There are always questions about whether or not long tail or short tail keywords are the best. I believe they both have their benefits depending on an individual’s skill in targeting traffic or the niche they are in.
An example of short tail keywords would be “social networking” while long tail keywords would be “social networking for businesses.” As you can see from the examples the short tail keywords probably have many more searches than the long tail keyword. However, that being said, with more searches comes more competition.
If one is an expert in traffic generation they could use short tail keywords, however, it would take quite a bit of work to beat the competition. With a long tail keyword you narrow your niche, have less competition and a have a better chance of getting easier traffic. With long tail keywords you also have a better conversion rate with regards to sales, etc.
There are drawbacks, however, to using a long tail keyword. One drawback is that you may narrow your audience too much. You may rank on the first page of Google, but because of the lower search numbers your traffic will also be low.
I have experienced both the benefits and drawbacks of long tail keywords. I have found that some niche sites pop right on the first page of Google which is great, but then the site gets no or very few hits. This leads to the extra work of having to target similar keywords in order to get traffic to that site.
I have also experienced the benefits and drawbacks of short tail keywords. What I have found from those sites is that although they do not rank on Google right away, with enough hard work they get more traffic than my long tail keywords.
I have read many different opinions on which is better and as I said above I believe they both have their benefits and drawbacks. What’s Your Opinion?