How to Do Long Tail Keyword Research for Authority Sites

As I’ve mentioned over the past couple of posts here and here (podcast), I’m still actively building niche sites.  But instead of tons of small niche sites, I’m planning to build just a select few large niche sites; or as others call them, Authority Sites.

Even though the idea is that authority sites will get traffic from all kinds of sources, the reality is that Search Engine Optimization is still important for authority sites.

The minimum amount of SEO that someone should be doing for any type of site is optimizing post titles for certain keywords.  This alone could make the difference between getting great traffic from Google, or none at all.

Importance of Keyword Relevancy

I’ve said for a long time, that the most important aspect of SEO is keyword research.  In addition, I’ve shown how simply having relevant keywords in your titles or articles can get you to the top of Google over more “authoritative sites”; all because of keyword relevancy.  This is an absolutely critical aspect to understand!

In the post I just linked to, I showed that I could rank for the term “Spencer Likes Honeycombs” with absolutely no links or other “SEO” than simply mentioned the phrase in my post.  This is interesting because the sites that were in Google for that term were “Authoritative” sites.  They had page rank and lots of links pointing to the pages.  However, none of this mattered because they weren’t really targeting the phrase, “Spencer likes Honeycombs”.

They hadn’t used that exact term in their titles or content.

This is so critical to understand, because as you do keyword research, you will see sites that have PageRank or lots of links, but they still might be VERY easy to beat if they are not really relevant to the keyword.

Keyword relevancy is a big deal.  In fact, the really long tail keywords usually have very few sites if any targeting the search term.  What does this mean?

If you can find lots of long tail keywords that other sites are not targeting, you can rank quickly with little or no link building whatsoever.

The Strategy for Authority Sites

In reality the keyword research strategy is a lot like small niche sites, instead, each post is optimized for a new keyword.  However, instead of targeting just 1 keyword for a small niche site, you can target hundreds or thousands of long tail keywords for your authority site.

This is what I have been doing for for a long time.  When I go to write a post, I decide what I want to write about, then I often head over to Long Tail Pro and find related keywords. The software helps me find keywords that I may not have thought of on my own, then I adjust the title of my post based on what I found.  A pretty simple tactic, but its had a huge impact on my blog.

I get a large volume of traffic from Google every single day for free from people searching for these keywords or related ones.  To be exact, my site has received 10,109 visitors from Search Engines (mostly Google) in October so far (1st through 15th).  That means, I get about 674 visitors to from search engines every single day!  Not bad. (I get lots of traffic from referrals, return visitors, and more as well).

Oh yeah, and I don’t build links to my posts.  (These DO come naturally though, so I have plenty of links, but I just don’t put any effort into it).  Its because my posts are relevant to the keywords they are searching.

Long Tail Pro has actually always been a keyword research tool for authority sites and blogs (not just small niche sites).  Over 6 months ago, highly motivating and successful blogger Marcus Sheridan said that Long Tail Pro is: The Best Keyword Research and Blogging Idea Tool I’ve Ever Seen. He gave a great example of how he researches and finds long tail keywords for his blog using the software.

This is what you should be doing for your authority sites or blog.  If not, you are leaving free traffic on the table that you could have had by simply tweaking your titles and content just a little.

Specific Example of Using Long Tail Keywords

So, how does this apply directly to your authority sites or blog?  Here is the strategy I am applying to my new large niche sites.

Want To Build Smart & Relevant Internal Links...Quickly?

NichePursuits Rating

Link Whisper is a revolutionary tool that makes internal linking much faster, easier, and more effective.  It makes it simple to boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. You can use Link Whisper to:

  • Bring out your orphaned content that isn’t ranking
  • Create smart, relevant, and fast internal links
  • Simple yet effective internal links reporting: what has lots of links and what pages need more links? 

Click here to revolutionize your site’s way of doing internal links

Build better internal links with Link Whisper

So, the article on the homepage will target my large primary keyword.  Then each additional post will be about a related but different keyword that is MUCH easier to rank for than my selected primary keyword.

