather than mass audience. In other words, they’re more specific and less competitive descriptions of your product or service than the more generic short tail keywords. To put it in plain English, long tail keywords are phrases made up of at least four or five words.

Example, for Titan watches, the long-tail key word would be “Makers of world-class precision watch in India” or some such description. Of its a local service, it could be “Makes of the best Biryani in Borivali area.”

Got it?

Now, short tail keywords are generic words, For example: ‘Watch’ or ‘Biryani’ for that matter. One word for each product or service. Needless to say, you need both long and short tail keywords to have your business found by Google search crawlers.

The faster way to reach your customers – go long

  • Long tail keywords may appear similar but must not be, if you use them correctly.
  • Actually, these are more particular and less common. More focus on localization.

For examples: If your customer is in search of a ‘ring’, just about any ring, chances are that your business in gold rings would not be found. But if you make the web content more aligned to the search phrases, your business has better chances of being discovered, so be more specific with phrases like ‘Gold ring in Borivali, ‘Diamond-studded, gold ring in Borivali…” so on and so forth…you get the drift?

Expand your search zone – go short

Short tail keywords are searched often than individual long tail keywords, but good SEO results are often the outcome of highly precise short-tail keywords. No doubt, they make up for the vast majority of search queries.

Long tail get targeted traffic

These get easily ranked by search engines. They face less competition. The search volume is minimal.

On the flipside, a short-tail keywords may not exactly reveal what a customer is looking for (because there is hardly any description embedded in a word) there could be chances of your attracting the wrong sort of traffic.

Nonetheless, short tail keywords attract a lot of traffic for you site. These are easy to spot, write and use in a post, content piece etc., but here’s the red herring – don’t overuse them, or content that’s densely populated with the same word, can also turn away your traffic and be a put off.

Now the big question is – should you go long or short?

A Hobson’s choice! But bear in mind that long tail keyword are less expensive in terms of Google Adwords and pay per clicks (Stay tuned for more on this later – so watch this space) over other paid inclusion methods. Rest assured that less people will bid for those keywords.  To go long-term, also implies that a publisher needs to have more knowledge about your business and phrases you get searched by – hence will have to do far more research in order to make your brand visible. Inclusion into relevant content is also challenging for the copy writer.

Totally confused?

Don’t be. With enough time, a little bit of reading, research, trial and error, you should be able to get the maximum return on your SEO spend – well, nearly!


Karishma Desai

Karishma Desai

Social Media Marketing Manager

Leave a Reply