How to Conduct Simple Longtail Keyword Research

In today’s article, I’m going be giving you a SEMRush Masterclass deep dive into keyword research. We’re gonna take an example website, and show you exactly what I would do if I were trying to figure out what that site is all about, as well as come up with some keyword ideas to help us in navigating in a particular space.

Exploring a Website:

To demonstrate the process of keyword research, I have chosen to analyze the website This website is run by two individuals who have extensive experience in hiring virtual assistants. They offer an online course where they share their templates and resources for hiring virtual assistants effectively.

While I haven’t personally purchased their course, I noticed that they target a niche that I have previously covered in my YouTube videos. This makes it an ideal starting point for our keyword research.

Understanding the Site’s Performance

Before delving into keyword research, it’s crucial to examine the performance of the target website. Using SEMRush’s organic research section, we can gather valuable insights. The site ranks for 638 keywords and has an estimated traffic score of 34. Although the traffic volume may not be impressive, we can gain more insights from the trend chart.

Upon analyzing the chart, we noticed that the website experienced a surge in rankings around February or March of 2022. However, since then, it has struggled to maintain its position. Understanding these trends provides a directional sense of the site and its challenges.

Analyzing Competitor Keyword Strategies

To identify potential keywords and gain a competitive edge, we turn to the organic search positions section in SEMRush. This section provides valuable information about the long tail phrases that competitors are ranking for and driving meaningful traffic.

In the case of, a few phrases catch my attention: “virtual assistant for bloggers,” “website development agency,” and “best virtual assistant.” These phrases have a significant influence on organic search results.

When considering these phrases, it’s essential to focus on those with both high traffic potential and conversion potential. Look for phrases that not only generate traffic but also have the potential for conversions, such as signing up for a free trial or requesting a demo.

By filtering the results based on position, we can focus on the top-ranking phrases that are likely driving organic traffic. This helps us identify the most relevant and competitive keywords for our research.

Understanding Content Strategies

Analyzing the content strategies of competitors can provide insights into their approach and what works in the industry. By examining the URLs of successful posts, we can identify trends and strategies implemented by other websites.

For example, emphasizes listicle-style articles, such as “best virtual assistant sites for entrepreneurs.” Although these posts may not provide highly specific information, they still manage to rank on the first page of search results. However, posts with more expertise and differentiation tend to perform better.

Based on this analysis, it becomes evident that could improve its content by incorporating more expertise and creating differentiated posts. The current generic nature of their content may be limiting their ranking potential.

Evaluating keyword difficulty

But the other thing I like to do, which I’ve gone over in my past videos, is I also like to talk about keyword difficulty.

Take a look at the keyword difficulties displayed here – they’re all relatively low, usually under 30 or 40. This is an encouraging sign for me because operating within this range is generally considered the sweet spot. Why? Well, it means you won’t require an extensive amount of domain authority or many backlinks to start ranking for this content.

Typically, I apply a filter of at least 100 or more in volume. However, in this specific scenario, I am limited in my options, so I will set the minimum filter at 50 or more and ensure the keyword difficulty remains under 40.

By implementing these filters, I am able to narrow down the results and identify the top-ranking keywords, such as “best virtual assistant websites,” “e-commerce outsourcing services,” “virtual assistant for entrepreneurs,” “YouTube automation outsourcing,” and “Shopify virtual assistants,” among others.

Analyzing content ranking potential

So as you start to work your way through your potential competitor’s website, what I want you to think about is what are they trying to do with these sorts of content pieces?

One effective method for researching their approach is to examine the URLs and look at the purpose behind the pages that are getting some general placements. For instance, in this case, their objective is to present a compilation of the best virtual assistant sites for entrepreneurs—a comprehensive rundown of top options. Similarly, they delve into e-commerce outsourcing services, following a listicle format. These observations lead me to conclude that they are employing a standard content marketing playbook.

While some of these posts may appear generic and lack substantial meaning, it’s intriguing to note their experimentation with guide posts, such as “The Ultimate Guide to Outsourcing for YouTubers” and similar topics. This approach adds a layer of interest. However, on a broader scale, I observe that their content is somewhat run-in-the-mill. Consequently, it fails to rank well due to a lack of necessary authority and expertise.

Analyzing strategies and opportunities for improvement

As I start to summarize this though, this starts to give me an idea of what exactly might be working well for this site as well as what could be doing going better.

So in this case, the fact that they are ranking in the first page for these respective keyword phrases that I’ve shown are pretty interesting to me, shows me that it probably is not all that hard to rank for these phrases, and it affirms what I’m thinking about in terms of keyword difficulty here.

So what are the takeaways for you as you’re reading this? Firstly, always look at what are the sorts of things that people are already doing well with because that can give you a starting point in terms of where to start your longtail keyword research.

Secondly, when you see something where the content isn’t all that great, but it’s still ranking on page one, it means that that’s an opportunity for you to one-up that respective competitor and then take over their respective spot, if not, go even higher.

