Keyword Needle

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                                                                                                        Keyword Needle 1

                                              you're in a haystack
                                                finding needle
                                                 after needle...
                                                 after needle...
                                                                                          by Chris Munch of

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                           This work cannot be copied, re-published, or re-distributed. No re-sell right are given.

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                                                                                            Keyword Needle 2

                                 I was blind but now I can see...
              If you have a website, you have probably tried to
              rank higher for a particular keyword. You may
              have invested in content, link building, and viral
              promotion, and been unaware whether your
              efforts would ultimately make you money.

              You hoped it would pay off in the end, but without
              proper planning its rarely the case.

              Do you ever get the feeling you are investing a
              lot of time into ranking for keywords, and have no
              idea if your efforts will pay off?

              Would you like to be better able to pick
              keywords, and have a good idea of how much
              cash you will bank from your efforts?

              Sick of failing to find that needle in a haystack?

              This quick guide aims to help you tackle just that.

              Mark, a friend of mine who I have helped create
              successful niche blogs with 5 figure traffic, asked me about this very topic.

              His question is below, followed by my detailed answer on how to maximize keyword

              I've helped Mark with various aspects of internet marketing over the years, and had the
              pleasure of meeting with him while I was road tippin' in the USA. He quit his job as a
              programmer back in late 2007 to pursue online entrepreneurship and has built some
              great hands-off websites that continue to pull in profits month after month.

              My story is a little different, I left university and wasn't keen on the idea of getting a job. I
              tried various online ventures and struggled for about 2-3 years, and ended up on
              unemployment benefits.

              Eventually I struck gold with blogging, and a big reason for that is my ability to
              understand the search engines, how keywords relate to people in the real world, and
              how to use that to make my business more profitable.

              What I discuss in this report I have been using for years, and will keep using for years to

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              Is it ground breaking?
              Probably not. Once you know this it feels just like common sense. I guess you can say it
              is ground breaking on a personal level when you first realize it, but to be honest, it is just
              good business sense.

              Are most people using this?
              No it seems to be used by an experienced minority. You rarely ever find the most
              effective methods for anything among the majority. Crowds have no wisdom. They eat
              up what is easy to understand, is accepted by their peers, and is simple to do. It is
              human nature that when we don't fully understand something to default to what
              everyone else is doing. I like to figure out what actually works and do that instead.

              Is it simple?
              If you can publish content on the web, know that $50 is worth more than $30, and can
              make a simple spreadsheet you can do this. So yes, it is simple.

              Here's what to expect in this report:

                   •    How to calculate potential profits for keywords and whether this is reliable.

                   •    A strategy which takes out all the guess work of whether a keyword is worth

                   •    How to only target profitable keywords that practically guarantee profits.

              The days of blindly pushing keywords and hoping for the best are over!

              To utilize this strategy you will need a good bunch of promising keywords that you
              believe have potential. I'll show you exactly how to filter those down to the ones with the
              highest chance of profit.

              If you have no idea how to do keyword research to find promising keywords then I
              recommend following the strategy in Keyword Reality:

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                                                                                              Keyword Needle 4

                                                      Mark's Question
                                                                                    16th April 2011, Seattle, USA

                    How to calculate profitable keywords?
              How can I calculate how much profit I will make based on
              Google's predicted search volume?

              I know my marketing costs like article marketing, so it is
              helpful to have some ballpark ideas of how Google traffic
              estimates translate to the real world. I know Google's
              search volume counts can be very inaccurate, but even
              some very rough estimates would help.

              For example...

              I have a keyword term on my site that attracts about 200
              visitors per month, let's call it “tuna sunglasses”. I'm
              currently ranked 4th for that exact match term in the
              search results. Google keyword tool estimates that term at
              around 4000 exact match searches per month.

              So I can use this as a rough guideline for other keywords.

              If Google estimates 4000 exact matches for a different keyword, and if I can rank in the
              4th spot in Google for that term, then I should get about 200 visitors, just like I do for
              tuna sunglasses.

              So let's say I find another keyword with 4000 exact match searches according to
              Google. If I can get to the number 4 spot for that keyword, then that is an extra 200
              visitors a month.

              Cost to rank...

              Now, if it takes me 4 quality backlinks in order to get my page to be ranked 4th, and
              Google estimates that the term gets around 4000 exact match hits per month, and I
              invest $50 in a strategy to produce content and backlinks to that page, then I will be
              paying $50 to attract about 200 visitors per month.

