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Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Used in digital marketing, affiliate marketing, Google Ads, and many other areas, keywords often determine page rankings on search engine results pages (SERP) and the success rate of PPC campaigns.
As of 2016, Google was processing 5.5 billion searches per day, this number should be even bigger today.
A keyword can be either a short or a long-tail keyword. Keywords that have over two or three words in them can be considered a long tail. If a search term has less than three words, it is often regarded as a focus keyword or a short tail keyword.
When you perform keyword research and analyze search volumes of various keyword lengths, chances are short tail keywords will have a higher amount of monthly searches in comparison to long-tail search terms. Despite being seemingly less popular, long-tail keywords often can bring more targeted traffic to your website that will convert better compared to shorter keywords or focus keywords.
The reason is long-tail keywords articulate more specific search intent and often used by people that are further down the conversion funnel. For example, a person that might eventually buy a phone case might start his or her keyword research with a search query "phone cases", then use "best phone cases 2019", then continue with "black thin silicon case for iPhone xs", and so forth.
In the example above, searchers move further down the conversion funnel as they start to understand what exactly they are looking to buy. It is the main reason why so many people that produce content, sell software, goods or services online work hard to find long-tail keywords.
By understanding the type and intent of search terms that your target audience uses when searching online, you can create content that targets these long-tail keywords. It will enable your content to rank higher on Google results for the corresponding search terms and attract the right audience to your web properties.