When it comes to choosing your keywords for a PPC campaign, any smart SEO professional will tell you that having a solid keyword strategy behind your campaigns is the key to achieving a high ROI. While short- and long-tail keywords each have their place within a tactical marketing plan, it’s important to know which will work best in regards to your particular niche and competition level.
When it comes to PPC and Internet Advertising, Marketers must understand that people are becoming very smart in terms of using search engines. When the internet first started becoming widespread, the Web users weren’t very well educated about the search standards and advertising practices, but now they are! As the internet user is becoming more and more sophisticated, the conversion rates of short-tail and “generalized” keywords is quickly declining.In 1995, someone interested in buying shoes would have typed “shoes” on Google, hence the importance of ranking for short-tail keywords in that time. But today, what would that person type? Well, probably something like “buy tennis shoes in (city name)”.
The idea of long tail keywords is that the more words that are involved, the more specific they can be. As we can see from the graph above, long-tail keywords (green area) present a lower CPC (Cost Per Click) and a higher Conversion Rate, compared to short-tail keywords (black area) who in contrast inflict a higher CPC and in return generate lower conversions. The explanation is simple: when people look at the SERPs, they tend to associate short-tail titles as being too general and pushed in there by their advertisers. They are more likely to look for the long-tail, which in return gives them more accurate results and less money-hungry advertisers.
When it comes to Organic SEO, the logic is the same. An SEO agency would charge you a lot of money to get you ranked on 1st page for short-tail and general keywords, while they would charge you much less if you target long-tail keywords. Think about this: if you had the choice, would you prefer to get 1000 visitors from general keywords, or 100 visitors from geo-targeted long-tail keywords? It’s a no-brainer. The latter will cost you less (in both Organic and PPC) and bring you more! (in terms of sales and/or leads)