Cheaper Alternatives to Long Tail Pro

by on March 1, 2016 · 4 comments

cheaper-alternatives-to-long-tail-proDue to a recent pricing increase for Long Tail Pro, from a one time fee to a more expensive monthly/annual subscription model, several folks in the community reached out to me, asking if there are cheaper alternatives that I recommend.

If you are in a hurry, you can go right to my choice for the best cheaper alternative, Market Samurai.

This is not at all a reflection of the Long Tail Pro product.  They have done a great job converting Long Tail Pro to a completely online, accessible from everywhere, tool.

In addition, they also added full lifetime access to their Long Tail University training program and access to a Private Facebook group, specifically for Long Tail Pro annual plan customers.

So at $25/mo paid annually through my discount link, an annual subscription to Long Tail Pro Platinum is still a great value, especially when compared to the prices of several competing products below.

However, if that is a bit steep for you, as I imagine it will be for many folks just starting out, read on because there is an excellent, far cheaper alternative available.

Research Process Breakdown

I was fully expecting to have multiple, cheaper, options to choose from when I started my research.

Much to my surprise however, I was quite shocked at the price of competing products these days. Now I understand a little better why the folks at Long Tail Pro decided to do what they did.

I searched for lots of related articles on the topic of keyword research tools and gathered many of the existing names I was already aware of and added any that were mentioned multiple times recently. The results are included at the bottom of this post.

It really isn’t even close. Some offer a “free” version, or even display the word “free” prominently on their main page trying to say the product is completely free, but that was not the case for any of them.

You are either severely limited on what you can do in the free version, forcing you to upgrade, or you are limited by the results you will see making the free version pretty much useless.

So it was actually pretty easy to come up with a final recommendation for a cheaper alternative to Long Tail Pro.

And The Winner Is…


The winner by a landslide is Market Samurai. It is very similar feature wise to LTP and at $97 through my link, it is by far the cheapest. It is also the only product that has a one-time fee for lifetime access, support and upgrades. All others have a monthly or annual fee.

I actually got started on my online journey several years back, with Market Samurai.  However, it has been a few years since I’ve used the product regularly, so I decided to reach out to them via email, to see what has changed during that time.

They got back to me in a few hours and said the software has received several updates since then to speed things up, but essentially the core program is the same, feature wise.

That was great to hear, since the main reason I made a switch away from Market Samurai was due to some slowness in getting the keyword results back, at certain times.

He said they are considering some major updates in the next few months, but right now that is only in the discussion phrase.

They’ve always been very responsive and helpful when I reached out in the past, so they have that going for them as well.

I fired up my copy of Market Samurai, it installed a bunch of updates and I tried a few test queries. The results returned very quickly, which was great to see.

It is not quite as quick as LTP, but it was very close. I’d say it took 30 seconds, where LTP would take approx 20-25 seconds. That was a huge improvement from several years back.

Otherwise, everything was exactly how I remembered it to be.

Below you will see a full pricing breakdown of all the products that I researched.

It is very clear to see that the industry is definitely shifting to a monthly/yearly subscription model, which makes Market Samurai a rare gem, striking a balance between a full featured keyword research and competition analysis tool at a low, one-time price.

Keyword Research Tool Prices Compared

SEMrush – $69-549/mo ; $99-5,499 per year – $48-88/mo ; $460-845 per year

Buzzsumo – $99/month or $948/yr

Long Tail Pro – $37/mo or 352/yr full price; $25/mo paid annually through my link

KWFinder – $29-49/mo ; $149-290 per year

Moz KW Difficulty Tool – $99-599/mo; $328-1,438 per year

Keyword Canine – $47/mo; $297/yr

Market Samurai – Full price $147, $97 through my link.  This is a one-time only fee that includes lifetime access, support and upgrades.

To get Market Samurai for only $97, sign-up for the 12 day free trial through my link and you will get a time-limited offer via email to upgrade to the full version for 35% off.

The special pricing will be available for 6 days after you sign-up for the free trial, so be sure to take advantage of the discount during that time.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to LTP, I would definitely recommend you give Market Samurai a try and be sure to grab the $97 special pricing, while it lasts.

If they do make some feature upgrades in the near future, like they mentioned they may, it is very likely that will come with a price increase as well.


As you can see from the price table above, Market Samurai is the clear winner.  The great part is that you are not sacrificing quality, for price.

Market Samurai has been a leading tool for keyword research and competition analysis for years and years.

Here are two of my prior posts, detailing exactly how to utilize and get the most out of Market Samurai, complete with specific examples.

How to Choose a Niche Website: Keyword Research

How to Choose a Niche Website: SEO Competition

Feel free to reach out at any time, with any other questions you may have.

If you are new to the site, be sure to subscribe via email to get my Keyword Brainstorming guide and check out the Podcast for my best tips and advice, for achieving success online.

Thanks and have a fantastic day!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jordan April 5, 2016 at 6:18 am

Thanks, I was trying to find a keyword research tool. Even though I have several websites, I didn’t use Long Tail Pro every single day to justify its price. But it’s quite insane how most of these increased their pricing so much. A few of them aren’t even anything special like keywordtool. io
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Chris April 5, 2016 at 10:29 am

Hey Jordan, thanks for the comment, I fully agree. I was quite surprised at the price of so many of the products. At least for now, Market Samurai is still affordable and a good alternative.
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Shawn January 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Thanks for the breakdown of long tail keyword research tools. I know I saw that one of the well known research tools was a one time payment but could not remember which one it was. I had tried hittail and long tail pro and heard it was a one-time payment on a content marketing podcast. I thought I was losing my mind since they were both monthly subscriptions now. Glad to finally know that LTP was one-time and have changed. I will have to try marketsamurai now. I tried SEMrush which was okay after the feature shock of thr trial pro version. Talk about information overload.
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Chris January 10, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Hey Shawn. Most definitely, many tools can be overwhelming, but one of the other benefits of Market Samurai is that it has remained essentially the same for several years. Definitely give the free trial a shot. Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have any questions along the way!
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