This is a review of the newest, cloud-based version of Long Tail Pro. Further down the page you will see my opinion of the older desktop version.
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of building a successful website. It is important for blogs, ecommerce sites, personal sites, business sites and much more. If you want to rank in Google well, you need to research good keywords and apply them to your website.
In this Long Tail Pro review, we are going to be sharing the pros and cons of the software tool, and how to use it for keyword research. By the end of this review you should have all the information you need to decide whether Long Tail Pro is the right software tool for you.
Summary of Long Tail Pro
- Long Tail Pro is a powerful keyword research tool that allows users to generate hundreds or thousands of unique “Long Tail” keywords in a matter of minutes based on one or multiple root keywords.
- After generating long tail keyword ideas, you can conduct a website competitive analysis of the top sites that appear.
- Long Tail Pro can calculate the viability of keyword ideas for your brand on a scale of 0 to 100.
- Up to 200 manual keyword entries can be done at a time.
- Monthly fees range from $37 a month, to $147 a month and annual fees range from $297 a year to $1177 a year.
Long Tail Pro’s Background
Long Tail Pro was created by Spencer Haws from NichePursuits.com. He created the software tool in 2011 as he was frustrated with the keyword tools on offer at the time. Haws continually developed the software for 5 years before selling it in 2016. The new owners have continued to develop Long Tail Pro, keeping it at the forefront of keyword research.
Spencer Haws is focused on what I call the “passive income scene”. The passive income scene tends to be focused on developing niche websites that are based around a special interest or product. Content for these niche websites is then created around long tail keywords, and then monetized through a variety of different methods such as Google Adsense, Amazon Affiliates or even drop shipping methods.
The goal with passive income websites is to build up enough of them so that you have a steady income stream for minimal work input.
Long Tail Pro has changed over the years and has moved from a tool that you would install on your PC or MAC, to a cloud based tool. We reviewed the early version a number of years ago (which you can read here). However, as the tool has changed to an online based service we thought we would take another look at it.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
You may be wondering what long tail keywords actually are and why they are so important. Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to what you are selling or advertising.
When a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they want to buy or research. Such specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales or clicks than generic searches.
For example: if your company sells mountain bikes, the chances are that your pages are never going to appear near the top of an organic search for “bike” because there is too much competition. But if you specialise in a certain brand or style of bike you can use that as a way to form more specific keywords. Something like “Giant Reign Mountain Bike for Sale” is going to be more specific and more likely to convert to a sale.
These more specific, long tail keywords will probably result in less traffic to your website, but the traffic you do draw will be better.
What Is Long Tail Pro?
Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool that helps you quickly and easily find low competition keywords for your website. The tool is built in particular for those who are using SEO (search engine optimization) as opposed to social media or paid ads (Google Adwords). You can use Long Tail Pro to find keywords for paid ads, but it was really designed around finding them for SEO users.
In short, Long Tail Pro helps you find good quality keywords quickly and in bulk based on one or multiple root keywords. Additionally, the tool also displays search volume, advertiser bid, rank value, number of words and keyword competitiveness.
Keyword competitiveness is useful because it helps you judge the competition and keyword difficulty.
LTP has been updated to a cloud based version that lets you use the software anywhere and at any time. Those that have purchased the desktop version of LTP may be eligible for a free version of LTP Cloud. Take a look here to find out more information.
What is New in the Cloud Version of Long Tail Pro?
For those with the desktop version of LTP, you will be pleased to know that they still support the software. However, the team behind LTP is now focused on the cloud based version of the tool. Let’s take a look at what is new in Long Tail Pro Cloud.
Use it anywhere – Now that Long Tail Pro is a web based up, you can use it anywhere and on pretty much any computer or device. The old desktop version limited you to 3 installations of LTP, which meant you could only install it on three computers at a time.
Its faster – Long Tail Pro cloud is significantly faster than the desktop version of the software (over fifty times apparently). Instead of waiting hours for bulk KC calculations, you will get results in 30-60 seconds.
You can see exact search volume results – One of the worst things about the previous version of Long Tail Pro was opening up the tool or Google Keyword Planner and seeing those dreaded “1K-10K” search volume results. This really limited the effectiveness of keyword research with LTP, which is why they decided to use external data providers for the cloud version rather than using Google Adwords.
No need to provide a Google Adwords account – LTP Cloud is not dependent on your Adwords account, so you no longer need to worry about having account restrictions of spending money on Adwords. Having to use a Google Adwords account was something we didn’t like about the desktop version of LTP
LTP cloud includes a Rank Tracker – Long Tail Pro Cloud users will get a beta version of the software’s new Rank Tracker for free. This Rank Tracker gives you the ability to track page rankings for various keywords.
