Long Tail Keywords – Can you find them with Keyword Strategy?

Lis published a few days ago an article with the catchy title >Right Keywords + Right Platform = Cash!<, where she advocated to use another, additional, tool to Keyword Strategy in order to find long tail keywords, that is keyword phrases that are longer than three words. I disagreed, we do disagree often by the way, but we are still friends, at least I hope so ;-)

Picture of pagode in Myanmar Burma

I have no clue about Myanmar, but I do know a lot about Prague - and how to use the Keyword Strategy Tool ;-)

So I offered a proof, and run into a major problem, her seed keywords were ‘Myanmar Travel‘ and I have no idea about the locations and geography of that part of the world. I simply didn’t know if a certain exotic name is that of a town in Myanmar or that of a beach in Thailand. Anyway, I found some nice keyword phrases and send them to her, but I decided to also make a blog post out of the whole exercise ;-)

Still there? Might be time to get yourself something to drink, I take a cappuccino please, thank you kindly, this will be a long article – again!

What are these elusive long tail keywords or keyword phrases everybody is hacking on about? And why do you need them to make money online?

Two main reasons really, they are really easy to rank for and they show you exactly what the searcher, the guy or gal that typed them into Google’s search box, is exactly after.

For the ranking part you only need a site with a bit of authority, either your own one or you can use something like Wizzley like Lis does in this case. The reason that these phrases are so easy to rank for is, that there is typically not a lot of competition for them, but often a highish search volume as people tend to ask always the same questions. Oh, and yes, a long tail is roughly any keyword phrase that is three words or longer, the longer the better ;-)

As for the second part, if you analyze the search query, you get an idea what the searcher might want to buy next – perhaps a nice travel guide? A map? Book a flight? And don’t forget about the Google ads, some of these have a rather good CPC as they are pretty targeted.

How to get them with Keyword Strategy – An Example

So, now let’s get real, fire up Keyword Strategy or sign up for a free trial >here< (Note: Only sign up only if you are really going to use it, otherwise you are wasting your time, their bandwidth and you are messing up my affiliate stats ;-) )

As I am clueless about south east asian locations, I used a location I know a lot about – Prague, where I live, to do this.

Set up a project with whatever pseudo domain name you fancy, I used prague.com and no, I don’t own that domain (I wish!). It is simply a necessary workaround to use the tool for keyword research before you have a domain and / or for web 2.0 properties like Wizzley.

I set the minimum search volume to 100 and made sure that the language was set to English (I use the tool also to research keywords for my German websites, so I do have to check this, if not results would become a bit weird) and the location to ‘global’. That is all I had to do as a set-up.

Seed Keywords – You Have to Start Somewhere

My first seed keyword was simply ‘Prague’. To get my first few hundreds of keywords, I clicked the ‘Get Keywords’ button in the left bottom corner of the screen, typed in ‘Prague’, again made sure that the language was set to ‘English’ and clicked ‘Get Keywords’.

Now comes the important part, you need to blacklist all the keywords that aren’t a good fit for your project! As we are here after long tails, I simply put {1,2} in the top left box of the window that pops up, also known as the keyword suggestion box, selected them all and blacklisted them.

By doing so I eliminated all one and two word keyword phrases, leaving me with only those that are three words or longer. Aggressive black listing is the key to handle what Lis described as the ‘noise’ of Keyword Strategy ;-)

As Prague is also a town, or more?, in the US and elsewhere outside the Czech Republic, I had a few of those around and again blacklisted them.

Equally I blacklisted everything that didn’t have much to do with Prague + travel, like things related to history and politics.

This way you ‘teach’ the keyword tool what you are after and it will not present you with these keywords again in that project.

A good useful filter in Keyword Strategy is also !, like in !Prague. This way you can see all keyword phrases that do NOT contain your main keyword. Normally a much shorter list to go through which saves time.

After I did all this, I imported the ‘keepers’ into the tool. Keepers meaning keyword phrases that were at least three words long and were a good fit for my ‘Prague travel’ topic.

Plus I deleted all keyword phrases that contained wiki or other website names like tripadvisor in them. People who type that in want to go to Wikipedia or Tripadvisor and Google knows that.

I equally blacklisted all misspellings and alternative names, leaving me with 600+ keywords that I imported into the tool.

I repeated that step several times with different seed keywords like ‘Prague Travel’, ‘Prague Visa’ and ‘Prague Hotel’, ‘Prague Prices’, ‘Prague Taxi’ plus a few more and did the same. Now I had a nice long list of hundreds of keywords. Then I went out to the pub with my better half and left the poor tool slaving through analyzing them.

When we came back I deleted everything with a competition >500,000 and that left me with a good clean keyword list of 500+ keywords.

Here my steps as a Summary

Brainstorm seed keywords.