Lets say I decided to create a site on getting rid of bugs in your house.  I hop over to Long Tail Pro and input “bugs”, “get rid of bugs”, “flies”, and “insect removal”, and hit generate keywords.  This returns thousands of results, but with my filters of only keywords between 4k and 20k, I’m left with 58 results.  The next step is competitor analysis, which I’ll cover more in depth in another post (but you can see an old example here).  But lets say I pick the keyword, “Do it yourself pest control”.

This is my primary keyword.  It gets 5,400 exact match searches per month.  After doing my research, I would write an in depth article about this topic.  Perhaps I would title it, “The 10 Best Practices for Do it Yourself Pest Control”.  This would be a sticky post on my homepage (meaning it would stay there), and perhaps each of the 10 points in my article will link to additional articles on my site.

Secondary Keywords

Now, I look for secondary keywords. Again, going back to Long Tail Pro, I search for pest control related keywords.  The criteria for secondary keywords is different, I want something that will require very little if any link building to rank.  Therefore, I will chose keywords that have a much lower search volume.  My secondary keywords will usually have an exact match search volume between 100 and 1000 searches per month.

I also ran a “Title Competition” search on Long Tail Pro to show me which keywords are not being targeted very well by my competitors.  I can now very quickly see which keywords don’t have much title competition.  (Think of my “Spencer Likes Honeycombs” example to remember why this is so critical).  If no one else is targeting the keyword, you can rank very quickly.  Here’s a few pest control related keywords that I found quickly that also have low title competition.

The titles I would use to target these keywords would be unique, not just the keywords themselves.  For the keyword, “Bed Bug Monitor”, my title might be, “Is a Bed Bug Monitor Really Necessary?”.  For the keyword, “Electric Bug Zapper”, my title might be, “How to Make an Electric Bug Zapper at Home!”.  And the title for my “Stink bug Killer” article might be, “Top 3 Stink Bug Killer Products”.

I haven’t really fully searched to see if these are good keywords or not; however, hopefully the principle of finding primary and secondary keywords makes sense.

You might be thinking, why would you target such a low search volume keyword?  Well, trust me, these can still be profitable!

How Much Are These Keywords Worth?

For example, if you ranked #1 in Google for a keyword that only gets 100 searches a month, your site is likely to get 40% of the search volume from Google.  So, 40 people will come to your site each month.  Over 12 months, that’s 480 visitors.  If 5% of them join your list or click on ads this could be 24 added to your email list or up to $24 in revenue from ad clicks.

That’s $24 for one article or 24 new subscribers.  Multiple that by 100, 500, or 1,000 articles on your site and you start to see what could happen.  And that’s if you only target keywords that get 100 searches a month.

Obviously you are not going to rank #1 for every keyword or make a $1 per click on every click, but I hope you get the idea.  Long Tail Keywords can really pay off with an authority site.


This strategy works very well for blogging and large niche/authority sites. So, if you have a personal or business blog that you are passionate about, you should really be optimizing your potential by doing some basic keyword research and title optimization.  For example, I altered my post title here after looking at Long Tail Pro to what it is above.  Now it targets the keywords “how to do long tail keyword research”, “long tail keyword research”, and “how to do keyword research”.  I also expect that related “authority sites” searches will send me traffic.  Sure, I will probably only get a few visitors a day from these searches, but it all adds up.

Even if you never build any links, you should at least be doing this type search engine optimization.

What are your thoughts?  I’ve shared how I do basic on-page SEO here and how I am and will be performing it on my authority sites.  I would love to hear your comments and questions below.

Search Engine Optimization

By Spencer Haws
October 15, 2012 | 92 Comments

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

You may also like

View all


Join the conversation

Leave a comment
Gabor Kiss

It was a very useful post, thanks! I am just building one of my authority site, I am using Long Tail Pro for a while and I can say I’m very satisfied with the results, thank you! Gabor “The Networkergeek”

Will @

Awesome post Spencer thanks for breaking it down. I was wondering your thoughts on writing or creating an authority site on something you actually have a passion for that at the same time is a good keyword.

Meaning when you do your keyword research and you find a list of keywords, do you think it makes sense to go for something you would not mind talking about, researching on etc?

I know you can definitely outsource the whole thing but I still feel the site you create will need a personal feel to it and you will approach it differently if you actually like the topic.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this. =-) Thanks!

