Long Tail Pro Ratings
  • Understandable / Ease of Use
  • Domain Strength Analysis
  • Keyword Inputs
  • Data Filtering and Sorting
  • Keyword Difficulty
  • SERP Analysis
  • Request Limitations
  • Overall Speed
  • Rank Tracker
  • Cost/Price
4.5

Summary

Is Long Tail Pro still the best keyword research tool? Here is the average of my ratings based on 10 specific criteria.

Long Tail Pro – once hailed as the undisputed best keyword research tool – has certainly seen it’s ups and downs over the years. Long Tail Pro was originally created by Spencer Haws, from NichePursuits.com, back in 2011. He paid to have the software developed in order to relieve his own frustration with the amount of time it took him to find good keywords. In this Long Tail Pro Review – I’m going to cover every aspect of the tool, from its origin to the latest update and all of the features and everything in between.

Long Tail Pro evolved and went through several changes in its first few years. The most notable being the addition of the Keyword Competitiveness (KC) score – which is a keyword difficulty measurement. This was a revolutionary change that was pioneered by Spencer and Long Tail Pro and, at the time, was the only tool (that I know of) that had this type of feature.

Eventually, Spencer sold his Long Tail Pro business. It’s a fascinating story, really. You can read all about it in full detail on Spencer’s blog (linked below) or listen to the story in Spencer’s own words on Steve Chou’s podcast (also linked below)…

New ownership took over in February of 2016 and they got to work right away on migrating Long Tail Pro from a desktop software version to a cloud-based keyword research tool.

All links on this page (and anywhere else on this site) that lead to the Long Tail Pro sales page are indeed affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase after clicking through via one of my links. I truly appreciate your support and Thank You in advance if you choose to do so.

Long Tail Pro – Updated User Interface (Nov 2017)

The first cloud version of Long Tail Pro was pretty good – but as of November 2017 – they’ve recently updated the User Interface (UI), they changed their logo and some of the functionality is just a little bit different. My demo video below features the very latest, greatest and newest version and also happens to be a fantastic tutorial for Long Tail Pro.

Here are some of the new features in the brand new, completely redesigned LTP:

  • Brand new Serp Availability metric so you know how crowded the SERP is
  • Current project rankings graph in the Rank Tracker so you can see how your site is doing in a single glance
  • Color coded KC recommendations so you can easily see which keywords you should target
  • New data visualizations added to the app
  • More intuitive navigation, filtering, and settings
  • The whole application is now available in Spanish
Long Tail Pro - Learn More Here

Long Tail Pro Demo Video

Video Credit: Matthew Allen (me) – Click Here to watch directly on YouTube

Tools Used in Video:

Long Tail Pro - See Latest Pricing

Long Tail Pro Review

For several years, Long Tail Pro was touted by many and understood to be the undisputed number one and best keyword research tool available. There were a few other tools out there – but none that came close to Long Tail Pro as far as functionality and speed. Around the same time that ownership was transitioning for Long Tail Pro – a whole bunch of brand new keyword research tools started appearing on the scene.

Many of these newer tools had similar functionality to Long Tail Pro and several emerged and started becoming more favorable in different internet marketing circles. By the beginning of 2017 – Long Tail Pro had some really stiff competition! The guys over at Authority Hacker published a phenomenal comparison post on the best keyword research tools that were available at the time (their post was published in March of 2017).

The Authority Hacker comparison post highlighted a few of the flaws (or drawbacks) of Long Tail Pro as compared to other tools – and similar complaints could easily be found all over the internet. When Long Tail Pro switched to their cloud-based version – the tool was really buggy and sometimes extremely slow. They definitely went through some trials and tribulations for many months while they did their best to work out all of the kinks and fix all of the bugs.

It seems to me that the development and leadership team over at Long Tail Pro was really paying attention to the overall atmosphere when it comes to how peoples opinions about Long Tail Pro had shifted. They were no longer the undisputed number one keyword research tool of choice.

At the time I am writing this Long Tail Pro Review – I am VERY happy to report that things have gotten MUCH better with Long Tail Pro and their latest updated release! Many of the complaints have been addressed and some features have been added. In my opinion, Long Tail Pro is right back to the very top of the list when it comes to choosing the best keyword research tool.

Long Tail Pro has emerged back on the top of the list of best keyword research tools!Click To Tweet

I will do my best to cover each of the aspects of the tool and how I rated them and explain each point in detail below…

Understandable / Ease of Use (4.5/5)

Whether you’re a seasoned keyword researcher or a total newbie and beginner – Long Tail Pro is extremely easy to understand and use. The main dashboard that you see when you first open up the application is NOT overly-complicated. There are just a few items on the main menu on the left side of the screen – then the main portion of the page features the keyword research tool itself which easily functions from top to bottom.