  • Use {1,2} to find those that are too short and delete them.
  • Use !keyword to find those that don’t contain your main keyword and delete as appropriate.
  • Delete all that contain ‘wiki’ or similar in them.
  • Delete misspellings and alternative names etc.
  • Optional: tag before importing to make writing articles easier later on.
  • Import keepers into the tool.
  • Delete keywords whose competition is too high and whose search volume is too low for your taste.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Additional Tips

Instead of brainstorming keywords, you can now take them directly from the generated list. Simply check the one you want to use, click ‘Get Keywords’ and magic, magic, it becomes your new seed keyword.

You can use also the urls of the top ten results in Google for a keyword. Simply copy and paste the url into the ‘Get Keywords’ thingie and that web page will be searched by the tool for keywords.

I did this for a while and in the end I was left with a list of relevant, low competition long tail keywords that looks like this:

  • 396 keyword phrases of 3 words
  • 85 keyword phrases of 4 words
  • 61 keyword phrases of 5 words
  • 9 keyword phrases of 6 words
  • 2 keyword phrases of 7 words

All with a search volume >100 per month and less then 500,000 competing articles online. The screenshot below shows the best ones I have found in terms of volume/competition index and yes, they are blurred out, because now I am off to write some of these articles.

KST Screenshot showing long tail keywords

My results after a few minutes of work and a bit longer of waiting ;-)

 

And yes, I could easily spend some more time with repeat and rinse, blacklist the short ones even more aggressively and find even more and longer ones, but for the moment I have enough keywords to write about for a few months.

Remember, only the articles you actually publish will make you money, research is only the first step. Keyword and topic research are great things, but they will not make you any money if you don’t hit the ‘publish’ button sooner rather then later ;-)

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ ;-)

9 comments to Long Tail Keywords – Can you find them with Keyword Strategy?

  • Bizz

    SY, this is an amazing peek into how an SEO-minded individual truly goes about filtering and drilling down keywords, by using the KS tool. I learned quite a few things about my own current project, which I’m trying to align with your new blog experiment.

    I think right now, my current keyword list is sitting at about 1800+, but I always run a new search on any seed keywords I want to write about, so the list is ever-changing. I don’t always delete the one/two-word keywords, but rather use the decent ones as seed keywords for further research.

    I thank you for yet another look into your process. It was an eye-opener. I’m on the right track with the KS tool, but it always helps to learn new things along the way from a master:)

    • hospitalera

      Lol, ‘master’ just a data junkie ;-) And please bear in mind that I am only human, I frequently make mistakes. Always to your own research and testing also, SY

  • A great handy system. I use the keyword tool from Google. This system of keyword suggest is more comprehensive. I’ll try it immediately. You hear from me. Thanks for the tip!

  • David Redd

    i never tried before so i dont know what exactly i get. but after reading this i think i should use it. Thanks for the post

  • Yeah fair comment re needing to know a bit about your keyword when trying to work out what is relevant and what is not! Of course we are still friends – how boring the world would be if we all agreed! I think we can agree that its important to have keywords however you find them. And I still think my way is quicker and easier!

    • hospitalera

      Yup, knowing about >keyword< is a big one for me in order to write good content. And yes, I deeply prefer a world with individuals to a world full of copies ;-) I also think it depends on the keywords / topic you are investigating. It worked well for you with a travel related topic – great! It worked far less well for me with an entertainment related topic I run the tool on. As you say, as long we have keywords and friends, we will be fine ;-)

  • I do appreciate the effort you’ve gone to, to provide all this detailed information on how to use Keyword Strategy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand it, even after all your help. I guess I’m just dumb :(

    The biggest obstacle I hit was being constantly told I had to find hundreds of keywords, and I couldn’t see how that would ever be possible for my subjects. If I cast the net beyond the subject, I’m only going to attract people who are not interested in the topic, so I’m struggling to see the point. Because the tool kept scolding me for not having enough keywords, I decided I was clearly not using it properly – so I gave up. Sorry for messing up your aff stats!

    • hospitalera

      No worries, that was my feeble attempt at humor with ‘messing up my aff stats’ ;-) And no, you are not dumb! Perhaps you have simply not asked the right questions ;-) Also, Fraser does offer free consultations via Skype, both for existing as well as for trial users. I am sure if you send him an email, he would schedule a call with you, even now that you have ‘expired’ ;-)
      As for the ‘get keywords’ nagging. Yes, I find that also a bit problematic! I would rather prefer to be nagged about ‘how many words have you published today?’.
      In the end the best keywords will do nothing for you if you don’t write about them!
      As for their numbers, I think my smallest project has only 50 keywords and my largest has nearly 20,000. I care more about how many keywords I have that I need to write about then how many I have in total. If I ever run out of keywords for one of my sites, then I start to worry ;-)