In a previous post (How to Find Profitable Keywords for Your Web Articles), I discussed a strategy for finding keywords. Since making this post, I have learned much more about keywords and residual income. I realized there are a few steps missing from the previous tutorial if you're looking for keywords for eHow articles.
The Importance of Cost Per Click (CPC) and Advertiser Competition
The revenue at eHow (and many other revenue sharing sites) is generated by ad clicks. So, the more the advertiser pays per click on an ad, the higher your payout will be. The amount each ad pays is known as the Cost Per Click (CPC). This applies not only to eHow, but to all revenue sharing sites that pay you a portion of the ad-click revenue. For example, if you have ads on your article page with a CPC of $0.05, you aren't going to make much for each click, particularly if the site is taking a percentage. But ads with a CPC of $1.00 or more could result in a sweet return for you. The higher the CPC - the better.
There's also another element to this. Not only do the ads have to pay well, they also need to have alot of advertiser competition. This is not the same thing as search engine competition, of which there needs to be as little as possible. Advertiser competition is the number of advertisers bidding on a specific keyword, and competing to have their ad displayed on pages that contain that particular keyword. The higher the advertiser competition, the more likely you'll always have relevant ads displayed for click-happy readers.
So, our criteria for profitable keywords for eHow articles is as follows:
- Numerous monthly searches
- Low search engine competition
- High Cost per Click (CPC)
- High advertiser competition
So far, this formula has been working well for me. I'll show you exactly how I do it, and keep you updated on my progress. I can't say if this is the best way to find keywords in all the world - the web changes often, and so do any static formulas. However, it has been working for me. In fact, I've tripled my earnings this month alone using this method - and many of my articles have only begun to earn.
How to Find Average Searches, CPC, and Advertiser Competition
Google Adwords is a powerful tool for keyword research, and in my opinion, the best there is. We can find all of the information we need here - from monthly searches, to CPC, to competition. First, we'll talk about average searches, CPC, and Advertiser Competition.
Open the Google Adwords keyword tool and type in your keyword idea. This can be anything. I specialize in health articles, and I know it's the time of year when many people are suffering from sinus trouble, so I typed in "sinus pain". If you're having trouble finding keywords, just think about anything you're interested in. The exact term you type in usually won't be profitable but will give you dozens of ideas.
Now we have a large list of keyword ideas related to the phrase you typed in. Before we begin, we'll need to populate a few more columns in the keyword tool. From the "choose columns to display" drop-down box selct the following:
Now, if you click "Approx Avg Search Volume", the keywords list will be sorted by highest number of searches. I usually scroll down until I hit about 5,000 and start analyzing there.
When you're looking at the search volume, keep in mind that the higher the number of searches, the more likely the market is saturated and you won't have a chance to get on the first couple pages of search results. This isn't always true, so I always research thoroughly.
Your goal for average searches is at LEAST 2400 searches per month - but, the more the better. Once you've found a keyword with the appropriate number of searches (approx. 2400 or above monthly), next you'll want to look at the CPC.
UPDATE: 2400 searches per month is a rough guideline. However, using a keyword with less monthly searches can also be profitable if you keep things in perspective. More on this in the next post.
The higher this number, the more you'll get paid each time someone clicks an ad. So, I always try to get a keyword that pays above $1.00. (If during my research, I find a good keyword that will get a lot of traffic, but doesn't pay well, I write it down and use it for an article on Bukisa - where you're paid by page view.)
The next thing to consider is the Advertiser Competition, or the little green bar next to the CPC. A full bar mean LOTS of competition, and a good chance for you to earn money from relevant ad clicks. A low bar means not many advertisers are in the market for that keyword. If you hover your mouse over the bar, you can see if the competition is very high, high, average, low, or very low. I never do anything below "high" for ad-click sites. However, if you were writing based on page views, this wouldn't matter to you.
Once you've found a keyword that has enough monthly searches, high enough CPC, and high advertiser competition, you can begin to analyze the search engine competition. This is where we find out if the keyword is viable - and if we have a chance to get some real traffic to an article utilizing that keyword.
Join me in the second part of this series - "How to Analyze Your Keyword Competition for EHow Articles", where I will explain how to make sure you have a keyword capable of succeeding.
Other posts in the eHow tutorial series: