Subtle SEO Techniques to Rank for Long Tail Keywords

Whenever we do keyword research, we tend target one keyword with laser focus and neglect other SEO techniques.  Some of us may look at search volume for LSI (related) keywords and consider the traffic we may get from them as well, but on the whole, most marketers are usually concerned with the traffic from their targeted keyword.

If the chosen search phrase gets 1,000 monthly searches, you can expect to get around 400-500 of those clicks each month in the #1 spot.  However, you will get a lot more traffic than that from the SERPs (search engine results pages), not to mention whatever backlinking tactics you used to get there.

Subtle SEO Techniques for Underground Traffic

You might be able to find out what some of these terms are by checking your ranking for some LSI terms.  However, a large portion of your organic traffic will always come from obscure queries that get searched less than 40 times a month.  This is low hanging fruit, like REALLY low hanging fruit.  So how do you find these terms?

You use a WordPress plugin called “SEO Search Terms 2”.  This plugin automatically collects search terms that lead people to your site.  These are all search terms that someone entered into Google, and THEN clicked on your site in the SERPs.

One powerful feature is the option to automatically post these terms on your site and add them as tags.  Basically, you can have these terms added on your site’s pages and add a tiny bit of optimization towards a term that has basically no competition.  This will automatically get you more traffic from these obscure searches.  However, if you choose to have the keywords added on your site, change the title that appears above these terms.  This can easily be edited in the settings of the plugin and will ensure your site doesn’t carry any footprint that could link it with tons of other sites focusing on SEO (it could be a bad sign to Google – better safe than sorry :)

You can also use Google Analytics to find the long tail search terms people have used to find your page, however these results are not delivered directly into your blog.

The most important part and powerful part of this plugin is that you know people are searching for these terms.  Someone already searched for that term and clicked on your site.  There are likely more people searching for that same term each month that are clicking on other sites, so you may as well take it over and get those extra few visits each month.

While this plugin will help you find some solid LSI keywords, you are likely already aware of the major ones. What it really exposes is a long list of these super-long-tail keywords that you would never think to optimize for otherwise.  You might be thinking that such search terms are chump change – suit yourself.  You can very easily optimize for hundreds of keywords like this a month, with relatively little effort and start pulling in more visitors.

Optimize for Subtle SEO Techniques

Besides optimizing on-page we can also grab more visitors by building links for these terms.  However, this will be a big waste of time if we are not using a very efficient means of link building.  You don’t want to spend a lot of time ranking for a term that will only get you a couple new organic visitors.  Rather, you want to build links for tons of these terms in a short period of time.

The best method for doing this is creating social bookmarks.  You can create them for free with semi-automation with Social Marker, or full automation with Pixelpipe or OnlyWire (free version).  Just put the keyword in the description and title, and link back to the page that was getting the traffic for the term.  A couple quick social bookmark blasts a month like this will help you get more organic traffic and it will also expose more ultra-low competition keywords.

If you come across a long-tail keyword that gets a decent amount of search traffic per month, you can target it more aggressively.  A few blog comments with PR can be very effective to push your page up the SERPs, but if the term is more competitive then you can launch a more complete SEO campaign and engage in more thorough link building.

We get so wrapped up in our specific keywords and exact-match domain sites when picking a domain name, we forget that there isn’t a list of terms that people can choose from when searching with Google.  They can search for whatever they want, and they do!  A large percentage of all queries are unique and have basically NO competition.  This is your fruit for the picking.

I hope this short SEO course  on grabbing ultra-low competition keywords will help you bring in tons of underground traffic to your site.


  1. Bob Lipply says

    To be honest, i’m not fully aware about long tail keywords. I know that they exist but i don’t fully understand what it is. However, i’m glad that you suggest a SEO course for me to look into this further. Keep up the good work and more power!

  2. Paul says

    Good article Ben!
    I already use “SEO Search Terms 2” and I found it very userful…and sometimes is funny to discover “exotic” keyword that google’s visitors type in
    Reagarding Pixelpipe and Onlywire I’ve already heard about both so I’ll surely test them
    Paul recently posted..By: network

  3. hcg drop says

    Thanks for this info, I really have a lot of long tail keywords here. I don’t even know if it will be rank or the google will crawl this kind of keywords. I did not even know that this bunch of long tail keywords can boost traffic to the site. I will try it now the tips you gave. thank you so much..

  4. Amani says

    SEO is very difficult even for some people it not. I personally think only 1st to 3rd result in search engine result will be count because most viewer will be looking at this three. So imagine if thousand of webmaster working on same keyword . Just a thought.
    Amani recently posted..Make money online

  5. Satrap says

    I love long tail keywords. They are so easy to rank for (compared to shorter ones). I am in make money online niche and as you can imagine even the long tail keywords have lots of competition going for them. But I was able to rank #1 for a few such keywords, by simply having the whole keyword/phrase as the title of the post and an exact url.

