32oz Steak vs. 3 tons of Beef Offal

My Little Angel

Many people get extremely disenchanted with webmastering (hmmm ... spellcheck doesn't like that word) after they spend hours on end researching keywords, hours on end designing pages and then hours on end watching traffic come piling through without converting. Whether you target the free results or the PPC sections, non-converting traffic can often be linked to the original keyword research.
The title? Well, I was watching a restaurant program and it gave me the theme for this article. The guy was supposed to be a steak house but didn't want to lose out on people who wanted Italian, Chinese, Thai etc. so had over 90 items on their menu. Long story short the quality of all dishes suffered due to cost issues and the non-specific cooking equipment. The problem was solved by focussing on only the common steak house dishes, not everything that contained beef ... or chicken ... or fish ... The most successful restaurants are those the specialise in one type of food and do each dish really well. Not one that has loads of choice but their coverage makes the quality poor.

What generally happens is that people get "keyword greedy" and start searching out every single keyword because they want to rank for everything. Your chances of becoming a millionaire increase 100x for every hundred new keywords you find, right? Not really. For an example we're going to use the Google Tool to get a keyword list for Adsense affiliates. Now, this means that to earn money you need to target people looking to actually sign up. Your aim would be to get people to your web page and then redirect them to the Google Adsense Website where they join and you receive a commission. (Why use this as the example? Well, we don't want to give anyone an instant advantage in any industry and it's safe to say that Google themselves will always rank top in free and PPC searches for adsense keywords! Plus, this is a nice limited number to work with, "mortgages" has over 3000 keywords ...) >> So we enter "adsense" into the tool and get back a list of around 125 keywords/phrases which I have kindly broken up for you:

The Keyphrases You Definitely Want:
  • adsense account though it is possible that some people entering this may be looking to log back into their already existing account it is more than likely that they are looking to sign up. People using the full google adsense account however are even more likely to be looking to sign up for an account over being someone returning to log in.
  • google adsense searches on the other hand could possibly have quite a few of those searchers as those looking for information on adsense from other people such as how to increase earnings or buy help ebooks etc. Mainly though we would expect only people looking to sign up and as long as you mark your ad really clearly (in the case of PPC users) you should keep poor converting traffic to a minimum. A clearer version of this phrase would be make money with google adsense, which brings us to:
  • make money with adsense and the variant making money with adsense. Some would say that many of these searches might be people looking for information on how to better their own earnings with their already existing account but I believe that both phrases, and even the less specific adsense money and money with adsense, will be largely people looking to start earning. See the next few sections to see similar phrases that I consider to be the people looking for information rather than signup.
  • in the list we also see adsense revenue, adsense income and adsense pay all of which are similar to the "money" phrases but possibly lean a little bit more toward being individuals searching for information on boosting their own levels. If you search for those terms you will find huge lists of people advertising under these terms selling magic potions. I would proffer that "adsense how much" and similar phrases are 99.9% individuals looking into adsense as a possible revenue stream and therefore possible sign ups.
  • adsense ad - no one would be searching to actually look at ads but may be looking for examples. Either way there is a high probability that they are looking into placing ads on their own site. The same would be said for adsense banner or adsense advertising.
  • adsense adwords - although we first assumed that this was searches being performed by people looking for adsense arbitrage (see "don't want" section below) it turns out this is mainly people who already have adwords accounts looking to get into adsense. Obviously this is still a new sign up as far as we can tell so commission would still be due. Watch it carefully though.
  • specific questions such as using adsense or what is adsense are quite obvious in their source as people looking for information prior to signing up. If you are going to target these phrases then you need to ensure that you answer the question otherwise you'll lose them to the "back" button of their browser. If you can address this properly though these are the normally the best areas to hit as if people are looking for information they are more likely to read your page to see what it is about. You just need to hook them.
  • adsense uk and other country specific searches are indicative of people looking to sign up. The great thing about this particular affiliate program (which isn't true for most) is that it is non-country specific. The banners are pretty much generic and the system pays out no matter what country you refer from or to. Keep an eye out when researching as many affiliations are country specific.
  • adsense web is simply a derivative of "adsense web site" which we have in the next section but we have placed the "web" only one here for those PPCers out there as it will cover several of the other phrases listed later that are still generally okay.

