Should You Get Long Tail Pro or Market Samurai?

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Get Long Tail Pro or Market Samurai
Mermaids have Long Tails too!

Several people have asked me why I think they should get Long Tail Pro, especially if they already own and use Market Samurai for keyword research. I’ve even been asked specifically, by more than one person, to write a Long Tail Pro vs Market Samurai post. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but have been procrastinating. The reason for this is partly because I don’t feel 100% qualified to write anything good or bad about Market Samurai. I’ve only used their free 10-day trial, and that was nearly a year ago when I did that. However, I do have access to all kinds of information and sources on the topic that I can share and point you to. I do own and use Long Tail Pro and am a huge fan of the product, especially since the release of the Platinum version. I tell you this up front so you understand that this post might come off as a little bit biased. I am okay with that though, as I feel it should be biased when my findings clearly show that one tool is better than the other for how and what I use it for.

Using Keyword Research for Everyday Tasks like Writing Blog Posts

I’ve written several articles somewhat recently on the importance of using keyword research for blogging. My favorite and most comprehensive of these articles was probably this one. I made a big push in December of 2012 to try to spread the word to other bloggers and teach them how they could be using some simple keyword research and SEO tactics to drive more traffic to their blogs. It was within the comments section of some of these posts, as well as in e-mail, where people were asking me about Long Tail Pro vs Market Samurai.

Market Samurai has been around for a long time compared to Long Tail Pro. Not nearly as many people had even heard about Long Tail Pro yet, but most people had heard of or even used Market Samurai. I am a huge fan, owner, user and affiliate of Long Tail Pro. For obvious reasons, I was urging people to try and purchase it for their own benefit. Some people already owned Market Samurai though and were wondering if they could essentially do the same things I was teaching with it instead. The answer is yes and no.

Yes – you can do the same type of keyword research with Market Samurai as with Long Tail Pro. Market Samurai even offers more stats and data points for you to analyze. Much of it is useless (to me) and pretty much just clutters up the screen and causes more confusion. But if you already own the tool and don’t want to purchase another one – you can essentially find the same data with this tool. It just takes longer (more on that below).

No – Market Samurai does not (currently) offer a Keyword Competitiveness (KC) feature like the Platinum version of Long Tail Pro does. The KC feature is what makes all the difference, especially for beginners or people who just don’t understand how to analyze all of the data that these keyword tools spit out. Basically, the KC feature enables you to simply look at a number and compare it to a chart to see if your keyword will be easy or hard to rank for. Lower KC means easier to rank for. Higher KC means harder to rank for (explained in more detail here).

The Speed and Efficiency of Long Tail Pro vs Market Samurai

My guess is that many people who have used Market Samurai in the past just couldn’t possibly justify spending all that extra time to do keyword research just for blog posts. It simply takes too long, and before you know it you could have already had the entire post written! If you are like me, you don’t have that kind of time to waste. This is where Long Tail Pro comes in and makes a world of difference.

Since I am not the expert when it comes to using Market Samurai, I am going to share a video with you by somebody who is an expert. Spencer Haws is the creator of Long Tail Pro – and former user of Market Samurai. In fact, he created Long Tail Pro in order to solve some of the pains he was having with the keyword research tool he was using in the past – Market Samurai. This YouTube video (11:45) clearly and vividly shows how much faster and easier Long Tail Pro is vs Market Samurai. It was originally posted here on Spencer’s blog – Niche Pursuits.

Note: this video was created and published before the release of the Platinum version of Long Tail Pro. Keyword research has gotten even faster and easier with Long Tail Platinum!

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Interviews with Creators of Each Keyword Research Tool

If you really want to research this topic further and have some spare time, I urge you to watch the following videos or listen to the podcasts. I am an avid podcast listener – which makes sense because I drive around all day at my day job. One show I’ve been really enjoying over the past few months is The Mike From Maine Show. Mike publishes daily (Monday thru Friday) interviews with successful online entrepreneurs. He has in his archives some in depth interviews with the creators of each of these keyword research tools.

