How to Use Google Suggest to Grow Your Long Tail Traffic

traffic

If you are not targeting long tail keywords, you are missing out on a lot of traffic. Out of the 262,169 visitors that came to Quick Sprout from search engines in the last 30 days, 238,195 came from long tail terms.

That’s crazy. Just think about it: 91% of my search traffic comes from long tail phrases.

Just a year ago, I was only getting 88,833 visitors a month from search engines. In a 14-month period, I was able to increase my search engine traffic, mainly from long tail SEO, by 173,336 visitors a month.

How was I able to do that? I optimized my blog for long tail SEO. Here’s how I did it, and here’s how you can too:

What keywords are driving your traffic?

I know that Google Analytics shows “not provided” for most of your keywords, but it still shows you a good portion of the keywords that are driving your traffic. At the very least, you can see all of your keywords through Google Webmaster Tools.

All you have to do is log into your Google Analytics account, click on “Acquisition,” then “Keywords,” and then “Organic”. You should end up seeing a list of keywords that drive you visitors.

From there, you can focus on some of the keywords that bring you larger volumes of traffic that are relevant to your business.

business quotes traffic

For example, if you look at the image above, you’ll see that I get traffic from the keyword phrase “business quotes.” I want more of such traffic as entrepreneurs are one of my biggest segments of readers.

I took that keyword phrase and typed it into Google to see what other keywords or phrases it might suggest.

business quotes suggests

As you can see, Google suggests that “inspirational business quotes” is another popular phrase to go after. So, I did. I optimized that blog post on business quotes for the term “inspirational” by placing similar words within the text of that page.

I found what words Google sees relevant to “inspirational” by running a search query with the “~” symbol in front of the word.

business quotes similar words

If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that Google bolds phrases that are relevant to “inspirational.” After digging through a few pages, I found that Google sees the words “inspire” or “motivational” to be relevant to the word “inspirational.”

Now, I rank on page one of Google for terms like “inspirational business quotes” and “motivational business quotes,” which helps drive more long tail traffic.

Don’t get too carried away

The big mistake I see marketers making with this tactic is that they are getting too greedy. You don’t want to modify your text so much that it makes your content unreadable.

For example, I didn’t stuff keywords within that business quotes page as it would ruin the post and cause people to bounce off, which would hurt my rankings in the long run.

So, how many times should you add in keywords? Well, that’s the wrong way to think about it. You should only add in keywords that you are pulling from “Google suggest” if you feel it helps readers.

For example, I added the word “motivational” more frequently than the word “inspirational” on that business quotes blog post because the feedback I got from a Qualaroo survey was that you felt the quotes were really motivational.

Nonetheless, if you want a ratio, there really isn’t a hard number to follow. But as a rule of thumb, make sure your keyword density is below 3% for any particular keyword.

keyword density

You can find out your ratios by just putting in your URL on the homepage of Quick Sprout.

Don’t expect miracles without hard work

Now that you got this tactic down, you need to realize that this is a long term strategy. Making these keyword tweaks to your content won’t provide big lifts in the short run. For example, when I made the changes to the business quotes page, it took four months before I saw a 37% increase in search traffic to that page.

Another reason why I didn’t see big increases in my search traffic in the short run is because I had to go through hundreds of old blog posts and make similar tweaks. Making tweaks to one page typically won’t provide you the lifts you are looking for.

My recommendation to you is that if you want to increase your long tail traffic, consider doing this with a page on your website each day. After six months to a year you should start seeing nice lifts in traffic.

Conclusion

SEO doesn’t have to be hard. I could have shoved dozens of keyword tools down your throat and given you complex ways to try to squeeze more traffic out of your current website.

But I didn’t! Why? Because simple tactics like the ones above are very effective, assuming you are willing to put in the time and energy to implement them.

The only caveat I would give is that you shouldn’t abuse it. Don’t stuff irrelevant keywords on your pages or create a poor user experience. Only make the above changes if it helps both you and your readers.

So, how else can you increase your long tail traffic?

