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Finding Profitable Keywords with Google

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Marketing
If you're an internet marketer, you know the secret of success is to find a niche market and then home in on the perfect keywords.

A niche market is a group of individuals with available money who share a common interest, problem, enthusiasm, need or mania and who can be easily found online.

For example, small plane owners comprise a niche market. Collectors of Grateful Dead memorabilia are a niche market. Members of the 101st Airborne form a niche market. People who build their own racing wheelchairs are a niche market. City dwellers approaching retirement to a rural area form another niche market.

It's pretty easy to think up groups of people who share a common interest or have a common problem. What isn't so easy is to discover which of the many potential markets will provide an entrepreneur the best monetary return for an investment of time and energy building a website and promoting it.

People who are forced to move suddenly are a niche market. They have a problem and they need a solution right now. They are looking for help. If you are an internet marketer, you want them to find YOU.

That's where the Google Keyword tool can come in handy.

You need to have an Adwords account to make use of these tools, but an Adwords account is free until you run an ad. The tools are well worth the time to sign up.

Once you have an Adwords account at adwords.google.com, you can then proceed to adwords.google.com/select/Tools.

First, take a look at the "Keyword Tool." You may want to prepare a list of keywords in a text file before you go to the Tools. Then you can simply cut and paste the list into the keyword tool box. Be sure to check the box "Use Synonyms" to get the most complete list of keyword suggestions.

For example, say you'd found some great affiliate programs for dog products, but know the main dog market is oversaturated with heavy competition. You're looking for some nice niche markets where your products will still be big sellers, but the competition will be less. So you type the word "dogs" into the keyword tool.

128 keywords show on the returned list. Most of the major dog breeds are included, such as Pugs, Papillons, Corgis and Cockapoos. Owners of specific breeds may form markets you could pursue. And in addition, there are such prime niche markets as dog tags, dog crates, dog electric fence, dog insurance, dog costumes, dog medication, dog boarding, dog names, etc.

The only question is whether any of these niches has monetary value.

Your next step is to go to the drop down box near the top of the page and change "show columns" from "keywords only" to "keyword popularity." You do not need to run the search again; the page display will change when you make your selection.

When you get your results, be sure to notice that at the bottom of the page is a link you can click to export your results to a spreadsheet like Excel, as well as looking at them on the webpage.

Now you will see one column which shows you how much competition there is for the keyword and another column showing how many people are looking for that term. The information is presented in nice graphical form so that with a glance you can really understand just how tough a market "dogs" really is. It is nearly totally saturated. Maybe you'd be better off into the ferret market, or pot bellied pigs. When you look closely, you see a possible opening in "heated dog beds" and when you look even more closely you can see a pattern emerging which might be useful. Electronic collars, electronic fences, heated dog bed, heated dog houses, etc. all show a slightly lower competition factor. Now all you need is the domain name ElectricDog.com and you're ready to go. (Sorry, it's already taken.)

But wait ... there's another option on the drop down box for "show columns". Now set it to show you "Cost and position estimates" and set the value for "Calculate Values using Max CPC" to the maximum of 100. Click Recalculate.

The results you see show you how much people are bidding to be in the top 3 positions for an Adwords ad (which is also a good indicator of how much relatively you can make for the percentage of revenue Google pays for Adsense ads for the keyword used in your website's articles and content.)

You immediately notice that electric dog fence is a 5.10 keyword, electronic dog door is 12.26, and electric dog collars is 5.20. At the same time, you notice an even smaller niche with great potential which you'd overlooked, "dog insurance" with a bid value of a whopping 15.38, but when you bounce back to the page with "keyword popularity" results, your excitement backs off a bit, because that keyword appears to be totally saturated. More research may be in order there, or perhaps simply an opportunity to add a few articles and garner some Adsense revenue.

So now you know a possible slot and you know that to promote it you may need to steer away from expensive Adwords ads in favor of other advertising, but you may be able to make good money from your site's content through placing Adsense ads on your pages.

This is a valuable tool, indeed.