Podcast 73: How to Make a Successful Website Using the Long Tail

By Spencer Haws |

Today on the podcast, Perrin and I discuss 6 examples of successful websites using long tail keywords.

The content covered is generally the same as the last blog post here.  However, as usual with the podcast, Perrin and I tend to veer off course a bit from what is covered in the blog post.  So, the podcast is worth listening to, even if you already read the blog post.

In general, if you are interested in building websites that get traffic from long tail keywords (and often really long tail keywords), then this podcast will give you some ideas and get you motivated.

And if you pay close enough attention, you'll even get a brief update on my marathon training (I run a full marathon on October 3rd!), my Amazon FBA business, and a deeper discussion of the authority site project site that we just sold.

Overall, if you are interested in learning more about how to apply these long tail keyword strategies in your own websites, please check out Long Tail University (our keyword research training course).

As always, if you enjoy the podcast…leave a rating or review on iTunes right here.

Podcasts | 30 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

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

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Hi Spencer

Great keyword strategy you have outlined on your podcast and on your latest post. I haven’t started a site yet, I’m saving some money to invest in great content. I’m really happy I purchased your course, it really is an excellent resource to find low competition keywords and execute a content strategy based on those keywords.

We are very close to finish this year and start a new one and I hope to apply all the strategies I learned on Long Tail University and start my first project. Thanks for all the amazing content you share. I wish you the best of luck on your marathon and hopefully break your personal record!

Spencer Haws

Thank you so much Cesar! You should definitely be ahead of the game when you start your site. (And I’ll keep you posted on the marathon).


Great podcast full of great info, but I do have a question. I have a bunch of great keywords, but when it comes to writing content, I get fatigued. So, Perrin, Spencer and Jake, help me out. How do you guy’s come up with over 2000 word articles multiple times a day??

Do you target one keyword per article, then how do you keep writing for it. Or multiple KW’s, and that’s where you come up with more to talk about.

I really appreciate everything you do to help us be successful!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Bob. We mostly outsource all the writing. So, we simply come up with the topics (usually based on one main keyword, and sometimes a few sub-keywords), then hire people to write.


Fantasic episode. Really enjoy the podcast – esp. the way you have a variety of styles (sometimes interviews, sometimes Amazon project, sometimes something else etc). I think you two are interacting really well now on the podcast, also.

Thanks for these – your show is one I always enjoy!

Spencer Haws

Thanks Steve! We kinda shoot from the hip sometimes, but we feel like we have lots to share in our business. Glad you are sticking around with us!


Nice post. Yes it is true , long tail keywords really work to improve search ranking. But one thing I need to know , what is the actual meaning of high, medium and low competition keywords. some say low comp. keyword rank fast and according to google , high, medium and low determines the nu. of bidder on that keyword. Confused not getting right ideas any where.

Spencer Haws

There is 2 different types of competition. Google refers to Advertiser competition – the number of advertisers. How as SEOs, we care about organic competition…how difficult it is to rank your website naturally in google. Its 2 different things.


Does long tail pro work with mac? I see the FAQ says yes but when I try the trial it looks like a windows file downloads.

Spencer Haws

Yes, it works on a mac. just make sure you have adobe air installed first. (You get a .air file as the download).

Dave Fox

Hey guys, nice podcast! I’m always happy to hear more SEO-related podcast content. In fact, this time around, I think you guys may have steered me clear of some potential disasters. Quick story: One of my partners and I just finished writing a couple of super-epic pieces of content for one of our sites, which was based around some pretty juicy keywords that seem to point towards huge profits. I must be a bit of a gambler, because when I came across these keywords I just went all out and dreamed up some crazy stuff to rank for / monetize those keywords. Of course, little did I know that it would take over a month to craft that content, and now we’re just waiting to see what happens. But the thing is, after doing such involved content based around a few choice keywords, we’re back to square one trying to figure out which keywords to target. I was starting to push towards the big-payoff ones, neglecting pretty much everything this podcast talks about. So thanks, I feel like that kind of reset my compass and now its back to looking for the lower competition little fish keywords vs. the blue marlin sized keywords. 🙂

Oh, also.. about your theme song. Noticed it was absent from this episode. Where’d it go? Anyway, I’m a musician and I bet I could provide you with a cool piece of music to use for your show (free, I’d just be psyched if you used something of mine), if you ever wanted to ditch that jaunty little number you usually use. Just hit me up via email! 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Dave for sharing your experience with long tail keywords recently…glad the podcast helped! I was feeling lazy when I uploaded the podcast, so didn’t add the theme song. I’d totally be willing to hear some samples/ideas for a new intro.


Nice podcast guys, I’ve listed to it about 5 times already. Your examples are a great way to show that there are multiple approaches to using the results of long tail keyword research, but they are all based on low competition.

The podcasts have been absolutely critical in my learning process and I’ve gone from dazed and confused to something resembling confidence in the research I have been doing.

I’m curious about the low search volume, low competition strategy. If you are going that route, are you targeting a much higher CPC?

BTW, I’m a platinum long tail pro purchaser and its working great now that I’ve got it dialed in.

