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Why Long Tail Search Terms are Important

A long-tail key term is generally any searchable term with more than 2 words. So the difference between short-tail terms (nearly all Google Adwords are short-tail) and long tail search terms is the number of words in the term. Short-tail search terms account for 30% of all search traffic, while long-tail accounts for 70%. Following are a couple of examples:

  • Short tail: HPC Computers

  • Long tail: HPC Computers for Research Institutions

  • Short Tail: Intel Processors

  • Long Tail: Fastest Intel Processors

Looking at these examples, it’s easy to see why more complex terms will have a lower search volume than simple terms. This may be why Google offers mostly short-tail terms for purchase (Google only gets paid when someone actually clicks on the ad). However, it is also easy to see the significantly greater value of long-tail terms. They tend to be terms that serious shoppers and buyers use to find exactly what they want.

So why doesn’t everyone opt for long-tail terms? Because success requires a serious strategy, complex planning, and a large volume of terms—some experts recommend 150 or more. Users also need a way to get their terms into the first page of search results. This is possible for most (not all) organizations. For a no cost assessment of your situation and the volume of quality traffic we can drive to your website call 630-363-8081 or email

In next week’s post, I’ll go into choosing long-tail terms that attract serious buyers.

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