Long Tail Pro
Review of : Long Tail Pro
Summary: If you are taking the time to read this page then it’s likely that you would like to attract more organic traffic to generate leads and ultimately achieve online goals to increase income.
Keyword research is so foundational to SEO yet it is very often the main problem that underlies most website’s owner’s difficulties with organic traffic, all too often businesses are targeting the wrong keywords.
Here are some of the most common SEO questions:
What should I do first to get more organic traffic?
Start with detailed Keyword research, formulate a SEO strategy and implementWhat is the most common SEO mistake?
Failing to identify and/or target the correct keywords.
What is the biggest mistake site owners make in Search Engine Optimization?
Foundational errors are the biggest mistake of all, without a doubt poor keyword research, which results in targeting the wrong keywords.
What is the most important factor in optimizing for organic search?
Identifying and correctly targeting the best keywords.
Why is my website not ranking?
I don’t know I would need to analyse it, but on past experience it’s probably mostly related to keywords/ keyword targeting.
How to Use Keywords in SEO
There are a variety of ways to approach keyword research strategy in SEO and also very many tools to assist you, we should know because we have tried most of them! and we have literally dozens of different keyword tools including all the major ones and many that are not generally known outside of professional SEO
Like many SEO’s we have literally dozens of different keyword tools including all the major ones and many that are not generally known outside of professional SEO.
I don’t propose to go through the various tools we have used in the past. Instead, we will focus on the best we have found and the one that we use every day, our tool of choice.
Longtail Pro has been a longtime favorite and secret weapon in professional SEO for years, the new cloud-based version is even better, faster, more powerful, affordable and easy to use.
We will demonstrate an SEO best practice approach using Longtail Pro, here is why you should try this method:
- It works – this approach is battle proven by real professional SEO experts, it works and it’s very effective.
- It’s highly efficient – the workflow is covered in detail and once you have done it a few times SEO becomes easier.
- It quickly identifies valuable keywords to use.
- It identifies the keywords that work for your business.
- It identifies new keywords that you and most likely competitors were not even aware of.
- It helps to organize keywords for their best usage, which is often overlooked but it’s critical.
Words, Words Words!
Take a moment to consider your own shopping and browsing over 83% of all purchase transactions include the use of online search and those searches all begin with keywords.
“Keywords” “Key words” or “SEO Keywords” whichever term you use the name says it all. If there was ever a case of “does what it says on the tin” in digital marketing then “Keywords” is it.
It’s ironic then that despite the obvious name and how often it is referred to in all reputable Search Engine Optimization resources how often this fundamental part of Search Marketing is given cursory consideration or even worse more or less forgotten.
Ignoring proper keyword research or even failing to do it well enough will cost you time and money, it will take longer to achieve your goals and you may never achieve them at all which can lead to business failure.
Every day we are engaged with SEO clients that are seeking a solution, it doesn’t matter if they are
- Brand new start ups, young businesses or established businesses.
- Businesses that are looking to grow, save money or reverse a decline.
- Failing businesses, growing businesses, declining businesses or stagnating businesses.
- Real world/online or online only businesses.
- Local, National or International businesses.
- Service businesses, ecommerce businesses, membership or SAAS businesses or a mixture.
They all benefit from greater continued focus on keywords, the answer to their problem is frequently “keywords” or keyword related, of course site owners may have a variety of additional SEO issues that should be fixed in time but at the top of the list are problems related to keywords!
In every piece of client SEO work that we do keyword research is essential and it is foundational, as such it is the most important driver for organic traffic success.
Hopefully we have successfully conveyed how important keyword research is to SEO and you are ready to read on to the next step!
First let set some context and highlight why keyword research and organic rank is so valuable, ignoring the rising cost of paid advertising here is why SEO should be part of your marketing mix:
How to Use Keywords in SEO
First, let’s start with some encouraging information about keywords, so often we find site owners are targeting the wrong keywords, the obvious big volume keywords that will put them in direct competition with the biggest brands in the market, it’s no wonder they fail to get ranked.
They are often surprised to find that not only are there opportunities available outside those keywords, there are actually more opportunities as this image shows.
Keywords Work Flow
At it’s simplest the workflow for using keywords in On-Page SEO can be separated into four main steps.
- Identify relevant keywords.
- Categorize Keywords for use.
- Carefully select the correct Keywords to Target.
- Use the keywords effectively.
It’s important to understand that to be successful every step has to be completed correctly, but that’s not what normally happens.
While there are many ways to make a mistake in the process but wherever the mistake is made the end result is failure.
The #1 SEO mistake is to target the wrong keywords.
Let’s jump into a worked case study for a brand new website
How To Do Keyword Research with Long Tail Pro
This part is pretty intuitive, but it’s where newbies go wrong.
