As part of my effort in tracking down keywords for ad sales for my MVPs I’ve started using Long Tail Pro as my main goto for keyword mining. I’m only a few weeks in and not a wizard with the product, but I can find my way around and it is making my life easier. I was using the Google keyword tools but LTP basically wraps the Google API with a bunch of extra features. The app requires a Moz and a Google account to work as it uses your API keys from both to talk to both services rather than using their own. This prevents one person attempting to lookup every keyword on the planet from taking the service down for everyone else.
The basic workflow is as follow:
Create a new project and add seed words for it to do mining on. For sake of argument, let’s look for keywords related to the common, improperly used term “monkey” (yes, I know apes and chimps aren’t monkeys but work with me).
Long Tail Pro will then reach out to your Google AdWords account and start plugging away at the keyword tool. If you have the extended options turned on, Google will start hitting you with Captchas to verify that you’re a human so you can’t wander off. On the default settings, I haven’t hit that limitation yet and can click go and then go find coffee. You can track progress in the top bar that looks like:
Eventually, depending on the keywords and result set, you’ll get your data back. The output looks like the following partial screen shot:
I’ve sorted this based on searches. The columns are reasonably self explanatory. The keywords in column one expand and will fetch the first page Google results for that keyword. Again with monkeys we get:
I’m glad to see that info about actual monkeys ranks higher than the band Arctic Monkeys despite them having 40k links.
Going back to the columns, the remaining headers are suggest bid, searches, and competition. The big should be pretty straightforward, it’s what Google is telling you the minimum price for a cost per click bid should be. Searches will give you some idea of how much traffic you can expect. Keep in mind that it’s Local searches (based on the country of the Google session/browser you’re using (.com,.uk,.it,.de,etc)) and not Global (all the Googles combined). Local v Global is a toggle in the settings tab. Finally keyword competition, again from google’s perspective, which basically boils down to how many advertisers are willing to duke it out to buy ads for those terms.
Finally, you can use the Rank Checker tool that comes with it to analyze any site and figure out how they rank for a given keyword. I use that on this blog to determine how I’m doing for area’s that I want to write about. Here’s an example of my checking how I rank on the term ‘startups’ on Google and Bing (hint: at 250+, I don’t really). Thankfully I rank really high on my own name.
So, what do I do with the data?
Well, I use the Rank Checker output to tune my site by writing more content in the areas I want to write in. That’s a pretty straightforward use of the technology. One might consider pointing it at a website they want to compete against and see what they’re ranking for. Where you point this thing is really non of my business ;).
With the ad buys I’m now doing, I use Long Tail Pro to find keywords to use that people are a) actually generating enough volume for that are b) cheap enough to buy and c) have low to medium competition. Once I have a decent list, it’s a matter of clicking the export button to write to csv, and then importing the same csv into AdWords as my keword list, writing copy, and clicking enable.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to hit me up. If you want a copy, click the banner ad below. I’ll get a small commission and you’ll get a valuable tool for mining keywords. Everyone wins.