Many times I’ve mentioned how I like going after long tail, low-competition keywords for both affiliate promotion content and general info content.
That doesn’t mean I don’t go after bigger keywords; I do… and I even rank okay for some of them (not all sadly… yet).
The problem with getting lots of traffic from long tail is twofold:
- Finding dozens or hundreds of keywords that aren’t so closely related they should be in one article; and
- Producing high quality content fast enough without going broke (or killing yourself writing 18 hours per day).
This post deals with problem number 1, which is finding loads of long tail keywords in any niche.
I’m obsessed with this problem and have spent endless hours doing keyword research looking for nuggets.
I’ve come up with an approach that works well.
Here’s what you do.
You need to discover a content concept that incorporates a word or phrase which can be applied to many, many keywords.
You’ll need to play around with keyword research tools (I use Ahrefs and Keywordshitter.com).
Instead of leaving you hanging, I’m going to give you an example so you can see what I mean.
Example: “Pros and cons”
In almost every niche and for almost every reasonably popular product, the phrase “pros and cons” is used extensively for many topics and products.
What I do is I input that phrase in Ahref’s “Keywords Explorer” field and it spits out 4,083 PAGES of keywords with that phrase in it.
I comb through the list noting all relevant keywords to my niches that have okay search volume and aren’t ridiculously competitive. In fact, when you go after keywords like this, most aren’t too competitive.
A few examples from Ahrefs are as follows (reported search volume is monthly):
- Pros and cons of nuclear energy: 5,900 search volume / KW difficulty: 14
- eyelash extensions pros and cons: 1,900 search volume / KW difficulty: 6
- Atkins diet pros and cons: 600 search volume / KW difficulty: 0
That’s not life-changing search volume, but they’re not competitive either.
Take it a step further and assess popular products in your niche with the “pros and cons” phrase before or after the product name. This will be very low search volume, but there will likely be very little competition.
Please keep in mind that the “pros and cons” angle is just one of many to use to systematize long tail keyword research.
I use many different such phrases to discover hundreds (thousands actually) of long tail keywords.
Research big competitors in your niche and you’ll no doubt eventually see recurring phrases in titles that can be applied niche wide.
The only dilemma with the some of these long tail phrases is you must decide whether to include them as part of a longer article or as a stand-alone article. I often debate this issue for every instance. Sometimes I add it to an existing article and other times I create a stand-alone article.
At the end of the day, I opt for a stand-alone article when there is okay search volume (100+ per month) AND I have enough to say about it in the article to warrant an article.
Keyword research tools
What if you don’t use Ahrefs (or something comparable)?
If you’re getting into this line of work, I recommend a paid keyword research tool that offers some reasonably reliable search volume data. I use Ahrefs. Ahrefs has been a game-changer for me.
A good FREE keyword search volume research tool
If it’s search volume you need, the best keyword tool for this I’ve found is SEO Book’s free keyword research tool. You need to register an account, but otherwise it’s free.
Don’t forget keywordshitter.com for long tail (also free)
The keywords keywordshitter.com generates from seed phrases is based on actual searches in Google. There are many of these tools online. I’ve tried many and none come close to how many long tail keywordshitter.com generates.
The only BIG downside to Keywordshitter.com is that it doesn’t provide search volume so you’re left in the dark. There’s some search volume for the terms generated, but it could be 2 or 2,000 or 200,000. You don’t know. The solution is easy – copy all Keywordshitter.com results and paste into Ahrefs. I wasn’t able to figure out how to insert multiple keywords into SEO Book’s tool so I’m doubtful that’s possible.
FYI, because keywordshitter.com generates so many long tail, I often use it as my first tool, then copy hundreds of the results and plug them into Ahrefs to assess search volume and keyword difficulty.
What about AdWords Keyword Planner?
You can use it, but the search volume numbers are such huge ranges I find it unhelpful.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.