Keywords power much of the online traffic and commerce on the web. Keywords are the exact word or phrase surfers type into search engines to find what they're looking for on the Internet. They are the essential elements in your website's profitability and in many cases keywords will largely determine how much revenue you earn from the web.
Finding profitable keywords is not a difficult task; anyone can use popular online sites and tools to find valuable and profitable keywords with a few minutes of work. Quick, easy and simple. You just have to know how to find the answers to these three questions:
1. How Many Searches Are Made Each Month for Your Keyword.
A keyword that receives no searches is worthless. A keyword which receives just 10 to 100 searches each month may be very profitable. Your first task is to find out or discover HOW MANY SEARCHES are made each month for your keyword or keyword phrase. You can use sites like Overture (Yahoo Marketing) or WordTracker and they will give you the number of searches made each month and also variations of your keyword phrase.
Once you know how many searches are made for your keyword you can determine how much traffic you will receive if your site lands on the first page SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The closer you are to the number one spot will determine the percentage of these monthly searches you will receive. Most of your traffic will come from Google, even if you get #1 spots in all three major engines, Yahoo and MSN will return less traffic - at least this has been my experience.
Keep in mind, even keywords with low search numbers may still be profitable. For example, 'unique corporate gift ideas' only has around 400 searches but this may be very profitable for companies or websites that cater to corporate gifts. Also remember, some keyword searches are seasonal, i.e. the number of searches made for 'valentine gifts' in July will greatly differ from those made in February.
2. How Much Competition Does Your Keyword Have?
You must know the level of competition for each keyword phrase you target with your online marketing. Extremely competitive keywords are not worth your time because you will not place for these keywords on the SERPs and you will get no traffic. As a general rule, the most popular keywords with 100's of thousands of searches a month will have the stiffest competition.
You can still place for very competitive keywords but it may require months, usually years of content/link building. Unless you use a PPC (Pay per Click) advertising system such as Google Adwords or Yahoo Marketing; you won't get any traffic from extremely competitive keywords. It's best to target keywords with little or no competition.
One of the best sites to use to find out your keyword's competition is Google. If you type your keyword phrase 'corporate gift ideas' into Google search you will see there are 7,660,000 pages/listings returned. To get the number of pages that have your exact keyword phrase, you need to search your phrase within quotation marks "corporate gift ideas" and you will see it has around 275,000 pages featuring your keyword phrase.
If you check out the sites on the first three pages of listings you can determine the level of your competition. I use the professional keyword research software Keyword Elite to determine my competition. But here's a quick way to check the PR (Page Rank) of the listings for your keyword phrase. Let's run thru an example.
First do a search in Google for 'corporate gift ideas' and then highlight and copy the return URL.
This will give you a quick visual pagerank of all your chosen keyword's Top 10 competitors!
3. How to Know If Your Keyword Is Profitable?
One quick and simple way to tell if your keyword is profitable, i.e. people are making money from promoting and optimizing your chosen keyword phrase.
Take your keyword phrase and type it into Google, Yahoo and MSN. Just count the number of Sponsored Links at the top of the page and at the sides. If your keyword phrase is profitable you will see a lot of sponsored links, which means sites/businesses, are advertising. Where there is advertising, there is profit!
You can use Yahoo advertising (Overture) to discover the amount each advertiser is welling to pay for each click or visitor to their keyword phrase - this amount can range from $.10 to $10 to $100 per click!
I use the keyword software mentioned above to monitor the different sites promoting my keywords. If my competitors are buying PPC advertising month after month, you know this keyword phrase is profitable for them and chances are it can be also profitable for you.
Many savvy Internet Marketers instead of targeting extremely popular keywords find a niche market and target a whole string of related keywords that have little or no competition. This Long Tail marketing method can prove very profitable.
How profitable will largely depend on what you do with your keyword traffic, how well you can convert this traffic into a sale or how well you can monetize it with affiliate programs or Google Adsense?
Just follow these three easy steps for finding profitable keywords and you will have a simple system for adding valuable keywords to your site or online marketing. Take full advantage of these little income magnets which powers so much of the commerce done online and you will succeed. Always remember, these little nuggets of gold are yours for the taking.