Spencer Haws

Yes, if you are only building 1 site – find something that you are passionate about!

Omar @

Nice Spencer. GREAT advice as usual.



Jon @ Authority Site Income


I usually agree with you 100% but on keyword research for authority sites we differ a little.

My opinion is the primary keyword you website is targeting is not a critical decision. Framing the niche you are serving is more important. My reason for thinking this is because on an authority site long tail traffic will be a much higher % of overall search traffic due to more articles being on the site. For a micro niche site the target keyword traffic could be 25% of organic traffic but for authority sites it’s more like 5% in my experience.

I do agree with the importance of doing keyword research for each post – great tips!

One trick I do for competitive niches is to target low commercial value keywords because there are fewer big competitors(banks in my case) targeting them. Then work to convert those lower value visitors into subscribers or direct them to a higher value article.

Thanks for posting


Spencer Haws

Jon – I think we are pretty close on agreement. Let me know clarify, that just because my primary keyword is “do it yourself pest control” – this doesn’t have to be your domain name. The domain could be However, you still want to have some primary keyword, but the long tail keywords are likely to contribute more traffic to the site.

Jon @ Authority Site Income

Thanks for clarifying. Maybe its just a mindset thing for me, but when I am working on building an authority site I like to focus on a primary problem (aka concept, niche, avatar etc) and not a keyword. Then identify long tail keywords that help serve that problem. But yah its essentially the same thing as primary keyword.

Spencer Haws

I think you have the right mindset. However, even for, I have a primary keyword that I focus on. But the reality is that I have hundreds of keywords that I’m really targeting site wide.


Hey Spencer nice article, i have to agree with Jon’s approach though… i’d rather get my concept, avatar aka authorship sorted out first as G puts more weight on trust factor nowadays. you may have the best seoed site with low comp keywords but eventually more trusted site will take it over aka those with genuine fb and twitter followers,communities…
Spencer i’d love if you wrote a more detailed post on that things like how we can build authorship whether fake or not what do you think?


Can u elaborate on avatar? My niche is Christian personal finance and time management. I decided to follow my passion but about month end, I’m finding out more and more that this niche is crazy competitive. Not sure if I made a mistake.


Been waiting for someone to post an article like this. After the EMD update, I feel like I lost all hope of going after keywords. Great post. Thank you

Spencer Haws

No problem!


So I can reword my titles and not have to re-write my page content? I do need some tweaking for more traffic, but wouldn’t want to redo all my content.

Nice article,


Spencer Haws

hmmm, interesting idea. I suppose you can rewrite your titles, as long as its still related to your content. I wouldn’t do this normally; however, if you want to test it on a few posts, it would be an interesting experiment.


I have actually done that some time ago. I picked several articles from my authority site that had the highest number of links pointing to them (ranking boost) and optimised titles based on keyword research. I havn’t changed the titles too much – this might upset loyal visitors or be seen unprofessional or unnatural. Just added a word here and there, changed word sequence, etc.

The results are promising – have noticed increase in organic traffic for these articles. However, it has one disadvantage – it takes some time for Google to revisit all your articles and pick up the changes. It can take few weeks. With brand new articles you get indexed much faster – within a day or two. So, if you don’t mind waiting, it is still worth it!


You could speed that process up dramatically by posting to an active twitter account or creating new links.

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

I’ve been trying to incorporate doing some keyword research for my blog post titles as well. However the tough thing that I ran across is that everybody is essentially searching for the same basic phrase, except with slight variations. So I just have to be a little creative in how I use these phrases is all I guess.

I really like how your phrase the yearly value of each article as well. I’m considering creating another authority site using all outsourced content and to only do the keyword research myself. However I was hesitant to actually pay high prices for quality content rather than the few bucks I was used to for the crap I threw up on niche sites. But after realizing how it works out over the year, it definitely seems like a great investment. It’s all how you look at it.


Spencer Haws

I agree. If you look at it over the year, the articles can pay for themselves quite well.

Jeff C

How do you interpret the results of the LTP Title Competition field? Is a low number the better result? I’ve had LTP for awhile now, but I have not used this field.



Spencer Haws

Yes, lower is better. This can just be one metric to help narrow down the keywords. The final decision still needs to be made by looking at the top 10 results.


