Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding Profitable Keywords

Before getting into the web 2.0 strategies, it's really important that you realize that one of the biggest lessons I've learned when it comes to researching your keywords is to not be deceived by what the keyword research tools are telling you.

Often what we think is that we need to look for keywords with low competition, but for me that's a huge mistake. One of the most powerful things you can do when looking for keywords, traffic and markets is to look at where the money is going.

Now, a lot of people will hear that and say, "Oh yeah, we know that," but people still do it. They jump on WordTracker or another one of those big-name keyword research tools, they find terms that seem really popular, they build an affiliate site and (even if they're getting traffic) they might get no sales whatsoever because there's no money in those search terms or in that market.
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What I recommend is that you look at the pay-per-click model. I'm not saying you need to use pay-per-click, just look at where the money is going. With PPC you know that people won't spend money on keywords that don't earn money: after a few weeks they'll drop the poorly performing keyword.

The difference is that you're not looking at words that are simply popular searches, but words that are profitable. That is, they translate into sales, signups, or whatever measure you're looking at.

If I were to choose between building ten pages based around keywords where I know the traffic converts or building 100 pages around popular keywords where I'm not sure if the traffic converts, I'm going to go with the keywords that convert. Even though you might get less traffic, the traffic you do get ends up making you more money.

So how do you find these profitable keywords?
The strategy I teach my clients is this: For any website you have two kinds of keywords: Product-specific keywords and all the rest.

Product-specific keywords are words that are obviously related to a particular product. If we were promoting Traffic Travis, for instance, product-specific keywords would include "Traffic Travis", "Traffic Travis review" and so forth. With these words you know that the person searching on them is interested in the product. Traffic might be low, but the conversions are just fantastic.

So what I tell my students is to focus on attracting traffic that is searching on these highly-converting product specific keywords, and then try spying on advertisers in the same market who are bidding on PPC to see what words they're bidding on.

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