Episode 73: How to do keyword research with Market Samurai when Google keeps changing the rules – with Ben Stickland – although I listened to this entire interview when it came out, I can’t actually remember if Ben Stickland is one of the original creators of Market Samurai. I think he was. Regardless, he definitely works within the company and knows the entire back story of how it was created and what their plans are going forward. The thing I like in this interview is that Mike flat out points out the speed issue of Market Samurai to Ben and asks him why it is how it is and whether or not it can be fixed.

Episode 77: How to use Long Tail Pro Platinum to do LASER-TARGETED keyword research – with Spencer Haws – in case you haven’t heard enough about it on my blog or other places, here is another interview with Spencer about Long Tail Platinum. It’s always interesting to hear two people who have had success building niche sites have a discussion about this stuff. And as always, Mike asks the hard-hitting questions that he feels are weighing on the minds of the listeners.

Get Long Tail Pro Today!

This is my conclusion on this debate. Even if you already own Market Samurai – my suggestion is that you should get Long Tail Pro today. Not only that, but you should definitely try the Platinum version. It does come with a monthly premium, but I absolutely believe that it more than pays for itself if used properly. Keyword research, even just for simple blog posts, can help you bring all kinds of targeted traffic to your site. This keyword research can be accomplished so quickly and easily with Long Tail Platinum that it almost doesn’t make sense to not have this software! If you already own Long Tail Pro and want to try the Platinum version – click here to upgrade.

Get Long Tail Pro Today

All links and banners within this post that lead to Long Tail Pro or Platinum are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through any of these links, I will receive a commission. If you’ve found this post helpful and informative and do decide to buy, I greatly appreciate you doing so through one of my links. Thank You and happy keyword hunting! 

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Remember, there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.

References

Image “Ishilly from One Piece” from Flickr By Chip York Photography

  • Thanks for the kind works, Matthew. I’ve given you some social love 🙂

    • Thanks Mike! I appreciate it. And I appreciate all of the awesome interviews you produce and publish for free! Keep up the great work.

  • Matt thanks! Enjoyed this article. Can a person use the free trial for 10 days and keep using it or are you forced to make a purchase?

    • The free 10-day trial is just that. After the trial the software becomes disabled unless you make the purchase. Hope this helps! And good to hear from you Pastor GiGi!

  • I think I definitely agree with the speed point. MS absolutely crawls in comparison. MS does, however, have a competitiveness ranking: it is the SEOC (SEO competition) block on the keyword analysis tab. I’m keeping my MS affiliate links over at LTNE for now, but I’m increasingly looking at LTP for the speed advantage. Both would be ideal, but that is pretty spendy.

    • MS’s SEOC number is simply the number of results in Google for that keyword. LTP’s Keyword Competition score is much more indicative of how easy a keyword is to rank for.

      • Thanks for that clarification Joe. Good to hear coming from an expert and somebody who has extensive experience with both tools. I didn’t know how I was going to reply to this since I never bought MS and have no way to personally verify or debunk this claim.

        • I’m not trying to defend MS, but as a user, they have SEOC, SEOTC, SEOTCR, and an entire tab dedicated to SEO competition. It is a ton of data all related to that– maybe the real advantage of LTP in SEOC is that it boils down a lot of data into one easy to understand metric. I’m all in favor of that.

          • Thanks Mike! I know you weren’t trying to defend MS – only trying to point out something I didn’t know or didn’t cover. Your points about it do validate my argument that it is just too over the top complicated for the average (novice) keyword searcher. The beauty of Long Tail Pro is it’s simplicity, yet it is still very effective.

          • I wish the trial version of LTP had all of its features available for the 10-day period, including the competition module. That would make it very easy for me to do my own comparison, which I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. Anyhow, a great and thought-provoking post!

  • Nick @ ayoungpro.com

    Thanks for the great info. I use a plugin called Squirrly on my blog right now. If I ever make any money from my blog I will definitely look into getting a better keyword tool so I appreciate your analysis.

