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SEMrush Blog

Long Tail Keywords vs. Popular Keywords – Which Keyword Strategy You Should Choose

SEMrush Blog
Long Tail Keywords vs. Popular Keywords – Which Keyword Strategy You Should Choose

Keywords are the lifeblood of any online marketing campaign. You can use all the fancy tools at your disposal but unless you are using the right keywords, you cannot expect to become successful online. From your website design to social media marketing, keywords play a crucial role in determining your success or failure. It is the keywords that can give you an edge on your competitors as well. This is why you have to choose the best possible keyword strategy otherwise you can lose ground to your rivals.

In this regard, two of the most commonly used keyword strategies are using long tail keywords and popular keywords. Each of the two has their merits and drawbacks but, they are at par with each other when it comes to delivering the results you are looking for. This is why you need to consider using either of the two strategies to find the success you want. After all, rather than taking a shot in the dark, it is better to go with a tried and tested strategy that is known to deliver results.

Using Long Tail Keywords

Before talking about a specific strategy, you need to understand what a long tail keyword is. As the name implies, it is made up of a string of words, usually three to five. When a person types three or more letters into the Google search bar, he/she can be said to have searched for a long tail keyword. The best thing about long tail keywords is that they are more specific than single word search terms, also known as short tail keywords. This is why the competition for these keywords is also relatively lower.

You may think that these two are reasons good enough for you to formulate a long tail keyword strategy and you would be right. But, there are some other things you need to keep in mind as well. The three major benefits, apart from the low competition and specificity, are:

  • The people searching for long tail keywords are genuinely interested. Casual searches don’t span more than one or two words. So, using these keywords means you can capture qualified leads that are relatively easier to convert.
  • You don’t have to pay much to buy the keywords because of the low competition. If used effectively, you can get a higher return on investment (ROI) than if you were using any other types of keywords.
  • The search volume you can get with long tail targeting is often greater than with short tail keywords, more so because of the specific nature of these keywords.

The benefits are solid but you might be wondering how to find long tail keywords. You need to make sure the keywords are not only long tail but relevant to your website and of high value as well. Otherwise, you won’t benefit as much from them. You can use a long tail keywords tool to find the keywords you are looking for. SEMrush is one of the best resources you can use in this regard. It not only helps you find the right keywords but also organize them in a way that makes them easy to use for you.

The things you need to be careful about are the relevance of the keywords to your topic and the search volume they attract. Any long tail keyword that ticks the two boxes is good enough to be added to your campaign.

Using Popular Keywords

The popular keywords are the ones everyone seems to be searching for. Though they vary according to topic and industry, these keywords generate the highest search volume for any website or business using them. This is why they are considerably more expensive than other types of keywords. Nearly every marketer in the business is looking to get his/her hands on these keywords which drives their prices up and increases the competition for them. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use the most popular keywords related to your topic.

It all comes down to the way in which you use the keywords. Effective usage with a solid keyword strategy can get you to the top of the search rankings even in the face of intense competition. The cost may be a deterrent but you need to keep in mind that you will attract more searches than ever. More searches mean more visitors and more visitors’ means more customers. So, even if the initial investment is high, it is still worth your while.

The biggest advantage of popular keywords is that they are, well, popular. This means that you don’t have to work too hard to get people to search for them. That is what they are already doing. What you need to do is optimize your website or landing page for these keywords and you are good to go. You can use a keyword popularity tool like SEMrush to find the most relevant popular keywords according to the topic or theme of your website.

Final Word

Not every long tail keyword is popular, but some popular keywords are long tail. When comparing the two, it is important to keep in mind that long tail keywords can be popular as well. So, whichever of the two strategies you choose to use, you are going to generate a high search volume from the outset. The best approach would be to use both long and short tail keywords to increase your chances of getting to the top of the search engine rankings. However, the decision rests with you.

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