I know: there are plenty of Long Tail Pro review posts all over the web. This goes a lot further than your average review. Today we’re going to dig deep into the features and capabilities, give some use cases and show you how to do keyword research using the software. Think of it as a review and a tutorial (and a natural step on from my internet marketing guides for beginners.
What we like about Long Tail Pro
Low cost compared to some of the bigger competitors
Easy to use
It’s a web app which means you can access it from anywhere there is internet connectivity.
Standard version has a limit on the number of searches you can carry out in a month.
Filtering tools aren’t are capable as those found in products like SEMRush.
Can only be used for keyword research unlike, say, Ahrefs which gives you a whole lot more (for a whole lot more money)
A case study
The old way of carrying out keyword research went a little like this:
You brainstorm a topic and come up with a number of possible ideas for your content. Then you logged in to Google Adwords and, using a modifiers like ‘best’ and ‘tutorial’, started digging until you found low competition keywords with a decent search volume.
Your next step would be to select potential keywords you could target and export them to a spreadsheet.
Next you poured yourself a strong coffee and settled in for the the mind numbing task of sifting through the phrases and words that would fit naturally into your blog post. Why natural sounding phrases? Because anything else is would look like keyword stuffing, and we don’t want to do that… do we?
Maybe you throw in a bit SERPs analysis, maybe not.
If you were going to shoot for top of Google’s page, no matter who else was in the way, you probably just got on with writing.
At the end of a long day, you posted your content, threw some profile links at it and went to bed.
In the morning you opened Google, searched for your hugely competitive keywords and found your post at the top of page 1. Kerching! Welcome to easy cash central.
Well done. I like your optimism.
Yes, some marketers really did spend many hours going through this incredibly boring process in the hope that, with some powerful and link-worthy content, they’d hit the top of the SERPs and get rich.
If you believed this don’t, don’t feel bad. I too was a little deluded back in the day. Now I’m much more realistic about my ability to rank pages and posts.
Times have moved on. Welcome to the Long Tail Pro keyword generator
First, let me say that Long Tail Pro is not the only tool in the marketplace. It’s also not the best.
However, it is way cheaper than many other keyword research tools which is why I’ve been using it for about 2 years now.
So let’s see an example of Long Tail Pro being used to generate keywords and keyprhases.
Note: apps like Ahrefs include many more features, and you’ll pay a premium price for them.
Let’s imagine you’ve decided to tackle the hamster care market. If so, leave a message in the comments and I’ll check out your blog post. And so will Yuri, my hamster.
There are two approaches you can take to finding converting keywords when using Long Tail Pro:
1. Generate a list of seed words and phrases that you can add to LTP.
2. Use a single phrase and let LTP do the hard work.
I prefer the first option as it allows me to find phrases of interest fast because a seed list can be populated with words and phrases you already have in mind.
Option 2 is like diving blindfolded into a river and hoping you can catch a fish. With you teeth. It’s going to you a long time to zero in on your target.
Your seed list might look something like this:
“Hamster care tips”
“How to care for a hamster”
“How to care for a Syrian hamster” (very targeted phrase, low volume but any content written around this will attract ultra-specific searchers)
“Hamster care advice”
“How do I care for my hamster?”
You get the idea.
Then you login to the LTP console and you either paste your words into the search box, or upload a file
Et voila! The LTP gears grind into life and a short time later you’ll see a list of suggested keywords and phrases you can target when writing your content.
Note: depending on the size of your list and the possible variations, LTP can take some time to finish generating a list. I recommend another hot beverage whilst you wait.
Now you’ll see something like this:
Really! What does it all mean? What are all those numbers?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s explore the important columns.
Starting on the left hand side, you see this…
These are all the keywords ideas you can grab and use to optimise your content. Now, before you rush off and start writing a new blog post about the ‘best hamster homes’ you need to pay close attention to the KC column:
KC means keyword competitivenous aka how hard it to rank for a phrase or keyword.. The figures in this column range from 0 to 100 and tell you hard it will be for you to rank for that phrase. As you can see, ‘best hamster house’ has a KC of 31, which is a low figure and means this should be an easy phrase to rank for.
In the screen shot above I enabled the Moz toolbar to give you and idea of how powerful the top ranking domains are. At number one position is PDSA.org.uk with a DA (of 69 Domain Authority – an indication of ranking power of the website). Their article also has 9 links pointing at it and to compete with them you’re going to need a lot of links. But you’re smart and you know that, for now, you’ll be targeting other phrases that are not so difficult to rank for and will bring good traffic.