Personal domain analysis – LTP now includes a tool that can analyse your domain and provide you with useful insights about what keyword competitiveness scores you should target for your specific website. This analysis is based on the authority that search engines give to your domain. In addition to suggested keywords, Long Tail Pro also provides you with your domain’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores, along with the number of backlinks.
You can assess the income potential of your keywords – A new metric called Rank Value was introduced with LTP Cloud, which lets you assess the money making potential of your keywords. Rank Value is the estimated monetary value of ranking number 1 for any given keyword.
What Has Been Left Out of Long Tail Pro Cloud?
While a number of things have been added to the cloud version of Long Tail Pro, some things didn’t make the cut.
Unlimited keyword results are gone – Unlike the desktop version, the cloud version of LTP comes with limited keyword usage. This is because Long Tail Pro no longer relies on user Adwords and Moz accounts, and the company behind LTP has to pay for every row of data they retrieve. Long Tail Pro offers a range of different plans to cover all budgets and users, so you can get the number of keyword searches you need.
You can no longer retrieve Global search volumes – Once again, this feature has been left out because Long Tail Pro has switched to relying on external data providers. Long Tail Pro claims that the global search volumes in these external sources were not reliable and consistent enough. This is a bummer for people who might have used this feature in the desktop version of Long Tail Pro.
Google/Bing Title Competition and Domain Availability has been cut – LTP has replaced this with new features such as Personal Domain Analysis and Rank Value.
Who Is Long Tail Pro for?
- SEO marketers who use Google, Youtube and other similar platforms.
- People who want to increase or improve their organic traffic.
- Google and Youtube Adwords advertisers who want to get better conversions while reducing the CPC.
- Affiliate marketers who are looking to find long tail keywords around which to base their websites, and create content.
- Live streamers and video creators who want to expand their reach and get more views.
Key Features of Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is more than just a keyword research tool and it is packed full of useful tools to get more quality traffic to your website. We have listed some of the great features of the tool below:
- Generate keywords based on a root/seed keyword.
- Create multiple different projects to help keep organised (you can have different campaigns set for different websites).
- Find high-CPC long tail keywords that are great for increasing Adsense revenue.
- Import keywords into Long Tail Pro
- Use Long Tail Pro to find keyword-rich domain names. This is especially useful if you are creating a niche blog.
- Keyword competition checker
- See search volume and rank value of keywords.
- A favourite system lets you save your best keywords.
- Google Adwords suggestion.
- Backlink Analysis.
- Check the rank value of keywords and assess their monetary value.
How Much Does Long Tail Pro Cost?
Long Tail Pro is offered at a range of different costs for all budgets. You can pay in monthly or yearly instalments and there is a 7-day free trial on offer as well. There are three different options you can choose from, which we have outlined below.
|Keyword lookups per 24 hours||6000||2500||800|
|KC calculations per 24 hours||6000||2500||800|
|SERP lookups per 24 hours||6000||2500||800|
The costs for each different option are as follows:
- Agency – $147 a month or $1177 per year ($98/month)
- Pro – $67 per month or $537 per year ($45/month)
- Starter – $37 per month or $297 per year ($25/month)
Annual options can be paid monthly as well and annual members will also get access to Long Tail University.
What is Long Tail Pro University?
Long Tail Pro University is an in-depth guide that teaches you how to find powerful keywords and get more traffic to your website. The information contained in the guide is not only useful for niche websites, but also other businesses as well.
Who gets access to Long Tail University?
- All annual subscribers will be given access within the app.
- Any monthly subscribers or Lifetime owners who have purchased LTU previously will be given access within the app.
- All LTU owners without an LTP Cloud account will be given access to the LTU site.
The Pros of Long Tail Pro – What is Good About the Tool?
Long Tail Pro offers a number great features that can help you get better quality traffic to your website. Here’s a list of what we feel is good about Long Tail Pro and the benefits of using the tool.
- You can get keyword suggestions in bulk – Long Tail Pro lets you input up to 5 root keywords at a time, and it will spit out as many as 400 related keywords per seed keyword. Additionally, if you have a large list of keywords already, you input them manually and get all the important stats for each keyword.
- Multiple projects let you be more organised – The ability to create multiple projects for multiple websites or blogs is really useful. It is great that you can have different projects in Long Tail Pro to organise keywords per website or focus.
- The keyword competitiveness (KC) score is good – This feature will tell you a score between 1 and 100 that represents how difficult it will be to rank on Google. The ability to quickly see how competitive a keyword is makes choosing the right one much easier. We feel that this feature is one of the main highlights of Long Tail Pro.
- We like the Google Adwords Suggestion feature – While Long Tail Pro was developed with SEO in mind, the Google Adwords Suggestion feature is great for those looking for keywords that will work well with paid ads.
- It is easy to use and fast – Even the most inexperienced person will be capable of getting their head around Long Tail Pro. The cloud based version of LTP is considerably faster and more stable than the desktop variant.
