For the longest time I was doing keyword research wrong. I was focusing on the number of competing pages for a given keyword. If I found a keyword that only had 100 or so competing pages (sites that used that exact keyword on their page), I would write for it.
My strategy was “If there are only a few others using it, it must be pretty easy to rank for”. Unfortunately this theory is flawed. This Long-Tail Pro review is not just going to talk about the product itself, but about how keyword research is supposed to work.
While the theory of checking the quantity of competition is partly true, it's not sufficient and it's definitely not the most efficient way of doing keyword research. The realization that I was doing it wrong came to me thanks to Spencer Haws and this particular article. Bearing that in mind, I decided to check out Long Tail Pro, the keyword research tool he created.
Correct Keyword Research
I'm sure you've heard this expression used in various situation before:
It's not the quantity, it's the quality!
This is as true for keyword research as it is for anything else. The quality of your competition is what matters most. It really doesn't matter whether there are a thousand competing pages for your keyword, or only twenty. If the first 10 pages are very strong, and on very strong sites, you've got no chance. Not unless your own site is exceptionally strong.
Since I build ready-made sites, I'm always doing my keyword research for brand new sites. This means I NEED to find the keywords where competition is weak.
This brings me onto the main topic: Long Tail Pro
Why Is Long Tail Pro The Best?
Quite simply, LTP is designed to make the whole process of researching keywords and competition easy. While other keywords work on other metrics, LTP works like this:
You enter a few “seed” keywords.
You filter by searches, CPC, and words in the keyword (or you just leave the filters alone).
You hit search.
Up to 800 results come back to you. Click on any one of those keywords and you'll be able to analyze the top 10 results. It's simple, fast and effective.
How Exactly Is The Analysis Done?
One of the best tools out there for analyzing competition is Open Site Explorer. You can place a URL into their search bar and they'll give you their analysis, using metrics that Moz (the OSE creators) have made. Domain Authority and Page Authority are two of the most useful metrics for checking the strength of a site.
It's not the ONLY metric used for determining Google rank, but it's a great way of finding out how beatable the sites on page 1 of a particular keyword are.
I'll give you an example:
You find a great keyword, it has 1,000 searches a month and not a lot of competition. You analyze the page 1 results and see this:
Based on the training Spencer gives with the tool, we know that this isn't a great keyword. It's not the worst in the world, but there is only really one “weak” entry there, number 6. For a keyword with only 1,600 searches a month, we'd want to see weaker competition.
Let's keep looking, we've got a list of 800 keywords to go through! (Most can be ruled out very quickly, as explained in the training).
This is much better, the competition is weaker (look at the number of sites below 30 PA, and with very few “juice links”. If we were researching a keyword to build a site around, this would be a very good one.
When doing this research, it took me less than 30 minutes to isolate my main keyword for this particular project. If I had done it using free tools, it would have led to the same results, but would have taken hours and hours, if not longer. I would have still needed to pay for an Open Site Explorer subscription anyway.
Is That All That's Needed?
All evidence I've found since changing how I researched keywords points to the conclusion that focusing on finding keywords with a weak page one is the most important thing. If you are going to focus on quantity of competition instead, you'll get some page one rankings, but you'll also get a lot of keywords that are lost in no-mans land. You'll basically have no way of knowing what will work.
Want to throw a bunch of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks? Or want to choose something strong, like glue?
That's what using Long Tail Pro is like. You can try it out for yourself with a free trial here.
Long Tail Pro Review – Training And Support
LTP comes with a free user manual that explains exactly how it works and how to find the best keywords. It also gives you the criteria for a good keyword and bad keyword.
As well as this manual, there are also a few articles on nichepursuits.com where Spencer explains about keyword research and additionally, you'll also be given clear training via emails that are sent out when you sign up. This means that when you start using LTP you'll already have a good idea.
In my case, by reading a few articles beforehand, I was able to put long-tail pro to work instantly, and I found a couple of very good keywords that I wasn't able to find using my old keyword tool.
There is also a support team that you can email with any questions, and a whole bunch of information and strategy available on the web. So many people use Long Tail Pro that you'll find a lot of tips for using it.
Who exactly uses it? As well as countless other marketers, there are some pretty big names that recommend Long Tail Pro:
Pat Flynn: Smartpassiveincome.com
Pat Flynn is a massive presence online, his blog details all his successes and failures with niche marketing, and he makes some serious money online (close to 100k a month). The fact he uses Long-Tail Pro as his weapon of choice is huge.
Justin Cookie And Joe Magnotti: Empireflippers.com
I'm a big fan of these two, and I have a growing friendship with Justin, so I know they don't recommend junk. As you guessed, long-tail pro is the tool they use and recommend for keyword research.
Tung Tran: Cloudliving.com
Tung is another top marketer who makes a small fortune online. I'm definitely a fan of his work and he really gets keyword research.
Stuart Walker: Nichehacks.com
Stuart is someone I've discovered recently who has built an entire website around niche research. If Long Tail Pro is the tool he uses, you know it's going to be great for keyword research.
You can get LTP for $97. There is the additional option of paying $17 a month for extra features, such as a keyword difficulty rating and some other tools for really speeding up your searches. The $17 a month “platinum” level is definitely worth it, but I'd recommend you start out with the standard package and upgrade later.
Overall $97 for a lifetime copy of LTP is great. I see may other keyword tools that require monthly subscriptions and will run over $100 a year. Given that Long Tail Pro is all you'll ever need, it's an amazing price to pay.
As I've mentioned already, you can get started with a 10-day free trial, which makes it even more of a no brainer.
Summary Of Long Tail Pro's Tools
Let's recap what you can do with LTP:
1. Get hundreds of keyword ideas from a handful of seed keywords.
2. Check the competition for those keywords in incredible depth.
3. Check rankings for those keywords (see how you're doing!)
4. Check domain availability (not as useful as it once was).
5. Find entrances to dominate any niche (just follow the training).
In a nutshell, I recommend Long Tail Pro 100% and will be using it for a very long time.