Definitely watch my Demo video towards the top of this post to see exactly how easy it is to use.

There are two really helpful features within Long Tail Pro that make it nearly impossible to not understand.

  1. Tool Tips that automatically show up when you hover over certain items (see screenshot below). These explain exactly what each feature is or does.
  2. Long Tail Bootcamp (Tutorial Videos) available for anybody who buys an annual subscription.

LTP - Understandable Ease of Use

Long Tail Pro - Learn More Here

Domain Strength Analysis (5/5)

This is one of the coolest new features that was introduced when the cloud version of Long Tail Pro came out. It allows you to insert your domain (or any domain) and then it calculates the strength of that domain and reveals a range of KC Scores (more on that below) that should be easy to rank on that domain. It also spits out a few competition metrics, like: the number of referring domains and backlinks and also the trust flow and citation flow metrics from Majestic SEO.

Again – you can simply hover over those words to see tool tips that explain exactly what each of these mean. For example, when you hover over the words, Target Keyword Competitiveness – this is what appears…

Based on the strength of your domain, you should be able to rank for most keywords with a KC score below the lower of these two numbers. With some additional link building, your domain might also be able to rank for KCs inside this range.

LTP - Domain Strength AnalysisLong Tail Pro is the ONLY basic keyword research tool (that I know of) that has this type of feature. Most keyword research tools have keyword difficulty metrics – but Long Tail Pro takes it to the next level and reveals how easy or hard it would be for your specific domain to rank according to their keyword difficulty metric.

Tip: Not only can you use this feature to measure the strength of your own domain – you can also insert your competitor’s domains to measure their strength and see how you stack up against them!

Keyword Inputs (3.5/5)

This section of the tool is fairly straight-forward. You have two options in the input section. You can use the Google Adwords Suggestions, where you insert one or more seed keywords and it spits out a bunch of related keywords. Or you can manually insert specific keywords, in a list, and then analyze each based on all of the metrics.

Google Adwords Suggestions

This input method is the one that most people would use and is typically the main reason they purchased a keyword research tool in the first place. This method reveals those keyword gems that you may not have been able to think of on your own. The data is based on actual keywords that people are searching for in Google.

With this method, you insert up to 5 seed keywords (I rarely use more than 2 or 3 at a time) and then select how many results you want it to display (these count against your monthly allowance). If you choose less results – you’ll usually get more vague keywords that typically have higher search volumes and, in most cases, are harder to rank for. If you choose more results – you’ll get the same vague keywords plus some more specific keywords that usually have less monthly searches and are typically easier to rank for. You also sometimes get seemingly unrelated (or loosely related) results if you choose to retrieve a higher number of suggestions.

LTP - Keyword Inputs - Google Adwords Suggestions

You can also set some basic filters in the Advanced Options tab before you hit the Retrieve button. You can filter by search volume, suggested advertiser bid and advertiser competition. I would suggest only using these options if you are experienced and you REALLY know what you are doing.

Manual Keyword Entry

This input option is one of the things I’ve always loved about Long Tail Pro. Unfortunately, one of it’s limiting factors is also the reason I only rated this aspect of the tool with 3.5 out of 5 stars. Allow me to explain…

When you click the Manual Keyword Entry tab, instead of inserting up to 5 seed keywords, you can instead insert up to 200 actual keywords. Long Tail Pro will then analyze each and every exact keyword that you inserted in this list and display the results below – just like it does for the Google Adwords Suggestions.

LTP - Keyword Inputs - Manual Keyword Entry

This option is awesome if you like to get lists of keywords from other SEO or marketing tools and copy & paste those lists into Long Tail Pro to view the competition metrics. For example, SEMRush has an awesome Keyword Magic Tool that reveals some pretty sweet lists of keywords. I like to use it and copy and paste the results into LTP to get detailed competition metrics. Another set of tools I’ve used extensively are the AmaSuite tools which analyze Amazon keywords and metrics specifically. I get lists of keywords from these tools and paste them in LTP to find competition metrics for keywords that nobody else is targeting!

The maximum of only 200 keywords for this feature is the main reason I ranked it so poorly. Often times, I have lists of keywords that are MUCH larger than 200 and this limit forces me to either break up those lists and import them separately, or filter down those lists to get them below 200 before I copy them over to LTP.

