How to Use Long Tail Pro Word Count to Discover Audience Needs and Wants

Written by Devin Sizemore

September 15, 2017

As you know by now, crafting great content is the core of any strategy aiming to get more relevant traffic. The ultimate goal of content optimization is to rank on page one. Keyword research is the first step in this process.

However, creating great content on a topic nobody is interested in does not help. To be found, liked, and shared, your content needs to address specific questions, concerns, and needs of your audience. Before you sit in your favorite spot with your creative hat on, you need to get a clear picture of which topics you should blog about.

While keyword research can give us a general understanding of what our audience wants to know, it is sometimes hard to go from keywords to topics.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to find topics instead of keywords?

One of the best features of Long Tail Pro, hidden in plain sight, is the “Number of Words” feature.

Simply put, “Number of Words” is the count of the words in a keyword and it is displayed in the Long Tail Pro application under the column “Words”.

keyword research using word count

But how does the word count help us in the quest of understanding the needs of our audience?

Listen: The audience is telling you what to write about

Keywords with large word counts (6 or more words) can occur in two ways.

Using Long Tail Keywords To Find Pain Points

The first way is the well known long tail. Here is how it works.

When performing a search on a topic for the first time, we tend to be very generic. The typical first-time search is short: one or two words.

If the results we get from the search engine do not satisfy our search intent, we keep searching. We make the search query more specific by just adding more words; hence, describing better what it is that we are looking for.

Behind a very long search query there is usually a big pain point and an opportunity: The user has been searching for quite some time without finding a page that meets the search intent. The internet is in need of that page.

Using Voice Search To Discover Your New Queries

The second way of ending up with very long search query came up only recently and it is voice search. Used by more and more people every day, voice search gives us the opportunity to use regular phrases to ask questions to the search engine. Needless to say, those questions have a large word count and they are pretty descriptive.

Bottom line, the longer the search query, the more it looks like a real question and the more it describes a very specific search intent (or topic).

So, the closest our keywords match the search query, the higher the chance to be ranked on the top of the SERP; hence, the widespread use of long tail keywords.

How To Find Topics In Long Tail Pro [Video]

In Long Tail Pro, you can generate keyword ideas easily starting from a seed keyword of 1-2 words.

Once you get your keywords, sort the list by “Words”. You can do that by clicking the column header Words in Long Tail Pro. Words with longer word counts are moved to top of the list.

Have a look at the longest keywords at the top of the list and use them as seeds to generate more keywords. Shortly you should end up with a list of over 100 entries.

The longest keywords are still at the top of your list.

Depending on your topic, you might end up with keywords in which the word count is in the double digits!

At this point, at the top of the list, you can effectively read the pain points of your target audience.

In a sample keyword research, I used the keyword “Eiffel Tower” to explore opportunities around this famous landmark. I don’t know much about it but I am confident that Long Tail Pro will tell me everything I should know (that is, everything people want to know).

Here’s how I did it::

Using the method described above and repeating it a few times, I ended up with a list of 80 keywords. At the top of my list, sorted by the number of words, I found:

  1. how much is it to go in the eiffel tower
  2. how tall is the eiffel tower in paris france
  3. how long has the eiffel tower been in paris
  4. what part of france is the eiffel tower in
  5. where is the eiffel tower located in paris france
  6. where is the eiffel tower in paris france
  7. what does it mean to be eiffel towered
  8. the history of the eiffel tower in paris
  9. why was the eiffel tower built in paris
  10. what was the purpose of the eiffel tower
  11. how high is the eiffel tower in paris
  12. how big is the eiffel tower in paris
  13. how do i get to the eiffel tower
  14. in what year was the eiffel tower built
  15. what country is the eiffel tower in
  16. what is the tower in paris called
  17. tickets to the eiffel tower paris france
  18. how many stories is the eiffel tower
  19. what was the eiffel tower built for
  20. what year was the eiffel tower completed
  21. what year was the eiffel tower made
  22. who gave the eiffel tower to france

…and the list goes on….

You get the point. These are keyphrases, many of which reveal a topic on their own.

In some cases, they are a variation of one more generic question and you can group them by topic. See for example items 2, 11, 18 and 3, 14, 20, 21 of the list above.

Keyphrases give you clear insight on what your target audience is looking for.

With the information in this list, one could easily build a microsite addressing questions that need to be answered.

Of course at some point you should also consider “Local Search Volume” and “Average Keyword Competitiveness”, but low search volumes and high KC should not discourage you from creating content that satisfies the needs of your audience.

If you craft your meaningful and outstanding content with your audience in mind, search engines will rank you on top of your competitors.


About the Author

Andrea Brozini is a data driven growth expert that specializes in analyzing and restructuring businesses and industrial processes. His company implements custom made applications to solve specific customer problems and grow their business faster.



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  1. Pim

    Hi Andrea, nice post. I struggle with the following. What do you do with this list. Make one huge article? Make separate articles? I find this really difficult to structure. Do you have any tips?

    • Matthew Tulett

      If you are using WordPress, I just create one article, eg “Eiffel Tower FAQs” or “Everything you wanted to know about the Eiffel Tower”, then each question becomes a heading in that page.

      Then use the table of contents plus (toc+) plugin and it will not only create the table of contents for the page but also the anchors you need so you can link to any individual heading you want – this allows you to link internally much more smartly.

    • Andrea Bronzini

      Yes Pim, you definitely need to make several articles… as many as the topics you can spot on the list.
      It helps using Excel to move the keywords around and group them into topics.
      I didn’t have time to show this process in the video… but I’ll keep it in mind for a future one 😉


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