- The rank tracker is simple to use – The ability to track page rankings for various different keywords is definitely useful and helps you decide on which parts of your website you should focus on.
- Long Tail Pro is polished and professional – The LTP user interface is clean and professional with minimal clutter. You can tell that a whole heap of work has gone into making Long Tail Pro Cloud and it is certainly a step above the desktop version. Many other SEO software programs or tools give off the vibe that they have been slapped together in a couple of days, but it is clear that the Long Tail Pro team have spent a lot of time developing a premium product.
The Cons of Long Tail Pro – What is Bad About it?
- It is overpriced – The main issue I have with Long Tail Pro Cloud (as with the desktop version we reviewed a while back) is the cost. $37 per month for what is essentially a glorified Google Keyword Planner is too costly. Even the annual membership at $25 per month feels like bad value and don’t get us started on the other, more expensive plans.
- Keyword lookups, KC calculations and tracked keywords are limited – It’s a real shame that unlimited keyword results were removed when Long Tail Pro went cloud based. We understand that there are costs associated when keywords are looked up, but we wish the limits were higher. The limit of 800 keyword lookups a day feels pretty low when you are paying nearly $40 a month to use the service. While we probably would be fine with this, if you are doing lots of keyword research on a particular day you will find LTP frustrating to use.
- You can only use 5 seed keywords at once – It would be nice to be able to use 10 or more seed keywords, as this would make keyword research faster and better.
- It isn’t that much better than free alternatives – Like we wrote above, Long Tail Pro just feels overpriced. Yes, the KC calculator, rank tracker and backlink analysis tools are useful, but for those just looking to find keywords, there are free alternatives that can do the same job. If you want to get similar results in terms of just finding long tail keywords, then I suggest you check out Keyword Shitter or even ScrapeBox at $97. The main advantage LTP has over free alternatives is the keyword competitiveness calculator. It is a useful feature and is a good way of quickly measuring how difficult keywords are to rank for. The biggest problem is that you should really be learning how to analyse SEO competition for keywords yourself. Manual analysis of SERP results for prospective keywords is almost always going to be better than using the KC tool Long Tail Pro provides. We are also not too sure how accurate Long Tail Pro really is with its keyword competitiveness calculations.
- Global search volumes are gone – It’s a shame that LTP ditched the option to retrieve global search volume. While we understand that changing to external sources meant they could not include the feature, it will come as a disappointment to some new and existing users.
How to Use Long Tail Pro
Now that we have talked about the pros and cons of LTP, let’s look at how you can use it to find long tail keywords. Once you have signed up, you can start using the service straight away. If you have signed up for a trial account, you will be limited to 100 keywords per 24 hours.
The first thing you need to do is to input some seed keywords. Think of some keywords that relate to the product you are selling or article you want to write. You can even use something like Keyword Shitter to get an idea of some keywords and then input them into Long Tail Pro. For this article we have given an example of dog toys as we run a website focused on dogs.
Along with the keywords you input, you also have the option to change the number of suggestions per keyword you receive, and some more advanced options.
When you are ready to go, click “Retrieve”, Long Tail Pro will generate all the long tail keywords for you, along with the Average KC score, Volume, Bid, Words, and Rank Value.
You can sort the results by clicking on the Avg. KC, Volume, etc. and then select the best long tail keywords that suite your needs. We input a few seeds keywords related to dog toys and you can see our results below.
Manual Keyword Search
If you have keywords already, you can try the manual search function to find out more information about them. Simply type in the manual keywords (limit 200) and then hit “Retrieve”. LTP will find all the information you need to know about the keywords, such as the Avg. KC, Volume, Rank Value, etc.
The rank tracker in LTP is a great feature and can definitely save you some time. Instead of manually searching keywords and checking their rank, you can streamline the process by inputting them straight into Long Tail Pro. Pop your keywords and website URL in the rank tracker and Long Tail Pro will automatically check their positions for ranking in Google.
With LTP’s rank tracker you can change the location to see how your keywords are performing in other countries outside of the United States. This is useful for marketers who want to target a specific location.
With the rank tracker, you can see where your website is currently sitting and any past performance as well. You can quickly see how your website was ranking yesterday, last week and last month, and whether it has gone up or down. Clicking on a keyword will let you see the history and performance of it.
We recommend you check your ranking results every couple of days to see where you are sitting in Google. If you lose rank, work out why and optimise your campaign or get more backlinks. Consider improving your article or page as well, to improve your chances of ranking higher.
The last main feature of Long Tail Pro we are going to cover is the Backlink Analysis tool. Enter your competitor’s URL, and hit “Retrieve”. At the top of the analysis page, you will see four important metrics to help you work out the ranking power of your competitor.
