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October 24, 2008

Adsense and Keywords

I need to start with an analogy to explain the importance of keywords. Your selection of keywords is the ‘heart of your business’ as far as adsense income is determined. The heart, yes the most important organ of your body, not your leg or your wrist, but your heart. If your heart is failing, putting a bandage on your wrist isn’t going to work.

So here is the crunch… If your adsense income has dropped or you need to build an adsense business, then look after your heart. It is the life blood of the system, it pumps the money into your adsense account.

It has taken a few hard lessons for me to understand this principle. This is how I felt the pump, pump, pump send a light bulb moment to my brain. It started when the town I live in lost the internet connection. Phew… I’m sure that everyone has lost a connection for as little as ten minutes and thought their world had ended. But I lost the internet connection for three days. I got on with other stuff as you do, but what I did do is re-read some of the books I had purchased.

Of course, years on from getting more knowledge, to re-read an ebook generally is boring; and most of it was, but I kept stumbling, pausing and contemplating on the keyword section of the ebooks. If keywords are the heart of a business you need to dedicate more time and effort to keep them healthy.

If you are starting out, use the system below. If you already have adsense websites and the income has dropped, you need to be aware that trends change and the keyword you chose a year ago may not be the major one being searched for today. Go through this procedure and add another 250 pages.

We all use the keyword tools available and knock up a 5,000 keyword list in half an hour, spend another hour sifting through and choosing our prime keywords. That’s it we’re done. But… would you take an hour and a half to mould and create a heart and expect to live beyond a few months?

Once your website is up and running, I would guess you must spend 2 or 3 hours a day trying to get traffic to your website. This effort could be a little wasted if your keyword choice is hurried.

Here is the best way to choose keywords to maximize your search engine positions. Let’s assume that you need 250 keywords. Up to 50 of those should be first tier. These should include all the main associated keywords and most important should be ‘high’ paying keywords too. These you can check through either the free Google Keyword Tool or through varying software keyword tools.

These first 50 keywords will be the fiercely competed words and as a consequence you’ll not rank very high for them initially. Yet long term, the optimization, the blogs, social networking and bookmarking should help rise those 50 web pages nearer the top of the search rankings.

The other 200 keywords you choose will be ‘long tail keywords’. You may start with a 1,000 to sift through to finish up with 200. First you need to check each keyword separately. Allocate a day to do this, because the effort you put in now will serve you well. The purpose of checking as I’m going to mention is so that you get onto the front page of Google as soon as the search engines crawl your deep inside pages.

The first thing to check is if that long tail keyword gets traffic each month. Between 50 to 500 hits per month is fine for long tail keywords. Above those hits per month and you’ll probably find that too many other websites are competing for that keyword. Below that amount and you may find the quantity of hits vary from a few hits a month to zero hits.

Once you have a selection that meet the first criteria, then you need to check the competing sites. Is there 2,000 or is there 8? To do this you need to put this search query into Google – inurl:my-keywords – replacing my-keywords with your own of course. Use both variations, with dashes separating the words and without dashes. Make a note of the total of competing websites. Once you gone through them all you can make a decision on which keywords are going to get you on the front page of Google.

Even if your web page isn’t optimized too well, if there are only 8 competing websites, you’ll appear on the front page. This will mean a steady but small flow of traffic 50 to 500 hits per month. Multiply that by the sites with long tail keywords and the minimum you could expect, once the search engines have listed the inner pages, is 200 x 50 = 10,000.

There are also other options to consider if you are adding web pages slowly. Use in the Google search box “allintitle: and allinanchor: keyword”. Extra work, but will pay off in the long run.

A reasonable time limit to expect all 250 pages listed in Google, so long as you’ve done the necessary blogging or bookmarking, should be 4 to 6 weeks; it can be done quicker but more work is involved.

Don’t just rely on Google, you’ll need to submit your site to other major engines as well. Plus if you are by chance one of eight on that first Google page, you’ll need to make sure that your description tag is better than all the other tags on that Google page, as they often use that tag to display to content of the site.

10,000 possible hits per month within the first 10 weeks, not bad for a beginner… Realistically if you shared that with the other sites, you may only get 2,000 visitors enter your site per month, but that is still good. Of course… the visitor who clicks your web site link is relatively targeted by this stage and your conversion rate for clicking on adsense ads could be between 10 to 20%. 10% of 2,000 clicks is 200, which could be worth $50 to $200. The day’s work you spent on sifting these keywords has paid for itself. Then you can expect more of the same the following month. As many adsense professionals have 5 to 20 websites, multiply the expected earning by the websites and suddenly you can see the potential, and I may add this is before you start trying to get traffic. Glory days… if you get the job done right.

Phillip Booker – Senior Adsense Adviser. For more free advice tips and tricks for Google Adsense, please visit my site by following this link: Adsense Advice, Tips and Tricks