13 Mar 2012

How To Increase Website Traffic Using Keywords – Short Tail vs. Long Tail

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Baltimore - Increase website traffic with long tail keywords

When implementing an SEO campaign or creating a website, one of the first marketing concepts that we talk about with our Baltimore, MD clients is keywords and how they are used to drive traffic to a website.  Keywords form the basis of any SEO strategy and are used by the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc) when executing their search algorithm.  The search engines display the results based on many factors, and one of them is content based on those keywords.

Choosing the right keywords is an important step in the SEO process, and to make sure you choose the right keywords we need to talk about the difference between Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords.

Short Tail Keywords

Short Tail Keywords are 1 or 2 words in length, and are more of a general search term. When using short tail keywords in your search, expect to get a much higher return of results due to Short Tail Keywords being more generic.  What does this mean?  Since these keywords are more general expect to see higher competition and less success of placing higher in the search results.  Some examples of Short Tail Keywords are:

  • Marketing – 30,400,000 global monthly searches
  • Web Design – 7, 480,000 global monthly searches
  • SEO – 9,140,000 global monthly searches
  • Baltimore – 9,140,000 global monthly searches

Obtaining a rank in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and gaining direct traffic by using these keywords will be very very difficult due to the higher competition.  How do we battle this and rank higher in the search engines?  Use Long Tail Keywords!

Long Tail Keywords

Long Tail Keywords combine 3 or more keywords, which make the search more detailed and not as generic.  Since the entire search string is more specific, Long Tail Keywords return fewer results compared to Short Tail Keywords.  Since Long Tail Keywords are more specific in nature, the competition won’t be nearly as great as they are with Short Tail Keywords, which means websites that use Long Tail Keywords have a better chance of ranking higher and getting better results within the SERPS.  Here are some examples of Long Tail Keywords:

  • Baltimore Website Design – 1,900 global monthly searches
  • Volkswagen jetta oil change – 1,900 global monthly searches
  • How to make a cork board – 4,400 global monthly searches
  • Plumbing services Baltimore – 140 global monthly searches

As you can see from these examples, the search results for Long Tail Keywords are less than the typical results you would get from searching using short tail keywords. Long Tail Keywords have the advantage of less competition and a better chance to rank higher through the search engines, but they also require a more specified search!  If you’re a local Baltimore business, or just want to attract local customers, Long Tail Keywords are a perfect way to try and drive local traffic to your website!

No matter what you choose, Short Tail Keywords or Long Tail Keywords, it’s important that your site uses either or both to help get traffic, especially Targeted Traffic!

Check back soon for our next article!

If you have an existing website or blog that you would like to rank higher in the search engines or increase your targeted traffic, just give us a call at 410-344-7066 or drop us a line using our contact us form, and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your SEO campaign!  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to get all of the latest marketing tips and advice, as well as our latest specials!

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68 Responses to How To Increase Website Traffic Using Keywords – Short Tail vs. Long Tail
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