"But that's only 19 keywords/phrases?" Yes, 19 phrases that target people genuinely interested in pursuing the product/service you are trying to pawn off. Those are the 19 you want, you can pursue those 19 and then once you've got them up and running and you want more, go after the next batch:

The Keyphrases You Probably Want:
  • adsense affiliate a large number or people performing this search will obviously be looking to become an affiliate. Now the only problem is the very grey definition of "affiliate". Most of us, (me included) would consider being an affiliate to the adsense program as being someone reselling the service itself i.e. targeting people who want to sign up for adsense. But many people see just adding banners to their site as being an affiliate due to the way the word is thrown around to describe most any relationship on the web. Not 100% definite targeted traffic but should still have a high value. Adsense publisher on the other hand would indicate a person who is experienced as an affiliate and is looking to switch to adsense. So why not move "publisher" to the first category of keywords? Most experienced affiliates once they've tried adsense will always switch back to traditional methods (I have) because there is more money to be made and more control over what you show on your website. As (currently) the adsense affiliate program only pays out decent money once a sign-up has earned over $100, you don't want to target possible drop-outs too strongly.
  • adsense preview tool may not be a 50/50 split but there will certainly be a fair few people searching for this who do not have an account already. This is because although the adsense preview facility was designed to allow people to see what ads would be shown on a page (thus hinting that people searching for this wouldn't have an account already) the tool is not generally known to people unless they have already signed up and started flicking through a few forums that mention it.
  • money from adsense - yes, yes, I know, we had "money with adsense" in the last section which we said was absolutely fine. But like the difference between "earnings" and "earn" (mentioned later) having "from" instead of "with" indicates people looking for examples of adsense earnings rather than information on how to sign up. These searches are normally done by people looking for tipsters and get richer quicker salesmen most of which already have an account.
  • adsense business - now this one is probably split 50/50 between a) those that have heard about adsense opportunities in articles and adverts and are looking straight off the bat for business opportunities with adsense and b) those not having success with their own account and are looking to purchase ready made opportunities. But unlike search phrases like "content" and "pages", people searching for "business" will probably being looking to start with adsense and therefore do not already have an account. As always, keep you eye on conversion rates as the months go on.
  • adsense code - the same rule applies here, chances are that if they are looking for "code" or other phrases such as adsense javascript then they are looking to place ads on their site and therefore will most likely not have an account already. adsense script on the other hand could relate to extra programming that publishers seek out to enhance their current set up or manage their adsense banners. Just guessing here but probably 50/50 on that last one. adsense php on the other hand would most likely belong in the next section of keywords you don't want as this is a common search for people looking to find php alternatives to the only current javascript offering from G. Unlikely that many of these searchers won't already have an account.
  • adsense tos - TOS meaning Terms of Service which is the rules and guidelines set out by Google for publishers. This term is searched for by both newbies and people with quick questions about their already existing program.
  • adsense for search is one of the (currently) three revenue generation products from Goog. Like most keywords in this section it is searched for by both people looking to sign up who have heard of this product in passing as well as already existing publishers who have been displaying banners for some time and are looking for information on this alternative avenue. We are at odds in this office as to whether adsense search comes under this also so keep a close eye on it if you are going to use it.
  • adsense earnings may strike you as something most definitely attributed to only people looking to start earning from being a Google publisher. But that would be "adsense earn". "Earnings" is a term mainly used by people looking to increase their earnings either through magic ebooks or forum discussions on better ad placement or better clickthough rates etc. etc. On rare occasions it is used by those people looking for references on how much other people have made prior to signing up themselves.
  • adsense site was mentioned in the plural (sites) in the words you don't want section but in the singular it is used by people looking for the official adsense website. In the plural, and in many cases the singular, it means a search for adsense ready websites. Keep an eye on your conversion rates as the months go on.
  • that brings us to adsense.com and other variants of the actual official web address which is google.com/adsense or more specifically www.google.com/adsense. Obviously people entering the official address into a search engine are more than likely account holders who are looking to log back in as you won't know the address otherwise. But those typing in www.adsense.com, www.adsense.co.uk or even adsense.google.com may very well be people looking to sign up and just taking a chance on the right domain name. Both addresses redirect to the right place and as you may encounter trademark issues by trying to buy PPC advertising with these keyphrases it is probably best to leave them alone. Generally speaking though the full stops will be ignored anyway so your ad/listing should show up if you have "www", "adsense", "co", "uk", "com" etc spread out on your page somewhere or if you have "adsense" on broad matching on PPC listings. Probably worth having a fiddle around with anyway.
  • adsense as a word on it's own should be avoided if using PPC to generate traffic unless you make your ad very, very specific to the fact that your site is only about signing up to adsense. Otherwise you could end up with a bunch of traffic looking for various add-ons, ebooks, software packages etc. as detailed in the next two sections.

