Sunday, October 11, 2009

Earn with AdSense: Keyword Research

Earn with AdSense is a series of posts that chronicles my attempt to earn with Google's AdSense. This is the 2nd post of the series and describes how I do my keyword research using freely available tools.
If you missed the first post, you can check it out here: Earn with AdSense: The Beginning

What is a keyword?

The term keyword refers to a word or a phrase used by Internet users to find information on-line. For example, if Juan de la Cruz wants to find information about condos in the Philippines, he will probably go to Google, Yahoo or Bing and type in:

condo Philippines

and the search engine would readily display the result page containing links to hopefully relevant pages.

So what is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding out what people search for, how much AdWord advertisers are willing to pay and the relative difficulty of getting to the first page of the search results. The search process may be seen as a Demand vs Supply model. Demand is the keyword search popularity or how many times the keyword has been search for a month while Supply is the number of pages that seem relevant to the keyword in question. With the millions of automated junk pages with random text on the web, it is wise to use your own judgment while determining what is a good niche and what is not.

How will this help me Earn with AdSense?

Keywords are very important because it allows us to know what people want. We can benefit from knowing what people search on the internet because it provides an insight into consumer desires and wants. This in turn gives us very valuable information on what to optimize our sites for and bring us traffic.

How do I do Keyword Research

The primary tool I use to do keyword research is Google's free AdWords Keyword Tool. To use it, you just have to open the link in another tab or browser window.
I then type in the keyword I want to check and click on the Get Keyword Ideas button.
This will generate the desired results. To go with our example, I typed in

condo Philippines

and clicked on the Get Keyword Ideas button. I then proceed to change the way the results are presented so as to make analysis easier.
  • set the currency to USD and click Recalculate
  • hide the Local Search Volume and Advertiser Competition column
  • show the Estimated Avg. CPC column
  • change the match type to Exact
  • click on the Global Monthly Search Volume to sort the results in descending order
I then export the result of the keywords related to the terms entered to a csv file for importing into a spread sheet. I then create a column that multiplies the Global Monthly Search volume to the Estimated Avg. CPC. I then create another column that takes 10% of the resulting product. I then sort the spreadsheet based on this column and I take note of the rows that produce a result greater than 20, these are the keywords which I will check for competition.

[condo philippines]
USD 0.69
[philippine condominium]
USD 0.82
[philippine condo]
USD 0.60
[condominium philippines]
USD 0.61

I then open a separate tab in my Firefox browser and do a search in Google for the first keyword in my list: condo philippines. The result page tells me that there are 1.89 million pages which are relevant to my search. What is more important is the top 3 search results. I use SEOQuake which is a Firefox plugin that will make finding certain information about sites easier more specifically the Page Rank.

I determine the relative difficulty by taking the Page Rank, add 1 point if the URL contains the keyword exactly, add 1 point if the title contains the keyword exactly. Pages with a higher difficulty rate are harder to beat which might mean that I should try for easier keywords instead. As an example, here is the top 3 results for a google search on condo philippines:
    • Page Rank: 2
    • Exact Keyword in URL: yes
    • Exact Keyword in Title: yes
    • Difficulty score: 4
    • Page Rank: 2
    • Exact Keyword in URL: no
    • Exact Keyword in Title: no
    • Difficulty score: 2
    • Page Rank: 2
    • Exact Keyword in URL: no
    • Exact Keyword in Title: yes
    • Difficulty score: 3
  • TOTAL Difficulty Score: 9
To me, a score of 10 or below is doable so I will target the keyword "condo philippines"

Please check back in a few days to see how I am fairing in my effort to earn with AdSense.

If you found this post useful and you wish to thank me or help me, please blog about it and link to this post using the link below:
<a href="">Earn with AdSense</a> 
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