This Is How to Rank for Long-Tail Keywords, 5 Free Secret Tips

By: | March 12, 2017 | Tags: , , , |

How to rank for long tail keywords with these 5 secret #SEO tips

Do you want to rank for long-tail keywords at Google?

This case study post will show you how my organic traffic rose dramatically in just one month so that you can experience the same results.

Interestingly enough, the time overlapped with Christmas week, a time when the blogosphere is usually at its sleepiest.

This is a follow-up to my popular post 13 Best Free Tools You Need to Improve Your Long-Tail Keywords.

That post gave you 13 tools to help you find long-tail keywords and improve your search engine rankings.

This post explains five secret methods that will help you find long-tail keywords, rank high for them, and get your website get found in search engines more often.

In addition, the post will offer additional free tools and methods you can use to rank for long-tail keywords and screenshots proving these tips work.

If you rank high for long-tail keywords, you will increase your blog’s visibility in search engines and increase your organic traffic.

By following the tips in this post, you will be able to get your search engine traffic to have a major boost.

My posts have taken many formats. Today’s post is unique. This article is in the form of an email correspondence I had with SEO tips expert Clay. The post then becomes an interview and finally a case study showing these results work.

Consider this conversation:

Hi Janice,

I was wondering, you have such a high DA (Domain Authority), why don’t you compete for any keyword? You already have a nice DA. Now it’s time to compete for keywords.
Do you know much about SEO?


Ouch! I had better get on the bandwagon. After all, I’m a blogging tips coach.


I can’t be totally effective with my tips if I don’t know how to capitalize on my “high DA” and beat the competition at search engines.


When Kimsea Sok linked to Mostly Blogging in an article, you will never guess what his anchor text was.

He did not call me “Mostly Blogging,” and he did not call me “Janice Wald.” Instead, he called me a “DA 40.” That’s how important Domain Rank is.

[Related: This is Why People Care About Domain Authority]

Fortunately, my good friend and SEO expert Clay agreed to be interviewed for this post and advised me how to improve my SEO strategies, and I am passing along that information to you:

I’m going to give the exact steps that I use to rank for my keywords. This is not a post, or [information] that you can find somewhere else, but this comes from all knowledge that I have on SEO. 

(Me: Secret SEO tips!)


This case study post takes a before and after approach.
Before we go any further, I want to show you my percentage of search engine traffic before I took Clay’s tips:
Notice my percent of search engine traffic was 14.9% according to these stats.


I spent a month following Clay’s tips. For the sake of clarity, bear in mind, he is writing me these tips in an email.


How to Rank High for Long-Tail Keywords

First of all, you need to choose a keyword (I prefer a long-tail keyword). Why?

      This comes from my proven knowledge (tried by myself).


I tried to rank for the keyword “SEO techniques” which is very very competitive. But I thought that I could take a high rank because of the great post that I made. Of course, I did my best, but do you know the results?


Wasn’t I even on the thirty-first pages of Google? [No!] It was a really, really huge disappointment for me and my career.


But this has its own bright side because I saw how powerful “long-tail keywords” are. I ranked for a keyword (third page) “proven SEO techniques.”


What should you learn from this?


Of course you have higher DA than me, but still, it’s competitive even for you.


I suggest you go for more “long-tail keywords.” 


(Note: Clay was trying to rank for SEO techniques. Since SEO techniques contain only two words, it is not long-tail. He had greater success when his keyword phrase went to three words, “proven SEO techniques.”)


Chris Morphart stresses the importance of using long-tail keywords and the potential they have for driving massive traffic to your blog:
Long-tail keywords are the best if you want to drive tons of traffic to your site. Not only are they cheaper to find but also have a high probability rate of converting.
Organic traffic is all time the best traffic because it is accurately targeted to a specific niche. Try or learn how to leverage on long-tail keywords and you can never go wrong.


