Long Tail Pro Review
Keyword research is one of the first steps on the path to building a high-ranking website which gets a lot of traffic. Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool which helps you find the right keywords for your website. You can find the ones for which you will not have to face much competition and the ones which will help you reach the glorious first page of search results. It provides a few other tools in the pack, such as rank tracker and backlink analyzer to help user secure all the ends during keyword research.
- Multiple metrics against keywords.
- Suitable for PPC as well as CPC campaigns.
- Multiple filtering options.
- Multiple languages and region options.
- Rank Tracker keeps an eye on the progress.
- Reliable backlinks analysis section.
- Data becomes inconsistent for keywords with lesser search volume.
- Search trends for keywords not available.
It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it, keyword research is one the essential aspects of SEO strategy. It goes on to take the front seat in case of websites catered to specific niches.
We all know how big of a difference it can be for a website in terms of traffic and revenue when they rank at first page of Google search results compared to when they appear on the second page.
Since the spots are limited, only a handful of websites make it to the first page of search results. It won’t matter how exhaustive is your content if relevant keywords are not present in the right places.
Finding relevant keywords for your website is not an easy job. It is the reason why there are so many tools in the market which offer to do it for you.
Long Tail Pro is one such keyword research tool. It allows the user to find keywords with less competition and high volumes.
In the case of highly competitive niches, you will usually find long tail keywords to be the ones you were looking for. They turn out to be highly searched on the internet, but not heavily competed. Since the majority of the times useful keywords will turn out to be long tail ones, Long Tail Pro think tank was smart while picking up a name for sure.
In this review, we will focus primarily on two things. First will be the ease of use, and second will be data reliability. There is nothing much that one can ask from a keyword research tool if it provides accurate data and keeps things simple during the research.
It offers some additional features other than keyword research, such as Backlink analysis and rank tracking. We will examine those two sections the same way we go through the keyword research part.
At the core of any keyword research tool is its data sources. Google is the most used search platform across the world. Since looking for a thing on the internet has become synonymous to ‘Googling’, it is easy to understand that Google must have the best raw data set for search queries carried out across the globe.
All of us, including Google, realize the importance of this data. Google is very secretive when it comes to sharing this data. Users get to see only a trimmed and modified version of it on Google Keyword Planner.
It has now forced keyword research tools to turn to other sources for this raw search data. It has led to the invention of new ways to track user’s search data and monetize it. Data logging is the prime source of income of a lot of businesses around the world.
They collect data from various places using different methods and then sell it to the highest bidder. There are a few who cross the line while collecting online data and start logging personal activities of various users and create a profile out of it.
Others focus on less specific data to find out about trends across the internet. Keyword research tools such as LTP rely on these data collectors for information inside their database.
In some cases, data may be accurate, but most of the times, it will be a mere indication of what may be happening in real. Since agencies collecting data have limitations, they will never be able to replicate the exact data that Google collects.
One can only expect them to be as close as possible to the actual numbers and go along with it. In some cases, you may find that data is more accurate for a particular location compared to others, or it may turn out that it is more precise for high competition traffic compared to the lower one.
As you start using LTP, you will be able to get a better idea of when it is showing better quality results, and when the data set is not so reliable.
We observed that they tend to be more accurate when the region is the United States, and keywords have medium to high difficulty. On moving to another end of the spectrum, you will notice that results are not so consistent with reality. But it is still a good indicator of trends in such cases.
They don’t have one of the best data sources in the market when it comes to keyword research tools, but it turns out to be useful anyway.
For backlinks, they rely on Majestic data. It is one of the best sources that one can get for backlink analysis, and it helps improve the overall quality of the tool.
If you are going to use LTP for keyword research, then you cannot blindly trust all the stats it throws at you. They will always point you in the right direction, but data can also be far from actual numbers at times.
If possible, you can always cross check the results with any method possible, and gradually, you will get an idea of how things work on this platform.
Start by creating projects
Keyword research can be a long process. It may need constant refinement at various stages as you start getting into the gist of things. You may want to remove some elements from the research which might be useless to you or vice-versa.
In any case, it's highly probable that user may want to come back to research data again and again. Long Tail Pro allows users to carry out keyword research under various projects.
Projects allow users to research about various topics simultaneously on the tool. There is no need to save only a handful of keywords from the research before starting research for the next one.
You can leave a project at any stage, and when you come back to it, you can start exactly from where you left.