Long Tail Pro - See Latest Pricing

Data Filtering and Sorting (5/5)

The filtering options and capabilities within Long Tail Pro are excellent! They are extremely easy to understand and implement. In addition to the ‘pre-filters’ that you can set in ‘Advanced Options’ before you retrieve keywords – you can also filter by literally ANY heading displayed above your keyword results. This is fairly self-explanatory and I give a quick example in my demo video posted at the top of this page. Also – here is a screenshot showing exactly what the Filter options box looks like…

LTP - Data Filtering

In addition to these awesome filtering options – Long Tail Pro also makes it insanely easy to sort any of the results displayed by any column heading! Simply click on the column heading and it will automatically sort the results based on that heading. Click on the same column heading again to reverse the order in which it is sorted. Easy as that! Again – I show exactly how this works in the demo video up at the top of this post.

Keyword Difficulty (4.5/5)

Long Tail Pro revolutionized the keyword research industry when they came out with their Keyword Competitiveness (KC) Score several years ago. In essence, the tool plugs several different SEO metrics, for specific keywords, into a formula and then spits out a single number which reveals how competitive that keyword is. In essence – it automatically tells you how easy or hard it would be for you to rank for each keyword. Here is the scale which shows KC Score difficulty levels for Long Tail Pro.

Long Tail Pro KC Key Diagram

Most experienced SEO experts will tell you NOT to depend solely on these keyword difficulty scores. Most agree that these automated metrics are a great starting point when it comes to analyzing keywords – but that you should also analyze the competition manually.

I tend to agree with that advice – but I also tend to ignore it. I’m kind of lazy and always short on time – so I pretty much put complete trust into the KC Score metric from Long Tail Pro. What’s the worst that can happen? So I create a piece of content around a keyword that I don’t end up ranking for. So what! It’s still another piece of content published that will likely rank for longer tail keywords that I’m not even trying to target. No harm done.

How Accurate is the KC Score?

The accuracy of the KC Score has fluctuated over time. Especially when they switched over from using Moz metrics to using Majestic SEO metrics. Over several years of using Long Tail Pro and creating hundreds and hundreds of articles based on keywords with lower KC Scores – I can tell you that it has always been fairly accurate for me. I always try to target keywords with KC Scores under 30. I’ve found it to be extremely easy to rank keywords with KC Scores under 20.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is a link to a post by Jon from AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com where he did some sort of actual study that compared 8 different keyword research tools and the ability to rank articles in Google based on their keyword difficulty metrics. Long Tail Pro came in solidly at second place and received his highest ‘GREAT’ ranking based on this metric.

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SERP Analysis (5/5)

SERP is the acronym for Search Engine Results Page – which is the results page that shows up on the search engine when you do a search. Google’s default results page shows the first 10 results for the search term – so most keyword research tools use this for their analysis page.

To view a SERP analysis page on Long Tail Pro for a specific search term (keyword) – you simply click on the search term itself. Here is what it looks like in LTP when you do this (using ‘best electric pressure washer for cars’ as an example keyword)…

LTP - SERP Analysis

As mentioned in the previous section – most SEO experts agree that you should do manual analysis of keywords when performing proper keyword research. THIS is the page that makes it extremely easy for you to manually analyze the competition for your specific keyword. Everything you need to see is right there on one page.

Armed with a little bit of knowledge and perhaps some experience, you should be able to quickly glance at the current top 10 results shown on this page and determine whether or not you think you would be able to rank your own site among these results.

Request Limitations (4/5)

The previous desktop software version of Long Tail Pro had no limitations at all. You could do unlimited keyword searches and get unlimited results, all day long – any time you wanted. When Long Tail Pro switched over to their cloud-based version, they introduced limitations. I don’t know exactly why – but I’m sure there is a technical reason that has to do with the amount of resources consumed on their end per user – which I’m sure costs them plenty of money.

The Starter plan allows up to 10,000 results per month. I’m personally on the Pro plan which allows up to 25,000 results per month. Honestly, in the almost 2 years that I’ve been using LTP with limitations, I’ve never even come close to my monthly allowance. Even if I were on the Starter plan – I’m pretty sure I would never reach the limit.

You can always see a running tally, right on the LTP main dashboard, of how many keywords you have remaining each month.

LTP - Request Limitations

In my opinion – the limitations are a non-issue for most people because they are so high that they rarely come into play. The reason I only rated this at 4 out of 5 stars is because the limitations exist at all and also because there are a few other keyword research tools that have much higher limitations.

Long Tail Pro - Learn More Here

Overall Speed (4/5)

Long Tail Pro is super fast! Speed has not been an issue for me, ever since this latest version was released. It does sometimes take more than just a few seconds (up to a minute or so) for LTP to pull in all of the data and calculate KC Scores when there are a whole bunch of keywords. But this is a non-issue and is pretty typical among all of the different keyword research tools.

