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3 Keyword Research Mistakes I Learned The Hard Way

Earlier this week I was thinking about how I used to do keyword research and have to admit that I had a good laugh at myself. Here are the basics of my old approach:

Find a technology related keyword
Check search volume using Wordtracker - the higher the better
Check number of results in Google when I searched in quotes - the lower the better

After getting smashed on the rocks quite a few times, I have learned to use a much more solid approach. Here are a few of the huge weaknesses the were eventually exposed in my old methods:

Google Search Result Numbers Don't Show Us Much Of Anything

Almost everyone does a quoted search in Google to check competition levels. This type of search basically shows us the number of pages that are making some sort of attempt to target the keyword we're examining. The problem is that this doesn't really show us a whole lot.

Earlier today I found a keyword that has over 400,000 results with the search in Google. That characteristic would have disqualified this keyword by a long shot with my old method. What's funny is that the first 5 listings are all PR0 pages that have exactly 0 Yahoo page links. I'll be ranked first for that keyword by this time tomorrow.

Embarrassingly I used several different versions of this technique for three years before I finally dropped it. Guys sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself and it just goes to show that the mainstream is often way up a creek.

Targeting Keywords Is Dumb Unless You Know How Much You Can Make With Them

Time and time again I have targeted keywords that I can't make anything with. What happens? I get ranked #1 and there's either no traffic or the traffic is worthless.

The Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides you with both search volume and estimated CPC, so really there's no excuse for not knowing exactly what you're getting yourself into. Yes, at times the Google tool can make mistakes but overall this tool is a lot more accurate than what we used in the past. This means that you can make a pretty decent estimate of how much each keyword can make for you.

Remember that you can get about 40% of the Google search volume with a #1 ranking, assuming you're #1 in all data centers.

Now that I know roughly how much I can make with a keyword before I go after it, I don't waste as much time getting ranked for garbage.

Staying Within One Niche Is Usually A Terrible Idea

For a few years there almost everything I did online was related to technology or gadgets. I had sites about cell phones, GPS devices, digital cameras, and other similar topics. What's funny is that once I branched out a little I saw that the click-through rates on ads in other industries are often ten times higher than technology click-through rates! The prices I started getting for clicks also went up drastically.

When you have a tech-related site, you often have trouble getting click-through rates of even 3%. Most other industries are a lot better than this. If you're trying to get paid for clicks, almost anything else will leave you better off.

What's Funny Is That I Still Made Money

If you asked me, I'd say that those are some pretty dang big errors. Guys what this will show you is that with enough effort, you can make money pretty much no matter what. Once you iron out the wrinkles, everything will get a lot easier for you.

I did the best with what I had at the time and learned how to make my approach better.

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Categories : Online business    Themes : Keyword
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