One of the most frustrating things about content creation is understanding which keywords you should be targeting.
While any keywords people in your niche might be interested in are worth writing content for, we suggest starting by targeting longer-tail keywords.
We're going to take a few minutes right now to show you the process we use, using UberSuggest, to help find long-tail keywords that are good opportunities for our websites.
- What is a Longtail Keyword
- How To Find Long Tail Keywords With Ubersuggest
- Start With A Fat Head Keyword
- Move to Keyword Ideas
- Search Subcategories
- Add Winning Longtails to Your Ideas List
- Repeat With Found Ideas
Before we dive into the process, you might be wondering what exactly is a longtail keyword?
What is a Longtail Keyword
Generally speaking, keywords can fall into one of two categories.
Fathead keywords or long-tail keywords.
Fathead keywords are typically 1 to 2-word phrases that can describe something as broad as an entire industry.
The keyword camping gear or children's toys would both be examples of fathead keywords.
While these types of keywords have a high search volume, they also tend to be very competitive meaning it's not a great strategy to target them right off the bat.
Additionally, each niche or industry only has a few of these fathead-type keywords.
Long Tail keywords on the other hand are typically often three or more word phrases that describe something more specifically.
Outdoor camping gear for winter in Montana would be an example of a longtail keyword that comes from the fathead of camping gear.
While there may be fewer people typing in a keyword of this length, they’re often much less competitive and when taken together (think about all 49 other “state” variations of the outdoor camping gear for winter keyword), can often result in more search volume than the fathead variation of the same keyword.
Why We Focus On Long Tail Keywords
Typically, we prefer pursuing long-tail keywords for two main reasons.
First, the reason that we like long-tail keywords is as we discussed above, they're easier and faster to rank for.
Since there are so many variations of long-tail keywords it's very easy to find opportunities to start to build content and gain traffic for your site.
Compare this to fathead terms, which are going to be mainly dominated by the largest companies in your space, and it becomes quickly apparent where your time and investment make the most sense.
Secondly, because there are so many different variations in long-tail keywords, it allows us the opportunity to create more content around the same topic, meaning we have more opportunities to get traffic from the search engines.
Returning to the outdoor camping gear example, if we were to write one article entitled outdoor camping gear, we may have a chance to appear for that term but wouldn't be able to create much more content about their camping gear after the initial article.
Using the longer tail strategy, we would be able to create 50 separate articles (one for each state, just for outdoor camping gear for the winter.
Multiply that by all four seasons, and we've arrived at 200 possible articles.
While this may sound counterintuitive, because it's a bit more work, it's more useful to the user (recommendations may vary from state to state depending on conditions).
This additional specificity, means we have a much better chance of ranking higher inside of search engine results for each of these individual terms.
While it is possible to rank your generic “camping gear” article for some of the long-tail searches, search engines will typically prefer specific articles over general articles, because they know that users need recommendations to be as specific as possible.
Now that you understand the importance of long-tail keywords and what they are, you're probably wondering about the process we used to find them.
How To Find Long Tail Keywords With Ubersuggest
To use UberSuggest to finally find keywords, the first thing you will need to do is go to UberSuggest.com.
Once there, you'll be taken to the main search screen of UberSuggest and prompted to enter a keyword.
Start With A Fat Head Keyword
Since the goal here is to find long-tail keywords, this process generally works best if you start with a fathead keyword, which we described above.
In the case of this article, we will be using the camping gear example that we discussed above.
Take the main fathead keyword for your niche and enter it into the search box, as seen in the image below.
Once you enter your keyword click the search button, which is located along the right-hand side of the search bar in the middle of the homepage.
Move to Keyword Ideas
By default, UberSuggest will take you into the keyword analyzer section of their tool.
While this keyword overview section gives you some useful information about the keyword you typed in, it doesn't give us much relevant information as it relates to long-tail keywords.