- Referring Domains – Is a direct measure of the number of websites that link to the target page. A high number means that the website is incredibly popular, or has conducted a link building campaign.
- Total Backlinks – Measures the total number of backlinks the target page currently has. This also signals how popular a website is.
- Trust Flow – Is the trustworthiness and rank worthiness in the eyes of search engines. You can increase this score by acquiring links from websites that search engines like Google deem trustworthy.
- Citation Flow – Is dependent on the quantity of backlinks a site receives. A high CF is a strong indication of an active link-building campaign.
When you get the results for your target page, prioritise backlinks from niche-relevant websites. We also recommend that you start your backlink analysis by looking at your biggest competitors.
More Info About the Average KC Score
The KC (keyword competitiveness) score is a number between 1 and 100 that displays how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword on Google. Here’s a quick rundown on what the different scores mean and how difficult they will be to rank with.
- 0 to 10 – No competition
- 10 to 20 – Extremely low competition
- 20 to 30 – Low competition
- 30 to 40 – Moderate competition
- 40 to 50 – Somewhat high competition
- 50 to 60 – Very high competition
- 60 to 70 – Extremely high competition
- 70 to 100 – Don’t even think about it!
If you have a new website or it has a low authority, you really shouldn’t be targeting keywords with an average KC score above 30. For new websites you want to focus on keywords with a KC score as low as possible.
We recommend that you avoid anything with a KC over 40, even for more popular websites. There are plenty of easy long tail keywords, so it is better to go for them rather than the more difficult ones.
The KC score looks at the first page of Google and the sites that are ranking for the search term. The calculation for the average KC takes into account the overall authority of the website, how well the page is targeting the specific keyword and the number of backlinks.
Conclusion – Should You Buy Long Tail Pro?
Here comes the main part of the review. Should you spend your hard earned dollars on Long Tail Pro?
The short answer is no; I do not recommend that your sign up to Long Tail Pro.
Why do I not recommend it? Well, while LTP has some great features like the KC calculator and rank tracker, it is simply too expensive for what you are getting. I stated this in my last review of the desktop version and now it is even more expensive as you can’t buy a one off membership and keep it forever.
At $37 a month (or even $25 on the annual membership) it really doesn’t feel like good value, especially when you can use free alternatives that do almost as good a job. The fact that the number of keywords you can search in a day is relatively is also a bit of a slap in the face, especially when you used to be able to do unlimited searches.
However, I am not saying the product is bad or useless. In fact, it is incredibly well polished and it is great for getting a rough idea of what keywords you want to use. The ability to track your rankings in Google is helpful, as is the backlink analysis tool. Long Tail Pro really does everything it claims it can. The simply problem is that it costs too much and that makes me disinclined to recommend the product. Assessing keyword competitiveness isn’t that difficult with free (or less expensive) tools and that is what you are mainly paying for when you sign up for Long Tail Pro.
I’m sure there are loads of people out there who have had success with Long Tail Pro and have found some excellent keywords, but for me the software really isn’t worth it. I do recommend that you try out the 7-day free trial, but beyond that it really isn’t worth your time. The truth is that the software really doesn’t do much more than many of the free alternatives out there, it just has all the information you need to know in one place.
Would I Use It If It Were Cheaper?
Now, here’s the real question. Would I use Long Tail Pro if the price was reduced? The answer is yes, but it would have to be heavily reduced. I could possibly see myself paying $10 a month for the same features as the starter pack, or around $200 to $300 for a lifetime membership. This is a drastic reduction and I’m sure it won’t happen, but at least you can see what I think its worth.
Note: I had a problem with my credit card when I signed up for Long Tail Pro. Long Tail Pro charges a $0 transaction fee when you sign up for the software (You are properly billed after the 7-day free trial ends). This $0 set off a warning for my card company and they blocked me from using the card until they could confirm it was me who made the purchase. We wanted to warn you about this as it may also happen to you if you sign up for the trial.
Old Long Tail Pro Review
If you’d like to check out my review of the old, desktop software version of Long Tail Pro, you can do so here:
Barely any online discussion around keyword research tools is free from mention of Long Tail Pro. It seems not long ago that I remember Long Tail Pro (LTP for short) as being just another obscure piece of 2nd tier SEO software – the sort of thing that wannabe Internet marketing gurus would peddle to their lists that they built up from scummy solo ads.
And now this software is raved about by many online in the Internet/affiliate marketing community as being the second coming of Christ … or at least the next best thing after sliced bread.
But what is the “real deal” with Long Tail Pro?
Is it actually a good piece of software – or is the hype all a load of bollocks? Let’s review Long Tail Pro together and try to find out.
Grab a cup of tea (or a 42oz soda if you’re American) and let’s find out.
Since I started writing this review, there have been some important changes to Long Tail Pro. I will be going through and making full updates, but for now here is what you need to know:
- Bulk check for keyword competitiveness has been added. Rather than having to click all lines individually, you can check KC scores en-masse. This is a handy time saving feature that is definitely good.
