Long Tail Pro has been one of my go-to keyword tools for several years, back when it was a desktop-based tool. Since moving to the cloud, it has become even more powerful and useful when it comes to finding great keywords to target for content marketing and PPC campaigns. The Long Tail Pro website claims to have over 70,000 users, and that number doesn’t surprise me – it’s definitely one of the most popular keyword research tools on the market. If you search around, you’ll see just about every Long Tail Pro review is positive, and there’s a reason: overall it’s a great keyword tool.
In this post I’m going to highlight the pros, but I’m going to take it a step further and point out a few cons that many reviews fail to mention.
Long Tail Pro Interface
Let’s start this Long Tail Pro review by taking a look at the interface. When you log into the Long Tail Pro dashboard, you’re greeted by an interface that has quite a few options, but is also easy to use. You can choose what search engine to use for analyzing top competitors, and what language.
To get started, all you have to do is create a new project (which you can see on the left, above), and you can see a list of your existing keyword research projects right below (I’ve blacked out my current list of projects as they have sensitive data for myself & clients).
Entering a Domain to Analyze & Compare Against
Right next to the Search Engine & Language preferences, you can add your target domain in. Once entered, Long Tail Pro will get Majestic data for the domain, with metrics such as Domain Trust Flow, Domain Citation Flow, and Referring Domains. It will also generate a rough Target Keyword Competition (KC) strength, which is a decent (rough) guesstimate for which keywords you can target and hope to rank for. More on KC in a bit.
Entering Keywords to Analyze
Once you’ve created the project, you have two options for researching keywords:
- You can enter Seed Keywords to pull suggestions from the Google Keyword Planner
- You can manually enter a list of keywords
If you enter seed keywords, you can choose to limit the maximum results per keyword so you don’t blow through your monthly keyword limit too quickly. You can also limit keywords by the minimum & maximum number of monthly searches, the minimum & maximum suggested Google AdWords PPC bid, and/or the advertiser competition.
Note: I personally prefer to generate my keywords with other tools and import keywords manually, but the Seed Keyword generator is a quick and effective way to get going.
If you enter the keywords manually by selecting the Manual Keyword Entry Tab you can paste your keywords in, one-per-line, and Long Tail Pro will grab the search volume, suggested CPC bid, and check the top competitors for each keyword to calculate Keyword Competitiveness.
Keyword Analysis Results & Data
Once you’ve run a search, the Keyword Results Table below the Keyword Entry section will begin populating with data.
I did a sample search for “keyword research tools” for demo purposes for this review, and here’s a snippet of some of the 97 keywords returned (I set the limit to 100, and set a minimum search volume of 100 – you’ll notice there are a few that return “-” for the search volume even though I set it to a minimum of 100, which is kind of irritating, but it doesn’t happen too often):
Let’s take a quick look at the columns of data in the Keyword Results Table:
Keywords Column: Shows the keyword. If you click the keyword, it shows you the top 10 ranking sites for the keyword, with a solid breakdown of metrics for the ranking pages – more on that below.
Favorites Column: Allows you to favorite any keywords to make it easy to sort by favorites and quickly find the most promising keywords in the data set.
Volume Column: Shows the estimated monthly search volume for the keyword.
Bid Column: Shows the suggested Google AdWords PPC bid – useful if you’re looking to advertise through PPC, or if you’re doing content marketing and want to create content around high-bid keywords to maximize your AdSense PPC earnings.
Competition Column: Indicates the amount of advertisers for each keyword (Low, Medium, or High).
Words Column: The number of words in the keyword (kind of a useless metric, in my opinion – even if the keyword has 6 or 7 words, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s low competition).
Rank Value Column: Shows the estimated monthly value of ranking in the top spot on Google for the keyword (another useless metric in my opinion – though you can customize the value, something I don’t mess with).
Average KC (Keyword Competition) Column: Shows roughly how difficult it is to rank for the keyword, on a scale of 0 – 100; the higher the number, the more difficult it is to rank for. I have a love/hate relationship with this metric, as I haven’t found it to be terribly accurate. It’s a good starting point, but the number is easily skewed, so it’s a good idea to check competition with other keyword tools, or manually investigate the strength of the top competitors.
