SEO: What kind of keywords should you target? Long Tail versus Short Tail.

seo, short tail keywords vs long tail keywords

Ideally in search engine optimization (SEO) you will target both long tail and short tail keywords, but which are more important and which should you target first?

Short Tail Keywords
A short tail keyword is usually one or two word combinations that your customers put into a search engine to search for your product or service. An example of a short tail keyword would be “computer” or “laptop computer”.

Long Tail Keywords
A long tail keyword is usually three or more word combinations. An example of long tail would be “windows xp laptop computer” or “apple Mac book pro laptop”.

Long tail usually generate much more traffic to your website but top rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) are much harder to achieve. Short tails generally provide less traffic but are much easier to establish in the search engines (SEs).

With all that said, which is more important and which should you target? In my opinion, you should start with the short tail especially if you are launching a new web site or product. The short tail keywords provide more qualified traffic (more to come in a future post) and are easier to target. Furthermore, by targeting the long tail keyword such as “windows xp laptop computer” you also target the short tail keywords, “laptop computer”.

This is the first post in a series of SEO “VERSUS” battles. Short tail wins this one!