Chapter 3: How to Find Long
As much as I love the Google Keyword Planner, it has one fatal flaw:
It gives the exact same keywords to everyone that uses it (including your competitors).
No wonder most keywords are so competitive!
How can you get around this problem?
Set the tool aside. Instead, use lesser-known keyword research strategies that will show you untapped long tail keywords.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do in this chapter.
Incoming Search Terms
What if there was a way to find the exact keywords people use to find your competitor’s sites?
Wait, there is. It’s called the SEO SearchTerms Tagging plugin (which has been downloaded over 400,000 times).
This plugin automatically lists the keywords that people searched for to find that particular page. Here’s an example of the plugin in action:
For example, when someone searches for “why stock baking soda” and lands on the page above, the plugin automatically displays it at the bottom of the article.
And you can easily find sites in your niche using this simple search string:
“incoming search terms” + “keyword”
Once you’ve found a page that has a decent list of incoming search terms:
Grab the list and enter them into as seed keywords in the Google Keyword Planner.
And you’ll usually find a few high-volume gems:
“Searches Related To…”
Did you ever notice that when you scroll to the bottom of Google’s search results there’s a section called, “Searches related to…”?
It looks like this:
Well this little area is a gold mine for long tail keywords.
Just type in any keyword that you want to target for an article or product page:
Scroll to the bottom of the page and take a look at the “Searches related to…” for that keyword:
Usually you’ll get a mix of close variations of your main keyword:
(These are sometimes great keywords to target because they’re very long tail and have less competition than Body or Head Keywords)
Google will also sometimes show you a gem: a related keyword that’s related…but isn’t just another variation of the keyword you entered.
In this case, Google has given us 3 keywords that are thematically related to the keyword I used in this example (“premium headphones”):
And these keywords don’t show up when you use the keyword “premium headphones” as your seed keyword in the Google Keyword Planner.
Pro Tip: Take one of the keywords from the “Searches related to…” area, pop that into Google, and check out the “Searches related to…” results for that keyword. Rinse and repeat until you have a laundry list of awesome keywords that the Keyword Planner doesn’t show you.
Forums and Boards
One of my all-time favorite ways to brainstorm new keyword ideas is to head over to popular forums in my industry.
Where else can you find hundreds – and sometimes thousands – of people asking and answering questions about your site’s topic?
After all, if someone asks a question on a forum you KNOW that there are other people asking that same question in Google.
First, head over to forums where your target audience hangs out. You may know a few off the top of your head.
If not, just use these handy search strings to find them:
You can also search for a keyword in Google, click on “More”, and choose discussions from the menu:
This will bring up results from forums and Q&A sites (like Yahoo! Answers).
When you find a forum that looks active, take a look the forum’s categories:
The categories themselves are usually excellent seed keywords that you can use the Google Keyword Planner.
Click on a category and check out some of the thread topics:
In about 20 seconds I found three keywords that people interested in baking might search for in Google:
- “all purpose flour for white bread”
- “how to make bread healthier”
- “how to use corn flour”
Use Soovle.com to Mine Long Tail Keywords
Soovle.com is an easy to use, free tool that shows you keyword suggestions results from Amazon, Wikipedia, Ask.com, Google Suggest and YouTube.
First, head over to Soovle and enter a somewhat broad keyword into the search field:
For example, if you were looking for coffee-related keywords, you could use the keyword “coffee”:
Soovle will automatically display suggested results from different websites:
You can download the results in a CSV file by clicking the download icon in the top left corner of the page:
This is a GREAT tool because it shows you keyword ideas from sites that your competition probably overlooks.
UberSuggest: Google Suggest Scraper
Like Soovle, UberSuggest.org grabs information from Google Suggest. What makes this tool unique is that it provides A LOT more keyword suggestions than Soovle.
It takes your seed keyword and adds every letter in the alphabet after it to generate hundreds of suggested keywords.
For example, when you type the keyword “coffee” into Google you get a list of suggestions, like this:
But when you enter a keyword plus another letter, Google Suggest gives you yet another list of keywords:
UberSuggest scrapes all of that data for you so you don’t have to manually type in “coffee b”, “coffee c” etc.
To use it, head to UberSuggest.org and enter your keyword:
Next, fill out the captcha and click “suggest”:
The tool will spit out hundreds of suggestions:
Most of the suggested keywords won’t make sense for your site, but several will.
Use ScrapeBox for Keyword Suggestions
Yet another reason to love ScrapeBox.
A little-known feature of ScrapeBox is its “Keyword Scraper” tool. This tool does the same thing as UberSuggest …only you get WAY more results. You can also filter out duplicate keywords and download the results to a CSV files (two things UberSuggest can’t do).
First, open up your copy of ScrapeBox and click on “Scrape”. Choose “Keyword Scraper” from the dropdown menu:
Enter your seed keyword in the box labeled, “Enter Your Search Keyword(s) Below”:
Click on “Append A-Z”.
