The importance of keyword research for bloggers
As mentioned in my Rankwatch review, bloggers need to get on board with SEO to drive more blog traffic.
To develop a successful SEO strategy for your blog, you need to choose the best keywords to rank for on search engines.
Considering that there are millions of blogs out there, you need everything you can do to deliver your content to your target audience much easier. And this is what SEO allows you to do.
By ranking atop search results for a specific keyword, you will get the most clicks — 30%+ to be exact — from users, thus boosting your organic traffic.
However, you simply cannot choose a random keyword that you can think of the top of your head.
You need for your keyword to meet certain criteria that will help you find the best one:
- Choose keywords with low competition – Find keywords where you feel you can make a better page than the ones ranking on the first page for them.
- Find keywords with high search volume – Find keywords that are searched the most times during a month locally or globally (depending on the location you are targeting).
- Go for potentially high conversion rate – Find keywords based on user intent. Identifying this will allow you to understand how you need to write your content ad optimize for your keyword.
Most of these criteria are met by long-tail keywords.
What are long-tail keywords?
First off, there are two types of keywords: head term and long-tail.
Head term keywords are composed of one to two words, have high monthly search volume, and are tough to rank for in search results.
Long tail keywords are composed of at least four words, have low month search volume, and are much easier to rank for.
|composed of one to two words||composed of at least four words|
|have high monthly search volume||have low month search volume|
|tough to rank for in search results||much easier to rank for|
Based on the table above, long-tail keywords hold a distinct advantage over head terms regarding organic search.
Long-tail keywords allow you to optimize keywords that are specific and are easier to rank.
Granted, this keyword type has drastically lower monthly search volume. However, the more specific the keyword you are optimizing for, the better conversion you will have with your content. After all, it is not always about the search volume!
The problem with long-tail keywords
Simply put, long-tail keywords are much more difficult to find without using a paid tool.
It is possible to filter keywords based on other factors such as keyword difficulty as I have detailed in this post at RankPay.
However, and I can honestly say this through experience, manually conducting long-tail keyword research will take too much of your time. You will be forced to use different free tools to cross-reference information until you come up with the best keywords to rank for.
Instead of writing and promoting your blog content, you will spend hours — if not days — through your keyword research!
If only there is a way for you to conduct keyword research in a shorter amount of time.
What is Long Tail Pro and the important features that bloggers need to know
However, as a blogger, do you need this tool?
Not to sound like a broken record, but you need to learn SEO to increase your blog traffic and build your readership. And the foundation of a solid SEO campaign is choosing the right keywords for your blog.
Thankfully, Long Tail Pro will help you achieve this goal. Below are some of the features that bloggers will find useful:
- Calculate keyword difficulty – Instead of toiling most of your time analyzing keyword difficulty, Long Tail Pro will take care of finding it for you!
- Determine metrics – Find the most relevant SEO factors that will help you get a better idea about a keyword.
- Advanced filtering features – Organize your research by filtering out the needless information who you can analyze the data that matters to you.
Obviously, these features would not mean anything unless I show them to you. So why not we proceed with using the tool so you can get a better idea on how Long Tail Pro works.
How to use Long Tail Pro to find the best keywords for your
Once you have set up your account, you need to download the file and install it to your hard drive. The instructions will be included in the email that will be sent to you once you sign up.
Setting up a project
After opening the tool, you will need to create a project where you will conduct your keyword research.
To do that, click on the plus button on the upper left-hand corner of the tool’s window.
Fill out the details in the floating window.
If you want to optimize for a country because you want to engage your local audience, then change the country from the drop-down menu.
Also, choose the search network that you want to optimize for. Google is the default since it is the search engine that most want to rank in, but you can choose whichever you want.
Filtering the keyword results
Once you click the “Create Project” button, you will be brought to a new floating window.
For the Seed Keywords, enter the topics that you want to write content for. Long Tail Pro will be responsible to help you find keywords related to the topics. You can enter as many as you want.
If you have already have conducted your keyword research, you can enter your findings under Add My Own Keywords section to keep track of them.
Under Customize Data & Pre-Filter feature, below are checked by default:
- Suggested Bid – shows the amount that you will have to bid on Google AdWords for the keyword
- Local Search Volume – shows an estimate number of searches for the keyword within a month’s time
- Advertiser Competition – shows how difficulty it will be for you to bid for the keywords on Google AdWords
Below are the unchecked factors:
- Num Words – Allows you to filter keywords based on the number of words each has
- Global Search Volume – Shows the search volume for the specific keyword globally
- Domain Availability – Reveals to you whether you can buy the domain using the keyword or not
- Google Title Competition – Shows the number of sites which has the keyword included in the title
- Bing Title Competition – Same as above, but for Bing
Once you started generating keyword ideas using the tool, you will be taken to a new window to sync your Google Keyword Planner account with Long Tail Pro. If you do not have a Keyword Planner account yet, I suggest you sign up for one before getting a copy of LTP.
Give the tool a couple of minutes to find the keywords for you. How fast you will get the results depend on your internet speed and computer hardware.
Also, it depends on the number of seed keywords you entered. The least number of keywords that Long Tail Pro will get from each seed keyword is 700. So the more keywords you entered, the longer the results will show.
Once the results are shown, you will see something similar to the one below.
Again, since there is a chance that your Google will block your request of acquiring title competition for Google and/or Bing, expect to see some blanks on the data at first. You can continue getting the data for these factors once you have gotten your account unblocked.
What separates Long Tail Pro from other keyword tools
Now to discuss the exciting part about the effectiveness of Long Tail Pro.