Okay, now you have an idea of how to use LTP for keyword research, let’s get this review on the road.
How easy is Long Tail Pro to use?
Long Tail Pro is easy to use. Really easy. I could put a chimpanzee in front of the user interface and my simian friend would be cranking out keyword ideas in a matter of minutes.
Don’t be fooled by the retro 1980s look and feel of the console – the designers had kept it simple so that us marketers and SEOs can focus on finding words that convert instead of being baffled by a huge range of settings.
Let’s get this Long Tail Pro review moving.
Long Tail Pro Features
The rank tracker is a useful feature if you want to check on where your website ranks on a daily basis. Drop your URL into the box marked ‘Domain or URL’, select the search engine you want to track your ranking in and the country, then click add.
I this feature gets really useful for tracking individual posts on my blogs. By adding the URL of a post, or page, and keywords you’ll be able to see your daily rankings without having to go to each search in turn, typing the phrase you want to rank for and then sifting through the results to find your URL. Now choose daily or weekly tracking and you’re done.
Did I say it was simple to use?
The rank tracker is a useful feature . It’s simple and easy to see how your site and pages are doing in the SERPs. The two boxes on the top right of the page give you an ‘at a glance’ view of how your URLs are doing in search engine results.
Thoughts on Rank Tracker
It’s a useful tool. I don’t have to install additional software or go to another site to track my results.
What would be more useful is adding the Improved/Declined reports onto the end of each URL listed on the tracking page. This would remove the need for me to click each URL in order to get a report.
Compared to other rank trackers, it works well and does a good job of either putting a smile on your face, or sending a chill of fear down your spine (depending on how your pages perform).
As mentioned, Long Tail Pro’s Rank Tracker needs to be loaded with the keyword rankings you want to track. This is because the app doesn’t crawl your site and therefore doesn’t read you keyword meta tags.
The SERP Analysis feature is a great compliment to the Rank Tracker. This feature allows you check the SERPs for a keyword, or phrase, of you choice.
Add your keywords into the big box marked ‘Enter Keyword’, choose your language and country, then click ‘Retrieve’.
In this example, I chose the phrase ‘best hamster homes’. After I hit ‘Retrieve’, the page updated with the following data:
What you can see are the estimated number of searches per month. And it is an estimate as only the search engines know the real figures and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to share all of the data with us.
You can view your competitors, strongest and weakest, by selecting from the caret. The Trust and Citation Flow of each is shown on the right of the box, the URL and title on the left.
For more information on competitors, scroll down the page until you see the Competition Analysis. Here you can see the top ten results from the first page of Google. For me, the most useful columns are the KC (Keyword Competition and Domain Trust Factor). When your search returns sites with low TF and a KC of 30, and under, you’ve found a phrase to target.
Before we move on, if you’ve ever been in any doubt about the power of internal links – don’t be. They work. From time to time you’ll find a page, or site, that ranks high but has no external backlinks pointing at it. When you see a report like this, take a look at the ‘Internal Links’ column where you’ll often see a good number of internal links to the ranking page.
Thoughts on SERP Analysis
It’s not the most powerful tool on the market and lacks some of the features you find in products like ahrefs and SEMRush. But all you need is a simple view of competitors, the Long Tail Pro SERP Analysis feature is all you really need.
There are 3 components to the Keyword Research feature in LTP:
1. Related Keywords
Here’s where the gold lives! The related keywords tab will show you phrases and keywords people also search for. This is one of the most powerful features of LTP and I recommend you
2. Competitor Keywords
I love Competitor Keywords as the feature allows me to scrape the SERPs for all keywords that my competition ranks for. Take a URL, paste it into the box and then choose the how many keywords the URL ranks for. Hit ‘Retrieve’ and, like some dark magic, you’ll be shown every word and phrase the page, or site, ranks for. Now export all of the data using the ‘Export’ function on the right hand side of the page, then filter until you have a list of words you can rank for.
Tip: as mentioned as the start of this post, if you have a low TF/DA you should write content that is low competition and easy to rank. Pointless trying to rank your 3 week old website against a competing page with a TF 60 and 400 natural links pointing at it!
Now go write your content!
Note: when checking multiple competitors, make sure you clear down the results first. If not, the keywords returned will be merged into the last search you did.
