Let’s face it. Coming up with good keywords can be challenging if you are new to blogging. Some of your articles might start to sound the same and you’re constantly lack of ideas on what to write next. Don’t worry.
This article is going to show you a few tricks on how to research long-tail keywords that are going to make blogging a whole lot easier.
Why Should You Use Long Tails?
For the benefit of those who don’t know what it is, the long tail isn’t just another fancy name. You see, the internet has a ton of keywords;
- Broad/General words i.e, ‘ball’, and ‘pet’.
- Intermediate phrases i.e, ‘throw the ball’ and ‘pet products’
- Descriptive phrases i.e, ‘how to throw a ball’ and ‘where to buy pet products’
And they are all represented by this simple curve graph.
(Image courtesy of Neil Patel)
Broad words are commonly found at the beginning of the graph and descriptive phrases usually occupy the end part of the curve, which has a long-tail appearance, hence the name. What does all this mean? Why are long tails more important than the broad ones?
Although long tails don’t get as much traffic as other keywords, they offer way more advantages to you as an internet marketer/blogger.
- Longtails being descriptive, generally reflect more specific intentions from the users.
- People who want to compare and review products before purchase carry these kinds of ‘mental intentions’ when they research information online. So, it’s better to target 10 of these people instead of attracting 1000 readers who have no buying intention.
- The long tail can help you write better content in which you can use to interlink with other relevant articles in your blog.
- The more descriptive the keywords, the more page/post would be indexed on the search engines which will lead to higher rankings.
- And you WILL achieve top ranking on Google anyhow because there is minimal competition with long tails.
- And due to the low competition level, you can choose to run ad campaigns at a lower cost-per-click.
Now that you’ve understood the purpose of long-tail, let’s begin our research.
How to Research for Long Tail Keywords from Scratch
If you know how to use Google, half of the battle is already won. The powerful search engine has a few features that can help generate keywords for free.
(1) Alphabet Soup Technique
When I first started my online business, this is the method that I use (and still do today). In this technique, Google predicts what you are typing and generously roll out a few popular suggestions based on your original keywords.
Open your Chrome browser and you’ll find two columns to enter your keywords; the top bar where the URLs usually go to and the search bar which most of us are familiar with. I prefer using the top bar because it will offer more suggestions than the typical search.
Look at that – 1 extra long-tail idea to add to your keyword bucket list 🙂
(2) Search Related Terms
This is another classic method that I like to use. Every time you search, remember to look all the way down to the search result page for the ‘Search Related Terms’ column. These are key phrases that are similar/relevant to your initial search and they are most of the time, long tail.
(3) Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools)
This technique is slightly more advanced, but it’s something you should check out when you’ve published about 50 articles or so. With this method, Google will show you other keywords that specific pages/posts are ranking for.
To find this out, go into your GWT dashboard, click on ‘Search Analytics’, check on ‘Page’, select a URL, and then check on ‘Queries’.
In the example below, I discovered that my page about “How to Find an Online Business Niche” is also ranked for 46 EXTRA keywords that I’ve never thought of. The caveat to this, however, is that some words could be rather general or doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Therefore, you need to select carefully when going through the keyphrases. Repeat the same process for other URLs and you should be able to find some invaluable long tails.
(4) Commenting System
Moving away from Google, we are now going to use our observation skills to look for ideas in blog comments. What’s in there, anyway? Well, they are opinions, questions, and, most importantly, potential long tails generated by readers themselves.
The best place to start is to go through comments on your blog posts.
I think this would make a great article. Very soon, I will create a post based on that keyword idea, link to this comment and that should create more internal linking for my site.
Likewise, you can also check out comments on other blogs, YouTube videos as well as Q&A forums related to your niche. Put on your radar and you will be able to pick up a couple of long tails in the process.
(5) Emails / Newsletters
If you subscribe to emails from bloggers or authority sites, you would receive their newsletters regularly. I know, some people call them trash, but I see them as a wonderful resource for finding long-tail keywords.
I usually group them in specific folders in my Gmail account so that I can have a quick scan of the list. Here’s an example of the emails that I received from a blogger that I subscribe to.
Ok, ignore the promotional tagline. Instead, focus on the eye-grabbing titles that I’ve underlined. They make good long tails, don’t you think?
(6) Keyword Research Tool
If you are using a keyword tool that doesn’t produce long-tail effectively, you are going to waste a lot of your time writing content that wouldn’t rank. My favorite keyword tool is Jaaxy and it churns out long tails instantaneously and effortlessly, in my opinion. Let me show you what I mean.
All I need to do is enter a key phrase, run the search and it would show me a list of relevant long tails. If you look to the column on the right-hand side, there’s a brainstorming section that reveals even MORE keywords related to your search.
Using the easy to interpret metrics, you can immediately narrow down to the keywords that make sense and have low competition (low QSR value). It is that easy.
The other feature that I am starting to explore a bit more is the ‘Search Analysis’. Just enter a key phrase and it will show you the top 10 sites ranking for that particular term. Copy any of the competitor’s domain names (preferably blogging sites, not eCommerce), paste it into the keyword search and change the tab from ‘phrase’ to ‘URL’.
The results that appear initially are usually broad and intermediate keyphrases that the site is currently ranked for. To look for long tails, just click on an interesting keyphrase, and Jaaxy will do the ‘digging’ for you. You might need to repeat this 2 to 3 times, but ultimately, you’ll find a list of awesome long tails that have never been tapped before in your niche.
Pretty cool, right?
Endless Long Tail Potential
Researching for long-tail keywords can be very rewarding, but it could also become quite addictive. So don’t get carried away and always remember that you still need to produce good content that matters to your readers, optimize the post/page for SEO, get comment engagement and create more internal links.
If you can implement these methods over and again, I can assure you that your website will grow and so will your traffic and sales.
# Tips; I would recommend spending an hour/month to search for 10-20 long tails and focus the rest of the weeks on writing articles. I find that this method produces the best results in terms of creating great content and managing my daily blogging tasks.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about this topic? Feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you the soonest.