What is considered low for title competition? 1000 and less? 10,000 and less? Just wondering a general guideline here on how title competition works as this appears to be a new feature.

Spencer Haws

This is not a new feature, been there since LTP was created. Amount of title competition can vary. I will just say lower is better. I don’t give a number because a site with the highest title competition could actually be a very low competition keyword. You have to look at the top 10 sites in Google to decide the true competition. Title competition just helps narrow it down as USUALLY those with less title competition are truly lower competition.


Hey Spencer – made some great points as usual. As a blogger I sometimes get lazy and don’t do my keyword research for every blog post. Or every title for each blog post. If only I put in the extra effort I could probably at least double the amount of traffic I was getting to my blog via search engines.

I will definitely need to get back into it and start using LTP again to find those great keywords to target.

Thanks for the reminder to stop being so lazy as a blogger.

Spencer Haws

No problem James 🙂


I just listened to podcast #11 today, and I was about ask in the comments section of the pc about how you go about kw research for the larger sites compared to the micro sites. But this covered it in nice detail. Thanks, Spencer. NicePursuits is helping me lot as I try to get a grasp on this business.

Spencer Haws

Glad it helped Ryan!


Hi Spencer, thanks for the post, very useful info.

I was taught once re: Authority sites to select a primary keyword, much the same as you describe and then choose secondary KW’s from the related keywords listed below, or use the contextual targeting tool and choose KW’s from there.

The theory was this also helped rank the primary keyword as Google considered the site to be very targeted. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this approach?

Many Thanks

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure how that’s different than what I described. I may not be understanding your question.


Nice tips. That’s also why I prefer authority sites, you can target many keywords in your niche and focus on creating meaningful articles for them 🙂


hey spencer nice post. i use ltp too we have emailed this week regarding rankings, yes thats me lol…

so your topic this week is actually my line of work so i find this very interesting as i don’t have a pest control site yet..i am a professional pest controller and only have a business site. what i would like to know is that after creating your sticky post. do you then create more pages based on a primary keyword and then create posts within that page based on long tails relating to your primary page keyword. so what we end up with are a list of pages on primary keywords and lots of posts inside that page with lots of long tails. i have several niche sites that i am using to build into authority sites as they are based on broad terms like psoriasis and health

Spencer Haws

I’m not sure I fully understand. However, in my example, my primary keyword is “do it yourself pest control”. I would only write 1 article targeting that keyword. All other articles on my site would target other (but related) keywords. (All of my secondary keywords would be different articles).


hi spencer due to recent emd change i’m planning to change my emd niche sites to be authority sites (still using the same emd domains). do you think this would help the sites to rank back fast or is it better to start off with brand new non-emd domains?

Spencer Haws

Depends on if the domain was penalized. If so, its better to start a new domain.


How long are usualy these secondary keywords articles?

Spencer Haws

full articles. Depends on the sites. Might be 300 words, might be 3000 words. Just make them good high quality articles. How long should a blog post be? That’s the answer.


Thanks a lot for this piece of info. I’ve learned a lot. Next time can you please add some video tutorials to further illustrate these steps? I learn faster when watching videos. Would be highly appreciated…thanks in advance!


Just one more question…will LTP software be able to dig into google suggest keywords in future? I mean the keywords google doesn’t list in the GKAT? Thanks much!;)

Spencer Haws

Maybe. We can look into that.


Hey Spencer,

Great post !!!

1. What is the ceiling of title competition? 10,000? 15,000?
2. When you start a new authority site project, do you buy a new domain or an aged domain? I heard that an aged domain tend to acquire authority more quickly than a new domain

Spencer Haws

1. No ceiling. none. (Real competition is determined by the top 10 in google).
2. You can do either.


“2. You can do either.”

I’m not sure I understood your question

What is your method? What do you prefer? An aged domain or a new domain?

Spencer Haws

That’s not a question. I said you can do either, buy a new domain or an aged one. I usually start with a new domain.


Great Artticle Spencer,

I’m building a large Authority site as we speak. I’m a little torn on Monetization strategy vs. Email subscribers. I haven’t quite figured out whether or not to gear my posts towards Opt-ins or Monetize my posts with affiliate offers. I’m really enjoying the posts lately and looking forward to hearing the podcast.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Frank, all depends on your long term strategy. Build a list or monetize right away.