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Comments

  1. Another awesomely cool and practical article… starting to implement your ideas right away… long tail traffic here I come!

  2. I have noticed an increase in word count for our search queries.

    It’s amazing the combination of words the prospect will use.

    Good idea to focus on this for prominent placement.

  3. Cool, tip! I’ve never thought to do this. I just used the ~[keyterm] tip to find 4 results that I think I can rank for just by changing already existing articles.

  4. Hi Neil,

    I learnt this from one of your earlier posts and always focus on long tail keywords only. Well, I have always had my keyword density less than 3% (actually even less than that) because it looks artificial if I try to inject keywords for the sake of it. So, I don’t.

    And I think I have seen a steady growth in my Google traffic over last few months. Thanks to your awesome recommendations.

    Plus, your Pro course helped as well. I learnt a great deal from your Pro course and your Advance SEO guide.

    All said and done, you are just phenomenal with what you come up with and I always admire you for your go-giver mentality all the time!

    Have a terrific week!

    Regards,
    Kumar

  5. Hi Neil

    Thanks, Just one more advise needed on this, Do we need to create new pages to target long tail keywords or how we can target the current pages with new keywords.

    your input will be helpful.

    • Optimize your current pages. Don’t create new pages unless it benefits your readers and visitors. Creating pages for just Google will create bad habits.

  6. I’ve always targeted long-tail keywords in my blog posts. Even without a crazy number of high-quality backlinks/social signals, etc. a former blog-about-blogging I owned was getting a decent chunk of traffic from a few long-tails.

    Too bad so many businesses aren’t modifying their SEO strategies to fit long-tailers in.

    Great post.

    Cheers,
    JR John @ CopyJoint

  7. “262,169 visitors that came to Quick Sprout from search engines in the last 30 days, 238,195 came from long tail term”

    I was wondering how you got to this figure given that the vast majority of keyword sources are hidden as (not provided) in GA.

  8. Tilda operator doesn’t work for almost a year. Try also http://thesaurus.com/ for similar words.

    For longtails i use ubersuggest and keyword snatcher.

  9. I found Neil when I searched long tail keyword.

  10. Truly am missing in this long tail keyword traffic wizzard

  11. Lakshay Goel :

    This post is really very helpful as all others. But can you please write a post regarding the tips for a completely new blog?

  12. Is there any solution for “not provided” keyword?

    I searched into webmaster tools also but couldn’t get?

    Please help me how can I get?

    Thanks in advance

  13. Great tip Neil, Logtail keyword is great and have long term benefits of search engine and your tip to add an extra keyword in your exiting post is great.

  14. I would also suggest to use ubersuggest.org – they give me ideas all the time on great long tails. As well, I treat the posts I write for clients as if they were a squid00 lens using those LTKW plus. Qualified + quality content enriches the reader experience, always.

  15. This is a great way of getting extra traffic thank you for the guide!

  16. Perfect timing on this informative article, I’m in the process of tweaking my product pages for long tail keywords. Thanks so much!

  17. Great post as usual Neil, I had a question while reading though. At what point (if any) would you decide to write a completely new post based on a long-tail search term, rather than just post-optimise an old post?

    • I don’t like writing new posts just for Google. I would only do so if that benefited my readers too.

      • This is actually the best advice. Write interesting, relevant content that focuses on what your audience wants. The benefits will then come in time through social traffic and organic traffic. Matt Cutts and Google want to get to a place where relevant content is the top content that appears in the results places, so writing a post because of a long-tail keyword is probably not advisable.

  18. Thanks for this! It’s easy to get focused on trying to rank for the big terms and skip doing any optimization for the long tail. Good reminder about webmaster tools having keywords also, I opened that the other day and was pleasantly surprised ;-).

  19. This is a nice reminder for me about using long tail keywords. I have Keyword Snatcher collecting dust on my hard drive. Just fired it up after reading your post. I will definitely go through my old posts and optimize them.

    By the way, I also have a quotes page on my blog except I turned the quotes into images. The quotes keyword is bringing in most of my traffic.