I will say – Long Tail Pro did have issues with speed and data not loading at all (at times) during the period of the several months that they were trying to work out the bugs after they switched over to a cloud-based tool. As far as I can tell – all of the bugs have been worked out! I have not had any issues at all lately.

I JUST ran a test – as I’m writing this post. I started a brand new project in Long Tail Pro and entered a brand new random search term (best catholic church in new york city). I set it to display 20 results. After I hit the Retrieve button – it took about 8 or 9 seconds for it to pull in the 20 results and then another 10 seconds or so for it to quickly calculate the KC Scores. In less than 30 seconds, I can visually see a list of 20 relevant keywords (18 after I removed 2 lesser relevant) and the color-coded KC Scores tell me which ones I should be able to easily rank for!

LTP - Overall Speed

Rank Tracker (5/5)

This is one add-on feature in Long Tail Pro that really sets it apart from other similar keyword research tools. Tracking your rankings is a critical part of keyword research and SEO that a lot of people simply ignore. Being able to track your rankings right inside the tool that you use for keyword research is a huge bonus!

Long Tail Pro’s Rank Tracker may not be as robust as some of the other rank tracking tools out there (like ProRankTracker) – but the few features it offers are certainly comparable and it’s definitely good enough to get the job done! Similar rank trackers range in price from about $15/month up to around $99/month! Long Tail Pro includes their Rank Tracker at no extra cost on any plan! Here’s what it looks like…

LTP - Rank Tracker Inputs

LTP - Rank Tracker Outputs

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Cost/Price (4/5)

In my opinion, based on several years of experience in doing keyword research and using various keyword research tools, the cost or price of Long Tail Pro shouldn’t even be a consideration. But I realize that this isn’t a realistic statement for most people. You want to know that you’ll be getting your money’s worth!

Here’s why I say that cost shouldn’t even be considered… And I wrote a VERY long and detailed post about this awhile back. If used properly, Long Tail Pro will actually pay for itself, and then some! That’s kind of the whole point – to use a paid tool like this in order to increase your internet income.

How Does LTP Cost Compare to Other Tools?

Long Tail Pro charges monthly or annually and costs vary depending on which plan you choose. LTP is actually very competitive and its pricing models are similar to other comparable tools.

I’m not going to bother listing out all of the other tools and their prices in this post. These figures and options change periodically and it wouldn’t make sense for me to list out numbers in this post that would have to be changed so often. But I encourage you to do your own research and see how the pricing compares. You’ll find that’s it’s very similar among all comparable keyword research tools.

Is There a Discount Available for Long Tail Pro?

Well – as a matter of fact – today is your lucky day!! I DO have an exclusive discount available JUST for readers of this blog. If you clicked on ANY of the links above, below or anywhere else on my site that lead to Long Tail Pro – you’ll see a special page that the folks over at LTP setup just for me and my audience! I don’t think you’ll be able to find better discounts than this anywhere else on the internet!

Or, HERE is my Long Tail Pro Discount page on my blog that explains it in detail…

Access Your Discount on Long Tail Pro NOW!

Is Long Tail Pro the Best Keyword Research Tool?

Long Tail Pro Review - PinterestYes! Or no. Maybe so…? Determining the actual ‘best keyword research tool’ is really a subjective undertaking. In other words, it’s not actually possible to pick just one ‘best’ tool. Every keyword research tool has its differences and advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on the user and what they need or want out of their keyword research tool.

Over the course of the past year – I’ve tried a few other keyword research tools. But I’ve always kept my subscription to Long Tail Pro active and I kept coming back to it. Even when I use other keyword research tools (like the Keyword Magic tool within SEMRush) – I still find myself exporting the keywords I find over there and then importing them into Long Tail Pro to get proper competition metrics and to evaluate the KC Scores.

As mentioned above – Long Tail Pro certainly went through some challenging times as they moved to a cloud-based version of the software and spent many months working out the bugs. And now with their latest update and release (Nov 2017) – the tool is functioning and working better than ever before!

I use Long Tail Pro to perform keyword research for THIS blog and also for my niche websites. I love it! Although I still use some other tools to find keywords – Long Tail Pro is still my go-to #1 tool for keyword research. In my opinion – Long Tail Pro has emerged back to the top of the list for best keyword research tools.

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Long Tail Pro has emerged back to the top of the list for best keyword research tools.Click To Tweet
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All links on this page (and anywhere else on this site) that lead to the Long Tail Pro sales page are indeed affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase after clicking through via one of my links. I truly appreciate your support and Thank You in advance if you choose to do so.

  • Great tool Matthew!

    Cheers