The Disadvantages of Long Tail Keywords in SEO

Don’t be surprised if you’re reading this – disadvantages of using long tail keywords. For everything there is on the planet, he/she/ or it will have its positives and negatives.

Having said that, becoming aware of the strengths and its limitation of things can actually make you take a wise decision for yourself, so that you do not waste your time, energy, and money in something that is not worth it, or let’s say, if its “incapable” of doing it.

Long tail keywords is no exception. Yes, it has its own benefits and disadvantages. Here, I’ll will try to list as much not so great things about long tail keywords so that you do not build up a SEO campaign hoping to get results that it is incapable of.

Check out my other article on advantages of using long tail keyword to be sure that you haven’t skipped the best part of using long tail keyword into your website.

Related article: Advantages of using long tail keywords

What are long tail keywords?

Well, if you’re feeling lazy and simply do not want to repeat yourself, I’ll just give a short definition of long tail keywords so that you actually understand what it is, and well, what it is not. Plus, the disadvantages at the middle of the article will also throw more light on the subject, too.

Definition: *Long-tail keywords are search terms, usually more than 2-3 words that people type in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to find highly specific information.

*The above definition is my own, so don’t go to Wikipedia to verify its authenticity 😉

So, unlike small keywords that are only 1-2 word long, long tail keywords usually have many words in it, which flows naturally while typing, and as a result, very specific. As keywords become longer and more specific, of course, you’ll see less competition for it as most people do not cover a topic in depth. But there’s a thin line between going into too deep and being at the edge, because the bad thing about long tail keywords is the more it gets specific, less people tend to search for it. Less number of people means not much traffic to your site, but you’ll definitely can rank quickly on the search engine page, probably on the 1st page of Google, for these low competitive keywords, and well, establish your online reputation with these keywords.

On the other hand, most entrepreneurs, especially those who are just starting out, make the common SEO mistakes by targeting broad keywords right out of the bat, which may have sufficient amount of searches per month, but very difficult to see quick rankings on search engine pages (SERPs).

But, as you know, if your niche is very competitive, “weight loss” or “make money online,” for example, then it could take you around 6 to 12 months of consistent work to see some significant result – i.e. drive more traffic to your site, and increase website conversion rate.

Long tail keyword, on the other hand, let’s you cover more specific topics on your site/blog, and thereby, attract that portion of traffic to affect your bottom-line by at least some percent. It’s better to rank for long tail keyword than not ranking at all, you see.

So, should you use long tail keyword?

Of course, you should because if you’re just starting an online business, and if god forbid, in a tough and competitive niche, then you’ll have to stand out from the crowd there to rank quickly and drive tons of free traffic to it.

Let’s face it – broad keyword terms won’t help you in terms of increasing rankings and driving traffic to your site, because, well, it’s way too competitive for you. Besides, rankings for these broad term keywords will take a lot of time on your end, which will not be very beneficial for you.

On the other hand, if you use long tail keywords into your page/post(s), you may get a quick rankings, although you may bring only limited people into your site.

But again, these limited amount of traffic may be what you should after, as they’re highly specific and targeted traffic, and they are more likely to convert than those who use broad term keywords to find information about a topic.

Related article: Advantages of Long Tail Keyword

Okay, now that you know a little about long tail keywords, let me share you some limitations of using long tail keywords so that you are aware what long tail keyword won’t do for your site.

Disadvantages of using long tail keywords

Here are few key disadvantages of using long tail keywords into your articles so that you know and understand what it can do for your business, and what it cannot! Fair enough?

Difficult to Discover

Well, this may not seem like a disadvantage really, because if you use a tool for 2-3, anything difficult seems easy for lesser moral people J, but anyways, compared how easy it is to find broad keyword terms, finding long tail keywords that people actually use to type specific information, could be difficult, although possible.

But, don’t worry. Use any of these 5 best keyword suggestion tools to find long tail keyword for your bog posts, web pages, ad copies, and any other content marketing strategies.

Related article: 5 best keyword suggestion tools

Less Data for Analysis

Another disadvantage of using long tail keyword is that you actually do not get sufficient data to improve your site’s performance. Google Analytics, for example, displays very little information for long tail keywords as compared with root (main) keywords, and therefore, you will never be sure what people actually type in search engines to find you on the Internet.

Long Tail Keywords Target Less Traffic

Long tail keyword will drive less people on your site, but it has its benefits too – it will also drive high quality traffic that is more likely to convert.