- Step 1 Log into Longtail Pro and use “Add Project” to create a new Longtail Pro project with a number and a short name, I’m using an acronym 1 for first and HLS for “Hair Loss Site” “1 HLS”
- Select the Project and move to the work area.
- Benchmark your page for it’s ability to rank – first add your page URL this going to tell you your page SEO metrics, the useful Target KC metric is what you should focus on, the number on the left tells us that our site’s KC score is 45, pretty good! That means that this website should rank for most correctly optimized keywords with a KC score of 45 and below, now we know what is achievable and we are looking for.
- Enter your ideas for keywords – select the “Manual Keyword Entry” Tab, then enter each keyword on a separate line. These will be our initial ideas and most likely the obvious keywords for the niche. Don’t make the most common mistake of choosing these words without further research! This is just the start and these terms are most likely NOT the keywords we should select.
- Here’s why: We need to identify which keywords our page can realistically expect to rank for, if any. If we cannot rank for any of the keywords found then we will search further for terms we can rank for while we build our sites ranking power with SEO.
- Looking at the Average KC score we can see Hair Loss is a quite competitive niche, there is just one term that is below our page’s KC score of 45- “Hair loss treatment reviews”. That keyword receives an average search volume of 320 searches per month in our target market the USA, it’s KC score is 37, so we should be able to rank for that term.
- Keyword Intent: The next step is to determine the intent behind the use of the keyword, we want to see if the user’s intent is consistent with our goals.
- There is an element of judgment in assessing keyword intent which is fine, however judgment is not as reliable as you might think, data is what you need for the best results, luckily Longtail Pro makes the process a lot easier.
In my personal judgment the term “hair loss treatment reviews” sounds like a good term to me, why? Well people searching for product reviews might be researching to write an article but most likely they are in a buying process, they have identified a need and are researching solutions, I might judge they are quite close to making a purchase. An alternative way to say this is I judge the probability of purchase as high, it’s a personal opinion.
To get better keyword selection criteria we should use the AdSense data available in Longtail Pro, this provides statistically significant quantitive data to support our assessment of intent behind the keyword by looking at the Bid Value and Competition metrics.
- Bid Value. This is the average price paid per click by AdSense users for the keyword, a high bid value suggests a higher expected potential value from a click but keep in mind that the price paid per click is determined by three variables;
- First a number of people bidding for the term -if only one or two bidders exist the bid price will tend to be lower.
- Second the probability of a purchase following a click – data built up in adwords will show the best terms for conversion, the more likely a search term is to produce a sale the more Google Adsense bidders will pay – it’s a very good data based indicator of the searchers intent.
- Finally – don’t forget that the bid value naturally also reflects the potential value to be gained from a conversion, notice the next image has two additional terms “hair loss shampoo” and “hair transplant” they both belong in the hair loss niche and both happen to have a average search volume 40,500 but clearly one product is very cheap and the other would cost several thousand dollars, as such we expect the difference in potential value to reflect in bid value which it does it costs $11.54 for a click for “hair transplant” and only “$3.33” for the keyword “hair loss shampoo”
Long Tail Pro Keyword Adsense Competition Metric
We are also provided with a metric to indicate the volume of Adsense bidders. We should take into consideration the volume of bidders for a keyword.
A low volume of bidders means a smaller sample size so we should be less confident in the bid value because in statistical terms there is a larger chance of sampling error and we should be less confident that the term converts at the rate the bid value suggests . In general when there are high number of bidders we can be confident that the keyword does convert well, that all things considered the bid value is an accurate intent indicator and that ranking for it is usually very worthwhile.
Expect to Go Deeper Into The Woods!
Don’t expect to find terms your site well rank for on the first pass like that, that’s not normally what you can expect.
Our website is well optimized and consequently, has sufficient metrics to rank for a decent keyword. Normally you should expect to need to go “deeper into the woods” to find what we need and it is always worth doing so!
In any case, we have only identified one keyword that we can rank for, that keyword has an average of 320 searches per month but it’s not nearly enough for our website to be successful.
Our goal is to rank for hundreds of targeted keywords to get the best from this site, keyword research is something that you should continue to work on for as long as it is worthwhile to do so. So let’s dig further!
High Paying Keywords in Profitable Niches – Keyword Generation with Long Tail Pro
Remember that even if we achieve first place on the SERP for our single rankable keyword, we can only expect around 53% of the organic clicks or 45% of total clicks, with 320 searches a month we could expect 144 Organic visitors, it’s not enough. Our site has many pages and each page can be optimized for up to two main keywords with a further three supporting ones. We want to identify more keywords and find the ones we can actually rank for.
However our site has many pages and each page can be optimized for say one or two main keywords with a further three supporting ones, so now we want to find more keywords and identify ones we can realistically rank for now or very soon.