              (that $50 could represent actual outsourcing costs, or just be a monetary representation
              of the time it takes me to do the work – that's approx. what it costs me to get 4 quality
              articles written and submitted)

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              I know it can be more or less than that, but $50 is a good estimate based on my past
              experience. So my costs are about $50 to get 200 extra visitors a month.

              The content on the page itself cost $10 to produce, so that brings it to $60.

              Earning Potential...

              If the page I get to rank earns $25 per 1000 page views on average (as my site
              currently does) and the average visitor views 2 pages of my site (as most of my visitors
              do), that's $10 per month of additional revenue.

              ([200 x 2]/1000) x $25 = $10

              So for $60 I get an extra $120 per year.

              Is this thinking flawed?

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                                                      My Answer...
              Your thinking is not flawed, in fact it is very useful to prove that your business model
              works, and that your budget for marketing and producing content actually gets results. It
              gives you a rough ballpark of how much you can invest (time or money wise) to produce
              a decent profit.

              However, there's a big problem with taking this number too seriously. It is an estimate,
              and at best it can only ever be a bad rough estimate. Here's why...

                    1. Google's Search Count Is Erratic
              At low search volume (below around 10,000-20,000 exact match searches per month)
              Google's search count is just too erratic. The lower the search volume the more erratic it
              gets. Google does not seem to give precise data, it gives estimates based on samples.
              Google might do this for two reasons:

                        a) Recording, storing and publishing the exact data on billions upon billions of
                        keywords is extremely resource intensive, so using a sample based calculation is
                        far more efficient and is accurate enough to give useful data on the whole, even if
                        it is not too accurate at lower search volume.

                        b) They just don't want to give out 100% accurate data for whatever reason they
                        may have.

              This means that your potential traffic (which is closely tied to your potential profit) could
              be very different to what Google says.

                    2. Promotion Power is Erratic
              As for the amount of promotion/backlinks it will take to rank for a term, this can also be
              very erratic. Even if you study the competing results and have a good idea from past
              experience how you might rank, the effort needed can still vary considerably.

              There are so many complex factors involved in Google's ranking algorithm that there is
              still a level of unpredictability for even a seasoned SEO. It could be way easier, or it
              could be way harder than expected.

              In addition your rankings can change with the tides. One day you are up, the other day
              you are down. You could rank poorly to begin with, give in and find in a few months your
              rankings go up on their own. The exact opposite could happen.

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                                                                                       Keyword Needle 7
              Google is a complex beast and it can be very unpredictable. So your estimated costs to
              reach a desired ranking could vary considerably.

                    3. Potential Profit per Keyword
              Your potential earnings could also vary wildly for different keyword terms, and again this
              can be quite unpredictable. Some keywords you think will convert well don't, and vice
              versa. Of course there will be an average, but outside of those averages are wild

              The profitability can also vary quite considerably over time. This could be for economic
              reasons, loss or gain of an advertiser, loss/gain of buyers for a keyword,
              increase/decrease in average item price, improved/reduced ability to monetize your
              traffic or some other reason.

              So even predicting your revenue is difficult.

                    Percentage Error
              All this means that there is quite a large percentage error. Maybe Google's keyword
              count can vary by 200%, the effort required to rank very by 300% and the keyword
              profitability vary by 300%.

              This isn't perfect math but it means you are likely looking at something like a 800%
              percentage error!

              For this reason it won't be that uncommon for a particular campaign to be unprofitable
              even if your expected profit margins from averages say it should be 50%.

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                                             Is predicting worth it?
              Its good to have a ballpark average ROI estimate, but in reality it is not so easy to place
              things into such tight boxes. As time goes on you will have more data that gives you
              more power to predict, but this doesn't change your fact the data is based on 3 wildly
              moving variables: promotion/production cost, estimated traffic and potential earnings.

              Let me show you some examples of how the numbers can change the results

              In the example you predicted:

                                                      eCPM = $25
                                                      Page views from traffic = 400/mo
                                                      Cost of promotion/production = $60
                                                      Profit: $60/yr

              Which gives earnings of $10 per month ($120/yr) for a $50 up front cost.

              However, when you pursue a keyword it could just as easily turn out to be...