Lastly, what I would say is you can often kind of tell what’s working in a space based off of the content that is going pretty well for irrespective competitors. And so in this case, you can see the listicles still seem to be working decently well for them. And also just in general, long tail content is working decently well too.

By understanding these insights, you can refine your content strategy, capitalize on untapped opportunities, and position yourself for success in your niche.

Analyzing search intent and advanced filters

So oftentimes, I like to filter for informational content first before going into commercial or transactional content mainly because informational content is traditionally, historically, a lot easier to rank for, and then over time.

What you can also do is you can go by SERP features. What I like to look at here is the featured snippet because oftentimes, the featured snippet signals something that can be at the top of Google, which is really great because it’ll get you that top placement, which will then feature your website and get more clicks.

The other thing that I like to do is advance filters. I’ve gone over it in a couple of old videos of mine. But what you can do is you can go in here you can actually filter by things like the URL, the traffic percentage, cost, et cetera. But what I specifically love here is word count, and I like to look for cases where long tail keyword phrases are greater than three and then filter through for that as well.

So that’ll give me, just in general, a good working list. I’ll work that into an Excel sheet and then compare it to a couple of other competitors as well.

Analyzing competitor’s keyword performance

In order to do that, what you can do is you can go ahead and go back into the overview of the domain, and then from here in this bottom right corner, you’ll see a competitive positioning map.

So this is where you can see all the other sites that are potentially doing very similar work to the site that you’re interested in. So I can see that there’s one on Outsource Doer and the Doer’s Way. So let’s go ahead and take a look at this respective site and see what they’re all about. All right, so they’re all about getting things done to your business, virtual assistants, business owners, so on. And so this makes complete sense.

In order to do that, what you can do is you can go ahead and go back into the overview of the domain, and then from here in this bottom right corner, you’ll see a competitive positioning map.

So this is where you can see all the other sites that are potentially doing very similar work to the site that you’re interested in. So I can see that there’s one on Outsource Doer and the Doer’s Way. So let’s go ahead and take a look at this respective site and see what they’re all about. All right, so they’re all about getting things done to your business, virtual assistants, business owners, so on. And so this makes complete sense.

The next thing that I’ll do is I’ll usually go into the Keyword Magic tool. So once you go to Keyword Magic tool, you’ll go into something like this. I’ve gone ahead and searched virtual assistant, and here what you can see is you’re gonna see a lot of different search results here. What I like to do is run through that same criteria once more. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go ahead and look for at least a hundred or more in volume, keyword difficulty, keep it under 40. I’ll apply all the things that I want over earlier. Intent I’m gonna go for informational, and I’m also gonna do word count at least three or more.

And now I’m gonna see that there’s a ton of different phrases here. So, Pinterest, virtual assistant, virtual executive assistants, virtual executive assistants, social media virtual assistants. Notice how all these phrases are actually higher volume and potentially have a lot more, traffic behind them.

And so what I’ll typically do from here is I’ll typically look at the results and I’ll try to get a gauge of all the different ways that you know, what this data is telling me.

Organizing data into ChatGPT

So another cool thing you can do with the Keyword Magic Tool is go ahead and do an export. And from here, when you export this into an xls file, it’ll download that file and then you can go ahead and open that file up and from Excel, you can copy and paste that into ChatGPT in order to have it read through this for other information that might be valuable to you. 

So let me go ahead and show you what that might look like by going into ChatGPT. I’ve gone ahead and paste this in. I’m using this prompt now:

Act like an Excel and SEO specialist. Please summarize some key findings with relationship to longtail SEO research that I’ve exported from SEMRush. Please expand upon your response in the format of a table considering factors such as such as keyword difficulty, number of results, and competitive density. Please also include a factor where you, on a scale of one to five, you assess the difficulty you rank that phrase. Lastly, please brainstorm 10 content ideas for a blog targeting these long tail phrases. Here’s the data set.

All right, so I just went ahead and paste that data set. And now I’m gonna have it feed through and now it’s organizing the data, summarizing the findings. So, Pinterest virtual assistant, difficulty to rank- two, volume 1900, keyword difficulty 13, competitive density 0.9. So here’s the content idea top 10 task of Pinterest virtual assistant can handle for your business, virtual assistant, executive assistants. So here you can see, you know, it’s a difficulty rank four, 1300.

Look at the reason why it’s saying that. It’s saying that because the CPC is a little bit higher here, competitive density’s higher as well. Notice how the number of results is also a lot higher. But what’s really nice about this is now you’re able to take the long tail keyword research that you came up with and apply that into a content piece that you can then create a content brief for.

So this is gonna be a great way for you to just streamline some of the work when it comes to analyzing different opportunities and having some sort of an assistant to help you out along the way. Well, from here, what you can do is you can actually continue to go down the rabbit hole with the Keyword Magic Tool.

It’s an awesome way for you to learn more about the different keyword phrases that you might be able to rank for and also just build upon the work that you’ve already started from today’s video. 

If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning how to get guest posting opportunities.