How to use HitTail to Consistently Increase Traffic to Your Blog

How to use HitTail to Consistently Increase Traffic to Your Blog

hittailDo you struggle to write posts that rank well in Google and get you traffic?

Do you find keyword research painful, or do you just avoid it altogether and write about whatever comes to mind?

The most important thing is always to write great quality content, but you also want to write the content that people are searching for!  Your number one source of traffic is probably Google, so you can’t ignore that.

Keyword research can be complicated and time consuming, or it can be easy and effective using HitTail!  Check out our review to find out more:

What is HitTail?

HitTail analyzes the keyword combinations that you are currently getting traffic for and, based on this, it makes suggestions for articles you could produce for your site to get more traffic for these keywords.  Because if you rank for keywords that you don’t have individual posts on, then creating posts focussed on these keywords can help you get even more traffic.

HitTail is particularly good at finding long-tail keyword combinations.


What are long-tail keyword combinations?

Long-tail keywords are searches that include at least two keywords and typically have at least three.  For example, if someone searches for ‘family cars in Ireland’  this is a long-tail search, whereas ‘cars’ is not.

It’s generally much easier to rank for long-tail searches, and over 70% of all searches on Google are long tail.

Did you know that 15% of all Google queries have never been used before?  Amazing!


How to set it up

Google Webmaster Tools is a valuable tool that you should have set up for your business.  When Google is indexing your site, it provides lots of information within Webmaster Tools about any issues, problems etc.

It also provides you with information relating to the searches that people are performing on Google that are displaying your content.  You’ll see the search keywords, the number of impressions (i.e. the times your content is displayed on the first page of search results), the click-through rate and your average position in the search results.

This is all information that HitTail needs access to in order to perform its analysis.

To give HitTail access, log in to Google Webmaster Tools and add the email address HitTail has provided you with as an additional user with restricted access to your account.


hittail webmaster tools
Adding a user to your account


How does it work?

HitTail will analyze all the keywords in your Google Webmaster account to find keyword combinations that you already get traffic for but could be getting more.

This is the main screen for HitTail.


Hittail menu
This is the main screen for HitTail


Across the top of the screen, you have a couple of options:

  • Suggestions – Based on HitTail’s analysis of your Google Webmaster account, you are shown suggestions of keyword combinations that you should consider for blog posts.  These suggestions are all ranked from 0 stars to 5 stars.
  • To do – If you like any of the suggestions, add them to the ‘To Do’ list.  This is a list of articles you plan to write, keywords you want to mention, or a place to link to relevant articles with these keyword combinations.
  • Keywords – This is a list of all the keywords that you get traffic on, based on information from your Google Webmaster Tools statistics.
  • Articles – This is a service provided where you can get 400-word articles written for $19 based on the keywords.  I would strongly advise you not to use this service and to instead write your own high quality articles.

In the main body, you can see a list of keyword combinations (under the ‘Suggestions’ tab).  These columns are for the following:

  • Date created – when the report was run.
  • Delete – If you don’t think the suggestion is relevant or useful, then remove it.
  • Article – To order an article based on these keywords.
  • Keyword – The suggested keyword combination (i.e. one you already get traffic for).
  • Engine – The search engine you should target for this traffic, this could be or a country-specific search engine.
  • Score –  A rating from 0 to 5.  5 stars are the keyword combinations where you may get the best possible traffic and/or the keywords it will be the easiest to rank for.


Here is an example of some of the keywords returned for our account:


hittail keyword suggestions
This is an example of some of the keywords returned for our site


This is currently sorted by star rating.  A high star rating means that these could be keywords that get a lot of traffic and/or that could be easy to rank for.  Don’t automatically assume that you should write content for all the keyword combinations.  You need to do a little more research to see if you have a good chance to rank for the content.

In the list above, it picks out ‘WordPress Popup plugin’.  We don’t currently have a post focussed on this but, when I check the Google keyword tool I find that there are, on average, 590 searches per month in the US for this keyword combination.

So, we’re already getting traffic but we don’t have a blog post specifically dedicated to this topic, and there’s reasonable traffic on the keywords.  This means we should write a blog post about it.


What are the limitations?

It would be great to see the estimated keyword traffic for each of the keywords returned.  From the list returned you’ve no idea if people are searching for these keywords 10 times a month or 1,000 times a month, so you do need to use a separate tool such as Longtail Pro or the Google keyword tool to find out the estimated traffic.

How much does it cost?

The prices start at $9.95 for a personal plan, then go up to $19.95 for a pro plan, $39.95 for a business plan and $79.95 for an agency.  The cost is mainly based on your monthly visitor numbers.


HitTail comes up with lots of great ideas for more content for your blog.  But they are more than just ideas because they are keyword combinations that will very likely get you additional traffic to your website.  It’s a cost-effective and useful tool and well worth considering.

What next?

1.   Let us know what you think about this tool in the comments below.

2.  Read this other post about different keyword research tools you can use.


Traffic images by Shutterstock

18 Responses to How to use HitTail to Consistently Increase Traffic to Your Blog

  1. Love the graphic on this post. Very professional and polished way to identify the subject.

    HitTail looks like a lovely product. I like to see more focus on what people are asking for and serendipity in my research rather than more of the same, but doing more of what works is always a good idea.

      • I’m here most days. Even when I’m too busy to leave a comment.

        Which reminds me. I teach “if you have time to read, you have time to comment” … better take my own advice

          • I get stuck in a rut of just responding to the comment threads I’m on. This one is an example. I will always respond to my friends and threads I’ve posted on, but if that’s all I do, I soon don’t see new things or new people.

            Same happens with Edgerank on Facebook. I found a tool (can’t recommend it, the rest of the tool is spammy) that showed the number of people I engage with.. a small percentage of my friends. Switching to RECENT once in a while get some fresh faces, exploring lists to talk to other more than the once a year on their birthday post.

            On Twitter, I spend most of my time using it like email. Answering people tweeting to me. I have started searching for small groups of people, then read their timeline and respond

            Speaking of email, other than broadcasts, I don’t really talk to that many different people. I’m now asking for responses on broadcasts.. surfacing new conversations with old friends.

            Blogs are easy if you use a RSS reader.. but that’s the first to go on a busy day. I supplement with a Google search for blogs on keywords that allow comments but don’t have any with my name. I’ve surfaced dozens of top blogs that I had forgotten to read. I comment on an appropriate post and they then aren’t on the next search I do.

            I think I could spend 10 hours a day on this. Love it, but the ROI is a bit slow, so the project gets put off most days. Experimenting with shorter bursts or each of the above.

            No matter what. Razor is on my must read list

  2. Its really glad to find this information here Ian, I get full knowledge for this post and also more informative. Thanks for share with us.

  3. Wow thanks Ian this tool looks quite amazing, I previously used a lot of tools but this has impressed me a lot it gives you a lot of suggestions which can be really beneficial for the site.

  4. Nice tool and the price is also reasonable would have been a lot happier if it was free though, but it’s worth it’s price with so many great features which can really drive immense amount of traffic to your site or blog

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