To find this information, click on the keyword ideas tab located in the navigation along the left-hand side of the screen.
After you've clicked on the keywords ideas section inside the navigation menu, delete it into the keyword ideas screen.
This is where the magic starts the Pepin, UberSuggest has taken the single fathead keyword you mentored and is starting to give you suggestions and variations on that keyword to give you longtail keyword ideas.
Before we dive any further into how we use this tool to find specific ideas, it's important to understand some of the different terminologies that you will see on the screen.
A Few Terms You’ll Need To Know:
Once you’re looking at your keyword ideas dashboard, you'll be presented with a few different columns of data.
We typically rely on the volume and SEO difficulty columns as our key indicators but wanted to give you an idea of what each column can be used for.
While this statement may be considered slightly controversial, the volume doesn't matter, at least when it comes to what you see inside of a tool like UberSuggest.
Since search engines don't release their actual volume data, tools like UberSuggest use estimates to find and display volume.
Just because a zero appears next to a specific search term does not mean that there aren't searches for it.
We’ve created many articles that show a zero in the volume column and result in hundreds of visits a month to our websites.
A better way to think about this column is as directional.
Things that have a volume of 10 will typically get more searches than things that show a zero.
Likewise, things that show 1000 or 2500 searches will give more than things that show 10 searches.
I don't typically recommend using this column to determine whether or not you should write a piece of content, rather you can use it to figure out the order in which you're going to write it.
Think of it as a tie-breaker.
If the other criteria are all the same and one potential topic has a higher volume than the other, write the higher volume topic first!
The CPC or cost per click column gives you a good estimate of what it may cost if you'd like to run an ad on the specific keyword you are looking at.
Since this is not an article about ads, you can safely ignore this column.
Paid Difficulty :
This column gives you a quick idea of how competitive you will need to be to run an ad for any given keyword.
Just like with the cost per click column, the pay difficulty column can be ignored when we are doing keyword research for content creation since it only applies to running paid ads
The SEO difficulty column gives each keyword a score from zero to 100 (100 being the most difficult), to help you understand how difficult it is to rank for a specific keyword.
This column is also color-coded with green signifying the term is easy to rank for and read signifying the term is more difficult for.
Page 1 Ranking Potential
One other feature you may see inside of your keyword ideas dashboard is a little button that says “page 1 ranking potential”.
This is currently located in the upper right-hand corner of the keyword idea results page and will create an instant filter for all the keywords that appear on that page to show you only opportunities UberSuggest believes you have a good chance of ranking on the first page of search results for.
Now you have an understanding of what each of these columns means, let's dive back into the process of finding keyword ideas.
The next step is to do a subcategory search using UberSuggest.
While the home screen of the keywords ideas tool inside of UberSuggest gives us a list of related keywords to the term we used as our “seed”, the real usefulness of this tool comes by using these subcategory filters that are available to us inside of the tool.
You'll notice 4 main filters located across the top of the tool.
The related keywords tab will filter the list of potential keyword ideas for things that are closely related to the “seed” keyword used at the beginning of this process.
Often you'll find that these are slightly longer tail than the initial keyword that you used and will often show you a solid list of potential other keywords to use
The questions tab will take the initial keyword you entered and generate a list of questions people are asking that contain that keyword.
This is our favorite place to start for beginners because question-type posts are often the easiest to rank for and are naturally longer tail keywords than the keyword you entered as your “seed”.
As the name implies, clicking on the prepositions tab will give you a list of keywords that contain prepositions.
UberSuggest will generate a list of keywords containing additional words like near, of, with, and other prepositions to give you a large number of ideas.
While this column can be helpful to find additional seed keywords, we typically don't use it to directly generate content ideas, as many of the keywords found here are highly competitive.
The comparisons keyword tab will take the seed keyword you entered and generate a list of keyword ideas that are comparisons.
You often find this versus that or this and that type of keywords in this column
These types of keywords are great if you're looking for posts that naturally create a way for you to include affiliate links since they're often directly related to products for the space.