    • Hang in there Nick. You’ll make money if you stay dedicated and committed. It has taken me well over a year to figure out much of this stuff. I feel like I am finally starting to get on a roll. Some serious money could be just around the corner. Thanks, in part, to a few of the wonderful tools I’ve purchased recently – like Long Tail Pro and others.

  • JustinWCooke

    We’ve definitely switched over to LTP from MS and haven’t really looked back. We made the switch when MS was going through all those difficulties and was miserably slow…worked out to be perfect timing. Either worked for us and the EXTRA detail that MS provided became less relevant to our KW research.

    The Platinum addition is great at helping you judge the difficulty to rank which is great. We use a combination of that and the SEOMoz score to make our determination on whether to target the niche or not.

    Just a quick aside…it’s interesting to note that MS has sold 300K+ copies. Three. Hundred. Thousand! Wow. And that’s on the back of the Google Keyword Tool…a free tool offer by Google. Crazy stuff, eh?

    • No doubt Justin! It’s insane to think that Google could simply turn off the switch to their free resource, or just not allow the use of the API, and pretty much all keyword tools would be rendered useless!

      I appreciate both you and Joe stopping in and contributing your 2 cents. Great to hear from trusted sources like the both of you!

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  • Great post, was curious about the speed factor and many blogs I’ve been reading really seem to mention both are great tools

    • Thanks John. Market Samurai was by far the industry leader when it came to keyword research tools. For a couple of years there, it was easily the best. But, Long Tail Pro is far better, in my opinion. Especially for beginners. I think that so many people were so happy with Market Samurai for the longest time that they don’t want to bash them or talk bad about them. Market Samurai still is a great tool (I guess), but it is so slow. I’ve been using Long Tail Pro (platinum version) for several months now – and I love it!

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  • Aldo Alcide

    Great post, I bought MS a long time ago and just stopped using without considering why. After I read this I realized it was because I had just gotten sick of waiting around. One question: is LTP still worthwhile without the platinum version?

    • Aldo – Yes! It is still worthwhile without platinum, but you have to know what you’re doing and know what you’re looking for a little bit better. LTP still processes the data much faster than MS, but without Platinum you’ll have to manually analyze more data in order to find the low competition keywords. The KC score in Platinum has become the industry standard over the last year or so when it comes to the way people talk about how hard or easy keywords are to rank for.

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  • Matt, can you give just a brief summary, I still am not clear on what these do or why someone would use them for blogging. Sorry to sound dumb but if I don’t know for sure you have other readers who could use the advice.

    • Yeah, sure Mark! This article was actually written and published over 3 years ago – back when Market Samurai was still somewhat relevant. Since then, Long Tail Pro has become the market standard for keyword research and I don’t know anybody who still uses Market Samurai. The entire point of this article was to highlight a few of the major differences between the two tools.

      Around the time that I wrote this – I also published lots and lots of articles about keyword research and how to do it and how it should and could be used to grow traffic to websites and/or blogs. Here is a good one that I wrote that kind of ties it all together – http://dumbpassiveincome.com/keyword-research-to-grow-your-blog/

      Note: many of my older articles feature screenshots and/or videos with an older version of Long Tail Pro. The newer version is essentially the same with a slightly different user interface and some nice improvements and options.

  • No need to delete your comment Brian – just had to remove your link. Sorry – the comments section on my blog isn’t for self promotion. I actually took a quick peek at your site and it is very well done! Nice looking site that should convert well – as long as visitors to your site don’t know about Long Tail Pro… Which is where I have to respectfully disagree with you. Market Samurai WAS the best keyword research tool… about 5 years ago! But Long Tail Pro has left them in the dust – for many reasons. Yes – Long Tail Pro is more expensive. But you get what you pay for. Keyword research is much easier, faster and more effective with Long Tail Pro. In my opinion and in the opinion of probably more than 70,000 other satisfied users!