Short Tail Keyword vs Long Tail in Google Ads

What is a short tail keyword?

A short tail keyword comprises of one or two keywords in a query. They tend to capture a lot of search volume and are broader than a query made up of two or more words with more specific intent.

It is important to identify the difference between when to utilize short tail and long tail keywords in Google Ads because the differences between the competition and volume will have a drastic impact on how you allocate your budget.

A benefit of understanding short tail and long tail keywords is to help understand user intent. The user intent can be met with a user experience that meets the user’s needs and will help your business reach its goals. This strategy of deciding which type of keywords to bid on is how we define lead quality.

What is a long tail keyword?

Long tail keywords are two or more keywords in a query that tend to define a more specified meaning. These queries are also generally higher intent as the user defines a specific need.

The benefit to pursuing a “long tail” keyword strategy is to capture higher intent traffic despite these search queries having less overall search demand.

I’ve found that over time we will find long tail keywords through a production task called “search query mining”. This is the practice of analyzing all the queries a user searched where your google ad showed an impression in auction. In conducting a thorough analysis you may find areas where you can negate the traffic you wish to not bid on as well as finding queries that may have higher intent users that you want to “own”.

Account Structure

The account structure in Google Ads is the organization of your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Defining a comprehensive account structure from the start is important. Doing so will better help to identify opportunity to adjust your keyword strategy much faster than an unorganized account structure.

Here is an example to help define your account structure:

Account Structure Example - Short Tail keyword
Account Structure Example – Retail location

Once you have defined your account structure you can further begin to develop how you utilize short tail and long tail keywords.

Over time the combination of analyzing the volume between a short tail keyword and long tail keyword will quickly become a skill you will never forget. This tactical skill set will help drive better spend efficiency and performance for your business.

If you enjoyed this short article and would like to learn more about search engine marketing. Feel free to reach out!

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