  20. Neil, always explosive with wonderful tips masterly delivered in the simplest ways. Your posts give me the greatest joy in the SEO industry. Thanks a million.

  21. Hi Patel, thanks for this wonderful tips. I have been finding it difficult doing keyword research for my blog.

    The tips you provided seem to hold the ace somehow, but having to re-tweak all posts on the site is no mean task.

    However, since it worked for you and you are here giving a first hand information, I should give it a try on my site and see how it goes. Do have a pleasant weekend ahead.

  22. Neil, how old does page need to be in order to get the best results with this tactic? If a page is too new, it might not be getting enough traffic to get all the needed data, that’s my logic, but I don’t know what “too new” means in terms of time.

  23. Thank you Neil ! I’ve never had the idea of adding new keywords in my old posts, I’m really exited to try this.

  24. Neil thanks for giving us this tip. You are just wonderful. Your giving heart is something that gives people cause for concern.

    But you don’t mind and this has helped cement u as a guy withal large heart.

    Thanks for giving out these tips for free. Have a nice day.

  25. Hello Neil,

    One other way to find keywords is crossing the accounts with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Thus, we have data available on the Analytics of long tail keywords which bring traffic to the site.

    Off topic: I’m from Brazil and a great admirer of your work. It helps me a lot and is a great source of inspiration. Thank you!

    Hugs from Brazil!

  26. I usually using scrapebox to get long tail keywords, and most of my visitor also come from long tail search. For beginner in SEO like me, long tail keyword is the easiest way to build visitors.

    I never think to tweak my old articles to get more visitor from another long tail keywords, and also never think to use “relevan words” ..

    Thanks for your article Neil, this really give me a lot of idea ..

  27. These are certainly gold you are sharing, thanks for these brilliant tips.

  28. Great post, Neil. Greatly appreciated technics. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for in SERPS.

  29. This is a great example of how a master should guide layman. I founf it very useful. I m new in internet marketing but understood it well and found it easily actionable in my new posts. Thanks a lot.

  30. I am really happy for being a reason for your yet another wonderful post Neil..

    Never had this much of joy after receiving a new post mail from you !!!!

    The first thing i did on reading your post heading in the mail is going back to the old post i left that comment and my happiness got doubled reading your reply about this post…

    Ok Thats it, let me scroll up and read the post now.. Will be back

  31. Hi Neil,

    This is just excellent topic to for me, I had been doing some research on google suggest for fetching long tail keywords, also I liked ubersuggest, which i believe is also an excellent tool for getting more keyword ideas.

  32. Hi Neil, it’s me again. :)

    This is an immensely helpful post. I took many lessons from it. I also thought about which keywords you were trying to target with this post. Of course, it was not the obvious “long tail traffic” because it has no value in terms of money and searches.

    Then I realized that the post is all about keywords, and your best target could be “long tail keywords”, and you got almost everybody to use it in their comments too! But you’re already ranking on Google page 2 for that, for your last year’s post “How to Increase Your Sales Through Long Tail SEO”, for which you’ve also ranked for “long tail SEO”.

    Is my guess correct? Are you trying to bring it up on Page 1? I’m just trying to learn by analyzing your posts, hope you don’t mind. :)

    Nevertheless, this is a great post!

    ~ Harleena

  33. Great practical advice as usual! Thanks, Neil.

  34. Thank you mister Neil !

    I hadn’t know about this topic and altough it was usefull for most of us it shouldn’t make me more clever , but wiser yes ! Is my pleasure to wait for the next .

    My respect to you !

  35. hi neil,

    excellent article again. I am trying to follow your advice.

    Thanks again for such a nice post.

  36. Helpful and simple tips! Keep up the great work

  37. We use this exact technique at http://www.curatedquotes.com. Beyond the head terms such as “life quotes”, we further segment quotes into the sub-categories that people are looking for.

    So, “funny life quotes”, “short life quotes”, “motivational life quotes”, etc…

    Not only is this good for search traffic, but it actually is better for the user. If I just want to look at “funny life quotes”, then a list of curated quotes that are all funny is much more relevant to me than sifting through 1,000 life quotes to find the funny ones.

