I’ve said for a long time that keyword research is the most important aspect of building a successful niche website. As it turns out, effective keyword research is also very important for ecommerce sites, bloggers, and any other business or personal site that produces blog posts or other content they hope will rank in Google.
In this Long Tail Pro review, not only am I going to share the pros and cons of the software tool, but I’ll also share some of my tips for keyword research and competition analysis in general.
Now if you are not familiar with me already, I have to write this disclosure statement so that you understand where I’m coming from. Full disclosure: I am the creator of Long Tail Pro!
(but it’s not mine any more)
In 2011, I created Long Tail Pro and grew it into a great business for 5 years. However, in early 2016, I sold the company and I’m no longer involved in the day to day decisions of the business. (Although the new owners still do ask my opinion from time to time).
I should say that they don’t ask for my opinion often. One day I woke up and noticed that the logo had been changed… and nobody asked for my feedback on that. 🙂
However, now that’s it’s been a couple of years since I’ve owned Long Tail Pro, I wanted to share my review of Long Tail Pro and where it is today. Is Long Tail Pro STILL the best keyword research tool on the market?
Overall, I think Long Tail Pro is a great software tool and I still personally use it for my keyword research on my websites.Get a 7 Day Trial of Long Tail Pro Here
Long Tail Pro Overview
Overall, I’m still a fan of Long Tail Pro and think it’s worth the investment. Yes, there have been a few changes and improvements that could be made (as explained below). However, it still does a great job finding keywords and checking the competition levels. Try Long Tail Pro Here.
- Get keyword suggestions in bulk.
- The Keyword Competitiveness score is excellent.
- The competitor analysis screen really helps you do a deep dive on how likely you are to rank above your competitors in Google.
- The rank tracker is accurate and extremely easy to use.
- The limit on manual keywords could be higher.
- The limit on seed keyword could be higher.
- The text and URLs in the competitor analysis could be displayed a little better.
- Long Tail Pro Review
- The Pros of Long Tail Pro – What Does it Do Well?
- The Cons of Long Tail Pro – What Doesn’t it Do Well?
- Pro Tips, Features, and Tutorial
- How Does Long Tail Pro Stack Up To the Competition?
- Long Tail Pro Questions and Answers – FAQs
- Long Tail Pro
- Overall Summary
Long Tail Pro Review
In this Long Tail Pro review, we’re going to look at what Long Tail Pro does, how you can use it, and how it stacks up with the competitors this year. Let’s get started.
What is Long Tail Pro? A Quick Overview
If you’ve made it this far, you likely already know what Long Tail Pro is all about. However, let me offer a quick explanation.
Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool that helps you quickly find low competition keywords for your website. In particular, the tool is built for people doing SEO (search engine optimization) as opposed to people doing paid ads (Google Adwords PPC). I’m sure there are some advertisers that use the tool for paid ad keyword research, but the tool was built for SEO keyword research.
In a nutshell, Long Tail Pro helps you quickly find keywords in bulk based on a seed keyword that you input. In addition to returning hundreds of related keywords, the tool also shows search volume (monthly search volume), advertiser bid, number of words, rank value, and my favorite Keyword Competitiveness (helps you judge the competition and keyword difficulty).
Here’s a quick screenshot of what the results look like:
I’ll dive into more details in the tutorial section below, but I just wanted to share a quick example of the type of data it returns.
A Quick History
As for the history of the company, as I explained, I created Long Tail Pro back in 2011. At the time, I was creating tons of niche sites and was doing alot of keyword research and content creation.
I was trying to figure out what types of keywords would rank quickly in the search engines, specifically Google, and I was frustrated with the other keyword research tools (in particular Market Samurai) out there.
I wanted a software tool where you could input 1 or multiple seed keywords and gets tons of long tail keywords and content marketing ideas from…quickly. I didn’t want to spend my time while slow software tools look at each of my keywords one at a time, and required me to be manually involved.
So, Long Tail Pro was created out of my own need. What I quickly discovered is that I was solving a pain point for many other users as well and the tool gained traction in the marketplace.