3. Manual Keywords
If you’ve already compiled a list of keywords you want to target, click the ‘Manual Keywords’ tab and past all the words into the box (don’t forget to put commas between each word, or phrase, unless you really do want to rank for the incredibly long tail phrase ‘best hamster cage home house hairballs poop uk’!)
I’m lazy. I don’t like compiling lists of keywords by hand.
The results, like those shown for competitor keywords are presented in the same way (KC, etc) and will give you a good idea of what you can expect to rank for.
How to use the Long Tail Pro keyword tool
Let’s assume you’re going add manual keywords. First you need to add a list of up to 5 keywords into the search box.
Now choose the number of suggestions you want to see for each keyword. I normally set this to 20 and higher figures slow LTP to a crawl, which if fine if you have all day to do your research. If I’m going to head out for a really big lunch that will takes hours to eat, I set this number to 50!
On the left hand side of the page you’ll see the ‘Advanced’ option. When you switch on this feature you’ll be see a dropdown box appear. In here you can add the number of monthly searches you want returned. Puzzled? Okay, let’s say you only want to see phrases that are searched for over 500 times per month – in this case, type 500 into the box
The suggested bid option allows you to target a phrase based on the Cost per Click. The higher the CPC, the more chance people are searching for the words you’re researching.
Note: LTP pulls data from Google Adwords.
Once the results are displayed, I recommend you order them based on KC. If you have a new site, aim for a KC below 30 even if the search volume is low. The key here is to look for phrases that have a high cost per click as this indicates it’s in demand.
If you want even more keywords based on any of the returned results, click the ‘+20+ icon on the left of the phrase you’re interested in. LTP will then load 20 more phrases
Thoughts on Long Tail Pro keyword research
This a really powerful tool with a simple interface that’s easy to understand. If you’re lazy, use the competitor research feature to see what phrases other sites rank for.
Was there any need for another Long Tail Pro review?
Yes, because most of the others I’ve seen are crap. And the authors haven’t used LTP to do keyword research for the review of LTP!
Long Tail Pro is one of the most established and trusted keyword research tools available to internet marketers and SEOs.
The interface is easy to navigate, clear of clutter and simple to use.
It’s suitable for both beginners and veteran SEOs and marketers. You’ve probably heard some people say that LTP is a tool more suited to advanced users. I disagree.
Yes, it can be a little overwhelming for first time researchers and the team at LTP have addressed this concern by creating a library of super-useful media that will walk newcomers through the entire process.
P.S. if you want an excellent insight into how you can use Long Tail Pro to research keywords, check out FIMP. Ian is a great guy and does an amazing job of walking you through the best way to use the software.
AKA how does Long Tail Pro get its data?
There’s an easy answer to this: from Google. Like pretty much all the other tools that get keywords for search, LTP has a huge database for you to sift through. One of the features I really like is the option to show paid search results.
To me, paid search keywords are nothing more than an extension of organic search results people are searching for on the web. Let’s see this example in action:
Finding Keywords for Down Jackets (the kind used by hikers)
If you don’t already know, my blogging buddy, Jake, and I run an outdoor gear review site. One of the posts is a review of men’s down jackets (here, if you’re an interested hiker…). To help rank this the, page I used a combination of keywords pulled both the organic and paid search results.
Because the phrase ‘best down jacket’ has buying intent. And if you look at the Google ads you’ll see many results from companies targeting this phrase.
Now just imagine ranking in the organic results for phrases that cost money on the ad network. An easy win, right? You get the benefits of finding keywords that are proven to bring sales without having to pay the search engines for the luxury of appearing in their ads.
Is Long Tail Pro worth it?
This is probably the question most of you want answered. Long Tail Pro is a pretty tool. If you don’t already use other tools such as Ahrefs, or SEMRush I would recommend you get signed up now. Long Tail Pro simply doesn’t compare to some of the all-in-one SEO tools that are available to marketers, but it was never meant to be a competitor. It gets keywords, lots of them, and gives you an idea of how easily you can compete for those words.
That’s it. Which is why you pay far less for a Long Tail Pro license than, say, Ahrefs or SEMRush.
TL:DR Buy Long Tail Pro if…
You have a good understanding of how to find and exploit valuable keywords, but don’t already have a subscription to another service.
If you have any problems or questions, check the help section which has answers to pretty much all your questions. And whilst you’re here, grab 30% off Long Tail Pro today…