- You can no longer buy just the base software (Long Tail Pro sans Platinum for a one-off price). There is just one edition now – Long Tail Pro WITH Platinum – and you either pay $37 per month or a lower rate of $352 per year. There is no one-off, lifetime access option any more. Until this update occurred in early Feb 2019, it used to be the case that you could purchase LTP for around $80, and you would get Platinum for free for a month and then roll onto a $27 p/m charge until you canceled. You could then keep the base software for life if you decided to cancel the Platinum portion.
You can now only have Long Tail Pro for as long as you are willing to pay a monthly or annual fee. This, in my opinion, significantly changes the value proposition of the product for the worse. Unless you are making sufficiently frequent use of the software to justify the high monthly rebill cost, or you are doing a good enough job at turning the long tail keywords you find into sales, then it is just too taxing on the wallet.
NB: People like me who purchased a lifetime access to Long Tail Pro when such an option was available will not see any change. For example, I can continue to use my Platinum-free edition with no need to start paying a monthly fee again.
As you might expect, I will talk to this point more later on in the review when I discuss the pros and cons of the product.
What Is Long Tail Pro?
If you’re Googling for Long Tail Pro reviews, then you probably have a fairly good idea what the software is all about. However, just to give you the benefit of the doubt, I will outline what it is:
- LTP is a keyword research software program. So you kinda like install it on your computer and shizz, and 9 months later keywords come out. Oh wait, that would be some kind of hybrid keyword-baby monster. In all seriousness, it’s really just a flashy version of Google’s venerable Keyword Planner.
- It is designed to help you find keywords. Think terms you would type into a search engine to find information, like “how can I illegally enter the United States of America” or “is the Queen actually a shapeshifting lizard” or even useful stuff like “weight loss tips” and “grain free dog food”. The focus here is on finding longer, less competitive keywords.
- It isn’t free, it’s paid. That’s why you need Reviews Boss to make sure you aren’t parting with your hard earned for some over-hyped pile of turd. A dollar doesn’t come for free, ya know?
Who Is It For?
When looking to review a product, one of my favourite things to do is have a think about the target audience – the people who are probably going to be buying it.
In this case, here’s who I think LTP is aimed at:
- Affiliate marketers looking to find long tail keywords around which to base their sites, and create content. The classic angle most LTP users seem to take is finding keywords like “best electric shavers under $100” and then creating affiliate sites based around those terms (I’m sure you’ve wound up on sites like this before) and monetize with Amazon Associates.
- Adsense aficionados are another target for Long Tail Pro, as the software can help to find keywords with low search competition and respectable CPCs.
- Long Tail Pro can also be useful for PPC marketers, as it can help you to find keywords that would work well as phrase and exact matched terms, as well as get an indication of CPC and Adwords competition.
What Do I Need To Run It?
Long Tail Pro is not demanding at all in its system requirements. Pretty much any Windows computer or Mac that was built since Bill Clinton got caught totally not having sexual relations with that woman Miss Monica Lewinsky should be able to handle it.
Joking aside, here are the minimum requirements:
- Adobe Air. This is a free piece of software that is available for Mac OSX and Windows, and provides the backbone of LTP.
- Google Adwords account. Once again, this is free to set up. You don’t need to spend any money on Adwords to have an account.
- A computer made within the past ~5 years. I couldn’t find any specific system requirements, but a dual core processor and 4 or more GB of RAM should be plenty. I’m running on an Intel i7 with 16gb of RAM and Windows 10, and it runs well with very few slowdowns – only when I deal with BIG keyword lists do I get any problems.
Who Makes It?
Long Tail Pro is, rather famously, the brainchild of a guy called Spencer Haws. That is not to be confused with Spencer Hawes, the Power Forward for the Charlotte Hornets (with a salary of over $4 million per year I don’t think that Hawes really needs to worry about making SEO software!!)
Spencer HAWS is a well-known figure in what I call the “passive income scene”. Other big names/blogs are Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, Matthew Allen from the amusingly-named Dumb Passive Income, Darren Rowse from Problogger and a whole host of other smaller players.
Compared with affiliate marketing based on strategies like combining paid traffic with CPA offers, the passive income scene tends to be focused more on building niche websites based around a type of product or special interest, creating content based on long tail keywords, and then monetizing through Amazon, Adsense, or Clickbank. Although the initial payoff is generally much lower, the goal of any passive income convert is to build up enough sites that they have a tidy monthly sum that will roll in, even if they don’t work much.
Alongside Long Tail Pro, Spencer has also released some other software and plugin-type products, although many of these seem to have been discontinued. He also released a course, called Long Tail University, which is intended to help you make the most of LTP and find out how to generate big organic traffic to your site through effective keyword research and use. Naturally, I will be reviewing Long Tail University at some stage in the future (especially as it is an expensive course).