Among the factors in the resutls, two of the most important factors that will help you determine which keywords to choose for your blog are the Num Words and Avg Keyword Competition.
As the name of the tool states, Long Tail Pro will help you find the best long tail keywords for your blog. The Num Words filter will help you find long tail keyword ideas that you can use to help optimize your content.
Normally, you should look out for keywords with at least four words, which is the prevailing minimum for a long tail keyword.
Once you have filter the long tail keywords, it is time to determine the difficulty on how to rank for these keywords.
There is not definite explanation on how you can figure out the keyword difficulty. It could pertain to the following:
- On-page optimization factors of the ranking pages
- Link profile and quality of backlinks of the ranking pages
- Freshness index or how recent or old the ranking pages have been published
Wrapping your brain around these factors and mining for these data will take you days.
However, through the Avg Keyword Difficulty, Long Tail Pro will help gather and computer these factors for you and provide an aggregate difficulty score for each keyword!
You can get down and dirty with the data used to compute for the keyword difficulty by opening the first 10 SERPs for the keyword.
From the image above, you will see the different factors that determine keyword competitiveness.
According to Long Tail Pro, keyword competitiveness is computed this way:
KC = Page Authority (PA) +/- Page Title Factor +/- Keywords in Domain Factor +/- Domain Length
PA = (Several Factors including: Domain Authority, Site Age, Page Links, Juice Page Links, Social Signals, and More)
Also keep in mind that the higher the KC, the more difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. Therefore, you should go for keywords with low competition or with a KC score of 0-30. Anything higher than that will take much more effort from you to rank.
While Keyword Competitiveness is not the be-all-end-all metric to determine the difficulty of ranking for a search term, it is a good barometer to measure which keywords to choose for your blog’s SEO campaign.
At the same time, it would still be good practice to open the pages yourself and see for yourself what makes the pages rank for their respective keywords. Do not rely solely on LPT’s Keyword Difficulty feature, no matter how useful it may be.
The pros and cons of this keyword research tool
Pros: The best keyword research tool…really!
As mentioned, Long Tail Pro may not satisfy users looking for a more comprehensive tool for their SEO needs. However…As a keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro is arguably the best in the market.Click To Tweet
Given that it only does keyword research (and does it quite well), the pricing is, at the very least, fair.
Aside from mining for long-tail keywords, Long Tail Pro also lets you check your ranking on search results.
Identify the page and the keyword you want to track. Then you choose the country and the language of the search engine.
The downside of this feature is that you need to manually input the pages and keywords to the tool. Nonetheless, the Rank Checker is a good supplement to your keyword research.
Cons: Just a keyword research tool
This is not a knock on Long Tail Pro because it does not pose anything more than just a keyword research tool. However, in today’s world of SEO, more tools are offering other features that provide a more immersive experience to users concerning SEO.
You could say that Long Tail Pro is stuck in the thinking that it’s enough to do one thing really good. Others like to keep things simple. Regarding simplicity and straightforwardness, Long Tail Pro fits the bill. However, some might disagree with this sentiment, as evident with tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
Cons: Buggy software
As good features Long Tail Pro has, the same cannot be said about the actual tool.
I have had multiple incidents with their support team about duplicate billing, my account getting canceled without me knowing, and my license not working, to name a few.
To their credit, Long Tail Pro was able to assist me with this particular issue. While their support team was not able to provide a refund, they instead offered a discount for the succeeding months if I continue to subscribe to them.
However, you have to look at this situation based on what your business needs. To be honest, I do not take too much time in researching for keywords.
But if you are a small business working for different SEO clients, then instances like this can prevent you from providing your clients with a consistent experience for SEO. Not to mention, it might leave a bad taste in your mouth especially if you are used to manning a steady ship.
My personal take on Long Tail Pro and whether or not you should buy it
Now that I have discussed how to use the tool in depth and what my experience with the product is, here’s my take on it:
Long Tail Pro is an indispensable tool for your keyword research strategy. It will help you find long-tail keywords in the most efficient and convenient way possible.
The tool is best used by niche marketers who are in the business of building and optimizing sites for the most profitable keywords.
As discussed above, Long Tail Pro is also a great tool for bloggers to help them identify long-tail keywords for blog posts and find ideas that they can tackle on their blog.
However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive SEO tool that can do more than just keyword research, then I suggest you look for other tools.
Also, you may want to be cautious with its support team. From my knowledge, Long Tail Pro was sold by its original owner, Spencer Haws, so I would assume that there are kinks the tool will have to iron out during the transition process. At the same time, I have talked to other Long Tail Pro subscribers who never have had experienced any problems with their support.
Nonetheless, I strongly suggest that you should be wary of subscribing with the tool until you have proven itself to be reliable enough for long-term use.
To cap off my review, here are my grades for the tool:
Ease of use – 9/10 Long Tail Pro helps you take a tedious task that takes a chunk of time into an automated process that takes a couple of minutes or hours to finish.
Effectiveness – 10/10 While I suggest that you still need to manually evaluate the keyword based on the data provided by the tool, Long Tail Pro provides all the information you need for finding the best long-tail keywords.
Cost – 8/10 I am not the biggest fan of subscription-based tools, but Long Tail Pro’s reasonable pricing allows me to use its powerful features without breaking the bank.
Customer support – 6/10 I have had bad experiences with the tool. The support team was able to convince me to continue subscribing with Long Tail Pro, but I can imagine more uptight bloggers to be turned off by some of the issues I have encountered.