    We’re helping Google to fulfill it’s mission of sorting the world’s information… It’s a win win.

  38. Interesting concepts. I will start trying this out with video as well to see how things will go from that angle. Thanks!

  39. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for another great tip. I knew the power of longtail keywords but this is the first time I know how to deal with it by Google Suggest.

    Looking forward your next sharing.

  40. Hi ,

    I am new to SEO, Would you help me know how to make use of SEO for my blogs and can earn some thing from them.

    I read your advance SEO ebooks. But not able to use it.

  41. Dear Neil,

    I noticed my webmaster tool and I am not satisfied with the result. I got a traffic on my website with not so exact long term keywords on which I am targeting (Traffic comes by relevant keywords but not from long tail keywords) . I am not able to increase the traffic but I almost reduce my site’s bounce rate to 50% (Previously it was 80% and now almost 30%) with the help of Blogging only. So please guide me what should I do to increase my traffic via long tail keywords because I can’t taking any Idea from webmaster tool.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • You should be able to do it from Google Webmaster tools. It works for all of my sites… you can also use Google Analytics if you don’t want to use webmaster tools.

  42. Sunny Ujjawal :

    Inspiring article to use longtail, we understand such keywords gives good traffic but at some point can it be negative (copied content) to use 7-8 longtail in same article as they can be on other sites also.
    Second: Getting backlinks with longtail is considered good now but in future Google may take it as spam also.

  43. Keyword selection is really important for website and long tail is more important because it bring the exact customer/viewers who really need the information. I am strongly agreed with you these day marketers making with this tactic is that they are getting too greedy. They don’t think about reader. So it better to think about reader at first then search engine. Thanks for share a great guide with us :)

  44. Another helpful and easy to follow post from Neil. Thanks a lot.

  45. Hello Niel,

    I was just reading your article about Long Tail Traffic and trust me it was all worth written. You have mentioned it really well. I am also reading your Ebook about beginners guide for online marketing. Do you have any other article which can learn me that how we can get back our keywords ranking after Google updates. I am struggling right now with my job as well.

    Kind Regards,
    Ameer Hamza

  46. That’s really cool tip neil. In Gujarati “Bahu saras che bhai” and I really liked it.

  47. Great tip, Neil. Will try this!

    And btw: I lol’d at the “Sex Toys In Nepal”-commenter above. That’s hilarious. :)

  48. Hi Neil, Another one good article on Keywords. Log tail keyword is the best way to get good traffic. It should be get used in the article.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  49. Hi Neil,

    This is somewhat related to Latent Semantic Indexing in which Google Suggests you keywords which you can use for better rankings, but this doesn’t work always atleast for new websites.

    Is there anything which you want to add in order to get guaranteed ranking? I know guaranteed ranking is not possible and no one commits, but any specific technique along with what you suggested in this post which could help?

    • Rahul, I think unique and in-depth content is the surest way to traffic generation. If you focus on the creation and dissemination of content traffic is soon to follow :)

  50. Awesome post, Neil. Thank you!

    I have always had a hard time picking just the right keywords to drive traffic; but thanks to this post, I know how to maximize my tools now. Turns out, something so simple can make such a huge impact. I’ll definitely try this and cross my fingers. Of course, I won’t forget quality content.

  51. Thank you Neil for another very good blog. I liked it very much. Sorry for my ignorance but I did not quite understood your sentence: “keyword density is below 3% for any particular keyword.” and the image below it.”

    Can you clarify it with few words, please :)

  52. HI Niel
    You are my one of the best inspiration. Today you reveal one more new secret, which I can experiment on my sites.
    What I like and notice that you always use simple designs for your sits (quicksprout.com color scheme is very effective) and visitor never get trapped with dozens of links and images. Even I also like what you did on gymjunkies, its so simple but still effective.
    One more thing I notice that you never use any advertisement there on sites, so how you earn from there sites. :)
    kisssmetrics and quicksprout can be your right hand , but I want to know about other blogs.