"Another 22? That's it? I thought you said there was 125 keyphrases for adsense?" Well, actually if you read it again there is only 16 new phrases there as we don't recommend the website addresses as being those you should specifically target as with most affiliations trademark infringement is frowned upon. And that's not all, the first 19 and this 16 are the ONLY ones we would recommend you target. You shouldn't bother with the remaining 84 and here is why:

The Keyphrases You Probably Don't Want:
  • adsense arbitrage - this is the process of buying PPC keywords at low bids in order to push people to a page covered in PPC ads that generate higher click values e.g. paying 0.05 per click for "mortgages" and the average revenue generated per click on the ads on your landing page being 0.35 per click. Generally people searching for dodgy measures to boost their earnings will already have the account in place.
  • adsense blog - if someone is looking for the blog issued by Google to keep people up to date with changes and features in the system then they are probably already members. Generally speaking you only know about the blog if you have already being dealing with adsense for some time.
  • best adsense - you can be quite sure that most of the people searching for this are looking for software, tools, ebooks etc. to help them with their own already existing adsense account. Rarely will people be searching for the "best adsense anything" without first being in adsense.
  • adsense tool - should be pretty obvious that this searcher is looking for add-ons and extra help with their current programming.
  • google adsense forum or any variants such as adsense forums. As you will probably be able to realise yourself, people looking for a forum on anything already have a knowledge of what they are looking to discuss so will most likely already have an account. adsense forum users will be publishers looking for help with their own adsense-related problems and tips on increasing their revenue. This of course means that adsense help is mostly likely the same type of people. Do you look for help with something before you've signed up?

"Yeah, but surely if I go for these phrases aswell there will be a few that come through that might sign up?" Yes, very likely that a few will. Very, very few. If you increase your ranking or PPC efficiency on any of the previous 35 phrases you will end up with 100x more conversions than if you spend months on end pushing these time wasters.