The problem is I don’t really know very much about hair loss, so I’m out of ideas luckily Longtail Pro has the ability to make thousands of suggestions based on quality data, the Keyword Suggestion feature can save me days of research and guesswork by finding what I need instantly.
In addition, I can set the criteria for keyword targeting so I can find thousands of relevant keywords and then use filters to identify which are both achievable and the best ones to target, it’s all very easy and super fast, here goes.
Longtail Pro can generate related keywords for me like Google keyword planner (link) used to. The Keyword Planner Data was useful and for those that were dogged it could produce good results, the problems were it was so freely available that everyone was using the same data and competition was tough, also the data was not delivered efficiently into a purpose built tool, it needed to be exported manipulated and loaded into a tool for analysis, every single time you did keyword research – it was time-consuming and inefficient.
However as many people will know Google changed free access to Google Keyword planner data last year, enforcing the dreaded “categorization” that makes the data effectively useless, since the data stopped being so freely available last year it’s become easier for those with access to the data to find valuable keywords that they can successfully target.
Longtail Pro does a great job at pulling the complete keyword suggestion data, here are some of the great features that make it such a great tool to use;
- Google’s own Keyword planner data
- Longtail Pro provides the complete set of metrics
- The data is placed right into our workspace no hassles with exporting and importing
- It does it all much faster than more expensive tools.
I’m Going to Use Longtail Pro to generate keywords related to my niche now, to save time and get what I need even faster I’m going to set some filters to target keywords that will work for me ….
- In the work area select the tab “Google Adwords Suggestions” and I am going to use my manually entered keywords for “Seed Words” to get suggestions for related keywords. You can enter a lot of keywords in bulk and do everything in one go very quickly but for the purpose of demonstration, I’m limiting the seed words to our five words, our manually created keywords.
- I’m also going to set some suggestion filters to demonstrate extra Longtail Pro functionality as well:
- Max results per seed keyword, for purposes of the demonstration I’m only asking for 10 suggestions per seed word, Longtail Pro can generate hundreds if you want, that means you can very quickly generate thousands of keywords and that’s great here’s why, the more keywords you have the more choice you have and the more selective you can be – the only downside could be that the mass of data becomes too much to manage. Luckily Longtail Pro includes instant filtering functions and many great ways to help select and categorize keywords which I will demonstrate later.
- Volume filter I want to make sure I am targeting terms that have reasonable search volumes, so I have set a minimum monthly search volume of 500.
- Intent filter My website provides useful information but I’m not aiming to attract visitors who are simply researching hair loss. My goal is commercial, so I want to provide valuable to information that will attract the most valuable traffic related to my niche. So I have set a minimum Adsense bid value of $2 to make sure that the traffic has commercial value.
- Adsense Competition level I have left this open to include everything, I normally do this since a low competition volume for a keyword does not necessarily mean it’s not valuable.
Round 1 – The First Keyword Suggestion Results
The Longtail Pro Keyword Suggestion Results
Targeted keywords that generate 1.4 million searches every month, it took two minutes pretty amazing!
Even using those very small settings I have immediately generated valuable new keywords, my list now has 56 keywords with a total monthly search volume of almost 1.4 million searches!
Filtering the keyword suggestions Keyword Competitiveness Ranking of 45 or less, 29 terms are left, my site should rank for all those keywords if the site is properly optimized, those 29 terms are searched on average over 200,000 times every month, very easy and very fast. Impressive!
How About if I Need Less Competitive Keywords or More Keywords?
It’s easy, we just need to go deeper into the woods.
To find more keywords we can do things like:
- Try rephrasing existing seed words with alternative phrases or words.
- Add new seed words.
- Enable up to 20 suggestions per seed word
- Relax any of the suggestion criteria.
To find less competitive keywords we can:
- Get specific with longer seed words.
- Use our existing seed words with less ambitious criteria.
- Add new seed words with less ambitious criteria.
I’m going to pretend that our site has not had much SEO done yet and it’s KC rating is only 28, so now we need keywords that are less competitive,
so the settings for Longtail Pro this time are :
- The same seed words as before plus I am adding one longer seed word “best scientifically proven hair loss treatments”
- I’m going to cast the net wider by asking Longtail Pro for up to 50 results per seed word this time and because it will produce a very long list of suggestions I will simply use the Longtail Pro filtering options to find what I need.
- I’m reducing the monthly volume to keywords that receive less than 125 searches per month.
- I’m going to reduce the intent filter to a maximum bid value of $1.
- Im only going to include terms that are classed as “low” or “medium” competition only.
Round 2 – The Second Keyword Suggestion Results
Round 2 The Longtail Pro Keyword Suggestion Results
164 extra keywords generated, with a total monthly search volume of just over 30,000 searches each month, pretty good.