How to Rank For Long-Tail Keywords Using Tools

Clay continued his tips:
I use this tool for long-tail keywords:, or Google search related to (at the bottom results in Google).
Then, I use Google Keyword Planner to check search volume, keyword bid etc.
Maybe you’ve used also this by yourself, but I’ll whisper some techniques also:

Install Mozbar –  A Google chrome extension that tells you DR and importantly PR (page rank) which matters a lot.

Also, use Keyword Difficulty – to check your chances for that keyword. (Note: Keyword Difficulty is not a free tool.)



I interviewed Clay about these SEO tips.

 Question 1:
I am trying to follow your instructions to compete for StumbleUpon as a keyword.
Do I want the competition (at Google Keywords) to be high or low?
Answer 1:
If you want to rank for long-tail keywords then the search volume should be low.


Question 2:
What is your opinion of Google Keyword Planner?
Answer 2: I don’t care a lot for Google Keyword Planner.


(Note: This is why I started exploring alternatives to find long-tail keywords which I wrote about in my article describing 13 tools to find long-tail keywords.)




Question 3:
Could I rank for StumbleUpon since I write articles explaining how people can get traffic from the site?
Answer 3:
No, You’re trying to rank for a brand keyword just like “Facebook”.


Question 4:
If I want to rank for How to Get traffic with StumbleUpon (which is long-tail), how would I do it? What keywords would I use?

Answer 4:

After you’ve found the keyword and published the post, even if it is a great one, it won’t get the exposure that you want.
So I must say great content is not enough, and [won’t be enough for ] 90%.(Unless you are Barack Obama…)
After you made the post now, you must share it on all of your social media accounts and other aggregator sites. (Note: This is What You Need to Know to Get More Traffic from Content Syndication Sites gives you a list of aggregator sites.)


(Note: Neil Patel lists posting your article to aggregator sites is one of the first steps you should take after publishing a new post. Neil recommends starting with Reddit.)

[Related: How to Get the Kind of Blog Traffic You Want with Reddit]


I think it’s enough for the part one, which I’ll call “Keyword Research”; the next one will be “Outreach”.


How to Rank for Long-Tail Keywords Using Outreach

 According to Clay,
The big thing about getting backlinks with the outreach method is this:
Step #1:
For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “how to get traffic with StumbleUpon” you must first search it on Google and find similar content (I suggest not on the first page because big guys do not reply to emails) as I do.
After you find about 10-15 websites with similar content to that niche, is the time to find their email or contact them somehow with a “nice, hot email”.
I suggest you create an outreach email.

SEO Expert Matt LaClear agrees bloggers should ask influencers to link to their content. Look at the comment he made when responding to a blog post about how bloggers can avoid making common content creation mistakes:

A tactic I like to use when creating content is to do so with the thought in mind that I am going to reach out to the biggest influencer in my industry to ask him or her to link to it when it goes up as a post.

Having this person as my primary link target for the piece FORCES me to create much more superior content, as I have no intention of asking an influencer to link to weak content. That would kill my credibility with that influencer in a heartbeat.

Now if he or she links to the post I will get a lot of good traffic from it, but even if they don’t link to it, my readers still get to consume a much better version of my content.

According to Matt, asking influencers to link to your blog post is a win-win situation. If they say no, you have still created a quality blog post for your readers.

Step #2:
I think that you have a lot of blog friends, why not just asking for a backlink directly (if you are close to them). 
Another thing that I wanted to mention is that you need to make the <a href> code the same as your ranking keyword.
For example, you want to rank for StumbleUpon, then make the backlinks the word StumbleUpon.
You could do this thing also with guest posting (you create your own backlink with the anchor (backlink) that you want).


Question 6:
Is there supplemental reading my readers could do to get a better grasp on how to improve SEO rankings?
Answer 6:
And also check (read all his blogs, they are amazing).


What are the Results?