He also works with a guy called Perrin, who is most famous for building a website about razors that went public as a case study on building “passive” Amazon sites and then got negative-SEOd. You can read all about that here. Perrin currently seems to be working on a website about dogs, called HerePup.
How Do I Buy LTP? What Does It Cost?
Easy tiger! You haven’t even seen the full content of my review yet. However, if you are interested in buying Long Tail Pro, then here’s how you do it.
Firstly, you need to shot on over to www.longtailpro.com:
Let’s See It In Action
Now is as good a time as any to open up the hood and have a play with Long Tail Pro, in order to see what we can achieve with it.
The first thing you need to do after you have downloaded the software is fire it up. Before you can go anywhere, you will need to set up the Adwords linking for the software to work properly. You don’t need to spend anything to make an Adwords account – it is totally free to do so here.
Here’s a handy video from the Long Tail Pro team on how to configure Adwords linking:
Interestingly enough, this is one of the first signs of the key weakness of Long Tail Pro. You need an Adwords/Google account login because what the software is doing is scraping Google’s own keyword tool – the free Keyword Planner that is available here – and returning the results in a more attractive format. It’s kind of the equivalent of buying a software program that searches eBay for whatever you are looking to buy, and then returns it in a “nicer” way.
I will also revisit this point in the pros/cons section of my review, as it has an important role to play in the software “bugging out” from time to time, as well as being a crucial weakness from the perspective of value for money.
So once you’re all set up, you should see a screen similar to this:
Obviously you won’t have any data in there at first, but you get the general idea. It’s actually a reasonably intuitive and easy-to-use interface, especially compared to some other SEO software.
Options are fairly limited, as you can see below. You access the overall settings by hitting the cog symbol in the top right corner of the screen:
Let’s take a look at what options you have;
- Contact support – self-explanatory.
- User accounts – this is where you can specify your Google Account credentials as mentioned before. You can also add in a Moz API key (this is free to configure, and good instructions are provided) which is necessary for providing competition metrics like Page Authority, Domain Authority, Moz Rank and more.
- Data fetching speed – you can make the software access Google’s API faster, which may lead to you getting banned. I’ve never bothered to change these. The Bing API speed is for checking Bing SEO title competition, I think.
- Debug panel – If you’re getting issues you might be able to fix them here, provided you’re technically minded. You can actually use this to see exactly what Long Tail Pro is doing to scrape data from Google as well (I showed this above in the video).
Now it’s time to actually create a project and run a search. I believe that the best reviews are ones that “review by doing”, and that’s what we are going to do here!
Creating A Project
The building block of using this tool for effective keyword research is to create a project. Thing of an LTP Project as being a folder in which you keep all your research about one particular subject. This helps to keep your interface nice and ordered. With projects, you can also do things like pick different languages and countries to target (so if you were an affiliate marketer based in France, you could pick Google France and the French language, for example)
Once you’ve created your first project, you’ll be able to add seed keywords and then start finding some ideas!
Searching For Keywords
When you hit the add keywords button, you’ll get hit with a little popup that provides you with a number of options:
Here’s what those options mean:
- Add Seed Keywords – this is where you add your broad terms you want to build keyword lists from.
- Add My Own Keywords – a feature of LTP Platinum (will discuss this in more detail later). It allows you to bulk add your own keywords, giving you competition metrics and expanding your list much faster.
- Suggested Bids – useful if you’re looking at LTP from the perspective of building Adsense sites, or looking for Adwords keywords. You can filter so that results only above or below a certain suggested bid display.
- Local Search Volume – this is ticked by default, and is the search volume for each keyword for whichever Google locale you selected when creating your project. Once again you can pre-filter with min or max values here. Great if you want to avoid being shown hundreds of phrases with 0 or 10 or 20 volume.
- Advertiser Competition – THIS IS NOT FOR SEO, MMKAY! It’s a metric used to look at Adwords competition, so if you’re finding keywords for SEO then basically ignore this. However, may be useful for us PPC fiends.
- Num Words – A very useful feature in my opinion. You can set a min or max number of individual words in the keyword. This means you can focus on finding proper long tail phrases (e.g. “dog training toys for small puppies” as opposed to seeing lots of broader terms like “dog training”).
- Global Search Volume – THIS IS UNTICKED BY DEFAULT. Y? Y? Y? But seriously, make sure you tick this before you get to work, provided you are in a niche or business that makes sense on a global scale. Unnecessary if you are targeting a specific country or geographic area, and global volume isn’t relevant to your interests.
- Domain Availability – Checks to see if you can register your keyword as a domain name. Since EMDs aren’t cool any more, I’d advise it’s not worth the extra processing power. Branded domains are the future.
