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Keyword length and its effects on your Google AdWords results

The relationship between keyword phrase length and % of traffic share is a relationship that needs to be taken into consideration when running a Google AdWords account. Studies have shown a direct relationship between keyword length and % of traffic share, as seen in this graph:

As you can see, two-worded keyword phrases have 44% of total traffic, whereas four-worded keyword phrases only have 3% of total traffic. Is this enough data for you to decide which keyword length is the best for your campaign? No it’s not!

There is a direct relationship between keyword length and a keywords conversion rate, as shows in this graph:

As you can see, four-worded keyword phrases tend to convert about 38% of total traffic, whereas two-worded keyword phrases only convert 15% of total traffic.

So, what would a better option be?

  1. Use two-worded keywords which have 44% of total traffic but only a 15% conversion rate
  2. Use a four-worded keyword which has 3% of total traffic but a 38% conversion rate??

Well I suppose that depends on the CPC!!

As you can see by the graph above, keyword phrases containing 3 words have typically cheaper CPCs than keyword phrases containing only 1 keyword. This is regardless of the average position.

So as you can see, there are several factors that should be considered when deciding to use either long-tail keywords (3 or more keywords in the keyword phrase) or short-tail keywords, they are:

  • How much traffic does the keyword bring?
  • How much of that keywords traffic will convert?


  • How much would the traffic cost (CPC)?
  • Is the cost of this traffic outweighed by the amount of profits to be made?