                                                      eCPM = $50
                                                      Page views from traffic = 800/mo
                                                      Cost of promotion/production = $30
                                                      Profit: $480/yr
              This gives earnings of $40 per month ($480/yr) for a $30 up front cost. Sweet, won't
              need many of more of those to bring in some sizable revenue!

              However, it could also just as easily turn out to be...

                                                      eCPM = $12.50
                                                      Page views from traffic = 200/mo
                                                      Cost of promotion/production = $50
                                                      Profit: $30/yr
              This gives earnings of $2.50 per month ($30/yr) for a $50 up front cost. That's a long
              time before you see profit!

              There's even the chance the keyword could even be a complete flop where you don't
              manage to rank high enough to get traffic, or there is barely any traffic, and so you make
              nothing at all!

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                    So Why Predict?
              If you study your statistics you will know what the averages are, and can see what the
              typical potential upper and lower limits for your traffic, promotion and earnings are. This
              allows you to see how well your business model is working, but when it comes to that
              individual keyword there will still be a big window of unknown.

              Whatever you throw out there, you can't be entirely sure where it might hit. For this
              reason predictive stats aren't entirely useful on an individual keyword basis.

              If you are tackling a large number of keywords then these stats become more useful,
              as with larger numbers you are more likely to hit your averages. So that's good news if
              you are running a big campaign!

              One last word of warning...

              Even if you have good hindsight from past experiences to come up with solid averages,
              be aware that the landscape can change quickly and your predictions based on those
              averages can become misleading. Your old averages from the past no longer apply in
              the present

              That's not to say they always change, but its good to bear in mind that your averages
              won't last forever.

              To sum up this data is very helpful for:

                        a) confirming if your overall marketing strategy has a good profit potential

                        b) giving you an indication whether tackling a certain keyword might be
                        profitable, but offering no guarantees.

              The predictions and data from your historical statistics just helps confirm/deny your
              marketing strategy as being viable, and helps you identify the region of profitability.

              However, that's as far as it goes, and that might leave you felling a bit uncertain about
              how you can effectively target keywords a minimize that nasty hit and miss factor.

              Don't get frustrated just yet, things do get better!

              I'm going to introduce you to an approach that minimizes failure and
              amplifies results.
              This is how approach a keyword campaign.

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                                                                                       Keyword Needle 10

                                            The Reactive Approach
              Why rely on predictions, averages, estimates and guesses when you can gather real
              data quickly and easily?

              You can then use that data to make informed decisions so you only invest in keywords
              that show clear profit potential.

              The reactive approach involves two things...

                   1. Invest as little time, effort and money as possible in to testing keywords you know
                      nothing about where the chance of failure is high.

                   2. Invest your time into the hottest keywords with an exceptional chance of getting
                      you big results, practically guaranteeing profits.

              Here's what most people do...

              Even when you have some comparable data to make predictions on a new keyword you
              want to rank for, we have already seen the margin of error can be huge. You still end up
              hoping for the best.

              Here's the way it should be...

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                                                                                           Keyword Needle 11

              So how do we get to this situation?

              What's the missing link?

              So the key difference is that you don't start pumping effort into promising keywords.
              Instead you identify keywords that are practically guaranteed to give you a profit.

              At the same time you need to do this:

              a) quickly

              b) for very little effort

              This is tricky bit for a lot of people but there are two main ways to do it...

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                                                                                               Keyword Needle 12

                    Identifying Guaranteed Hot Keywords
              Why rely on predictions when you can get
              access to real information? It's a no brainer.

              Chances are you are already sitting on a lot
              of hot keyword intelligence and just aren't
              using it. Even if you aren't there's still quick
              and effective ways to get real world
              information on a keyword.

              The crux of this strategy for identifying hot
              keywords is to test a decent number of
              promising keywords that you have identified.
                                                                        Don't burn money guessing hot keywords.
              To do this you need to publish a page online             Get real world data.
              optimized for a promising keyword, and then
              measure the results. These measurements tell you if a keyword is hot or not.

              Then you repeat this process many times until you have identified enough guaranteed
              hot keywords.

              This seems a little odd at first, but trust me this is a very effective method.

              Your first objection might be that its a lot of effort to publish a page online, but this if far
              from the truth.