I won’t go into the entire history, but I constantly tweaked and improved the tool. The business grew for 5 years, and then I decided it was time for me to step away and focus on other projects. In 2016, I sold the company and the new owners continue to improve the software tool.
The Pros of Long Tail Pro – What Does it Do Well?
Overall, there are a ton of great features for Long Tail Pro. Here’s is a short list of just a few that I’d like to highlight.
- Get keyword suggestions in bulk. You can input up to 5 seed keywords at a time, and the tool will pull back as many as 400 related keyword per seed keyword (originally based on data from the Google keyword planner). In addition, you can input “manual” keywords and get all the stats if you happen to already have a large list of keywords.
- The Keyword Competitiveness score is excellent. This score will tell you between 0 and 100 how difficult it will be to rank in Google. For this score alone, the tool is worth the money in my opinion.
- Use multiple projects for multiple websites or blogs. I love being able to have different projects in the tool to organize my keywords per website, category, or other method.
- The competitor analysis screen really helps you do a deep dive on how likely you are to rank above your competitors in Google.
- The rank tracker is accurate and extremely easy to use. It also includes projects so you can keep domains separate if you want.
The Cons of Long Tail Pro – What Doesn’t it Do Well?
As a founder, you would think I wouldn’t share where certain things need to be improved. But I don’t think there is any software tool that is perfect. So, depending on your situation, some of these cons may be a bigger deal to you.
- The limit on manual keywords could be higher. I personally wish we could input 10,000 keywords at a time, instead of 200. However, I understand the costs that Long Tail Pro has to maintain each time a new manual keyword is input. Not a deal breaker, I just wish the limit was higher. (To be fair, I don’t think most keyword tools have a bulk manual option at all).
- The limit on seed keyword could be higher. Again, I just want MORE of a good thing. The limit is currently 5, I wish it were 10 or more.
- The text and URLs in the competitor analysis could be displayed a little better. The text is sometimes uneven. See image below:
Pro Tips, Features, and Tutorial
Now I want to dive into the meat of this review and show how you can start finding long tail keywords. I want to show you how I use the tool and potentially how it can help your website or blog do better!
To get started, you need to input some seed keywords. I’ve written extensively about how to find seed keywords for your website.
They could come from forums, Amazon, other websites or blogs, or even other keyword research software tools like SEMrush. (I sometimes use SEMrush to find the keywords my competitors are ranking for; especially competition with low domain authority, and then do the analysis in Long Tail Pro).
Once you hit “Retrieve”, Long Tail Pro will work it’s magic and generate all the long tail keywords for you along with the Avg. KC score, Volume, Bid, Words, and Rank Value.
Now, if you sort by Avg. KC, you can immediately cherry pick which long tail keywords are the easiest to rank for in Google! For example, I just input a few seed keywords related to survival knives, and this is my results. I already found dozens of long tail keywords that are potentially easy to rank for!
A Quick Word About the Average KC Score
The KC (keyword competitiveness) score is a number between 1 and 100 that tells you how difficult it will be to rank on the first page of Google for that search term. The general rule of thumb is that anything under 30 is “easy”. And anything over 40 starts to get pretty difficult (depending on how authoritative your website is).
If your website is new or has low authority (say under a DA of 35), I wouldn’t really target keywords with a KC score of over 30.
The 30 to 35 range is medium difficulty. But most of the time, I always avoid keywords over a KC of 35…even with my more authoritative sites. Why go after difficult keywords, if there are plenty of easy long tail keywords ripe for the picking?
So, the Average KC Score looks at the first page of Google and how authoritative those sites are that are ranking for the search term. The calculation takes several factors into account including overall authority, number of links, and how well the page is targeting that specific keyword.
The most important thing for you to do know is that many people have looked at this calculation, and it typically performs better when compared to competing tools.
Overall, the Average KC score works! Look at the KC score, and if it’s under 30…you’ve got a potential winner on your hands.
If you want to do some of your own analysis on the keyword ideas to truly see what the first page of Google (organic traffic) looks like you can click on the keyword and get a more in-depth competitor analysis screen.
