Guest Post by Darrell LischkaWhen I first started off learning about SEO and all the various strategies on building an online business, I have to say I was very confused on exactly where and what to focus my time on. You see, I found a lot of websites provided superficial advice, but really lacked the substance when it came to telling or showing me, a step by step approach. Can you relate?
Depending on which advice you follow, it will be the difference between making money online or not. Like any business, yes even an internet marketing business, you need to invest time in learning some new skill sets.
Why is the Failure Rate so high in Internet Marketing
There are many factors that contribute to the failure rate. However, I found one of the core reasons people fail, is because of the wrong keyword strategy. Based on all the crap I have seen and read, it really comes to down to your initial keyword selection as the pivotal point for success or failure.
Ok, lets just cut to the chase and make this simple. Stop chasing big keywords like, make money online and home based business when you are just starting out.
So, what is the right keyword strategy?
Laser Targeted Niche Markets
Let's look at a concrete example on what I mean by drilling down in your niche market.
First, go to Google's free keyword tool selector here.
- Step 1 - enter a primary keyword like, home based business
- Step 2 - look down your list to see all the long tail keywords
- Step 3 - Say you pick, starting a home based business
- Step 4 - Now take that long tail keyword and enter that phrase above where you initially entered home based business to get new results.
- Step 5 - This is what I call drilling down in your niche market. You will get a whole new list of long tail keywords and results.
- Step 6 - You keep drilling down until you find a long tail keyword that has low competition, yet still has reasonable monthly search results.
There are several pieces of information that you need to keep in mind when deciding on long tail keywords. First, I look for monthly search results in the range of at least 1k to 5k. Sure you could have more, but this is just an example and its a good starting place. Second, I need to see what the actual competition is going to be. So, enter that long tail keyword term in quotation marks. With quotation marks, it will give me a clearer picture of what my true competition is like. Third, when looking at the search results, I am looking for results on page 1 with actual articles and not just the home page showing up.
Here's why I look for articles in my results. I know that beating an article on page 1 will typically be easier than trying to out rank a website. I won't stop there either, because one other element you need to know about is the number of back links or strength of the results on page 1.
Go to Google first, enter the following format in the search field:
link:yourwebsitename.com and hit enter
You don't need the http or www part, but you need to enter that format. This is constantly in flux, so the results that you see, will not be 100% accurate or up to date. For example, say your results come back showing that particular URL has 10 back links showing on Google. You know that it will require some work. However, if no results show up, meaning no back links show up, then its a good indicator initially, that you may have found a low competitive term that you could easily rank for on page 1.
Now go to Yahoo, do the same thing with the link format above. In Yahoo, you will typically see more results, which is good. Because now I have a better picture on how many back links are showing up for that particular URL. If your results only show a few back links in Yahoo, then it might be a good indicator that again this is a good keyword phrase to go after.
One other point before moving on about the number of back links, is to keep in mind where the actual back links are coming from. If they happen to be coming from a site that is on page 1 and say with a page rank of 6 or 7, then you should realize that its a very strong back link. Page rank is not as important as it used to be, but its still an indicator that Google will factor in.
Is your Niche Market Profitable?
Just a couple of things to keep in mind when you are looking at your results to decide whether or not a particular keyword or phrase is worthwhile to go after or not. We need to analyze how profitable it will be. After your initial results, you will see a number of columns and results. Just below the captcha form, you will see something called, "Choose columns to display". On the drop down menu, select "Show Estimated Avg. CPC." This will show you what advertisers are willing to pay per click.
Also, beside the Global Monthly Search Volume, there is another drop menu called, "Match Type". You should click on that and select Exact. You want to know exactly how many searches there are per month.
As a general rule of thumb, I will only go with CPC value's higher than $1. In many cases, it will need to be $2 and above. The reason is because you will only get a small percentage of that amount when someone clicks on the ad. For example, say you pick a term that gets $1 per click. Expect to only get 10 or 20 cents for that click. Hence, the reason for not going after ads lower than that value. Yes, you certainly can, but how many clicks will you need to get if you only receive 5 cents versus 50 cents or $1 per click?
Lets look at an example of how I would calculate whether or not my long tail keyword is viable or not.
Going back to the above example using "starting a home based business", I see there are 2400 searches per month. Now take that figure and multiple it by the CPC value to get an overall initial value.
2400 x $3.62 per click = $8688
I know that this value is not our total potential from an internet marketing aspect. In actuality, we won't ever get 100% of that value. If we are in the number 1 position, we get approximately 40% give or take a few percentage points.
Our new revised figure;
$2400 x $3.62 = $8688 x (40%) = $3475.20 potential
Wait, there's still more to this calculation. We will only see a percentage from the $3475.20 because Google will get their cut etc. So, in reality, we are likely going to get anywhere from 10 to 25% of that amount and only about 5% of people coming to our site for that keyword term will even click on an Ad.
$3475.20 x 25% = $868.80 x 5% = $43.44
You might be thinking, that's a lot of work for $43 bucks a month and you would be right. But you need to look at the overall strategy and what we would actually do. That's only 1 long tail keyword phrase. It doesn't include the dozens of other related terms you could go after. What if over time, you had page 1 rankings on 20, 30, or more keyword terms?
30 terms x $43.44 = $1303.20 monthly potential
What I look at is the total potential value of all the keywords added up in that particular niche. Remember, some of the long tail keywords you go after might only take a handful of backlinks to get ranked on page 1. I haven't even talked about niche marketing strategies using affiliate products or other Ad companies like Chitika. You see, this is just 1 strategy, but the nice thing about once you are ranking on page 1, you won't need to do a lot to stay there. You may stay there and never have to do another thing with getting back links or you might occasionally have to write up an article and post it at an article directory for another back link.
The point of using Google Adsense, is once you achieve your page 1 results, many times you can set it and forget it. The money will keep rolling in and you move onto other projects. That's why I like Adsense. However, its not the only thing you should include as a strategy in your niche marketing.
There are times when I will go after a term and use an affiliate product like article spinners as an example. My Adsense revenue might be 50 cents or $1 per click, but selling 1 article rewriter might bring in $30 for a sale. You can go to Clickbank and open an account. They have thousands of products to choose from. There are all kinds of good affiliate programs that you can promote.
Well, that wraps up another monster post from me. I hope you understand the value of going after laser targeted niche markets and the peace of mind it will offer you over the long term.
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