Finding the Most Profitable Keyword for High AdSense Earnings

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When writing articles targeted to earning from AdSense advertising, it is important to focus on truly the most profitable keyword, not necessarily the highest paying.

There are many articles about the importance of keywords in search engine optimization (SEO) and plenty of articles about how to find them. However, the simple system described below will help decide which keywords are really the most profitable, not just the highest paying clicks.

Highest Paying or Highest Volume Keywords?

For example, is a keyword worth $10 and with an average of 20,000 searches per month really worth more than a similar keyword worth just $2 a click but with 1.2 million searches? In terms of probability theory what is most important is the expectation value of each keyword. This expectation will be referred to as the Potential Earnings (PE).

Using Adwords Keywords Tool Data

Login to your Adwords account and locate the Keywords Tool. After setting the language and country, input the target keywords. At this point the keywords tool generates a long list of keywords, their Cost per Click (CPC) rate and various other columns depending on the default setup. The only columns really needed are the keywords themselves, the CPC and the average monthly traffic. All the other columns can be deleted. It is quicker to delete these columns now rather than later within a spreadsheet.

Qualitative Look at the Best Keywords

You can now get a feel for the most profitable keyword. By clicking the CPC heading you will see which are the most expensive keywords in your topic area. Also, by clicking on the Search Volume heading you will see which are the most popular keyword combinations. As you can verify, sometimes the most volume does not correspond to the highest CPC rate. You are now just two steps away from finding out which keywords are really worth the most money.

Analyzing Your Keywords in a Spreadsheet

At the bottom of the keyword list are three links to download the data to your computer. Best to just download a generic csv file, a comma delimited text file, which can be viewed in any spreadsheet package. Now open up the csv file in your spreadsheet.

The simple step here is to just multiply the CPC rate by the search traffic. The method of doing this will depend on your package, but the basic formula is fairly generic. Assuming the keywords are in column A, CPC in column B and traffic volume in C, what we need is a fourth column with the formula (=B2*C2) and then copy and paste this throughout all the rows of data. You now have a fourth column that you can label Potential Earnings.

The Most Profitable Keyword

As intimated above, the Potential Earnings combines the CTC and traffic to give a more accurate picture of what the expected earnings are for particular keywords. Often there is a balance between high CTC and low volume compared to low CTC and higher volume. This calculation means you don’t have to make these judgments – it is all in the numbers!

Example Potential Earnings Calculation

One brief example to show that results can sometimes be surprising. Some very popular keywords such as ‘insurance’ and ‘money’ have fairly clear and obvious top earning keyword combinations. The writer therefore tried a less popular keyword: ‘keyword’!

The top 5 in terms of pure CPC were:

  • keyword ads
  • keyword bids
  • keyword advertising
  • keyword ppc
  • google keyword finder

However, the top 5 in terms of our Potential Earnings were:

  • keyword
  • keywords
  • keyword search
  • keyword tool
  • google keyword

As you can see, these are totally different to our first list. The sheer volume of search queries means that our PE is much higher for this second list than the first. Indeed, ‘keyword ads’, the highest earning CPC is way down in 62nd place in our top PE keywords because of very low traffic. The decision as to whether to focus on a high CPC low traffic niche is up to you, but now you have a tool to help you make that decision.

Did you find these tips helpful?

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