Today I’m talking about the short-tail keyword mirage.
I’ll use myself as an example here.
The keyword “SEO” is a short-tail keyword with a lot of variation/combination for how it’s searched and a huge monthly search volume.
Check out the screenshot below. There are 388,802 variations of the ways people search that contains “SEO” and that one single variation gets searched about 165,000 times per month in the US:
Would I love it if Avalanche ranked for just “SEO” – Absolutely!
Do we have any business ranking for it? Absolutely not.
Insert the short-tail keyword mirage:
Whatever your big, juicy, high-volume, short-tail is, you need to consider the many, many different intentions that searchers could have.
While we would undoubtedly get A LOT of traffic and probably some new business from ranking high for “SEO,” our site is nowhere near deserving of ranking for such an ambiguous keyword simply because we don’t have the content to fulfill the majority of the possible intentions.
When looking at a short-tail keyword, ask yourself these questions:
Am I attracted to this keyword for the bias of what intention I WANT people to have when searching this keyword?
Am I attracted to the volume of monthly searches and potential traffic?
Can our website fulfill any and all intentions for this keyword?
If you audit a big, juicy, short-tail keyword and find out that there is a reason to be attracted to it, then you need to figure out what it’s going to take to cover the spread of ambiguity for it.
Then and only then should you go after it.
And the reality is, you can’t get the big juicy keyword without first obtaining the low-hanging fruit.