    By the way, You said to bookmark such posts. But, you can only bookmark each url once in each bookmarking site, so how would you bookmark the same post 2 times or more with 2 or more different keywords as tags?… Would you create different accounts on each site and submit under different account?…. Thanks in advance.
    Satrap recently posted..Sites Like Fiverr- 12 Fiverr Alternatives Websites

    • Ben says

      I usually bookmark a page no more than twice a day (ie targeting two long-tail keywords). I’ve been using the same accounts on onlywire for this and haven’t had any problems with my bookmarking accounts yet. You can also make a blog comment here and there to help with the ranking (they carry a bit more weight than SBs).
      Ben recently posted..Article Marketing Tips: Getting Your Articles Syndicated

  6. Mike says

    Personally i don’t yet have a self hosted wordpress blog i’m still out here looking in the window so to speak on what are the advantages and disadvantages of the platform. I still have a lot to learn on the keyword research front. I hope I hit that moment that you speak of where it all clicks.
    Mike recently posted..Sand City West End Celebration

  7. Benjamin Hübner says

    I really like the Search Term 2 plugin for wordpress, but you I´m also using the google analytics csv download option to find keywords I got traffic from, I import them into Traffic Travis and check my rankings to see where I need some more backlinks for!

    Thanks for sharing this with us!
    Benjamin Hübner recently posted..NicheShark Review | Best Keyword Discovery Tool

  8. Austin mike says

    @Ben you are right I have a website for which all my long tail keywords rank in top 10 compared to the short tail ones which are on 3rd page and so on. The tips given by you will also be helpful in getting the short tail keywords in top. Can you please tell me about link wheel if you have used? What to use and how many properties?
    Austin mike recently posted..Portable Surveillance Unit

    • Ben says

      I don’t really use link wheels anymore, but if you are interested in making one this is how I used to link my properties:

      Choose 6 web 2.0 platforms (A-F) and write 3 articles and place them on these blogs as follows:

      A [1,2,3]

      Then using bolded anchor text links, link the properties as follows:

      A1->B2 A2->B3 A3->B1
      B2->C3 B3->C1 B1->C2
      C3->D4 C1->D5 C2->D6
      D4->E5 D5->E6 D6->E4
      E5->F6 E6->F4 E4->F5
      F6->A1 F4->A2 F5->A3

      This way if a reader gets into your link wheel they will link to new content if they click-through a link.

      I never got into crazy linking schemes and I do even less of that now. I sometimes do tiered linking and it is simpler and more effective imho than link wheels. It can be as simple as bookmarking some article submissions (with varied anchor text is a good idea) or even pointing an AMR blast at some manual article submissions.
      Ben recently posted..OnlyWire Account Creator – FREE Download

  9. Jason Maher says

    I am so grateful for this post from you, I have a difficulty to get good ranking for my keywords and some of them happen to be long tail. I was just reading your posts and i saw the Long tail keywords post and came to it. I will try out your tips and i hope to get good rankings like my other keyword are ranking. You have been like a Savior to me :)
    Jason Maher recently posted..Please Bear With Us

  10. Steve Markham says

    Great tips Ben,

    If I could add one additional source for finding the low hanging fruit, it would be Google’s webmaster tools site. It gives you some good information that isn’t captured in their Analytics program.

    For example there was a search term that I ranked 9th for in the serps and saw zero traffic from. In the webmasters tool dashboard I could see that I was getting 500 impressions in the serps for that term (0 clicks though).

    I made a couple of small changes to the page, added a few backlinks and jumped to the 3rd spot. I’ve been receiving about an extra 90-120 visitors per month from that keyword ever since.

    I wasn’t getting the clicks originally since all the other programs missed the term.
    Anyway I hope that helps.

    Steve Markham recently posted..Huggies Coupons

  11. mitz says

    Hi Sanjay
    Thanks for dropping by..
    I checked out your post on how to create an opt in form in Photoshop. Very cool. I am a big tutorial fan!

    • mitz says

      Nice to see you here!
      For some people it might as well be rocket science. They just don’t get keywords in any way. I am glad I finally go it after a lot of bad mistakes! :) runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework for WordPress

When I changed to the Genesis Framework and the eleven40 Theme my page load score went from 58 to 79 instantly. This was without any optimization at all. The other thing about this framework and theme is that it was so simple to setup that I can highly recommend it to each and every person that visits this blog! Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.