 After spending a month following Clay’s tips, I rechecked  my percentage of search engine traffic:#SEO
Once again these stats are from taken within the month of Christmas. Notice all my referral traffic is down except for Google. Google is up from 14.9% to 16.9%.
If Clay’s tips can work so well during the holidays, imagine what they can do for you when it’s not the holiday season and shortly thereafter.


Wrapping Up

These were “secret” tips since Clay had never published them anywhere before.

To summarize Clay’s secret tips:

  1. Choose a long-tail keyword you want to rank for. Use the free tools he recommends to help you choose.
  2. Then, Google the long-tail keyword phrase you chose to find what your competitors’ (people already ranking for that word) Domain Authority is. If their DA is lower than yours, don’t pick it.
  3. Make the anchor text of a backlink the long-tail keyword in your article.
  4. After publishing the post, share it on content curation sites as well as on social media.
  5. Remember the competition you Googled? After you publish, ask those bloggers to publish your link in their article (it’s on the same topic so it’s related content and won’t invoke Google penalties). In exchange, offer to publish their link in your article. However, Clay advised not asking any of the bloggers you found on Page 1 of Google since they may not respond to their emails.

Clay recommended many free tools you can use in order to increase your SEO.

If you would like more free blogging tools, click here to get your own downloadable PDF of my free blogging tools list.

Readers, please share this article so other content creators see that you can use these tips, that Clay had never published anywhere, to rank for long-tail keywords at Google.

What’s your opinion of Clay’s SEO tips? He offered you methods and tools to choose long-tail keywords for any blogging niche. Have you already tried to rank for keywords? How are your efforts going? Have you ever checked to see if you rank for keywords? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Related Posts and Pages:

Link Exchange

4 Ways You Can Improve Your Keywords & See a Big Surge of Traffic

14 Secret Blogging Tips That Will Blow Your Mind

Photo Source:

Practical By Default Homeschooling Community


  1. Marie Beausoleil

    Do you have success with asking large bloggers to link to your post? I’m going to be honest, when I get an email from someone with whom I have absolutely no relationship, and they want me to link to their new post or infographic, I delete the email. So do all of the 100K+ pageview bloggers – the influencers – that I know. I’ve asked, and every one of them deletes or replies with a negative canned response.

    I keep seeing this advice.

    As someone who gets these requests frequently, can I make a suggestion?

    Build a relationship with your ‘target’. Leave meaningful blog comments if they have a comment section. In my case, get involved in my forum – I notice that! Get on their Facebook page, or Twitter, or wherever they are clearly active, and become part of their community. Make sure they RECOGNIZE your name in a positive way.

    You see, if I receive an email from someone whose name I see in my community all the time, with whom I chat with and feel a connection, I’m going to read it and really consider the request to help them out. Because I’ve had that feeling of struggling to hit 5000 pageviews a month and I love helping great writers who are starting.

    But if I get an email from someone I don’t recognize, who I’ve never had a communication with, and they need to tell me that ‘I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and love the amazing content … blah blah blah’ …. well, I know what a form letter looks like, because I write them all the time, and ten to one, they just recently looked me up in Google. I’ll just delete.

  2. Clay

    Hi there Janice,

    I’m impressed by your writing skills, really. I don’t know how you are able to produce so much content in a short time. The readers of your blog should be grateful how much effort you put on every blog post that you make. I’m also grateful to you, that without asking, you mention me so many times.


    Clay Smith

  3. Nirmala

    Hi Janice,

    I would say that you have amazing writing skills and in-depth subject knowledge. I fully read you post and agree with your viewpoints on ranking for the long tail keywords. Yes, it is easy to rank for the long term phrases and the search volume should be medium/low.

    I use Long Tail Pro, keyword research tool and it is just amazing. Of course, DA matters a lot and I’m working hard to improve the DA & PA of my blogs. Happy Sunday!