Hi there!

Thanks for this great article and for the time it took you to write all this stuff.
I am thinking about to try you app is there a demo version out there?

Cheers from Germany!

Spencer Haws

Yes, there is a demo version here:

Jet Pack Pig Paul

I’m curious Spencer, are you still mainly going to be using Adsense, or have you tested anything like CPA offers? Have you ever tried combining Adsense with a CPA offer or other affiliate offer on your niche sites?

Spencer Haws

For a couple of sites I’m working on; one will be adsense, the other may actually include some CPA offers. It will depend on the site.

Emmanuel Uduezue

Hi Mr Spencer,
I really appreciate the time you take to publish quality content on your blog. I have been following and reading this blog for long and i haven’t been disappointed at all. But am just an “Oliver Twist” here.

Your post is insightful and self explanatory but i have few questions to ask:
1st question: concerning my blog ( using your keyword research strategy, do i start writing articles targeting long tail keywords under “how to make money blogging” such as ‘Ways to make money blogging’, ‘how to make money blogging for beginners’?

2nd question: which keyword do i now use as my homepage title?
Using my blog as an example.

3rd question: the article targeting the keyword that receives 5,000 monthly searches will it be a page or normal post? And do you use the article to create a static page or not?

4th question: if you are to use this strategy on a general blog site, do you create sub-categories under the 5k keyword using the related long tail keywords that receives low monthly searches?

Thanks for being of help. Expecting your reply.

Spencer Haws

1. I wouldn’t write so many articles with similar titles. Also for a blog, you want some original articles (take a look at my blog here for some examples).
2. probably the same as your domain
3. post
4. If it makes sense, its not that important though.


Hi Spencer, i would like to thank youfor such a deep and great post on the topic. We’re in rus internet faced the same problem with pinguin. I would recommend not to take just a “bug” website, take a more wider. Take niche like insects and beatles and how to avoid them at home. This will be more neutral. Try to avoid linking to the main domain.


Hi Spencer,

Great information as always. I have a question. I have created three niche websites in the last three months. Sadly,only three, because I don’t have the money for more.

One of them has 4400 exact searches (the one if you click on my name). It’s not nowhere near of first page of Google yet. Is there a way of predicting the profitability of such a website?

Now, before you say anything, I know exactly how to calculate the projected clicks and earnings of a niche website, but I’m wondering what kind of website tend to earn more, what niches?

I saw in your income reports that one of your website has/had 2400 searches and it generated 280 dollars that month. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I hope you understand the question.

Do you think that this kind of website like the example above is worth expanding into authority website?

I have many more questions, but I don’t remember them right now, so I’ll be back 🙂 😀

I would also like to here opinions from others if you have the time.

Thank you all, especially to you Spencer.

Spencer Haws

Higher cpc usually equals higher potential earnings. Your example site is probably not a good authority site potential. But it could still be a great smaller niche site! (I still have plenty of small niche sites that I will keep…love them).


Hi again,

How much do you think that site (my example) could earn in your experience?

Yes, higher cpc usually equals higher potential, but I also herd as you did, about the contextual targeting and suggested bid, which in my case for my main keyword is 1,86.

What are your experience with suggested bid? Do those websites that earn the most for you, have higher suggested bids than those which don’t earn as much?

Jake Cain

Hi Spencer,

I have a site that would fall under the authority site category. Specifically it has an in depth review of each Major League Baseball stadium along with other related items. I’ve always structured it to where each ballpark has its own page, with all the info on one page.

I feel like my site does well, but really in the content is where all the keywords lie. For instance, the page title may be Yankee Stadium Guide, which nobody really searches for. However down on the page I talk about Yankee Stadium Parking, Yankees Tickets, Food at Yankee Stadium, which are terms that I am trying to compete for.

I get good search traffic to the site, but do you think I would be better served to break these down into pages so I have an intro, then a page specific to parking, one specific to food, etc.?

What are your thoughts?