You can have multiple projects going on in your LTP account at a single time and switch between them as frequently as you want.
The platform allows you to include the domain name on each project. LTP analyzes various metrics of the domain and then highlights search results according to it. It measures the competitiveness of your site against the search results, telling you how easy or difficult it will be for your website to rank for that keyword.
If you have an extensive and detailed website, you can create multiple projects for the same domain but with different research topics in all of them. It will help you keep things more sorted and organized.
LTP allows to research data based on different regions and countries. The default settings show results for the US. As we mentioned earlier, this tool tends to be more accurate when displaying data for the United States.
For other regions, we recommend you cross-check results using any method possible. Once you are sure of the quality of data, you can start with the process.
Once you have created a new project, you can start adding in the keywords and other terms. Let us begin by exploring the various options available in the keyword research section.
There are three categories for one to input data and get some stats for the result.
The first category where you can input data is related keywords. It is the most conventional way to keyword research on such dedicated tools.
You can enter a few topics and get the relevant keywords around that topic along with the metrics. We will go into the details of metrics in the next section of this review.
You can provide up to five keywords at a time in this section. You can adjust the settings for the tool to give out anywhere between 0 to 400 suggestions per keyword. If you are thinking of cranking it up to 400 for every keyword, then you want to think about it again.
All the pricing plans on Longtail pro are limited by the number of keyword lookup per 24 hours. So, if you have set suggestion per keyword up to 400, then you may only be able to research only two keywords that day under one of the plans.
Another way of ensuring that you do not waste your quota on unnecessary suggestions, you can apply filters before starting the research. It will show you only the useful data and allow you to carry on with more keyword research, as well.
For instance, if you are looking only for keywords with difficulty less than a particular standard, or if you are looking to find keywords with more than a specific search volume, you can set up the filters so that you don’t populate results which are out of your region of interest.
Once the results are there, you can further apply more filters and sort data as per your convenience.
The previous section was typing in your ideas to see what can be done around them. This section is more about picking the brains of your competitors. You can find out about keyword strategies which have already proven their mettle and churn out excellent results for people using those strategies.
You can type in the URL of one of your competitors or sites which are already successful in the niche to find out what keywords have been responsible for their success.
You can once again control the number of output results anywhere between 0 to 400. There is a provision for adding only one URL at a time for research. You cannot pre-apply the filters over results to get curated results.
This section is useful for competitor analysis from a keyword research perspective.
In this research mode, you can manually add up to 200 keywords and get metrics associated with them. Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular in this section.
We felt that they could have provided a few more input options in this section. Even though there is an option to add 200 keywords, we don’t think that anyone would fancy the idea of adding those many words manually.
That being said, this section is good enough to get some clarity about specific keywords and modify strategies accordingly.
Results and metrics
Let us now dive into the most crucial part. The results and parameters associated with them. Long Tail Pro shows various metrics for all the results. It will be better to go through them first and understand what they signify.
Average keyword competitiveness
This is going to be one of the most useful metrics for any keyword research project. As the name suggests, it will tell you easy or difficult it is going to be to rank in top results for that keyword.
It accounts for a lot of factors to assign this number to any keyword. It takes data from sources such as Majestic to consider trust flow and citation flow of websites which are ranking on top for that keyword.
How many backlinks are referring to that site, what is the age of site and pages, and much more. It accounts for metrics of all the pages ranking on top for that keyword.
Keyword Difficulty will be any number between 0 to 100, with 0 meaning the keyword is extremely easy to rank and higher numbers pointing towards greater difficulty.
If you add your domain name in the project, Long Tail Pro will assess your metrics and find out the keyword difficulty range, which would be easier for you to achieve. It will color code the entries in the keyword difficulty column to show which ones are easier for you to achieve.
If you haven’t added the domain, then only experience will tell you what is the ideal upper limit for you when it comes to manageable keyword difficulty.
It will tell you how many people are looking for the keyword per month in the selected region. The tool gives numbers in this column, which seem to be very specific, but one should not confuse it with actual data.
You need to remember that Long Tail Pro doesn’t have Google as one of its data sources. Even if that were a case, then also it would have only been close to actual data. Believe it or not, people still use search engines other than Google to find out relevant results.
The data is region sensitive as well, so make sure you have selected the right area in the world if you are considering search volume as one of the driving factors of your research.