The Keyphrases You Definitely Don't Want:
  • adsense alternative and adsense alternatives - both variants are searched for by people looking for services OTHER THAN Google's program. This will mean they have either signed up for an account already and are looking to go elsewhere, or that they have been kicked off and are looking for different revenue generators. Either way, if they're looking for an alternative, then chances are they are not going to sign up at this point.
  • adsense api - API is a tool/service offered by Google on many of it's products/services. If they are searching for it you can bet on them already having an account and being quite advanced already.
  • adsense click and adsense clicks - are generally people looking for ways to purchase clicks on their own adsense banners. They will pay a firm who have an army of clickers who visit your site daily and randomly click on ads. These people will already have an account and are looking to fraudulently make money. adsense traffic would also come under this category.
  • adsense content - these are people looking to either buy ready made content or people to write new content to create page and pages of keyword stuffed content so that they rank for phrases in search engines. These are typically known as Made For Adsense (MFA) and are not popular amongst the web community. There are other related keyphrases in our list such as adsense page and adsense pages.
  • adsense ebook - should be pretty obvious already, but these are people with accounts already that are looking for miracles to make them rich without doing anything. So phrases like adsense secrets and adsense tips would also be these sorts of people. Highly unlikely that they are searching for tips before having an account.
  • adsense empire - like the last phrase this is generally only sought out by people who have already signed up to the program but are not having much success. The keyphrase actually is quite specific to one particular book.
  • adsense font - once you have banners on your site you will notice that the Google default font settings don't always match the look of your site. These searchers are looking for ways to alter the settings. So this means they already have an account and have seen the adverts on their site.
  • adsense gold - another specific product "guaranteed" to make you rich by telling you the "secrets" of the industry. Of course, if 1,000 people buy it is it really a secret any more? But again this search is performed by people already signed up, but not making any money. Other similar searches involving specific programs would be joomla adsense and wordpress adsense which are just your regular content management software packages but which are reknown for being used, along with any fairly available adsense plugin, for auto generating MFAs.
  • keyword and keywords - searchers are looking for those highpaying phrases to target. Again, having already signed up and earning 0.01 per clickthrough they will turn to snake oil salesmen to sell them huge lists of keywords along with the highest bid that it currently has. See the top paying adsense keywords section of our article for a fuller explanation. This is a very popular area and high paying adsense keyword lists can cost from $50 to $2000. I say popular because out of all the google adsense keywords we have listed so far there is generally only one or two for that particular search type. There are several adsense words in the final list relating to top paying adsense phrases but as we explained in the article, the highest paying adsense banner clickthroughs are generally much, much lower than the top adsense for search bids.
  • adsense ready, just like the content pages we talked about earlier, this is a search for pages and even entire sites set up with thousands of keyword stuffed pages with adsense already on them for you to just buy and earn your millions. Pity that the exact same stuff has already been sold to a hundred other people before you but fingers crossed, eh? This is pretty much the same story for people searching for adsense software, adsense template, adsense templates, adsense websites and adsense sites but we have our doubts about whether all "website" and "site" (singular) searchers come under this category.
  • adsense ctr (or click through rate) is performed by two types of searcher, one who is not making much money and wants to find the "secrets" to pushing people through ads and then there are the people looking for actual research on the best placings for the ads on their webpages. Either way, chances are they already have an account.
  • adsense tracker or adsense tracking are people looking for a third party to track the clickthroughs of their adwords PPC ads. This is because fraud on Google is rampant and many advertisers are taking matters into their own hands by monitoring Google clicks themselves. Obviously, this means they are already signed up, no use to you.
Last (and definitely least) We Have Misspellings: for some strange reason people go out of their way to target misspellings as if they have found some holy grail or back door into marketing. Here is the hard truth: most misspellings you see on keyword research tools are the result of searches performed by keyword researchers ... sorry, we didn't want to be the ones to break it to you. The low search volumes accompanied by most search engine's spell suggestion facilities make them pretty low value phrases any way. There are some common errors that are worth pursuing such as "morgage" for mortgages but most of these will not make a difference in PPC anymore due to advancing spell check software that matches the highest bid on the original keyphrase anyway. So, which ones are valid here? Well, simply the only ones that are errors that lots of people would make:
  • google ad sense, (with of course just ad sense) and google adsence are the only ones really worth pursing. At a push you could include addsense, ad sence and add sense but we only recommend focusing on several misspellings if your keyword list turns up quite small to begin with. Spending more time on the high value keywords is far more productive than spending hours cornering very small phrases.
  • in this instance, although they show up on the keyword tool, most value comes from the more specific terms in the first section. These misspellings are not only low value but are so non-specific that chances are even the small traffic you get from them will not be that which is looking to actually sign up to the product you are selling e.g. aense, adsence, adsene, adsens, adsesne, adsnese, adsnse and asense. The last one could simply be "a sense" accidentally joined together.

Summary: This is a nice small example to give you a bigger picture. 125 keyphrases to sort through is quite low. But no matter how large the database you collect, you need to discard all the phrases that are not targeted otherwise you are taking away valuable time and ranking (explained in our other articles) from the phrases that will earn the money.

This is the piece of information I wish someone had told to me years ago (good grief, have I been sat at this desk that long?) and you don't have to sign up to my mailing list, I'm not selling any ebooks and you don't have to make any "donations". If you have 100% of your working time and you give 5% of your time to each of the top 20 keywords for your chosen product/service/industry you will achieve more success and greater financial rewards than if you give 0.8% of your time to all 125 keywords. Just to put that into better perspective, if you are trying to control, manage and rank for 3000 mortgage keywords (those are just the main ones we researched in our study!) you can only devote 0.03% of your time to each. The total traffic for the bottom 500 phrases doesn't even come up to one third of the traffic received for just the top keyphrase alone.

The best keyword choice in the world, however, won't get you ranked well. You need links, and we list some sites that are obviously interested in exchanging links either for rankings or just for traffic:

Business Link Exchange Directory
Finance Link Exchange Directory
Leisure Link Exchange Directory
Technology Link Exchange Directory
Shopping Link Exchange Directory
Entertainment Link Exchange Directory
Home Garden Link Exchange Directory
Travel Link Exchange Directory
Website Link Exchange Directory
Be careful about link exchanges for the purposes of ranking, you can do it wrong. Check out some tutorials on link building:

Link Exchange Directory
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