Spencer Haws

Jake – it might be worth trying on a couple of pages like you suggested. Or just leave the articles how they are now but change the title to include more keywords such as: Yankee Stadium Guide: Parking, Tickets, and Food!
Or you could even get more creative. I would probably go with just changing up the titles a bit.


It all make sense, thank you spencer for your input.


Hi, i have a question about long term keywords. If you take for example a hosting niche, each keyword possible would be highly competitive with any additional long keywords inside the term. If you would type this long term hosting query and short ones you would see the same PR5-6 websites. How you deal with that? What’s a true definition of “long”?
Long keywords with any type of popular word inside, or rare used word with a long tale? Like “bazooka blaster destroyer for ants who live under your bed”

p.s. Hope you understand my true english 🙂

Spencer Haws

Long tail keywords has nothing to do with how many words it contains. The term “long tail” refers to the “tail” of a bell curve. Look at this graph: . The “long tail” of this graph is yellow. So, long refer to low search volume.
So, a 2 word phrase could be a “longer tail” keyword than a 5 word phrase.

To answer your question though. Some markets like hosting are just extremely competitive and no matter how “long tail” the keyword (low search volume), it could be too difficult to rank for easily.

Scott Walker

Quick question again on Link Building. If we have a long tail keyword that we need a couple of backlinks to give it a boost…could we do Press Releases?

I’ve heard recently that people are starting to use these again to get some nice clean links.

Or…should we just go after keywords that could rank without needing links?

I have a few that could get some nice trafffic…but they need a handful of links.


Spencer Haws

Yes, you can do press releases. Some are better than others, but a well prepared press release could do pretty well in some cases. Its definitely okay and expected to target some keywords that require links.

Scott Walker

Thanks Spencer!

So…is this how you would go about getting the few links to a post that you need a few links? or is there better ways that you would do this? What about having an article written for Ezinearticles and pointing that link? Is that as good as press release sites?


Spencer Haws

For I don’t build any links – I allow others to link to it naturally. However, for niche sites I do build links. Read the last 4 or 5 posts here to get some ideas of how I would do link building:


Another epic post, all of us here needed this motivation after the recent google updates and you have given us that, I love Long Tail Pro and use it regularly. I have one small doubt, how accurate is the competition analysis part of LTP and also the rank checker, I just want to know from your experience, because I find different results when I use adwords ad-preview and LTP. Thank You 🙂

Spencer Haws

Send a support ticket to I’m not sure I understand your question here, so lets discuss there.

Miggy | Pinoy Money Tips

Thanks for this post Spencer, I’m looking at revitalizing my personal finance blog after all this kicking done by Google at my site. I’mma go to my LTP and start researching long tail kw!

Miggy | Pinoy Money Tips

Btw Spencer, what’s a good Title Competition to shoot for through LTP? I’ve read somewhere that 5,000 is a good number. What do you suggest?

Spencer Haws

I don’t have an exact number. Ultimately the top 10 competition matter much more than title competition. So don’t use it exclusively.


Hi Spencer, great post!
Some questions please:
What keywordensity you using now? 0,7% on main article? The same keyword density on long tail keywords articles?
Are you still using All in one SEO plug in for optimization ? Tags? Categories? If yes coud you please tell some more details please? How you linking inside a site betwin posts? Any special rules?

Thank you

Spencer Haws

Less than 1% keyword density for sure. Yes, I still use the all in one seo plugin.

Ray Smith

Hi Spencer,

Great post. Quick question: when you write an authority website’s articles, do you ONLY write articles with low competition? What happens when people who go to your website expect solutions to more common problems? For example, on your bug website, would you write an article on something popular like “getting rid of cockroaches” even you can’t rank highly with that keyword? Or do you stick strictly with low competition keywords? I’m just trying to find a good mix of low-competition keywords while not leaving out glaring omissions (e.g., a bug site that doesn’t include solutions to getting rid of the most common bugs like ants, cockroaches, etc.). Thanks.

Spencer Haws

No, you would write articles on common problems as well. So, some of your articles will be long tail keyword titled/focused, but others will just be original or common ideas that you want to address. Not every single article has to start with a keyword – it could just start with a great idea. However, if you can somehow implement a keyword with that great idea, then that’s the best way to go.