- Google Title Competition – Runs an “allintitle:” check for the keywords in Google
- Bing Title Competition – Same as above, but for Bing. Both of these are kind of useful if you are looking hard at SEO competition analysis.
As this is a review, and not a how-to guide, I won’t go into any more detail on how you can come up with seed keyword ideas etc. What we can conclude is that Long Tail Pro has some decent options for customising your search in order to get the sort of results you are after. By using geo-targeting and filtering for CPCs, keyword lengths etc, you should be able to find some good results in all but the most obscure of niches.
Once you have inputted your seed keywords, you can go ahead and hit to fetch keywords. As it is working away, you will see a message like this:
When the tool has run its course, you should see results like this:
- Easy to use – as showed right through this entire review, LTP is a very simple bit of software to use. Simply download it, make a project, add some keywords (bearing in mind the filtering options that are available) and then get to work. There really isn’t too much more to say on its ease-of-use.
- Regularly updated – when it comes to maintaining this software, Spencer and his team definitely aren’t fly-by-night merchants. It is regularly updated, with good communication about any significant updates provided through email and blog. You never get the impression with this software that it is something that will be abandoned out of the blue, and with no prior warning. You will become familiar with this:
- Good support – from what I have experienced, there is good support available from the makers of LTP. When I wanted to cancel my Platinum membership, I received a rapid and cordial response. Spencer and his crew also seem to be responsive to queries or complaints made on the blog posts on longtailpro.com, which is always a good sign that support is unlikely to be abandoned any time soon.
- Frequent specials available – Spencer & co tend to offer some decent specials on Long Tail Pro from time to time. This is annoying if you have just purchased the software for the full price; but if you are on the fence and thinking about buying, then it might be enough to sway your opinion. If you are set on purchasing, then I do suggest that you hang out for a deal. The easiest way to do this, it seems, is to register for a free trial and then keep an eye on your inbox for deals.
- Polished and professional – The overall feel you get from LTP is one of professionalism and polish. From the www.longtailpro.com website, to the good support, through to the actual program itself, you can definitely tell that a whole heap of work has gone into making Long Tail Pro what it is today. Whereas some SEO software gives off the vibe of being whipped up in an afternoon in the corner of a shed by a sweaty nerd with delusions of development grandeur, it is clear that the team behind LTP have invested heavily in developing a premium product. Good on them for doing so.
- Overpriced. I touched on this point earlier in the review, and will revisit it now. The fundamental issue I have with Long Tail Pro is that it is overpriced. $37 per month for a glorified version of the Google Keyword Planner is simply too much. Even the annual package doesn’t offer much of a discount when broken down on a monthly basis.
- Guru-hyped. This is a common problem with many products in the Internet marketing sphere (particularly courses, which are notoriously over hyped by the so-called “gurus”). It isn’t really the fault of Spencer and his crew … in fact you could really just say that they have done a good job at branding. However, the fact of the matter remains that because so many gurus and MMO experts have made Long Tail Pro out to be the panacea to all keyword research and organic traffic issues, that means many people buy the software with grossly inflated expectations of what they are going to be able to achieve with it.
- Not much better than free alternatives. This ties in to the whole being overpriced thing. Because all Long Tail Pro really does is piggy backs off of Google’s free keyword planner, and gives you a couple of extra bits of functionality pasted on, it simply isn’t that much better than what you can already get for zero to little cost. Considering you can bulk import your own keyword lists into Google Keyword Planner for analysis and expansion, that nullifies one selling point of the Platinum component of LTP. All that leaves to justify the price – as far as I can see – is the keyword competitiveness module. This is a useful feature, and when I had Platinum I did use it on a fairly frequent basis in order to get a quick gauge of how tough a keyword would be to rank. It is definitely helpful for a high-level glance at determining competitiveness, but the problem is that you should really be learning how to analyze SEO competition for keywords yourself. Thorough manual analysis of SERP results for prospective keywords is almost always going to beat out a KC score generated with some basic calculations, in terms of helping you rank effectively.
- Sometimes unreliable. Because of the way in which Long Tail Pro works, it seems prone to occasional niggling bugs. The most common problem I have encountered is that the software seems to get stuck when searching for keywords – you’ll input your seed keywords, press to generate data, and then nothing happens. Even after restarting the software, you won’t get any progress. Checking the debug window shows that this is an issue with the software logging in to Adwords/Keyword Planner and searching on your behalf. However, with recent updates this problem has become a lot less frequent.
- Other bugs I have encountered include global search volumes not being returned for keywords (even if I have selected the option), along with slow downs when swapping between projects. These slow down issues may be worse when running a less powerful computer.