Spencer Haws

Thanks JerBear! Amazing that you’ve re-listened to it so many times…thanks! For the low search volume/low competition strategy: the idea to go with lots of content, rather than trying to just have a couple of big winners. So, we are not really focused on CPC at all, we are just trying to rank for LOTS of really long tail keywords…some will be big winners, and others not so much.


Hey Spencer & Perinn,

Great podcast as always! Awesome information.
Very happy owner of Long Tail Pro Premium and I recommend the software to everyone.

Just 3 quick questions if I may:

1) Perinn’s authority niche site monetize for about $2k a month which is very good, but you haven’t mentioned how do you monetize it ? Is that all $2k though Google AdWords ? Or Amazon Affiliates? Making $2k from adwords is quite a bit.

2) When Perinn targets Long Tail keywords even down to 10-70 searches a month. What’s the Long Tail Pro Keyword Competition (KC) for these keywords showing?

3) Sometimes I see some long tail keywords that have very high KC of 40-50 (ouch!) but when I look at Google’s 10 results these results aren’t really about that keyphrase at all, and many times don’t even contain the words in the title at all! Yet the sites are big authority sites so the calculated KC that LTP gives is about 50. Would you recommend targeting such keywords with KC 50 if my content and title are great?

Would be awesome if you could answer these.


Spencer Haws

1. Most of it is through Amazon associates. (But I disagree that making $2k+ from Adsense is quite a bit…adsense is actually higher paying than Amazon in some cases).
2. We always shoot for less than 30
3. That might be possible; however, I would test a few before going all in.

Karina Kapoor

Impressive post thanks for sharing such awesome content everytime 🙂

Spencer Haws

Thanks Karina!

JB Leep

Hi Spencer and Perrin!

I was looking for a place to post a question, and this seemed ok.

I have 25 or so pages on my growing website, some of which rank high in Google, and some are low. What are some techniques for improving the ranking of pages? I am not here talking about the basics of attacking a set of long tail keywords — I am already doing that. But rather, I am saying once I am there, at say position 35, and just sitting there for weeks, what techniques or changes do you recommend for improving your Google position a few months after you publish a page?

I guess another way of asking would be if you have a page, and you do some A-B testing, what changes have you found to be effective in improving SERP ranking when the Google position stalls?

Thanks to anyone who answers!

Spencer Haws

Linkbuilding/outreach. Also, better/more internal linking can help.

Brendan Davies

Hi Spencer,

Good luck with the marathon. I just completed my first marathon a few weeks ago (#bucketlistrunner, lol), and it was literally one of my proudest achievements to date. Make sure you tape up your feet properly, taper your training like a boss, and be prepared for a bit of pain (it’s a long way). Admittedly, I cheated a little (I used some pain killers) but managed a bit of a ‘shaka brah’ at the end. I was surprised how quickly it seemed to go. It was also my first running race as an adult, and it’s amazing how much faster you can run when there is some motivation.

Good luck man!! Kudos to you!!


Spencer Haws

Thanks Brendan! Congrats on your first marathon!

I’ve done a couple marathons before, but this is my first in 2 years. I think my first must be made of leather, because I never need to tape my feet; don’t get blisters. But I know tons of fellow runners than have some pretty nasty looking feet and toenails after marathons.

I’ll let everyone know how it goes!


I’m not sure if I missed this in this episode, but how many pages do these 6 sites you mentioned have to get this traffic?

Spencer Haws

They all have different amounts. Jakes around 30 or so, Perrin’s around 50 or so. The rest of the sites 50 to 100 or so.


Spencer, I have been following your guides from quite some time now and I think I am mentally prepared to start my first niche.

I was using LongTailPro to find some nice keywords to start with and I got stuck somewhere. So I have a question for you.

I was researching for a keyword, for example “Awesome bike designs” and although this keyword have 3000+ search volume and high Ad. competition but 8/10 websites do not have this particular keyword in their title or URL. They use “Awesome bicycle designs”, “Cool bicycle designs” or something similar but did’t use “bike”.

Top 6 websites ranking for this keyword is not using in title or url and other websites seem like low quality.

Would it be a good idea to build website around “Awesome bike designs”. Why or why not?

Spencer Haws

Sounds like there is potential, if top websites are not targeting keyword as well…that is a sign of weakness. However, other factors come into play such as how authoritative the sites are, age, etc. The KC metric usually gives you a good sense overall of competitiveness.


Thanks for your answer.

I was asking in general because I found 3 keywords of such nature. Usually the top domains were ebay, youtube, amazon and some news websites like telegraph etc. And 3-4 low quality websites with 4-7 pages & DA ~20-30 so I am guessing they were affiliate niche websites.

In each keyword, there were also 2-3 good strong websites with DA 80+. So I know it will not going to be easy.

So what I want to know is, should I try to work on such keyword or should I try to find a keyword that does not have any strong websites. Because it’s really very hard to find a under utilize keyword these days.

Spencer Haws

If there are 3 to 4 low quality sites in the mix, that sounds like potentially a great keyword to target. Probably means the high authority sites aren’t targeting the keyword really well and are only ranking because of their authority.



I have subscribed longtailpro, if I want to upgrade to platinum longtailpro, what costs should I spend?


Spencer Haws

$27/mth is the cost of platinum.

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