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key words
Keywords are key!

Keywords are key!

By now, you have identified which platform would work best for your online business and are starting to develop a comprehensive list of keywords.

When developing your list of keywords, based on your budget and your digital marketing goals, you should consider how you intend to apply the two types of keywords: short tail and long tail.

Short tail keywords

These are one or two generic words, or ‘head’ terms used to drive traffic to your website.

For basic searches such as ‘pizza delivery’ or ‘women’s apparel’, short tail keywords produce high volume searches with high competition, yet a low-targeted focus. This is because short tail keywords are usually popular search terms with many other advertisers all bidding for the same terms; the highest bidder will win out having their advertisement at the top of the search engine results page.

Long tail keywords

Comprising three or more words, long tail keywords use highly targeted search terms to increase conversion rates, but reduce traffic volumes. For more detailed searches including “local pizza delivery in North Melbourne” or “women’s black cocktail dresses”, long tail keywords have a high focus with low competition and a considerably lower price tag.

Which works best?

With advantages and disadvantages of both long and short tail keywords, deciding which is best will ultimately depend on your online business.

A combination of both search terms will enable you to rank alongside your competition with a clear focus whilst driving increased volume to your website.

To find out more about the strength of various keywords, use Google Adwords, or open an Adwords account if you don’t already have one. If you do not have a website yet because you are still thinking about your online business, visit WordStream to go to their free online keyword tools.


Now that you have more knowledge on the different types of keywords, relook at the list you developed earlier and split the list up into two groups: long tail keywords and short tail keywords. Post them in the Comments area.

Which style do you think would work best for your online business? Why?

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success

RMIT University