I often just use the KC score and that’s it, but sometimes I want a deeper dive. Here’s an example:
There is a lot to look at here. But I would focus on:
- The Average Keyword Competitiveness (22 in this example).
- The Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
- External Backlinks.
- Site Age. (Got cut off on this screenshot).
- How well each result is using the keyword in the title (Long Tail Pro bolds the keyword so it’s easy to see for you).
“Best anti slip shower mat” looks like a keyword worth considering! 🙂
I love the fact that Long Tail Pro comes with a rank tracker! Want to track how your keywords are driving more traffic in Google? Just pop them in the rank tracker and Long Tail Pro will automatically check their positions for ranking in Google each 24 hours.
You also have the ability to track the rankings in Yahoo and Bing if you want, but what internet marketers would do that…?
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You can also select a different location if you want to see how your keywords are performing in countries outside the United States. I know this becomes quick useful for online entrepreneurs targeting the Google serps in other countries.
The results quickly show you where your niche site is currently ranking, but also keeps a history of where you used to rank. You can easily see if your positions are higher or lower in Google over the past week or past month.
And if you click on an individual keyword, you can see the history for as long as you’ve been tracking it. You can even export the results if you want for your own use, or if you are tracking for clients, you can send them the exports.
How Does Long Tail Pro Stack Up To the Competition?
So I started the company back in 2011, I sold it back in 2016. How’s it doing now? Is it still competitive?
I got my employee Brady to write up a post on the best keyword research tools a while back. He’s not at all connected with Long Tail Pro and it was cool to see his results. His conclusion was that Long Tail Pro wasn’t the most powerful keyword research tool. But it was the most budget friendly!
He concluded that if you don’t have $99 per month to spend on an Ahrefs subscription, Long Tail Pro is a great option for budget shoppers.
Here’s how Long Tail Pro stacks up to some of its competitors right now:
Long Tail Pro vs Market Samurai
It’s not even a comparison. Market Samurai is long dead and gone. You’re better off using one of the free keyword research tools like Ubersuggest.
Long Tail Pro vs KWFinder
KWFinder and Long Tail Pro are pretty even on power. KWFinder can return more searches per query (if you have one of the more expensive plans). But KWFinder’s budget plan is almost 2x the cost of Long Tail Pro and it returns only somewhere between one half and one tenth of the keywords of Long Tail Pro.
The best benefit of KWFinder is that it allows you to have easy SERP analysis for each keyword. I love that. It’s also awesome that KWFinder shows you what your competitors are ranking for. If I didn’t use Long Tail Pro, this would be my research tool of choice.
My employee Brady’s research indicated that KWFinder and Long Tail Pro have the most accurate keyword difficulty scores.
KWFinder does cost more and can give you less keywords per query. But it packs cool features under the hood that Long Tail Pro just doesn’t have yet. KWFinder is a middle-of-the-line research tool. I’d recommend it for those who want a bit more juice than Long Tail Pro but can’t afford Ahrefs.
Long Tail Pro vs SEMRush
I used to use SEMRush to do some competitor keyword research. I wanted to know what my competition was ranking for.
But to be honest, they’ve kind of fallen behind the times a bit. They cost the same as Ahrefs but have half the power and tools available. If you can afford $99 per month, use Ahrefs. You get a lot more bang for your buck and and you won’t miss out on any unique features.
Long Tail Pro vs Ahrefs
Ahrefs is the powerhouse of the keyword research world, but it comes at a price. They do return a ton more keywords than Long Tail Pro (sometimes over 1,000,000). They let you see SERPs at a glance and find what your competition is ranking for.
But they’re pricey. Ahref’s least expensive plan is almost 4x the cost of Long Tail Pro. I’d recommend Ahrefs if you’re going to be doing serious link building or need some crazy power. But for the budget buyer, I still say that Long Tail Pro meets your needs better 🙂
Brady’s tests indicated that Ahrefs tends to run low on the keyword difficulty scores. This isn’t a big deal if you can see SERPs at a glance, but it means that you may end up targeting some keywords that look easy… but aren’t.
