In any business, if you can reduce your effective advertising expenses, you will increase your profits. Many business owners will opt to push the additional savings into more advertising, and if you are utilizing the information described in this article, you could feasibly increase your paid traffic by 40-times, with the exact same advertising budget.
But before I can show you how to reduce your advertising expenses and increase your traffic, it is important for you to learn about proper keyword research.
When playing the search engine rankings game, it is important to know what people are “actually typing into the search engines” in an attempt to find your business…
Food For Thought
Think about this, if you were going to take a vacation to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and you needed to find accommodations in Ft. Lauderdale FL, what would your first search keywords be?
Would your first search be the generic search phrase, “travel”?
If you answered, “Certainly not”, then you and I are not much different…
Why would anyone type in the generic keyword “travel”, when they know specifically what they want, before doing the search?
They wouldn’t, would they?
Some people will abbreviate the “Fort” in Fort Lauderdale; others will not abbreviate. The same applies to the state information – some will abbreviate; others will not. Some web searchers will eliminate the state information, because they assume that Google will know “which” Fort Lauderdale they mean. (In the case of Fort Lauderdale, that is reasonable to believe. But search for something like “Paris”, and you might discover that 23 U.S. states have a town or city named, Paris, along with the country of France.)
People will search for a range of spellings for the locality, and then they would add niche-specific keywords to their search, utilizing words like:
- hotel rooms
- hotel suites
Expand Your Thinking
Chances are that even if you sat down to generate a list of keyword phrases that people might use to find your business in the search engines, you will get stuck in the “keyword rut” that bogs down so many other webmasters… The “keyword rut” that I speak of is the one where we get a certain set of words and types of words stuck in our heads, and that prevents us from exploring the wider range of what might be available.
Even the best keyword research tools fail to show us the full-range of related keywords – keyword research tools tend to only show us the keyword phrases of a “similar root word”. For example, if you type in the word “hotel”, you can get vastly different results from the Google Keyword Research Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) and the WordTracker Keyword Tool (http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/).
Just to prove my point, I ran the keyword “hotel” through both keyword search tools. Google’s Keyword Research Tool performed better than the WordTracker tool, but WordTracker does provide better estimates of search-volumes outside of the Google universe.
While not all-inclusive, I wanted to show you a list of suggested keywords that I was expecting to find using both tools. Behind each Keyword, I indicate in parenthesis which tools provided those suggestions to me…
- motels (Google – YES | WordTracker – YES) BOTH
- accommodations (Google – YES | WordTracker – no)
- bed and breakfast (Google – YES | WordTracker – no)
- b&b (Google – YES | WordTracker – no)
- vacation rentals (Google – no | WordTracker – no)
- vacation homes (Google – no | WordTracker – no)
- condos (Google – no | WordTracker – no)
- condominiums (Google – no | WordTracker – no)
- beach rentals (Google – no | WordTracker – no)
As you will note from this example, if you let the keyword research tools do all of your thinking for you, then you would have missed over half of the keyword phrases that are actually relevant to your business…
That my friend spells m-i-s-s-e-d o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-i-e-s!
How To Do Better Keyword Research
A trip to the library or your favorite bookstore could be the best thing you will ever do for your business research / keyword research…
Use book titles to narrow your search, but check the “back of the book” for the Index, before you make your selection…
Many of the best books in the non-fiction niche have an index at the end of the book, with page-after-page of topic related keywords, with page numbers.
If you have selected the most relevant book from the shelf, and it has a good Index at the end of it, you will have one of the best resources you will ever need to do keyword research in your niche.
Value The Long-Tail Keywords
Many people make the mistake of only chasing the high-volume keyword phrases that signal strong interest in a topic…
However, the high-volume keywords have some inherent shortcomings:
- Although 151 million searches are conducted using the word “travel” each month, that search will seldom generate a real click, because the person searching for it will realize that more specificity is to his or her best interest.
- If you are able to get a click from the search for “travel”, that click will cost an average of $2.25 in Google.
- If you are bidding high enough to be seen for a search for “travel”, you will find your competitors to be many. It is harder to be noticed among the crowd.
- If you do generate a click from your placement on the word “travel”, that visitor may hit your website and leave to do more shopping, since there are currently 11 paid listings on the front page of Google for that search phrase. People will spend less time on your site, if they know that they have more varied choices.
The still-generic search for “Fort Lauderdale travel” will require $1.72 per click, with 8,100 searches per month.
A more specific search for “Fort Lauderdale Florida hotels” will actually cost an amazing $3.48 per click, but the hotels that are paying for those leads are more likely to get a larger portion of the 60,500 monthly searches, since this search phrase is far more precise.
“Fort Lauderdale beach resorts” only costs $2.02 per click and has 27,000 monthly searches, which is really inexpensive compared to the still-generic “Fort Lauderdale Florida hotels”.
“Fort Lauderdale resort” is even cheaper at $1.93 click, with 50,000 monthly searches.
“Fort Lauderdale beach place” gets a surprisingly high, 3,600 searches per month. It has two competitors and can be purchased at an average of $1.06 per click.
…Do you see where we are going here?
Here is where I get to drive my point home… “Fort Lauderdale reservations” gets 40,000 searches per month, and it has an average Cost Per Click (CPC) in Google of a measly 5 cents per click!
As individual searchers drill down into the search results, your chances of appealing directly to them when they are likely to make a purchase is greatly increased… And more to the point of this article, you can generate a lot more traffic for a lot less money…
If you have fewer competitors on the long-tail keywords AND you pay less for those clicks, you could very well cobble together a large list of long-tail keywords that will give you access to the same volume of traffic you would get with one high-volume search, for much less money!
Let me make my point with “Fort Lauderdale beach resorts”, which has 27,000 monthly searches at a rate of $2.02 per click, and “Fort Lauderdale resort” with an 50,000 monthly searches and an average CPC of $1.93. These two long-tail keywords co-joined will be exposed to 77,000 people at Google, and those clicks will cost an average of less than $2.02 per click.
If you simply compared the above example with the 60,000 searches for “Fort Lauderdale Florida hotels” at $3.48 per click, you will find that you can reach more people, at more than a 38% discount in PPC pricing…
There are many niches where you might advertise, where your competitors are paying $2 to $6 per click in a shark-feeding frenzy, and yet you can get 5 cent clicks all day long for other relevant, more specific, long-tail keywords, with less search volume… But, by bidding on more keywords, you could actually get as much exposure as your competitors are getting, at a much lower cost…
There is one niche where I am getting as much exposure as the competition, but I am only paying 5 cents a click in MSN and Google, while my competitors are fighting among each other for the shorter, less specific keywords in the niche, at $2 to $6 per click… In comparison, I am able to get 40 to 120 times more traffic for my websites than my competitors are getting for the exact same amount of money… And the people visiting my site have pre-qualified themselves by drilling down to my extremely relevant keywords for their searches…
As a business owner or manager, it is important to target your PPC and SEO towards the actual keyword phrases that your potential customers are using to find your website… But more importantly, if you leverage the knowledge found in this article and your efforts, you might be able to discover that you can tilt the odds towards you getting the sale, and you can do it at a cost that would make your competitors envious…
About The Author:
Bill Platt has been providing article distribution services since 2001 at http://thePhantomWriters.com/ Utilizing his nearly one decade of article marketing experience, Bill Platt created a free ebook titled, “Article Marketing: Beyond the Basics”, which will teach you why many people fail with article marketing, and how you can turn your articles into profitable and productive advertising tools. Get your copy of this article marketing ebook that has been receiving rave reviews. Download it for free here:
Read more articles written by: Bill Platt
This article originally published here.