              Firstly you probably have a lot of pages published online already giving you the
              statistics you need to identify a hot keyword, and secondly if you do need to publish
              content from scratch – it's a 5-30 minute job, max, or about $0.50-$3 in outsourcing

              That's because the content you produce does not need to be spectacular or lengthy –
              just good enough for it to get published and indexed. 150 words is often more than

              You are simply testing how easy it is to rank for that keyword.

              I call this 'tester content'.

              So, let's say you have a bunch of promising keywords that you want to try and rank for,
              and are ready to produce and publish some tester content.

              Now there's two main places you can publish this tester content...

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                    1. Your Site
              You probably already have content up on your site, and it is probably already getting
              some traffic from the Search Engines. Before you build any new content check your
              statistics for your website to see what keywords there already have guaranteed
              potential. I delve into exactly how to do this later on...

              Assuming you don't have any content or your site, or are not ranking for any keywords
              then you can still publish tester content on your site.

              If you have done your initial keyword research correctly to identify low hanging fruit, and
              your website has a little ranking power, just by simply publishing the content you will
              start to see your site ranking for some keywords, and start to see some traffic coming in
              from various keyword terms.

              That's right – no link building is needed if your site already has a little ranking power.

              Now a couple of things you should know...

                   •    Since you are only putting up short tester content you may not want it to be seen
                        by your visitors. So you should hide it from your front page and RSS feed. If you
                        use Wordpress you can do this with the Stealth Publish plugin (free):

                        You can always change the content to be better if the keyword proves to be hot,
                        or you can just delete the content, or leave it.

                   •    You don't need much content to do a test. 150 words is more than enough. I've
                        done tests with just a couple of sentences. Remember you are just testing how
                        easy it is to rank for this keyword.

                   •    If you don't want to add tester content to your site then try option 2.

              Also you should consider any other content you publish on your site to be tester content
              also. Whether it is optimized for a keyword or not, it is still possible it may rank for
              something. Again this goes back to checking your stats and where the page ranks which
              I'll cover later.

              My Site Doesn't Rank for Anything or I Don't Have a Site. What do I do?

              If your site is new, tends to get indexed very slowly, or has little power to rank then
              never fear, there is option 2.

                    2. HubPages
              An authority site like Hubpages is a great place for your tester content. I like Hubpages
              for a few reasons...

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                   •    It is high authority so your pages get indexed pretty quickly.

                   •    By simply posting to hubpages your content has a good chance to rank based on
                        Hubpages' authority.

                   •    You can publish your work instantly, no waiting around for editorial approval.

                   •    Hubpages provides you with useful stats on which keywords are sending your
                        hub traffic.

              The deal is pretty much the same as if you were publishing tester content to your own
              site. Get it out quickly and cheaply, and 150 words is enough.

                    Wait for results...
              Once your content is out there you simply need to wait to gain some intelligence on
              whether the keywords you are targeting are hot or not.

              Here's the key data you will be looking for...

              a) how high you rank for that keyword without any promotion (which gives you a much
              clearer signal of the level of competition)

              b) how much traffic you are getting with that keyword where-ever it has landed in the
              Search Results.

              c) is the page accidentally ranking for other keywords which are bringing traffic.

              Typically you might want to wait 2 weeks for the results to come in.

              Now you have real data that you can use. You don't always need to wait 2 weeks as you
              can sometimes see clear results in 24 hours, but Google's rankings can be especially
              erratic for brand new pages while it decides where to place the page, so waiting two
              weeks is often sensible.

                    What to do with the data?
              The keywords that are ranking and sending traffic are ripe for investment. You can
              create better content and invest in promotion to boost the traffic to that page further.

              You may already have data on how that page is converting then you can use that to
              estimate how much effort you can spend on that keyword.

              I will go into more detail on how to study the statistics shortly.

              Icing on the cake...

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              You will find that as your reader base grows from amassing traffic from those easy
              guaranteed keywords, that you will naturally start ranking for more competitive terms
              that were previously out of reach.

              Links naturally come into higher traffic sites, and Google tends to pay more attention to
              higher traffic sites.

              This essentially moves you into a new league where you can now start targeting even
              more difficult keywords. You are working your way up the ladder!

                    How Your Profits Are Maximized...
              This strategy minimizes your costs up front, it stops you from spending time on
              keywords that won't get traffic or are difficult to rank for, and focuses your energy on
              easy profits.

              Now there will be some keywords that don't hit, and that some will lose your tiny
              investment on some keywords. But this does not matter for two reasons...