Language & Location Columns: Shows what country the keyword data was pulled for, and what language (based on what you set before running the keyword analysis).
Actions Column: Contains three buttons: one to refresh the keyword data, one to quickly generate 20 and analyze 20 keywords related to the keyword, and one to delete the keyword.
Filtering Keyword Data
Long Tail Pro has some great keyword filtering features. You can combine multiple filters together to quickly filter out results you aren’t interested in so you can focus on the keywords that match the criteria you care about.
You can include or exclude keywords based on: keywords containing or matching exactly whatever phrase you’d like to filter by, Keyword Competition above, below, or equal to whatever number you’d like, search volume above or below whatever number, bid above/below whatever amount, bid competition, and more.
You can also save your filters to quickly re-use them later, which is a nice bonus.
Keyword Competition Analysis
If you click on a keyword in the Keyword Column, you’ll be taken to the Competition Analysis table. I clicked on the keyword “keyword research” from the Keyword Results table:
In the Competition Analysis section, you’re provided with an overview of the keyword (Keyword Competitiveness, Monthly Search Volume, Suggested Bid, AdWords Competition – some of the same metrics shown in the Keyword Results table). Notice how Keyword Competitiveness is only 48 – which indicates it’s difficult to rank for, but the number should be much higher for such a competitive term – which illustrates why I have a problem with relying too heavily on the KC metric.
In the Google Search Results table, you’ll see a number of columns with useful data:
Search Result Title & URL Column: The Title and URL of the page ranking for the target keyword. The target keyword is bolded in the Title & URL when present, which lets you see at a glance how well the competition is targeting the keyword in the title & URL.
KC Column: The competitors’ URL’s overall strength (again, a rough metric I don’t rely too heavily on).
Domain KC Column: The competitors’ domain’s overall strength (again, a rough metric I don’t rely too heavily on).
Trust Flow Column: The Majestic Trust Flow score for the specific URL. The number ranges from 0 – 100, and the higher the score, the more links the page has from trusted sites.
Citation Flow Column: The Majestic Citation Flow score for the specific URL. The number ranges from 0 – 100, and the higher the score, the higher the link equity the URL has (how influential the URL might be).
Domain TF Column: The Majestic Trust Flow score for the domain the URL is found on. The number ranges from 0 – 100, and the higher the score, the more links the domain has from trusted sites.
Domain CF Column: The Majestic Citation Flow score for the domain the URL is found on. The number ranges from 0 – 100, and the higher the score, the higher the link equity the domain has (how influential the domain might be).
External Backlinks Column: The number of external links pointing to the page.
Page Refs Domains Column: The number of unique domains referring to the page.
Root Ref Domains Column: The number of unique domains referring to the root domain the URL is found on.
Indexed URLs Column: The number of URLs found on the domain (which can be indicative of overall authority based on the volume of content on the site).
Internal Links Column: The number of links from the URL to other pages on the domain.
Site Age Column: How long ago the domain was registered. Google tends to favor older sites it views as more trustworthy.
I could get into a whole tangent about which metrics are most important, and how to read them and factor them into your optimization & bidding strategies, but I’ll save that for a different post, as it doesn’t directly pertain to this Long Tail Pro review.
Long Tail Pro Price
Long Tail Pro has a recurring monthly subscription, which can be a turn-off for many. Plans start from $37/mo for the lowest-tier, up to $147/mo for the Agency Plan (though you can save by purchasing an annual subscription – which brings the Starter Plan down to $25/mo and the Agency Plan down to $98/mo).
However, if you’re an individual marketer or are needing keyword research for your small business, the Starter Plan is more than sufficient to get you going. The basic plan allows for 10,000 keywords per month, and provides access to all the metrics offered on the more expensive plans. I do a pretty solid amount of keyword research each month, and still find the Starter Plan to be sufficient for my needs (as I supplement my keyword research with a few other tools and only run the most promising keywords through Long Tail Pro).
Fortunately, there’s a 7-day free trial for whatever plan you choose, so you can test it out for yourself before you commit to purchasing.
Long Tail Pro Review Wrap-Up
It’s time to bring this Long Tail Pro review to a close. Let’s recap the pros & cons to help decide if it’s the right keyword tool to you, and cover a few final thoughts.