You see, I personally think, you should go after only the quantity and completely overlook the quality of the traffic that these keyword terms bring to your site.

What if you bring thousands of traffic to your site, but only few converts, as most of them do not find relevant content on your site? It could have a negative connotation on your site as more people leave as soon as they land on it.

So, don’t consider less traffic as less number of conversions. Instead, see it as targeting highly targeted audience who are looking for specific information, and then, carter to their requirements, and then, expand on your reach.

Long Tail Keyword is Difficult to Add in Your Content

Since you’re reading disadvantages of using long tail keywords into your website, I am going to assume that you already know the basics of inserting keywords into your articles, or content.

Keywords have to be inserted at appropriate places (titles, headers, intro and ending paragraphs, throughout the content, and so on) – check out my article on how to insert keywords into your post/page(s) – and still has to sound natural and provide great content that people find useful.

Inserting long tail keyword is a bit difficult than inserting short broad keywords. For example, if you had to choose between two keywords,   “weight loss” (a highly competitive keyword) and “8 common ways to lose weight,” (long tail keyword), which one do you think would be easy to insert?

Of course, the former! But as you know, it’s a highly competitive keyword and ranking for this term will take plenty of hard work and time, which you may not have.

Oh the other hand, although it may be difficult to use long tail keywords, it will sound more natural and more specific so that you can craft high quality and original articles on topics that no one has covered yet. Don’t you think? 😉

But, again, some long tail keywords such as “should you use long tail keyword” could be very awkward to fit naturally into your article too.

Related article: How to insert long tail keyword into your page/post(s)

Long Tail Keyword Is Getting Competitive

I hate to reveal this, but if you look closely at the results on the keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, you’ll see long tail keywords are soon starting to get difficult to rank to. This is because search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, have made it very difficult to rank quickly and better for newer sites. In addition, targeting wrong sets of keywords (not exact keywords) can not only slow down your progress, but you’ll also have to put double effort to program your content for the “right” set of keywords.

My Thoughts on Using Long Tail Keywords – What You Should Do?

If you ask me, I would suggest that you take the middle road. Period!

If you have a website and want to make it popular, the best way to do that is to do a keyword research for highly profitable keywords that have high, middle, and low competition.

It’s no good to setup your site around long tail keyword and only uses one keyword as most website owners do, especially the beginners. Over the years, I have seen plenty of people buy long-tail domain to influence higher rankings for their keyword term, only to have stuck on the 3rd or even the 2nd page on Google.

Having said that, avoid registering domain using long-tail keywords. Search engines still give more preference for domains with shorter names.

So, if you have a niche-based site up, you’ll probably rank better than sites that use long-tail keywords with few content on it. You see, sites are ranked by search engines based on the quality of content on it, so if you already have a niche-based site, focus on creating content that people in that niche would be interested on.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pick Short and Easy to Remember Domain. Register a domain name which are short and easy to type and remember for people. Make sure to include at least a keyword in it (optional).
  2. Find keywords that generate high traffic. At least 7 to 10 highly searched terms would be appropriate to rank better in search engines. Use keywords that have high, low, and medium competition.
  3. Use 4-5 keywords to Create Pages. Only pick a handful of keywords, 7 to 10 keywords, to create pages on your site.
  4. Submit your site. Start spreading your site URL to top directories, forums, blogs, advertising sites, video sharing sites, cloud sharing site, etc. In addition, submit to places where your target audiences are more likely to converge.
  5. Keep up to date. Update your SEO tools, read on new SEO trends and technique to stay at the top of your game, and, yes, work hard and smart.

Related article: Top 10 SEO Marketing tools Every Website Owner Must Have!

Well, there you have it. I just shared you what long tail keywords are, disadvantages of using long tail keywords into your website, and what to do about it.

If you liked this article – disadvantage of long tail keywords – you may also be interested to learn about the advantages of using long tail keywords into your site.

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Comment below to share your ideas, opinions, and extra tips on disadvantages of long tail keyword to help other people see.

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  1. I agree with you that Long tail keyword is difficult to insert in your post. in fact, if you have your roots in formal writing as a writer, you will find it extremely difficult to insert them and they literally mar your writing skill

    • Thanks for your response.

      I think if we write naturally, as words come up, it will be easier to incorporate those long tail keywords in our article.

      Aby 🙂