This will create a list of keyword + letter combinations (just like UberSuggest):
Finally, choose the sources that you want to grab results from by clicking “Select Keyword Scraper” sources:
And choosing the sites you want to use from the list:
Click on the “Scrape” button to generate keyword ideas:
You should get a long list of results populating the “Results” field:
Click on “Remove duplicates” to remove any duplicate results:
To save your results, copy the entire results field:
And pasting the keywords into a .txt file or CSV:
You can quickly and easily get the search volume for these keywords by heading to the Google Keyword Planner, clicking on “Get search volume for a list of keywords…” and pasting your list of keywords:
(You can also upload the list by clicking on the “Browse…” button and uploading a CSV or .txt file)
Thanks to Jacob King for this (very effective) technique.
Google Webmaster Tools
Sometimes the best keyword is one that you’re already ranking for.
What do I mean?
If you’re like most people, you have a handful of pages sitting on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th page of Google.
Sometimes you’ll find that you’re even ranking on Google’s inner pages for long tail keywords that you’re not even optimizing for.
And when you give these pages some TLC, they’ll usually hit the first page within weeks.
You can easily find these 2nd and 3rd page keywords in Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).
First, login to your GWT account and click on “Search traffic” on the left sidebar. Choose “Search Queries” from the menu:
First, login to your GWT account and click on “Search traffic” on the left sidebar. Choose “Search Queries” from the menu:
The top of the chart will be keywords that you’re on the first page for:
This is a nice confidence boost, but it’s not going to help you identify keywords that you’re on the 2nd or 3rd page for.
To find them, sort the list by “Avg. position”:menu:
Next, set the number of rows to show to “500”:
Keep scrolling down until you start to see an average position of about 11.
Then, take a look at the keywords that are ranking in those positions:
Put any promising keywords into the Google Keyword Planner to check their search volume.
If you find a keyword that makes sense for your site and has decent search volume, click on the keyword.
That will show you the page on your site that’s ranking for that keyword:
Finally, incorporate that keyword as part of that page’s on-page SEO.
I recommend checking out my comprehensive guide to on-page SEO. This nifty guide will help you properly optimize your page…without setting off any over-optimization tripwires at Google HQ.
Google Trends is one of my all-time favorite keyword research tools.
This tool shows you high-volume keywords in your niche…before they show up in the Google Keyword Planner.
But the most helpful Google Suggest feature is that you can quickly check a keyword’s popularity over time.
About to invest $50,000 on an SEO campaign? You better know whether or not interest in your list of keywords is growing (or falling).
First, head over to Google Trends, and enter the keyword you want to rank for into the search field:
The tool will show you “interest over time” based on search volume and news headlines:
In this example, search volume is pretty stable.
But for other keywords, like “Pinterest”, interest picked up suddenly and has now tapered off:
While others, “Google Keyword Tool” in this case, have a steady down trend:
The best case is a keyword like “content marketing”, where its popularity is growing consistently over time:
Pro Tip: Enter one of your target keywords into Google Trends and scroll down to “Related Searches”:
Some of the keywords listed under “Queries” are potentially lucrative keywords that the Google Keyword Planner won’t show you.
Google Correlate is a little-known tool that shows you keywords that tend to correlate with one another.
For example, people that use the word “SEO” as part of their keyword tend to also search for:
- Link building
- Keyword research
- Internet marketing
- On-page SEO
- SEO company
Google Correlate shows you these “correlated” keywords.
Your first step is to go to Google Correlate.
Enter a keyword into the search field and click “Search Correlations”:
Take a look at keywords listed under “Correlated with baking”:
(The number next to the keyword indicates the level of correlation. The closer the number is to 1, the more often it’s searched alongside the keyword you entered).
Click on “Show More” to see even more correlated keywords:
These are fantastic seed keywords that you can use in UberSuggest, ScrapeBox etc.
Quora is an extremely popular crowdsourced Q&A site (similar to to Yahoo! Answers, except people’s responses are actually helpful).
To use Quora, you need to create an account:
Once you’ve logged in, enter a broad keyword into the search bar at the top of any page:
Like forums, Quora will show you the most popular questions on that topic:
Some of the questions will be high-volume keywords themselves…while others might help you brainstorm new keyword ideas in your niche.
For example, in our baking example above, the keyword “how can you bake without eggs” is probably too long to be a popular keyword:
But when I entered the shortened version of the question, “bake without eggs”, into the Google Keyword Planner, I found a list of keywords that could easily be used as the topic of a high quality article. They also have relatively high search volume:
This is where Quora shines: giving you laterally related keyword and topic ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
You should have no shortage of long tail keywords after tapping into these strategies.
KeywordTool.io is an awesome (free) tool that’s PERFECT for generating long tail keyword ideas.
It’s similar to UberSuggest in the sense that it grabs results from Google Suggest. What makes this tool superior in many ways is the fact that it adds a character before AND after the keyword that you enter.
For example, if you enter “low carb diet” into UberSuggest, it will search for “Low carb diet a”, “Low carb diet c” etc. KeywordTool.io will search for those same keywords AND search for “a low carb diet”, “b low carb diet”. That means you get more keywords from the same search.
First, head over to KeywordTool.io and enter a seed keyword into this field:
Then the tool will spit out a ridiculous amount of keyword ideas (up to 750 to be exact):
And you’re done!
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