It is just another name to show CPC (Cost Per Click) data. It denotes the amount of money that advertisers must be paying per click for that keyword.
It will help you if you are doing keyword research to plan your CPC campaign. Again, the values under this column are going to be close estimates and not the actual number.
The only way to get on top results for keywords with high difficulty is to bid for them and get advertised position on the results page. Even if one has decided to reach down their pockets to promote content, a careful analysis can help one save a lot of money and still get better results from advertisements.
This column shows monetary value against each keyword. It is supposedly the amount you need to pay for every click that you get on your listing if you are on an advertised position.
This is one interesting column with a lot of appeal. It tells how much can that top position be worth if one gets to those top position for the keyword. It loosely translates into how much money you can be making if you rank for that keyword.
This metric comes to you after considering factors such as average bidding rate for Adwords, average CTR, and other similar data.
However, the value of top rank can vary from user to user depending on how they plan to leverage the top position. If you have an Amazon affiliate website, you could be earning more than what you would make if you have got Google AdSense implemented for the page.
Some people may even be using a completely different method to monetize the traffic. Since there are so many variables involved, you need to make sure this column shows data for your preference.
Thankfully, Long Tail Pro allows users to choose the factor which needs to be affecting this column. You can choose any one of Google AdSense, Amazon Affiliate, and Custom as the method you will be implying to make money from the position.
Then they allow you to set the average CTR (Click Through Rate) to get the data more customized for you. Such flexibility is not available on a lot of keyword research tools.
The only drawback can be that if people put on wrong CTRs, then results can indeed be entirely misleading. It can take down the whole campaign since there will be a lot of false expectations.
Competition, words, language, locale
The next four keyword metrics are to assist you while sorting the list, rather than giving you a lot of information about keywords.
In the ‘competition’ column, you will get an idea about how many advertisers are trying to rank on paid spots for that keyword. You can predict how much money you may end up spending if you decide to add that keyword in your PPC campaign.
There are three difficulty levels low, medium, and high. It would be much easier to rank for a keyword with ‘low competition’ while spending the least amount possible.
The ‘Words’ column will help you sort keywords by the number of words in the phrase. We already mentioned how long tail keywords often turn out to be less competitive and more profitable.
If your keyword research is based around finding such long tail keywords, then you can apply this filter even before you populate keyword results. Setting it up so that the tool shows you only those keywords which have three or more than three words in the keyword phrase, can help you land some unique and profitable keywords.
‘Language’ and ‘locale’ have apparent meanings. You can change language and the region as per your requirement. Long Tail Pro comes with a lot of options to choose a suitable country, and it is obvious that those regions might be using some language other than English. These two sections will help you take care of such regional diversities.
Filtering and analysis
Once you have generated results using any one of the available input methods, you can now proceed with more research and trimming down things to useful keywords.
For every keyword generated in the results, there is an option to populate 20 more keywords around that option. So, when you look at the results and find something which grabs your attention, you can explore further in the direction by getting more keywords around the one of your interest.
This feature can help you find a whole new niche while looking for keywords or present you a collection of keywords with very less competition and high volume. It can work wonder for both PPC as well as the other campaign.
On Long Tail Pro, you can select the metrics you want to be displayed for the keyword results and hide the irrelevant ones. There will be less clutter on the results page, and it will be less daunting for a lot of users, as well.
Another way of making the results page less intimidating can be to apply suitable filtering options and boil it down to only the useful ones.
You can sort results for any metric by clicking on the column title. You can click on the column again to sort them in reverse order.
If you are after results within a specific range of metrics, you can apply appropriate filters. Long Tail Pro lets you apply a combination of filters with different caps for each of those metrics.
You can have keywords which have keyword difficulty less than a number and search volume above a certain bar. Similarly, you can use some other filter where you use bid and volume as guiding metrics. In any case, the tool helps make the job easier for you.
If a filter is working particularly well for you, you can save it for future keyword researches and other projects. The saved filters are readily available with just a single click. You can give proper names to the filter combinations you save and make them easily identifiable.
With all the filtering and sorting, you will soon start to get down to the useful results. Once you get to that stage, you can start saving the keywords by clicking on the star-mark against them. Doing so would save the keyword in the Favourites category. It is available along with other project listings.
You can also click on keyword results and open up a whole new page full of analytics on that keyword. You can consider this page as an enhanced version of SERP analysis. Along with SERP analysis, it also includes keyword metrics and breaks down the results on Google into various categories.