It's important to take a few minutes in each of these different tabs to start together with a list of keywords that may be useful to create content from.
Once you have found a keyword you'd like to create content from, you'll want to add any of the winning keywords to your ideas list
Add Winning Longtails to Your Ideas List
As you're exploring the different tabs inside the keyword ideas tool from UberSuggest, you'll want to begin adding any keywords you deem to be winners to your ideas list.
What Makes for A Winning Keyword?
While there are no concrete metrics for what makes a winning keyword, generally speaking, anything that falls into the green range of as you difficulty should be considered to be a winning keyword.
Keep in mind that just because a keyword falls into the yellow or red range of your difficulty doesn't mean that is not a keyword you should create a piece of content for.
These two colors simply signify that it's more difficult to rank for those keywords.
If you're just starting, stick with the green keywords, if you've been creating content for a while, feel free to start adding in some of the yellow or red as well.
One additional reminder is that the volume category does not represent actual search volume and rather that it is directional.
As discussed above there are a variety of articles we created that show zero search volume inside of UberSuggest I bring in several hundred visits a month.
The way to use the volume column is as a guide.
Keywords that show a zero in this column will generally get less search volume and keywords that show 10, 100, or 1000.
Once you have found a winning keyword, based on whatever criteria you are using, UberSuggest gives us three options to add that keyword to our ideas list
Export To CSV:
The first option UberSuggest gives us to add keywords to our ideas list is to export to CSV.
If you're using Microsoft Excel, Numbers, or Google sheets to keep track of your keywords ideas this can be an easy way to get started on those platforms.
Selecting the export to CSV option gives you the ability to select only the keywords you have selected (by using the check box on the left-hand side of any of the keywords ideas screens) or to export all keywords that you see inside of your current view.
Selecting either of these options will allow you to download a CSV directly to your desktop
Copy to Clipboard:
The second option we have for exporting words is the copy to clipboard option.
This is the ideal option to use if you already have a keyword research document, and simply want to copy additional information into the document.
Just like with the export to CSV option, clicking this option will allow us to export either all of the keywords we see in our current view or the ones we have selected ourselves.
Add To List:
The last option for exporting keywords is the Add to List option.
Selecting this option will allow you to add any of the keywords you have selected to an existing list inside of the UberSuggest platform.
This is a fairly new feature (as of the time of writing this article) and can be useful if you are looking to track a list of keywords over time, but aren't quite ready to commit to putting them in your content creation queue.
It is a lot to create a list of keywords within the platform to gather additional data about and export them at a later time when you're ready to use them to create content
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Repeat With Found Ideas
Now that you have a list of long-tail keywords, you can repeat the process of searching for long tales by taking each of these keywords and using them as your seed keyword in the UberSuggest start screen (just like we did with the fathead keyword at the beginning)
This process allows us to find even more hidden long-tail keywords as well as variations we may not have found otherwise.
For example, we may have found a long-tail keyword in the initial search for camping gear for winter.
By repeating this process and using “camping gear for winter” as our main keyword, we can find a huge number of variations of that keyword that may be worth writing individual posts for.
In the initial longtail keyword example that we talked about to begin this article, we discussed “camping gear for winter in Montana”.
The repetition of this process allows us to find a huge list of ideas exactly like this one that may not otherwise come to the surface.
As you can see, using UberSuggest to come up with longtail keyword ideas is an extremely simple process.
Despite its simplicity, however, it's also extremely powerful and can yield a huge number of content ideas with just a few minutes’ worth of work.
If you'd like to learn more about how we take these keyword ideas and turn them into content, you may want to check out our guide on creating the perfect answer post.
It's the perfect way to turn any ideas you find in the “questions” tab of your UberSuggest keywords idea screen into a piece of content that will rank quickly and start to bring traffic to your site.
Chris ShafferChris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
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