    Have a Good Day

  53. Hey Neil,

    First off I cant say how much I appreciate the quality of each email etc you send-I’m currently working through the 30 day traffic/conversion guides.

    Ive decided to work on the conversions guide 1st, as extra traffic isnt so good if they dont convert!

    I have a question you may be able to help, after implementing all this and running off down the rabbit hole, I have managed to isolate a keyword which drives 78% of my traffic!

    Just trying to figure out how to use “tone tee” in my blog posts-a google search bring up tone teenager, or tone tee vei, a government site regarding hazardous fumes ha

    We’ll figure something out!

    Thanks again for all the awesome information, apologies for late night ramblings!

    Daniel

  54. Hey Neil,

    This is a great article, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us always.

    Ankit

  55. Hi Neil
    Tell us some updates about the google humming bird we want you to write one blog post about that

  56. Hi Neil

    Every piece of content you share on QuickSprout is worth read & share. Thanks for all the information you share on your blog.

  57. Neil Learnt a lot from this post..I realized that long keywords can bring good traffic as ranking for them is little easier..You have also mentioned that success can be got only by working hard and you are really very right….

  58. 91% of search engine traffic is long term? Wow, my chin just fell down.

    Do you have similar experience on other websites, too, or this is specific for quicksprout?

  59. Great article… i am also following these things and earn substantial amount of traffic as well as money. this will really helpful to newbies who are in to this field. thanks for sharing.. cheers!!!

  60. I guess SEO of long tails keywords is much easier than short tail keywords, but never paid that much attention on that. As you said 91% traffic comes from long tail keywords, I need to start paying attention on optimizing blog posts for long tail keywords now.

    Thanks for awesome piece of information Neil.

  61. Hey Neil,

    This is a great post and I didn’t know about using the “~” in Google to see words that they considered relevant to that term so thanks!

    I often use Google suggest and Google Wildcard (using a * after a keyword, i.e. “Internet Marketing *” and Google will show random results from their searches that start with the phrase ‘Internet Marketing”) to find KWs.

    Can be a good way to find some useful terms that you didn’t think of.

    Even better than Google Suggest which is limited to 10 or so terms is Ubersuggest.org which scrapes Google Suggest meaning you can enter any keyword and it will give you every single term that starts with that keyword / phrased from A to Z.

    You end up with thousands of keyword ideas you can then sift through looking for inspiration.

    Another great way to find related keyword or other terms is simply putting the keyword or niche idea into Wiki and checking out any relevant pages.

    I can find so many useful keyword or alternative terms used in the niche that otherwise I wouldn’t know

    For example I just published a new ‘Niche Hack’ report (complete done for you niche research report) over on NicheHacks on the subject of ‘beekeeping’ (very profitable niche!)

    And by using Wiki I found that beekeeping was also known as Apiarism and beekeepers as ‘apiarists’ which helped me discover tons of new keywords – it’s a gold mine for finding related terms.

    Another good free tool that can easily help you rank better and bring in more search traffic is http://lsikeywords.com/

    You give it the keyword that you’d like to rank for and it analyzes the top pages in Google already ranking for that terms AND shows you what other terms they used in their content.

    Sprinkle some of these terms in where it makes sense to and you can see yourself not only ranking for new terms BUT also improving your current ranking for your related keyword because Google sees your article as more relevant.

    I don’t focus too much on SEO and I would never make it my primary traffic source or chase it.

    However I do some quick keyword research after I’ve written a new post to see whether I’m using KWs people are searching for.

    If I’m not I will try to fit in where it makes sense and won’t make it difficult for my audience to read.

    But I don’t spend lots of time on it, hunt down low competition keywords, or build artificial links YET Google is my second biggest source of traffic (direct traffic is #1!) without really trying.

    Write for your readers but don’t ignore search engines and you can get the best of both worlds!

    Thanks for continually posting quality content!