You will get to know what percentage of them are organic results, how many of them featured in ads, what percentage was in the featured snippet section, and other similar data.
For SERP analysis part, you get a lot of information about the attributes of websites ranking on top for that keyword search. It includes the usual metrics such as domain authority, trust flow, citation flow, backlinks, referring domains, age of the website, and some more data.
This section will give you a better idea of what would be the requirements if one wants to rank on the first page for that keyword. Ideally, you would want to look for metrics which are comparable to the ones on your website. It will give you a serious chance if you decide to go after that keyword.
It seems that Long Tail Pro took care of everything that one would need while doing keyword research. But we feel that some sections could have been improved.
Search trends for a keyword are usually available on every keyword research tool. It helps identify any variation in patterns if there is one. It can be of great help to identify keywords which are more searched in a season or under special circumstances.
Long Tail Pro missed out on this trivial but useful information. Another helpful addition could have been CTR or even an ‘intent’ column would have done the job. Knowing the likelihood of users of interacting with keyword or content can be a crucial piece of information for anyone.
However, there are enough options and metrics available to net out keywords with requisite attributes effectively.
It takes significant efforts to find out profitable keywords for your website and campaigns. It will then be followed by some more planning to place those keywords on your webpage to get better rank and attract more traffic.
Even after all these efforts, you cannot consider the job done. It will take some time for all your actions to reflect in the search engine rankings.
It is not necessary that thing will always happen the way you expect them to unfold. Sometimes your efforts may backfire, while there will be instances when you would need a few modifications to get your campaign move in the right direction.
In any case, you will need to continually monitor how you are faring up for every keyword in your campaign. It is virtually impossible to keep an eye on all the progress manually. Long Tail Pro comes with a rank tracking tool which would help you in this case.
You can create projects in the rank tracking section just like we did it in case of keyword research section. Different projects, in this case, can house ranks of keywords under various categories.
The tracker allows you to pick the search engine on which you want to track the rank. Currently, the three search engine options present are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
After selecting the search engine, you will have to mention your domain name or the domain for which you want to track the results. It will then be followed by you entering the keywords for which you want to track the ranks.
You won’t be able to see any information instantaneously. You will have to wait for a day or so for the tools to show rankings and the fluctuations associated with them. Once the tracker starts showing some results, you will find it easier to keep a close eye on how the website is ranking for various keywords on the internet.
The top of this section shows where do your keywords rank among the top 100 search engine results. You will see the whole distribution across these ranks. Then it shows how many keywords improved in ranking and how many of them declined.
It is then followed by stats for each keyword individually. The stats include the current rank and rankings for the previous day, week, and month. You can add notes against individual keywords in this section for future reference.
You can also see a graphical trend in rank for individual keywords by clicking over them. The graph makes it easier to understand the trend.
We all know the significance of backlinks when it comes to search engine rankings and website reputation. It is one of the facets of SEO techniques, just like keywords.
LTP has a backlink analysis tool which helps the user find backlink sources for their site. Even though it is an unrelated topic for keyword research, we felt that the feature is worth mentioning.
One of the best tools available out there for backlink analysis is Majestic, and since LTP relies on Majestic data for backlinks, one can easily trust the information provided in this section, as well.
You can enter a competitor’s domain name in this section and get to know all about the backlinks on the site.
LTP does precisely what it is expected of any keyword research tool. It helps you find all the essential keywords around a topic, sort them based on various parameters, and then help find more keywords around that topic.
There are enough metrics attached to keywords to help users make informed decisions, and the filters make life easy by allowing one to shut off the unnecessary noise.
LTP puts a limit on the number of keywords one can populate in the results. It is one of the subscription parameters on this tool, and an unusual one for sure.
Data is more accurate when the keywords have more traffic and competition. For the low difficulty keywords, you can’t always put all your money on the results. Since most keyword research is done to find the low hanging fruits, LTP has a pretty significant drawback in terms of low reliability for easier keywords.
Long Tail Pro kept all the bases covered and did not provide much room for criticism. But there isn’t anything extraordinary that would set LTP apart from the rest of keyword research tools.
One of the appealing factors can be the competitive pricing on the product, but users generally don’t mind paying a few extra bucks if the product is good enough.
Long Tail Pro is definitely worth a shot since not everyone is out there looking for a professional and full-fledged tool. It might turn out to be sufficient and useful enough to server your keyword research needs.