How To Rank Short Tail Competitive Keywords

rank short tail keywords fastHere you will learn how to rank short tail keywords naturally by building an authority in the eyes of Google and not spamming that I really hate! In 2016 you should focus on building authority by delivering extremely high-quality content that they are looking for and Google will automatically reward you with higher rankings.

Some of my posts are ranking for highly competitive short tail keywords without even building a single backlink.. !

Basically my strategy to rank short tail keywords is to target long tail keywords but… this is not the only way to get on the top for short tail keywords. This strategy needs many supporting hands that will help you get on the top of Google for short tail competitive keywords.

Before getting started let me explain you the basic difference between Long tail keywords and Short tail keywords.

Both are the phrases that are searched as queries by visitors through search engines, but the only basic difference is that Long tail keywords are more descriptive than the Short tail keywords.

Ranking short tail keywords is really a big deal due to immense competition by the authority websites and it might take a lot of time to rank. But.. still we should not be afraid of the competition and give our best and as : Winners take action that others won't - James Arthur Ray Click To Tweet

So, let’s get started!

How To Rank Short Tail Competitive Keywords

Step 1. Target long tail keywords To Rank Short Tail Keywords

The game has begun. Targeting long tail keyword with your short tail keyword within it gives it a good start. I use some free tools to find long tail keywords for my posts. Here is how I use them:

  1. Type your main keyword in Google search and get some Google suggestions from below and make a list. Here are some suggestions that I got by searching ‘ Bluehost Coupon’.rank-any-keyword

Further click on any of the relevant suggestion and get more Google suggestions.

Screenshot (18)

Head over to Ubersuggest and get some more relevant Long tail keyword ideas by searching for your primary short tail keyword.

Now, you have a good list of long tail keywords with your targeted short-tail keyword in it.

The next step is to check their competition level and volume. Targeting keywords with 0 volume doesn’t make sense… Right?

Actually, sometimes it does! 😉

None of the tools show the exact search volume but still you get an idea.

Do you know if you rank for keywords having around 10-20 search volume (based on Google keyword planner) and low competition (based on Google keyword planner) can do wonders. I have made around $500+ in 30 days using this strategy.

Here, I searched ‘Bluehost Discount Coupon’ as my primary short tail keyword was ‘Bluehost coupon’. As you can see my long tail keyword has the primary short tail keyword within it.

P.S. I just took this competitive keyword as an example just to show you. Rankings also depend on many other factors such as domain authority, backlink profile, content quality, page speed etc. Ranking this keyword requires extremely good domain authority and clean backlink profile. But you can use the given strategy to rank other short tail keywords. 

Here’s the volume and the competition level and volume of this keyword ‘ Bluehost Discount Coupon’. Screenshot (19)

Step 2. Use your long tail keyword in your title and exact short tail keyword in your permalink 

Once, you have selected the perfect long tail keyword, use it in your title and your exact short tail keyword in your URL of that particular post. Below is an example : is ranking for ‘LSI Keywords’ on 5th position of Google’.

Screenshot (21)As you can see, it is having is primary short tail keyword in its permalink and long tail keywords combination in its title. Also do have a look at the sites that it’s competing with. They’re really high authority sites, isn’t?

Step 3. Write an in-depth post targeting your long tail keyword

Write a beautiful engaging post with a good length ( 1500+ words) targeting the long tail keyword that you just found keeping the keyword density around 2%. Keep that keyword in the first para of your post and the last line of your post and don’t forget to put it in H2 tag too.

Now, it’s time to sprinkle some LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in the post. What are they?

LSI keywords are the keywords related to your primary keyword that gives Google a pretty good idea what is the post about and also makes your post look natural in the eyes of Google. For e.g. Sometimes when you search ‘ _______ images’ , Google shows search results with ‘ ______ Pictures’ as images and pictures mean the same thing. How to use LSI keywords for SEO

You can simply use the Google suggestions and naturally sprinkle the most relevant keyword suggestions in your post. Make sure you have at least 2-3 LSI keywords in every 100 words of your post and avoid it if it looks like spam.

Also Read : Epic SEO tips for bloggers

Use those keywords in the first and the last para of your posts, as your anchor texts, H3 tag and places where it looks relevant.

Give few outbound links to authority websites and insert your other posts links as well.

Step 4. Interlink the posts gradually


Suppose you wrote a post on ‘Bluehost review’, insert this post link in other Hosting Review posts to get link juice from that posts. You can spam your internal link with exact match anchor texts but do it gradually… Don’t interlink too many just after publishing the post. To be on the safe side, use Generic, partial match keywords as anchor texts as well.

Step 5. Do an email outreach

As said above to give few outbound links to authority websites, also make sure you give some links to known bloggers or some popular blogs that you think might share your posts as a reward. If you have written an affiliate or coupon post, ignore this step as they are unlikely to share your posts. It works well with ‘How To’ and ‘Tutorial’ posts.

Step 6. Time to send some social signals and gain more exposure

To see how your post reacts for a given keyword, we will start by sending some social signals to that post naturally. Share it on your Facebook page, groups and on your timeline and Google Plus and Twitter.

Get it shared by your friends, use Social Locker and give a bonus tip in return for a share, use Click to tweet plugin etc.

For now, don’t build a single backlink. Wait for few weeks and see how the post reacting in search engines and note down the positions.

Step 6. Get started with off-page SEO

Here, I can’t explain the exact method to get started with link building as it really depends on your keyword competition. If you are targeting the competitive keyword like ‘Bluehost Coupon’ , it would require tiered link building while some keywords could rank without following tiered link building method.

Any link building practice you follow, do it gradually. Leave the habit of commenting on high PR and comment luv enabled blogs just after publishing the post.

Start with blog commenting, article submissions, infographic submissions, web 2.0’s etc.

As I told above, ranking all depends on your keyword competition level. If you are getting started with blog commenting, start with leaving 1-2 blog comments in a 3-4 days and check how the post is reacting to it in the search engines. Then get started with next link building practice.


If you want to rank your post for multiple keyword, use some LSI keywords in your meta description. I have used this technique to rank my post for multiple keywords and gain higher ranking for primary keyword.

So, what tactics do you follow to rank short tail keywords?

Nikhil Ganotra (Nick)

Nikhil Ganotra is the owner and editor of Universal Blogging Tips. He is a passionate blogger from India. He loves to read and write about content marketing and SEO related topics. You can catch him on Twitter or use this contact form.