Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 1)

Filed as Guides on March 15, 2009 1:17 am

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As promised in my last post, I’ll cover the process of finding good long tail keywords for your blog.  Here is the first part.  Part two will be next Sunday.

Part 1: Generate an initial keyword list.

There are a couple ways to come up with your initial list of keywords.

First, use an SEO tool.  My favorite ones are Google AdWords: Keyword Tool and SEO Book Keyword Tool.  If you’re not too tech savvy, don’t worry.  These tools are easy to use.

Basically, you enter in the name of your blog’s niche and the tool will spit out a bunch of related keywords.  So, let’s pretend I have a sports car blog.  I typed in sports cars in Google’s tool.  Here’s a sample of what came up.

  • classic sports cars
  • top sports cars
  • new sports cars
  • sports car pictures
  • cheap sports cars
  • bmw sports car
  • racing sports cars
  • luxury sports car

Second, you can use SEMRush, another SEO tool, to discover keywords that generate traffic for other sites.  With this tool, you simply type in the URL of a site without the “http://” and the tool will show you 1000 of their keywords.  It’s a good idea to choose sites with similar popularity as yours.  For example, choose blogs with similar PageRank and Alexa Rank.

SEMRush has a monthly fee.  However, you should be able to do all your research in a month and you can save your data in Excel or csv format.

Third, put yourself in the reader’s place.  Ask yourself, “What would an internet search type to find my blog?”  Brainstorm a list of search terms people might use to discover your posts (including future posts you plan to write).

Also, try to come up with a wide variety of keywords that target different subgroups in your niche. Oftentimes, we get into a rut where we write about the same topics. Our posts target many of the same keywords, so we miss out on the opportunity of seeing if we could rank for other keywords.

Let’s go back to my sports car blog for an example. Here are some keywords I came up with.  Notice how each keyword targets a different subgroup within the sports car niche.

  • how to drive a fast car
  • how to sell your sports car online
  • which company makes the best sports cars
  • new sports cars in 2009
  • modifications to increase the speed of your sports car

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  1. By Munir Ahmad posted on March 15, 2009 at 4:48 am
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    I have a query regarding SEO, i am new in the filed, recently i have joined an web solution provider company as BDE. being into a sales many time i have been asked different question by the client.
    kindly describe me in detail what is SEO and how is works and what are the key feature of this services.

    Reply

  2. By Jehzeel Laurente posted on March 15, 2009 at 7:36 pm
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    How about compete? or keyword spy? Is SEM Rush better than those services? I hope SEM Rush is free or will be free someday, yay! :D

    For free services, I use trends.google.com/websites and sitedossier.com. It will not give many keywords like SEMRush, but you will have an idea what are the top 10 keywords of a specific site.

    But hey, thanks for sharing about SEMRush, I think is a must have for SE Marketers and Optimists. Yay!

    Reply

  3. By Dee Barizo posted on March 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm
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    @Munir
    There is a lot that goes into SEO. It’s taken me over a year to learn and I’m still learning a lot! I recommend starting off by reading this beginners guide.

    @Jehzeel
    Unfortunately, I haven’t tried out Compete or Keyword Spy.

    Reply

  4. By Paul R posted on March 16, 2009 at 7:01 pm
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    Thanks for the beginner’s guide Dee. I’ve done SEO for a year and had some decent success with it.

    Thanks for the keyword tools!

    Reply

  5. By Traffic Geyser posted on March 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm
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    sem rush may seem to be a promising tool in looking for relevant keywords BUT payments are needed, so I’d rather use google keyword tool to look for relevant keywords for my website, it seems to have the same results as sem rush, can you explain the difference of results between the two?

    Reply

  6. By Dee Barizo posted on March 22, 2009 at 7:57 am
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    @Traffic Geyser

    The difference is SEMRush lets you see the long tail keywords of other sites that are driving traffic for them. Most keyword tools don’t give you this information.

    Reply

  7. By Learn SEO posted on May 23, 2009 at 11:51 am
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    Cool.. I used SEMRush for other things but never thought it could be used like this as well. I really like your idea and will probably blog about it.

    Thanks! :)

    Reply

  8. By candry johnson posted on August 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm
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    Hi Dee,

    Your post sound good you can teach seo good.
    can you explain me if i have taken two keyword like tour to india and tours to india if i placed in titel tour to india after that site is promoted then seconde keyword have nay chance to ranked.

    Reply

  9. By bluemontoya posted on January 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm
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    I’ve been using Google keywords to find long keywords, thanks for the extra tips.

    Reply

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