Long vs short tail keywords for Ecommerce SEO

Digital Marketing

Choosing the right keywords will make or break the success of your website.

Particularly the success you get from organic results.

And especially when it comes to Ecommerce and making money from your website.

If you can’t get your customers to your website, and they can’t find you in search, then you don’t have a chance of competing.

But which keywords should you focus on your Ecommerce SEO?

Sure short tail keywords might be harder to rank for, but the volume of customers using them means the potential payoff is huge if you can rank.

But long tail keywords have less competition, you’ll have a better chance of ranking for them (in theory) and don’t customers using long tail, more specific searches, historically have a higher conversion rate?

Let’s have a look.


What’s the difference between long and short tail keywords?

Short tail keywords are more broad searches which usually have one or two words – “Ecommerce SEO” is a good example of a short tail keyword.

It’s a broad subject and the search isn’t looking for anything in particular.

In this case we can see that Ecommerce SEO has a search volume of 950 a month and a keyword difficulty of 46.

If you look for something a big more specific with the wider Ecommerce SEO umbrella, let’s say you’re looking for information on how to create an SEO strategy for your Ecommerce website:

You can see from this search that the search volume around Ecommerce SEO strategy is much lower (70 searches a month).

But you can also see that the keyword difficult is lower too, meaning you’d have a better chance of ranking for this term.

The same works for searches related to Ecommerce.

Searches around “running shoes” is a short tail search and would generate many more searches per month with higher competition.

Looking for “best women’s running shoes” is more specific. It will generate less monthly searches, but is also easier to rank for.

If you’re a new website, without much search authority, then you are better off going after longer tail keywords.

Firstly, you have a much higher chance of ranking for them – as we’ve shown above.

Plus, most Google searches how are based on long tail searches, rather than specific keywords.

Think about it.

When was the last time you typed something into a Google which wasn’t a question (perhaps a search for a particular brand).

In fact, the most popular searches in Google now are those which start with “How to” “What is” “Where can I” etc.

That’s because the way we search has changed.

So changing your SEO strategy to focus on long tail keywords can help you get more traffic and customers and, importantly, build up search authority over time.

Once you’ve reached a higher level of search authority, you can then start to compete for short tail keywords and start to drive more traffic to your website.

One thing newer marketers tend to do is go all in on short tail keywords straight away because they see search volumes like 10,000, 100,000 searches a month.

Imagine if you could get that traffic to your website.

But the chances of competing are lower.

At that level you’re competing with the likes of Nike, Amazon, Apple etc.

So focus on your long-tail strategy first.

You can still focus service or product pages around short tail keywords.

Our main web pages target searches like SEO Agency, Content Marketing and Pay Per Click.

Over time you’ll have a chance of ranking for these.

But you need to build the authority first.


Finding the best keywords

There are plenty of SEO tools out there that can help you find the best keywords.

Tools like ahrefs and KWFinder can not only tell you the search volume of your main keywords, but also provide alternative keywords and even suggest long tail search terms you can target.

Ultimately, you need to do your research, understand your current position and what you could challenge for in search, and create your strategy around those searches first.


Not sure where you stand with your SEO strategy? Get in touch with us for a free technical SEO audit.

We can analyse your website and help point you and your strategy in the right direction to help you get better results quicker.

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