                   1. Think back to our discussion on using averages and estimates to loosely predict
                      potentially good keywords to target. If you estimates and keyword research was
                      good, then you can even make a profit on the promising keywords you initially
                      targeted. It doesn't take much to pull back an approx. investment of $2 from a

                        Even if you initially screw-up your promising keywords and have very few hits,
                        this process will hone your sixth sense for profitable keywords very very quickly.

                   2. By identifying hot keywords using this approach you will be successfully be able
                      to invest the large bulk of your marketing efforts into guaranteed winners. Any
                      investment you make will be getting a maximum ROI as the guess work has
                      been eliminated.

              So using this strategy you have removed a major mistake made by many. You no longer
              need to rely solely on predicted ROI models and traffic estimates that rarely hold true in
              the real world as every keyword is unique.

              Obviously you would continue to make these rough calculations to measure potential
              average profits. That's how you can pick your promising keywords, but now you have an
              extra step, and extra safety net in your tool kit.

              The key thing to realize is that there is a shift in focus from mapping out your future ROI
              based on predictions, to getting real world data cheaply and quickly. This allows you to
              focus your marketing campaign where there will be maximum returns.

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              Think about it! If you quickly test 50 keywords, and focus not just on the ones
              that will give guaranteed results, but the 2-5 that will blow-up your traffic, what's
              gonna happen?


              If you does this week in week out, an avalanche of new traffic is gonna hit your
              site hard, and your profit margins will be through the roof!

                    Step by Step - My Reactive Keyword Strategy
              To help put all this together here is how I approach this in a step-by-step fashion...

                   1. First I will brainstorm various potential keywords and sub-niches that could work
                      for my site/niche. In this example I'll pretend I have a gadgets site and I will target
                      the wider keyword subset of broken gadgets, like a broken PS3 lazer, or failed
                      iPod battery. I'll also pretend traffic and competition are at levels that look

                   2. I will do keyword research and brainstorming to identify potentially low hanging
                      fruit and create a lit of promising keywords related to broken gadgets. I simply
                      use the techniques described in Keyword Reality:

                        I'd pick 20-50 keywords to target.

                   3. I will then produce short summary content for those keywords and publish it.

                   4. After a couple of weeks I will check to see where the pages land in the rankings,
                      how much traffic they get, and how well that converts. I would usually do this
                      without any other promotion if publishing on my own site. That's because content
                      on my sites typically rank quite well anyway. I actually pay a little more to ensure
                      the content is higher quality and a bit longer. I do this because from experience I
                      know enough of these keywords will hit out of the box, and I'll usually make a

                        If I am working on a new site that doesn't rank I would substitute publishing on
                        my own site with publishing on an authority site like HubPages.

                   5. Now I wait a couple of weeks for the data to come in. From this data I now know
                      which keywords are profitable and to invest more effort into.

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                   6. If I find the sub-niche as a whole is overall very profitable I will turn it into a
                      broader content production strategy. So in this example I would instruct my
                      writers to start writing solutions and fixes for failed gadgets on a regular basis.

                   7. For keyword with high traffic, or if the sub-niche as a whole is profitable, I will
                      also produce a custom monetization strategy if necessary. Sometimes just
                      regular ads on the site is fine (like Adsense).

                        However, typically I would want to provide more targeted advertising to maximize
                        profits. In this example I might promote repair services, replacement parts
                        available on eBay or repair manuals on clickbank. Building a list for this sub-
                        niche would also be sensible.

                   8. I would continue to monitor the results to see which pages are getting good traffic
                      but are not ranking very high, I will invest more effort in those pages through both
                      the content and the promotion.

              That describes a strategy I've used for hundreds of keywords that now bring in
              hundreds of thousands of visitors a month and has helped me build a 6 figure blog

              You may not target a whole sub-niche like I have in my strategy. Instead you may just
              target pretty much any promising keywords you come across in any niche. For example
              your research might find that 'green bean recipes' and 'yellow microwave ovens' are
              promising keywords, so you try out both.

              In that case the strategy would still be similar. You would just keep publishing short
              summary content for those keywords, check the results, and push harder with the most
              promising ones.

              I prefer to focus on a particular niche or topic because it is easier to leverage. You can
              grow a niche audience, train specialist writers, use similar targeted monetization
              strategies for that niche, build a niche list etc.

