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When you are advertising your online business, you will likely be working on including keywords in your content. Keywords are still important, even with all the recent Google algorithm changes. Keywords are where the majority of your organic search results come from, so you should still focus on including them in all your content. With keywords, you will want to use a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords. Here are some things to know about each and how to tell the difference between them.

About Short-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords are simple keywords that contain 1-3 words only. These are basic keywords you would use when you want to know more about a topic, but more of a general search term. For example, if someone is looking for a watch, they might type into their favorite search engine “digital watch” or “rose gold watch.” Some short-tail keywords get slightly creative and detailed, but nowhere near what you get with long-tail keywords. Some short-tail keywords are just one word, such as “takeout” when you are looking for a nearby takeout restaurant.

Benefits of Short-Tail Keywords

There are a few benefits of using short-tail keywords in your content. First of all, short-tail keywords provide more of a broad focus. Someone who is entering or a short-tail keyword or long-tail keyword might find your content even if you just entered a short-tail keyword. For example, a keyword like “slim rose gold watch” is a little more detailed, but also uses your short-tail keyword of “rose gold watch” or even “gold watch.” Therefore, one of the main benefits is that there is a high volume of search results. Another benefit is that they are very easy to include in your content naturally, including in the meta tags, blog post titles, and social media shares.

Drawbacks of Short-Tail Keywords

You should also be aware of some of the drawbacks of short-tail keywords. The biggest disadvantage to using these short-tail keywords is that while the volume is high, so is the competition. When you only use short-tail keywords in your content, it is hard to beat all of your competition in the fight for top search engine listings. There are probably millions of results for “gold watch” so in this case, you also want some more detailed keywords.

About Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords tend to be longer than 3 words, but the length isn’t the only difference. They are mainly meant to be much less broad and more detailed and targeted. You are trying to answer a question someone might ask when searching Google or Bing for information, or be as descriptive as possible. This is when someone would use that “slim rose gold watch” or something like “princess cut diamond engagement ring” instead of “engagement ring.”

Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords

When you use long-tail keywords, you have the benefit of being more targeted and less broad. This means you don’t need to worry about having as much competition with the search results. If you use a descriptive long-tail keyword to describe content you are writing about, you are sure to find more organic results than if you used a short-tail keyword. Since the keywords are so targeted, you will get more relevant hits from people truly interested in what you are offering or talking about, so your conversion rate tends to be a little better.

Drawbacks of Long-Tail Keywords

As you might have guessed, having less traffic coming in is one of the drawbacks to using long-tail keywords. You won’t get as many hits because they are so targeted and specific. However, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you won’t get as much business; you simply get less traffic of people not interested in what you are offering.

Having a good combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords in your content is the best option for getting the traffic you are looking for. Be sure to spend some time researching all the keywords for your particular product or niche and include the use of both types to ensure the best results.