Using the Longtail filters we can see that we can rank for 7 results with 200 monthly searches for terms with a KC score at or below our new page benchmark score of 28, it’s not enough so we need carry on searching to enter more seed words.
Looking at the 7 keywords that we will rank for there are a few things to consider, namely are these keywords that we want to optimize for? Possibly not because six of the seven are geographically qualified terms in widely dispersed locations, however it’s possible they do fit it just depends how we want to develop our site, for example, if we want to develop an international directory for hair loss treatments then these are exactly the type of terms we want to include in our keyword strategy.
So What Now?
For the removal of any doubt in Search Engine Ranking there are really no prizes for taking part! Without some
This mean that without some content and effort a website probably won’t rank for anything at all except it’s own name, probably.
But don’t worry it’s very common to not have enough competitiveness to rank for the terms you really want to, in fact it’s true for most websites and it is not the end of the world there are three main strategies to solve the problem, you should really consider using all three.
- Increase your website’s competitiveness through SEO, this will include but by no means be limited to creating new keyword rich content to get indexed by the search engines use Long Tail Pro to guide your content and choice of keywords we will do an additional post especially about content strategy and how to use Longtail Pro as a growth hacking tool, then as your site competitiveness increases you will attract a higher volume of traffic and more targeted traffic with a higher propensity to convert with the optimized content you have already created.
- Go deeper still into the woods! we have only used a tiny list of 5 seed words, Longtail Pro has very generous allowances you can create thousands of targeted keywords and you can be certain that you will find many opportunities if you look. As a bonus when the time comes to create a piece of content use Long Tail Pro makes your life easy. Let’s say we want to write a blog post on the “causes of hair loss in wmen” we can simply create a new project for the post eg. “Post – Causes of Hair Loss men” then run down our master keyword list, select the check box for each keyword that relates to the blog post then use the Use the “Bulk Action” option to copy the keywords to our project “Post – Causes of Hair Loss men” and voila you have a targeted list of keywords to motivate you and guide you on what to write and which terms to optimize for, don’t forget that as your site becomes more competitive you can go back and change the keywords a page is optimized for if you wish as well. As a bonus as you produce a promote site content to build the SEO ranking metrics you can be sure that when your site begins to rank you will be rewarded for writing keyword targeted content in the as it begins to rank and attract traffic.
- A third tactic is competitor analysis – the last set of Longtail Pro results that had a KC rating of 28 or less included a keyword I was not aware of a term ” pcos hair loss treatment” Longtail Pro informs me of a keyword related to my niche and by clicking on it I can find all sorts of useful information, like what the keyword relates to, the top 10 organic search results for that term, all the information I need to research, write and reference for my own content plus a complete set of metrics for each page! There is a lot of useful information about all the top performing websites for that keyword right at my fingertips here but most important of all I have found a new targeted keyword that I can rank for now (image)
Of course, I can click on any keyword at all to get that information it’s an incredibly powerful feature that
- Generates new opportunities
- Saves wasted time searching
- Provides the best performing content in the market
- Shows you whether your site rank now, or what you need to do to rank.
A wealth of information available at my fingertips on the top performing organic pages for any keyword, all the resources I need for content research and I can immediately see whether I will rank if I do create the content!
As I mentioned before we have access to many many tools but most get trialed and end up not being used for very long.
Longtail Pro is the tool we use every day on every aspect of our work
It’s the obvious and best choice for keyword research but it’s not until you sit back and think about it that yourealizee how much the tool does and how much we use it, it’s quite amazing.
I am going to list some of the ways we use Long Tail Pro
- SEO Keyword research – obviously! It is a brilliant tool and we have only scraped the surface here, we will explain more in later articles suffice to say that it does everything we need and more, beautifully.
- Keyword generation – it finds more keywords than any other system we use and better keywords too.
- Easily identify top performing competitors – it’s a massive time saver to be able to
- Identify and find new keywords all in one system
- Identify the top performing pages for those keywords too
- Access those site SEO metrics
- and compare them to your own site’s metrics – all in one tool!
- We use it every time we build a new site to assist with content, titles, menu items and so on.
- Similarly we use it every time we need to create content be it for a new page, a blog post, social profile or press release.
- Categorization of keywords into SEO and Paid Search Advertising campaigns – a massive time saver to have the data all in one system to sort. It’s certainly helps us to save expensive mistakes and missed opportunities too.
- For domaining research and domain advertising copy. We use the tool to evaluate or generate keywords identify potential domains we are interested in and export reports ready for import into bulk search applications.
- Domain search for client projects. Often we can add value to client projects by identifying keywords for exact match domains or keyword modified domains.