  4. John Doe

    I always love your seo posts because they are always so informative with all the information you provide

  5. John Doe

    I always love your seo posts because they are always so informative with all the information you provide. You always make everything so understandable. Some people provide a lot of information but it’s so confusing that it is impossible to follow the steps they have laid out. I totally agree with Clay, paraphrasing you are a great writer.

  6. Akshay Kumar

    Thanks for sharing such a useful information to rank long tail keywords. Great Post! Keep On Updating!

  7. Stephanie

    Best article I’ve read on the subject. Thank you, thank you! You’ve answered all of my questions and then some. Cheers!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Stephanie,
      I was so flattered you felt the SEO post explaining how to find long-tail keywords was valuable. Clay is a brilliant SEOist. I was happy to be able to share his tips.
      Since you seem interested in the topic of long-tail keywords, I wanted to make sure you saw this article which explains even in more depth what long-tail keywords are as well as free tools for finding them. I backlinked to the post in this article, but just in case, I brought you the link:
      Let me know what you think of the post. I believe you will find it useful.

  8. Grant Merriel

    Wonderful post Janice! And thanks for sharing That will definitely help a lot in my long-tail keyword research. I always use Google Keyword Planner, but it doesn’t provide much results for long-tail keywords.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for writing. I had not heard of the tool. I like to recommend free tools to my readers if I can. Do you mind if I ask, is Rank Tracker Tool free? Thank you for writing to tell us about it.

  9. Chris Mophart

    Thanks for the mention Janice i really appreciate so much
    Long tail keywords will give you the organic traffic that your site needs

  10. Camilo Atkinson

    Hi Janice,

    Great article.

    I’d like to add something on how to choose the websites you’ll reach out to by DA. Sometimes, a low DA doesn’t mean low quality. If the website is new it might have a low DA. What you have to do in that case is to look if it is run by a person or a group of people that are legit.

    Check out their Social media presence. Do they reply? Is their audience engaged? do they have a linked in profile that has recommendations on it?

    All these social signals will tell you if the website is legit and of good quality. Also, they might not know a lot about SEO and blogging — so you can help them too. Be a teacher, help others and gain links.

    I’ve found that not all low DA sites are low quality. Some are just starting and might use your help.

  11. candy

    My mind is going in so many different directions. I am going to have to save your post and refer back often. So much to learn. Thanks for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers.

  12. Carol ("Mimi")

    Thank you for the information about long-tail keywords and SEO. I read a lot of your articles — always informative and full of educated advice.

  13. Grammy Dee

    Very interesting info! Thank you Janice for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty #LinkUp #BlogParty. I shared on social media.

  14. Clearissa Coward

    This is excellent information. I do not understand SEO but I am thinking of trying Google Keyword Planner and Mozbar. Thank you for sharing with #blogginggrandmotherslinkparty, #linkup, #blogparty. I shared on social media.

  15. Goddesslily

    Great Article! My blog is on Blogger/Blogspot for over 8yrs now and we get Blogger updates from the Google Blogger team often. About 3yrs ago we received an email similar to this one explaining long tail keywords…. in a nutshell, the “long-tail” key phrases at the bottom of the searches was the best ones to use.

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you for the tip and for writing to share it with me. I will try to remember to follow it.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lily,
      I am preparing a post right now. I used the bottom of the Google search for the keyword. Thanks for the idea! If I ever use your tip in a blog post, I’ll link to you.

  16. Vicky Rout

    Great Blog post Thanks for sharing such a useful information to rank long tail keywords.

  17. Ashton Bryce

    Many people are doing long tail keyword ranking but long tail keyword ranking is not easy because of Google algorithm and many factors of SEO. You shared the information is useful for ranking keyword. It’s very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing a great article.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ashton,
      Thank you for your comments.
      I try to look at SEO as a numbers game:
      1. I want high search volume.
      2. I want my SEO keyword research tool to tell me there’s easy competition for readers.
      3. I want my domain authority ranking to be higher than my competition’s DA.
      Here is a link I brought you to more information about the keyword research tools I use, KWFinder.

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