- No cloud access. Here’s one of the things that gripes me the most about LTP, especially if you are paying the big premium for monthly access to Platinum – there is no cloud access. What I mean by this is that you have to use the software as installed on your computer, taking up disk space and using resources. There is no option to access Long Tail Pro via a web interface. This means it won’t work on anything other than a Windows or Mac OSX powered machine (i.e. you can’t jump on your smart phone or tablet and do some quick searching while you’re out and about). It just gives the software a very “dated” feel in that regard, and doesn’t pair well with the fact that you have to pay a monthly fee for full access to the Platinum features.
Conclusion – Is It Worth A Buy?
Oh boy, oh goody … now comes the fun part.
I feel like a Roman emperor in the Coliseum, ready to give the thumbs up or down that will either spare some poor gladiatorial soul, or find him hacked limb from limb. THE POWER IS ALL-CONSUMING!!!!
But seriously, should you buy Long Tail Pro? Should you further enrich Spencer Haws and his merry men with your hard-earned dinero?
- Short answer: No.
- Medium length answer: Don’t bother buying it.
- French answer: Non, n’en achetez pas
- Actual meaningful answer: Although LTP does have some useful features, it simply is not worth the money being charged when there are alternative options available (especially now that you have no choice but to pay a monthly or annual recurring subscription).
See here’s the thing: I actually bought Long Tail Pro with my own money. In fact, I bought it with New Zealand Dollars, a currency which is as weak as an octogenarian’s bench press; in effect it cost me even more! During my time with LTP + Platinum, I parted with the best part of $300. That hurts, especially when you’re as much of a cheapskate as I am.
AND HERE’S THE REAL $HIT: I’m willing to bet that a huge portion of the reviewers out there who are heaping praise upon LTP (especially those annoying passive income bloggers who litter the Internet with thin, crappy affiliate sites with domain names like bestelectricbuttscratcherreviews2019.info) have never spent much time with the software. Instead, they let the potential for some very generous affiliate commissions get the better of them, and jump straight on their blogs or YouTube channels to give the product a 10/10 must-buy rating, and then hope for those fat stacks to roll in.
It actually used to be a stipulation of being a Long Tail Pro affiliate that you had to have purchased the software first. This meant you could not get an affiliate link without at least being able to honestly say you paid for the software, which probably meant you had used it a few times at least. However, now that Long Tail Pro is on Clickbank’s free-for-all marketplace, you don’t need seem to need any specific prior approval to grab your affiliate link and make some cash.
Caveat: As I mentioned above in the “pros” section of this review, I am not trying to say that this product is useless. In fact, it is far from useless. You can use it to find keywords, and you can even get a rough outline of how hard it might be to rank for those keywords … it really does do what it says on the box. My gripe – and the issue that makes me disinclined to recommend the product – is that it costs too much for what it does, when you can quite adequately search for long tail phrases using free tools. And, as previously discussed, it isn’t that hard to assess keyword competitiveness
And remember as well that the real power of long tail keywords is not in the keywords you find, but how you actually go about trying to target them with your SEO or PPC efforts. You could sit in front of LTP all day (or any bit of keyword research software, for that matter) and find lots of keywords with great potential. However, if you don’t get down to the dirty business of trying to rank or bid and optimize those keywords, then you’re never really going anywhere. So owning any keyword tool, whether it is LTP or anything else, isn’t going to make you money in and of itself. Instead, you need to make use of the keywords you find and deploy them effectively to increase your earnings.
So go on, click that link if you want to try LTP for free. If you do decide to purchase, then I won’t make a red cent. And maybe when you find that goldmine long-tail keyword with 100,000 searches per month, a CPC that would make Donald Trump do a double take, and competition so weak it’s like putting prime Mike Tyson up against a peewee boxer, then you’ll strike it rich and come and laugh at me for passing up an easy few dollars per month commission I could have got by referring you.
But chances are that won’t happen. The truth is that Long Tail Pro doesn’t really do anything special that can’t be done for free with only a miniscule trade-off in terms of inconvenience.
A Word Of Advice For Spencer & His Team
As I conclude this review, let me close with a word of advice for Spencer and his team behind Long Tail Pro:
Your software has some good features. It is definitely helpful for finding keywords. However, it simply costs too much for the “average” user like myself who doesn’t use it frequently enough to make back the monthly subscription price.
If you could implement some sort of credit-based system, then I think that would improve the value of Long Tail Pro greatly for anyone who is a more casual user. For example, if one seed keyword search cost 1 credit (and you could run keyword competitiveness metrics for all the long tails that came out of that seed keyword) and you could buy a pack of 10 credits for $5 – or something along those lines – then it would make LTP a great choice. It would be so much better for people who only need to find a batch of keywords for a new site, then push out content for those keywords and come back for more for their next site, for example.
If you decide to implement this and become filthy, stinking rich on the back of this brilliant idea, then remember me and maybe send a pack of gum my way … or even a check for a couple of million. Thanks in advance guys!