When you search for the best tips to help you rank a whole site or any particular article, then you will find a number of different ways to do so.
Some will suggest working on On-page SEO optimization, some would suggest focusing on off-page optimization while some would recommend you to focus more on social media.
But there is one particular thing that everyone will recommend you to focus on to rank an article. And that thing is long tail keywords!
Long tail keywords are very important when it comes to ranking a blog or an article.
The reason behind this is if you are trying to target a short keyword like “blogging” and you think that you can rank it then you are wrong.
Unless you have an authority website like ProBlogger.net, you won’t be able to rank for such generic keywords in any way possible.
But if you use long tail keywords like "best blogging tips 2017" or “what are the best blogging tools” then ranking for such terms is comparatively easy.
If you are in the blogosphere for some time now then you would know that Google has been changing the search algorithm again and again by introducing new penalties like Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
In a way, these penalties are doing a really good work of filtering out the search results to give you the best answer to the query you search for instead of giving you results that are just spam.
But even when you provide the highest quality article with long-tail keywords as your targeted keyword, there is a very good chance that you might get penalized with the Google penalties.
Since Google penalties are mostly based on spam removal and your article or website’s ranking depend on keywords, the penalties and keywords are closely connected.
I will talk about how to save your blog from such penalties later in the article but before that let’s see how you can find the best long tail keywords.
How To Find Long Tail Keywords?
Finding long tail keywords is not at all tough, but you should keep one thing in mind that using a long tail keyword doesn’t mean that you will start ranking for the keyword just because you are using that keyword.
It all depends on the competition and the quality of the material that you will produce for that keyword. If no one is targeting that particular keyword, then you might not find it tough to rank.
You will need to produce the best content for that keyword and build some relevant and authoritative backlinks to provide strong support to your article. Only then, you will ensure that your article ranks for the targeted keyword for a long time.
There are many different ways of finding long tail keywords – you can use keyword research tools, you can spy on your competitors, and you can use Google search as well to come up with unique keywords that no one is using.
Let’s start with how to use Google search to find long tail keywords!
1) Finding Long Tail Keywords Using Google Search
Since you already have a blog, you will know the niche for which you want to find the keyword. Suppose you have a blog in Android niche then you will probably search for keywords like Android apps and games, Android rooting, hard resets, tutorials, etc.
The above were generic keywords that are tough to rank but when you go further inside these generic keywords, you will find some fantastic and easy to rank long tail keywords.
Like, for generic keywords like “Android rooting”, you can use a long tail keyword like “how to root (Android device and model number)” and for something like “hard reset”, you can come up with “how to hard reset (android device name)”.
This method is the best method when you already have some generic keywords in mind, and the keyword selection depends on the niche of your blog.
Now let’s see how to find long-tail keywords by searching for generic keywords into Google search box.
For example, I am going to enter a keyword “best blogging site” as a search query. Some of you might consider it as a long-tail keyword, but I would say it is a generic keyword.
The reason is that when you search for the best blogging site, Google will show results for different countries because you have not specified whether you are looking for the best sites of a particular country or the world.
So when you narrow down the search query like “best blogging sites in India” or “best blogging sites in the United States” then it would be much easier to rank because Google and other search engines will be able to find the article easily.
These are the long tail keywords that you can use in your next article.
Although you can find some awesome keywords like this but the auto-suggestion feature of Google shows only 4-5 keywords and sometimes they are not worth the effort.
That’s when you need to scroll down the search results page and check out the Related search queries section.
As you can see in the screenshot above, it shows you up to 8 different keywords that are relevant to our original search query – “best blogging site.” Of course “blogger” and “WordPress” are not long-tail
The reason that generic keywords appear in the Related Search section is that this section shows LSI keywords.
LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing, and it is the most important factor when it comes to ranking your article in search engines. (More on that later)
2) Find Long Tail Keywords Using Google Keyword Tool
If you ask me what’s the best way of looking for profitable keywords, then I would say that using keyword research tools is the best possible way.
