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Keyword Basics: How To Do Long-Tail Keyword Research For Online Article Submissions
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Last time we went over a very simple method of doing basic keyword research using Google’s own keyword research tool and the data from their search engine results pages (SERPs).

You learned how to assess the demand for a specific keyword term as well as the supply.

In this post, we’ll be exploring how to research long-tail keywords.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keyword are usually 3-8 words in length, with less potential traffic (fewer people searching for those terms), but also less competition.

Consequently, it would be easier for you to get ranked for these keywords using individual articles optimized for that particular keyword.

Long-tail keyword are usually much more specific than the high demand/high supply main keywords that you want to rank for. For example:

Main keyword: Dog training

Long-tail keyword: how to house train a dog

See, much more specific. Long-tail keyword phrases often make excellent article topics.

A big difference to keep in mind:

You want your website to rank highly for your main keywords–the keywords that have a very high demand, but many times also a high supply.

You want your articles to rank highly for your long-tail keyword terms.

Researching Long-Tail Keywords

Often using a phrase like ‘how to’ together with one of your main keywords can help you discover suitable long-tail phrases, which can form suitable article titles too.

For this example, I searched for “how to train dog” on Google’s keyword tool. Here’s what I found:

I’ve zeroed in on the long-tail term “how to house train a dog”. The demand for this term each month is 5,400…now to assess the supply.

I go to Google.com and type “how to house train a dog” (in quotation marks) in the search box.

You see, there are only 44,400 competing pages. That’s probably on the upper end for competition for a long-tail keyword phrase, but a properly optimized article could easily compete with this and could well end up appearing within the first couple pages of search results.

This keyword isn’t too shabby on the traffic levels either. Actually, this could be used as a main keyword phrase also, but in this case it’s also perfectly appropriate as a long-tail keyword phrase.

I did some further research for other possible long-tail keyphrases for the dog training niche:

  • “house training older dogs” –1,900 searches with 9,140 competing web pages
  • “leash training dogs” –8,100 searches with 29,100 competing web pages
  • “training boxer dogs” –2,400 searches, 10,900 competing web pages

Those are just a few–You get the idea!

And just as an example, here is a phrase I found that might not be such a good idea as a long-tail keyword phrase:

  • “training dogs not to bite” — 260 searches with 20,000 competing web pages

With “training dogs not to bite”, you have a low demand (only 260 searches a month) and a high supply (20,000 competing web pages). You could make this work, but the traffic levels are very low in proportion to the competition, and you can likely do better than that.

Your Homework:

Take the lessons that you’ve learned from this example on researching long-tail keyword phrases and apply them to your own field.

Next time I’ll show you a cool trick for researching different keywords using a piece of technology from Google that you may never have known was available to you…


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5 Responses to “Keyword Basics: How To Do Long-Tail Keyword Research For Online Article Submissions”

  1. Hi Steve, good article and I enjoyed the short and useful tips on using “how to” to integrate with keywords for the related traffic.

  2. Steve, Great article. Looks like it might be easy to place the long tail words in the body of the article without looking like your stuffing the page. thanks for sharing.

  3. What’s also great about long tail keywords is that, not only does it target a specific keyword that may have a high demand and low supply, but it also helps target the main keyword that’s inside the long tail.

    I’m not sure what quotations actually do. I thought it brought up only the results that had the exact keyword phrase within the title but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
    John Chartrand

  4. Abhi says:

    Great Read! Thanks for sharing this. Long tail keywords are best way to boost your traffic and improve your rankings on SERP.

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