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Leverage short-tail keywords to drive more relevant organic traffic to your website. Learn everything you need to recognize, find, and optimize for short-tail keywords to help take your content to the next level!

What Are Short-Tail Keywords

What are short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords are single or double keywords or phrases that are incredibly competitive, valuable, and important in an industry. These keywords are competitive and useful because they are generalized terms lacking specificity.

For example, keywords like "coffee," "dog," "phone," or "cheese" are short-tail keywords. Whereas longer-tail keyword versions of the same keywords might be more along the lines of "best pumpkin spiced whole bean coffee," "German shepherd puppies for sale," "vintage Pyle rotary phone," and "organic whole wheel parmigiano reggiano."

Notice how you go from keywords or phrases that can go in many different directions to more explicit keyword phrases that only lead to one specific product.

Why Are Short-Tail Keywords Important?

Why are short-tail keywords so important?

Short-tail keywords are important because these are the keywords that will gain you the most exposure in your industry. If a website can successfully rank for a relevant short-tail keyword, it will be able to drive a lot of traffic to its pages.

In addition to gaining organic traffic from these short-tail keywords, another benefit is trust. The more times you can get in front of your potential customers and - even more importantly - get them on your website, the more they will trust you when it comes time for them to make a purchase.

To learn more about short-tail keywords, long-tail keywords and keywords in general, check out our comprehensive page on keywords!

How Do You Find Short-Tail Keywords?

How do you find short-tail keyword ideas?

Finding short-tail keywords can be done in many different ways, from brainstorming, using Google auto-complete, and utilizing relevant industry-standard terms. We have an article that goes into a lot of detail regarding the different ways to find keywords. Below, we'll go into detail regarding some of the best and most efficient ways to find great short-tail keyword ideas.

Use Google Keyword Planner To Find Keyword Ideas

Using Google keyword planner to find short-tail keyword ideas.

Google Keyword Planner is a great way to find many different keyword ideas and variations. In addition to finding keyword ideas, you can also get a better picture of what the overall competitive landscape will look like for each keyword, as Keyword Planner has improved the depth and quality of information it provides users with.

Use Google Search Console To Find Short-Tail Keywords

Using search console to find short-tail keyword ideas.

Another way of finding some decent keyword ideas for an existing website is to use Google Search Console to determine what users are using to see your content in the first place. However, this method will typically generate more specific queries as opposed to short-tail generalized ones. Regardless, if you have an existing website, this is a good resource to utilize when finding keyword ideas.

Use SEO Tools To Analyze Keywords Competitors Are Targeting

Using SEO tools helps you find short-tail keyword ideas.

Using various SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and many others will help you to analyze not only keyword ideas themselves but even all keyword competitors' websites and even specific competing pages rank both organically and paid.

Use Scraping Tools Like ScrapeBox

Scrapebox is great for finding short-tail keywords.

ScrapeBox and other scraping tools are invaluable at a number of different digital marketing tasks, including generating various keyword ideas. Tools like ScrapeBox will be much more difficult to learn to use, but when you learn how to use them, they will make many parts of your SEO process so much easier.

Should You Target Short-Tail or Long-Tail Keywords?

Deciding to target short-tail versus long-tail keywords.

You should target short-tail keywords if you are creating pillar pages, or are covering other essential aspects of your industry, but if you are diving into more detail about any specific part of your industry, long-tail keywords make more sense.

What Is The Difference Between Short-Tail & Long-Tail Keywords?

The main difference between short-tail & long-tail keywords is their specificity. Short-tail keywords encompass entire parts of an industry, whereas long-tail keywords break down those parts into hyper-specific pieces.

Instead of the short-tail keyword "donuts," for example, you might use a long-tail variation of "pumpkin-spiced sour-cream donut." In that example, you see how general the keyword "donut" was, but how specific pumpkin-spiced sour-cream donuts are.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are incredibly specific. Long-tail keywords are used more often when a user is ready to make a purchase because they already know what they want. We have an entire page dedicated to breaking down and explaining everything you need to know about long-tail keywords, so check that page out if you want to learn more!

How To Target Long-Tail Keywords?

Targeting long-tail keywords is very simple and can be done just by making pages using long-tail keywords as the primary keyword being targeted. It is not only incredibly simple to target them, but as you'll learn on the page we linked above, it is much easier to rank for long-tail keywords than it is for short-tail keywords.