There are many keyword research tools available for you to use like Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai, which are paid ones and Google Keyword Planner which is entirely free to use and is the best one.
When you type in a search query in the Google Keyword Planner, it will return a number of different search queries that are related to the one you entered.
You might not find profitable and low competition keyword on the first page itself so you will have to spare some time and keep looking through all the pages for a profitable keyword.
It not only shows you tons of long tail keywords, but it also gives you other important data like the monthly search volume, the competition and the average CPC of the keyword.
The competition shown in Google Keyword Planner is for the advertisers and not for you so don’t think of it as a metric for ranking keywords.
But when the keyword has low competition it becomes easier to rank because there will be no advertisements on the search engines results page.
3) Find Low Competition Long Tail Keywords Using Long Tail Pro
You can also use some paid tools, like Long Tail Pro, for keyword research. The reason I am asking you to spend money is because it will save you a lot of time.
When you search for a keyword, and you found a profitable long-tail keyword, you won’t just use the keyword to build a website or write an article about it.
Your next step should be to check on your competition in the search rankings.
So when you use a tool like Long Tail Pro and find a keyword, you can click on the keyword and it will open a “Competitor Analysis” window where it will show the top 10 pages currently ranking for your target keyword along with the DA and PA of the site, the site’s mozRank and age, the Pagerank of the page and also the backlinks and juice passing links present on the article.
When you have all these information on one page, it becomes extremely easy to analyze your competitors and to come to a decision on whether you should proceed with that particular keyword or keep looking.
Plus Long Tail Pro comes with a rank checker as well so that you can check whether your web page is ranking for your target keyword or not.
4) Find Keywords by Spying on Your Competitors
As I already said previously in this article, to start looking for long tail keywords, you will need to have some generic keywords in your mind. What if you are not able to think of any generic keywords in the first place?
That’s not a problem because it happens to a lot of people and if you don’t know what your next step should be then here’s what you need to do when your mind doesn’t respond to you.
Whatever niche you are in, you will have competition from a lot of people. Some of your competitors’ websites might be more popular than yours, and some websites might be less popular.
What you need to do to come up with new keywords for your blog is to start spying on both types of competitors – the more popular ones and the less popular ones.
The first thing you should do is start looking for other websites in your niche using Google search and social media. Create an Excel sheet and enter the URL of these websites for ease of use.
Once you are done with your task and you have made a list of a considerable number of competitors’ website, we’ll now start our detective work.
Since BloggerTipsTricks.com is a “blogging” niche blog, I will be picking up one of the best blogs in the niche to see what they are ranking for and whether I can find a potential long tail keyword to work on.
For the sake of explaining how to do it, I am going to pick ProBlogger.net as my competitor but you shouldn’t do that.
The reason is that it’s a brand and a synonym to blogging. When someone thinks of blogging, the one blog that comes to their mind is ProBlogger.net!
Pick a competitor that gets most of its traffic from search engines. Since ProBlogger is a brand, most of its traffic is direct or referral, not organic.
Now our next steps would be to go to SEMrush and punch in their blog’s URL in the search box.
You can sign up for their 30-days trial period and see how it works.
When you hit the Search button, you will see some live updates of the rankings of the keywords.
On the left-hand sidebar, you will see a Positions Tab under Organic Research option. Click on it to get the complete report for the keywords the site is ranking for.
You will see a lot of keywords that the site is ranking for along with the search volume of the keyword, the number of search results, the CPC of the keyword and the trend.
As you can see in the above screenshot, I found some keywords but all of them are generic keywords. That’s what happens when you spy on a brand like ProBlogger.net!
So again I am telling you, don’t go after blogs that are brands. Look for blogs that are growing and becoming popular and whose most of the traffic comes from search engines.
Also, don’t ignore the smaller websites because they can provide you some really unique keyword ideas.
Hint: Use the Google Trends to see whether the keyword you have selected is worth working on or not.
Go to www.google.com/trends and type in your long tail keyword and see whether people are searching for it or not. If the graph is going up or is consistent, then you have found a winner.
