Do you use pay-per-click? Are you into search engine optimization? Either of these marketing disciplines hinge on proper keyword selection. You want to be in front of your customer when they’re in a buying mood, not a browsing mood, right?
I’ve always found that keyword research is one of the hardest things to when creating an ad campaign. How do you find out which keywords make money, and which ones burn money? Anyone can add all the suggestions from a keyword tool into their campaign – but I guarantee they will lose money unless they take that a step further. So how do we find profitable keywords? Here are three steps to help this process.
The first thing to do is have a little brainstorm session. For whatever product you’re promoting, try to get inside your customer’s minds:
- What is causing them to be looking for your product?
- What pain (problem) are they feeling or dealing with?
- What questions do they have?
- What solution are they trying to find?
Once you’ve answered these things jot down the different phrases you think they would use to find you.
The second step is to use a keyword tool such as the free keyword suggestion tool at wordtracker.com. See if the terms you thought of are showing up on their lists, and find out how many searches are done daily for each keyword. The higher the better, obviously, though the highest keywords might not be the most profitable.
Up until now, the information here is probably old hat for most of you. Here’s the golden third step. Head over to MSN’s AdLabs Online Commericial Intention Detector. Click on query, and punch in one of the keywords you think has potential. The web form will then spew out a number between zero and one. Here’s the readout for “affiliate marketing”
Probability for Commercial Query:
As you can see, MSN thinks this phrase is by and large, non-commercial in intent. Having less than a 0.50 indicates non-commercial; anything over .5 (50%) is commercial in intent. The stronger or higher the co-efficient, the more profitable this keyword is likely to be!
Go to the tool, and compare the output for “personal loan” and “personal loans” – you’d perhaps be surprised to see that the singular is scored at 0.67969, while the plural is scored at 0.89554. So although both look to be quite profitable, “personal loans” is the keyword with the highest commercial intent, of those two.
So now you run your list of keywords from steps one and two through this tool, to make sure that they are all above 50%. If you’ve got keywords that you think would be good, but they’re under 50%, ask yourself why, and see if there isn’t a small variation that can be made to boost the score. If you can improve on it, use the new keyword instead.
Now, I should clarify that although I’ve talked about this as being a way to find profitable keywords, I guess really it is just a method to find the keywords that people are using to buy stuff. This is great, if you are doing SEO. If however you are paying per click, profit takes on a new meaning, as you need to consider what your costs are for each keyword. Chances are strong that the highest rated keywords are also those with strong competition.
However, in all markets, the presence of sharks indicates there is prey in the waters; competition isn’t a bad thing, you just need to find a way to best them, and you’ll be laughing!