    I only came over here to grab a screenshot (or something like that, I’ve forgotten now!) for a post I’m working on and I got sucked into reading and replying. :D

    All the best,

    Stuart

    P.S.

    Whilst I possibly have your attention my audience would love to know – what’s your #1 tip for increasing email sign ups via a blog?

    Thanks. :)

    • My number one tip, although you may not like it is exit popup. On exit ask for their email… it is really effective and that is how most of the popular bloggers are building their list these days.

      • Hey Neil,

        Thanks for taking the time to answer. I’m going to use the answer in a huge new post I’m working on.

        Already lots of other experts have given me their answer and yes exit pop ups have come up a few times.

        Will need to test them out myself soon.

        All the best.

  62. Hi Neil. Even at the risk of being accused of flattery, I must say your post is awesome. Most of it is commonsense but where was mine till now? The screenshots were most helpful to understand the concepts faster and easier. Keep up the good work. Thanks for suggesting Google suggest. :-)

  63. Hey Patel,

    I have no doubt that long tail keywords drive most of the traffic. The trick is learning how to optimize them for your website. Thanks for sharing your screen shots

  64. Rana Mubashir :

    Hy Patel

    I need to reach my goal for unique visits to my website http://www.techtxr.com to 1000 per day. Currently I’m getting merely 200 visits per day on an average, although the alexa rank is around 1,762,013. I’m in the process of changing the blog to How-to Niche blog. Please tell me which fields does my blog lacks in so that I can work out on it.

  65. Thanks for this article! I learnt 2 useful things:
    1) How to see which keywords drive traffic to my blog on Google Analytics
    2) Importance of keywords

    I will incorporate this strategy when writing from now on and hope to see some results in the long run! Thanks again

  66. Neil,

    Your approach sounds like a good one for SEO. But using Adwords you can target thousands of long tail keywords without all the hard work of writing great content. Of course the downside is that you have to pay for every click (there is no free lunch). Also it is quite hard work to massage all those long tail keywords into a form that Google Adwords can use. That is why we have recently launched a tool ( http://www.keywordfunnel.com ) that can mostly automate the whole process. You can feed in hundreds or thousands of potential keywords (e.g. from Google suggest or Webmaster tools) at one end and get a long tail Adwords campaign (nicely categorized into adgroups) out at the other end. It is still very new (launched last week). So I would love to get feedback from you (or any of your readers) about our approach.

  67. I am a newbie in blogging and following your blog from the beginning and i get most of the useful tips to,increase traffic and seo tips,right from,your blog. I implemented a few after reading on your blog and the results are fruitful.

  68. Neil this is the thing which I always follow for my clients. long tail keywords is the strategy which helps me allot. Because I cannot target the high competitive keywords. And each client wants traffic

  69. I never knew that you can use that Google keyword tool to see what keywords are driving people to your site! Great post Neil, thanks for sharing.

  70. How do you tie these keywords into your content? It’s hard to do without causing conversions and user-friendliness to drop.

  71. Hi.Great Article.I will do the same as suggested here.Right now I am increasing my back links through comments on blogs using http://backlinkwire.com/ . It will generate relevant blogs for comments.We just have to comment on do follow blogs.It will help you guys.

  72. Thanks Neil. I have been aware of long-tail keywords but you’ve given the best example I’ve seen of how to actually use them for gain.

    I’m really pleased to hear you say that Google Analytics comes up with ‘not provided’ because that happens to me quite a bit. However, I’m going to have a look at the other article on that topic to see what I can learn.

  73. Neil, the idea is perfect. But what about optimizing the current url? Is it required? I’m always confused about it, since all the sharings will lost in this case.

  74. Thanks Neil for very important and unique info about long-tail keywords. Neil hats-off to you. Your SEO techniques are awesome.

  75. Awesome!!! Thank you Neil!!!

  76. Yes Neil, I am using this method to drive some visitors to my site. I am keeping variety in choosing the long tail keywords. Though Google keywords planner don’t show much search volume and even no search volume for some long tail keywords, but i think they are much for bringing quality traffic..

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