How to Truly Uncover the Most Profitable Keywords for Your Website

Uncover the Most Profitable Keywords for Your Business the First Time Around.

We’re often asked about what the best methods are for finding the most profitable keywords for a website. It’s a great question…and one that demands a more detailed answer than it did a number of years ago.

Coming up with the best keyword list for your business & website used to focus on using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, which was designed to be used to check keyword volume and competition for Google  pay-per-click campaigns (and is also used for search engine optimization by “organic” search engine optimization professionals). Typically, a person would derive keyword statistics directly from Google and then cross check keyword search volume and competitive factors using another popular keyword checker such as Wordtracker.

We’ve observed in recent years however, that the statistics reported by Google using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool aren’t necessarily as accurate as we’d like them to be. In fact, many search engine optimization professionals now believe that Google deliberately tries to throw people off in their keyword reporting, because of the intense focus on organic search engine optimization and a desire of businesses push their way up the rankings for highly sought after keyword terms.

For instance, witness the statistics for the two keyword terms, as reported by the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, for a client of ours in the prefabricated housing market:

TERM                         LOCAL (CANADIAN) MONTHLY SEARCH VOLUME

Home kits                14,800 searches per month

House kits               27,100 searches per month

We managed top get this client ranked #1 for both of these “high volume” search terms some  time back in Google.ca. With that accomplished, it would be a pretty good assumption, that they would soak up a really nice chunk of monthly traffic from these two searches, right? Well, not exactly….last month these two terms delivered a respective 22 & 28 visitors  to our clients site. 

So why the anemic traffic numbers?

Some time ago when we noticed that this was happening, we realized that the only fool proof way to truly gauge the potential of any given keyword, was to use it in a pay-per-click campaign BEFORE we optimized a site for that keyword. You see, there really isn’t a keyword popularity tool on the market that will report a highly accurate keyword search frequency. By testing out a nice cross section of qualified keywords in a pay-per-click campaign prior to performing organic search engine optimiation on those keywords, you effectively put an insurance policy on the fact that your efforts will be rewarded. Simply study which keywords deliver the most traffic to your website AND convert into paying customers (this will involve some tracking on your side- more on that later) and focus on that select group in organic search engine optimization efforts. Note: They may not actually be the ones that you thought would be the most profitable keywords.

By devoting some time and attention (and resources) to a pay-per-click campaign to separate the keyword “wheat” from the “chaff”, you therefore kill two birds with one stone. You discover if PPC is a worthwhile endeavour AND you sift through your universe of qualified potential organic keywords (ideally very specific long tail, buyer-oriented keywords), allowing you to focus on the hidden gems that emerge.

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