When you look for or search for long tail keywords, you will also have to research for LSI keywords so that you can make sure that your blog or a particular article ranks for multiple terms and not only for the target keyword.
What are LSI Keywords?
LSI keywords mean Latent Semantic Indexing keywords which are the SEO term for related or synonymous.
For example, let’s say we search for “reduce picture size” in Google, you will see the following search results:
You’ll easily notice that the 2nd and 3rd search results don’t have the word picture in their title, but instead, they have the words images and photos.
Picture, Photo, Image – they all mean the same and that’s what LSI keywords are. LSI Keywords are the related keywords to the main keyword.
When you search for “reduce picture size” the search returns results containing image and photo terms because they are all semantically related.
Google’s search algorithm is very smart, and it knows all the related terms with the same meaning. So when you search for a particular keyword, it will give you related results as well.
What are the Advantages of Using LSI keywords?
The first advantage of using LSI keywords is to keep the keyword density in check and at the same time optimizing your article for multiple search queries.
Whenever you are writing your article, it is advisable to keep the keyword density of your target keyword between 2-3% but if you write a long post of say around 2000 words or more than you might feel the need to add more long tail keywords to your post. I would advise you to keep your keyword density to a maximum of 3%, no matter how long your article is.
If you like to add more keywords in your post, then you can use LSI keywords. Before I tell you how to find LSI keywords, let’s take a look at the benefits of using LSI keywords in an article.
For explaining the benefits to you, I am going to search for a keyword “online guitar training.” I know that it is not a blogging related term but since it is the perfect example of how you need to use LSI keywords, I am going to use it.
You can clearly see, the keyword that we searched for is present in the description, but the title and the URL of the page contain “online guitar lessons.” Lessons and training mean one and the same making it an LSI keyword.
But what if I change my search query a little bit and search for “electric online guitar lessons”.
As you can see in the above image, the keyword that we searched for is not present in the title or the URL and was not even present in the description but Google went ahead and searched for the keyword in the article and added it to the description of the page.
You can clearly see that the description changed when you searched for a different keyword.
There was a time when Google used to look for only target keywords that appeared multiple times in the article and were also present in the title tags, in the URLs and meta description, but now Google has evolved and it goes ahead and looks for the searched query within the article.
So, when you use various LSI keywords in your article instead of stuffing the same keyword over and over again, you will make sure that your article doesn’t get penalized and ranks for multiple terms.
How to Find LSI Keywords?
Finding LSI Keywords is just like finding long tail keywords because both of them are more or less the same.
As explained in the very first point of finding long tail keywords using Google search, you will have to do the same thing. The Related Search Queries at the bottom of the page are the LSI keywords that you can use within your article.
And if you want to find hundreds of such synonymous terms then you can use this awesome tool called UberSuggest. You just have to punch in the main target keyword, and it will immediately return hundreds of related keywords.
How to Implement LSI keywords in the Article?
Implementing LSI keywords in your article is very easy.
You just have to write the post without caring for the keyword density.
This will allow you to write the article naturally, and when you write naturally, the keywords will be added automatically at all the necessary places.
But if you want a more systematic approach then you should use your main target keyword at most of the times in your article.
Once your article is completed, then search for the places where you have added your target keyword and try replacing some of them with other related keywords.
This is more of a mechanical approach, and I wouldn’t recommend it.
One awesome way of finding and adding LSI keywords in your blog post is to use either SEOPressor or Easy WP SEO plugin on your blog. Both are premium plugins, but they are worth every penny you spend.
These plugins produce LSI keywords right in your Visual Editor area, and you can choose which keyword you want to add in your article.
If you are writing a really long post with lots of headings and sub-headings then using LSI keywords in some of the heading tags is also a really great idea to optimize your post for a better search engine ranking.
I hope that you got the idea of how you can research for long tail keywords and use LSI keywords in your blog posts to optimize the article for the best rankings.
So, if you think that I missed a certain point then let us know via the comments section below and don’t forget to share the article and share your feedback with us.