Long Tail Pro vs Jaaxy
Jaaxy is another of the budget keyword research tools. It has some really cool features like Alphabet Soup that Brady loves. It can return a pretty high amount of keywords per query and will give you keywords that other tools won’t.
Not even Long Tail Pro.
Jaaxy’s biggest weakness is the layout. It’s a little clunky, the design is sometimes off, and some info isn’t accurate. Brady doesn’t trust their keyword difficulty score since no one knows what factors Jaaxy uses. The keyword difficulty score sometimes trends with Long Tail Pro and KWFinder, but sometimes it’s way off.
It’s a cool tool if you’re wanting some super unique keywords, but the strange design and wonky metrics make it less than perfect.
Long Tail Pro vs Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner used to be an awesome tool for finding long tail keywords. Now… not so much.
Google has started “bundling” keywords. So instead of showing you results for “best protein powder for weight loss” and “best protein powder for pregnant women”, keyword planner will give you the keyword “best protein powder”. The other two long tail keywords will be “bundled” into this one keyword.
This is great for advertisers; they can have ads on more keywords for the same price. But it’s horrible for those of us doing keyword research for content!
Google’s days as a viable keyword research tool are gone. Long Tail Pro is the clear winner here
Long Tail Pro vs Other Competitors
If you’d like to read more about how Long Tail Pro stacks up to other tools, you can read my employee Brady’s post on the best (free and paid) keyword research tools.
It will give you a pretty good idea 🙂
Long Tail Pro Questions and Answers – FAQs
What plan should I buy? Right now, there are the options of the Starter, Pro, or Agency plans. If you are an individual just started out, you are most likely just fine starting out with the starter plan. You get 1000 keyword lookups per 24 hours and 30 tracked keywords.
If you are a more seasoned entrepreneur with a few sites, you might consider the “Pro” plan. This will give you 2500 keyword lookups per day and 200 tracked keywords.
Finally, if you have a team and are a more established business, the agency plan might be the appropriate option which allows 6000 keyword lookups per 24 hours and 1000 tracked keywords.
How do I download Long Tail Pro? Long Tail Pro is no longer a desktop application. Since 2016, the tool has been a web-based software application, so there is nothing to download. If you have questions about whether or not you bought the desktop or online version, please contact support right here.
How do I cancel Long Tail Pro? In order to cancel your subscription, just login to the tool (https://app.longtailpro.com/), then go to the “Billing” screen and click “Cancel Account”. It’s as easy as that.
Is Long Tail Pro worth the price? With a starter plan of just $25/mth currently, it’s a relatively low investment to get started. And when you consider that you also get to track keywords as “bonus” to the core keyword research features, there really is alot of value there.
A popular keyword tracking tool charges $49/mth to track 250 keywords, but provides no keyword research or competitor analysis features. With the Pro plan of Long Tail Pro, you get 200 keyword tracked and all the keyword research and competitor analysis features for just $45/mth.
Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro was sold off a while back, but it’s still the tool I use for my keyword research. You can use it to:
- Find the easiest to rank for, longest tail keywords
- Automate your keyword research process for easy wins
- Track your rank in Google
- Analyze SERPs
Overall, I’m still a fan of Long Tail Pro and it has a user-friendly interface. Yes, there have been a few changes and improvements that could be made (such as being able to search more seed keywords at once, or more manual keywords at once). However, I still use the software on a regular basis to find keywords and check the competition levels.
In addition, when you throw in the fact that Long Tail Pro will also track the rankings of your keywords, the price becomes much more appealing. If you are a content marketer looking for a tool to generate profitable ideas and great keywords, you should give it a try.
Finally, as a reminder, I was the original creator of Long Tail Pro. However, I sold the company almost 3 years ago and I’m not longer involved in the day to day operations of the business. In fact, they changed the logo and didn’t even tell me! :).
If you are a blogger or doing affiliate marketing, and have been on the fence about trying Long Tail Pro, I would encourage you to give it a try. You can always cancel at any time if you have “finished” your keyword research or decide you want to try something else.Click Here to Get a 7 Day Trial of Long Tail Pro
Do you have any additional thoughts to add to the discussion? Please add a comment below.