Mihai Ivan

You said: “For example, if you ranked #1 in Google for a keyword that only gets 100 searches a month, your site is likely to get 40% of the search volume from Google. So, 40 people will come to your site each month”.

I just want to add something about this. You will get more than 40 people/month coming to your site, from that keyword alone. One single low volume keyword has tens of forms hidden behind it. 40 people is for the “exact match” search only.

I’m telling you this because I accidentally ranked on the first page (places 1 or 2) for a long tail keyword (about 300 searches/month) and, all the form variations of that phrase (plurals, different word order etc.) is bringing in anywhere from 30 to 50 visitors per day.

And it’s just a lousy single blog post (written by myself) out of two total articles on the entire blog that I just made to test some things, not to develop it or anything. Oh and the article is more than 1 year old and it still holds its positions, despite pandas or penguins.

Go go long tails !

Spencer Haws

Thanks for adding this Mihai! I totally agree. I purposely kept my estimates low. So, you will in fact rank for variations and possibly other long tail keywords you weren’t even targeting.

Dante Sánchez

Hey Spencer,

great article as always. I’ve been wondering how can you check the backlinks to a specific page on an authority site.

I’ve been using the link:url/abc.html search parameter on Google, but I’d like to know if you know of a better method (preferably free, broke student speaking).

Anyway, thanks for all the info!

Spencer Haws

Use You get 5 searches a day for free I think… Or you can get a 30 day free trial here (unlimited searches for 30 days):


Funny you give these keywords as an example;
I have a “bugs” website myself. Great idea’s here to finally start ranking this thing!

marcus welby


Question about this strategy.

With regard to primary keyword and long tail keyword:

Do you mean have the primary keyword as a sticky post from the home page but have these long tail keywords in the primary keyword article that links out to these secondary keywords which are on their own pages.

Example: Ice Cream is the primary keyword but in the article about ice cream you mention, chocolate ice cream bar, vanilla ice cream pie, strawberry ice cream yogurt and there are the secondary long tail keywords with their own pages.

Want to make sure I understand you correctly.

Many thx.


Spencer Haws

The primary article does not necessarily have to link out to the secondary one. They can, if it makes sense. If not, don’t worry about it. The secondary articles will show up in your sidebar as recent posts.

arif islam

I thinks its different post about long tail key word.

Samuel Heins

What does the author of this incredible article think about Google EMD update and its impact.

Kimberly Boynton

When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


My long tail pro isn’t fetching the google title competition, do you know what causes that?

Spencer Haws

Send a support ticket to if you are still having issues.


Hi Spencer,
I have a question about Long Tail Pro.

Have been using a trial for the past few days, but can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong: I’ve tried searching for the same phrase (it’s quite long combination of 5 words) both in Adwords and in LTP and they give me different results…

Adwords gave me 440 variations (only 100 shown) of this phrase with some words missing or replaced by others while LTP filtered out everything except for 39 results and they are completely different from Adwords.

By the way, filters were the same for both LTP and Adwords. I’m quite confused which results should I rely on… Any ideas what could be a reason for this?

Spencer Haws

I suspect you had “exact” match selected in one and “broad” match selected in the other. Double check – the results will be the same.


Great post, very useful information. I do have a question; what about page name (file name) do you leave it as the post title (assuming permalinks are set to post name).

And off topic but do you know if editing a post causes wordpress to ping that post again? I ask because I sometimes find myself editing multiple times. Does multiple pings have an adverse effect on wordpress blogs. I’ve read some ping services may ban a blog for this.

Spencer Haws

Yes, just leave file name (that’s what I do). Editing post does ping again I believe (someone can double check this for me though). I don’t think it will have adverse affects if you are just editing every once in a while.


Very informative post. Thanks.

But I would like to know what your criteria is for the “Title Competition” of the secondary/long tail keywords using LTP.

Brandon Espinoza

I just recently started doing this before reading this post. It’s good to know I’m doing seo correctly. Long tail pro rocks I use it everyday seriously one of the best tools I’ve bought thus far online. I’ll continue to search this way.


wow wow wow, great insights – quantity is King!

nick anderson

I totally agree, i have been using the long tail pro and have actually had a few customers buy it and everyone loves it. Easy way to pick up extra traffic .

Recent Posts

View all