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                                               Stats & Nudgiteering
              By putting out tester content you are trying to identify the keywords with the most

              Potential is measurable in three ways...

                   1. The cost/effort required to rank high (i.e how easy is it to rank high).

                   2. The traffic potential for a given keyword.

                   3. The potential for that keyword to earn money.

              Most people try to make educated guess on those 3 points, but using the strategy I
              have described, you are able to use real world information to eliminate the guess work.

              Each piece of tester content is a test. It allows you to see where a short piece of
              content, with no promotion, lands in Google, and how much traffic that brings.

              Ultimately with this strategy you will find keywords that have naturally started bringing
              you traffic, that are converting that traffic into revenue, but could rank higher.

                    An example...
              Let's say, as a theoretical example you throw out tester content for 10 keywords. After
              two weeks you would compile data a little like this...

               Keyword                         Average Ranking      Traffic/week     Estimated Earnings
                                                                                     per visit
               Keyword1                        <100                 0                ?
               Keyword2                        55                   3                ?
               Keyword3                        23                   0                ?
               Keyword4                        13                   60               $0.08
               Keyword5                        5                    32               $0.03
               Keyword6                        <100                 0                ?
               Keyword7                        <100                 2                ?
               Keyword8                        30                   0                ?
               Keyword9                        45                   2                ?
               Keyword10                       8                    20               ?

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              Now from that table it is quickly very obvious which keywords you shouldn't target, and
              those which show a lot of promise. In case it wasn't obvious I have highlighted them in
              red below...

               Keyword                         Average Ranking      Traffic/week    Estimated Earnings
                                                                                    per visit
               Keyword1                        <100                 0               ?
               Keyword2                        55                   3               ?
               Keyword3                        23                   0               ?
               Keyword4                        13                   60              $0.08
               Keyword5                        5                    32              $0.03
               Keyword6                        <100                 0               ?
               Keyword7                        <100                 2               ?
               Keyword8                        30                   0               ?
               Keyword9                        45                   2               ?
               Keyword10                       8                    20              ?

              Why I've highlighted those keywords will become even clearer as you read on, but
              essentially the more traffic the keyword has when ranking lower is a strong signal.

              In other words, 10 visitors in position 45 is more promising than 10 visitors in position 2
              in Google.

                    Tracking Earnings...
              Also notice that most of the keywords have no data on their potential earnings per
              visitor sent. That's because the traffic was too low to get any sort of estimate, and even
              at that level of traffic it is still a pretty big estimate, but its better than no data.

              To track earnings you will need to be tracking the revenue from individual pages by
              setting up separate tracking IDs or channels for each page. If you don't understand then
              don't worry as its not essential as long as you are picking keywords with good
              commercial intent (i.e attracting buyers), you can always refer to averages from existing
              similar pages instead, such as your typical Adsense eCPM.

              If you want to explore tracking for any particular source of revenue such as eBay
              partner network, Amazon, Clickbank or Adsense, just simply search Google for the
              name of your source of revenue, and add the word 'tracking'.

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              The better data you have available here the more accurately you can define your
              budget and potential profit margins. However, it won't always be available, so use
              common sense and averages from your past campaigns in those cases.

                    To push or not to push? A traffic question...
              A big part of deciding whether or not a keyword is worth pursuing comes down to how
              much traffic potential a given keyword has. This is where most people are clueless, and
              is also why this strategy is so powerful.

              Your test content has provided you with real world statistics. You can use this to make
              an accurate prediction about the traffic you will receive if you rank higher.

              If you know how much traffic a keyword gets at a particular ranking, you can work out
              how much extra traffic you can potentially get by moving that keyword up in the results.

              A small bump in rankings can have a BIG effect.

              A few years back AOL leaked details on 36,389,567 search queries which resulted in
              19,434,540 organic (non-paid) clickthroughs performed by 658,000 subscribers. That's
              a pretty large data set and it has given a good overview of what the CTR (click through
              rate) in Google results will be.

              The results were actually very shocking. It revealed how just small jumps in the rankings
              can drastically increase Search Engine traffic. Take a look at the pie chart below which
              demonstrates just how much of the traffic goes to listings on the first results page:

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              So if you are getting traffic from a page ranking on page 2 or even further back then
              imagine what traffic you could be getting if you were listed on page one.

              Knowing that a search term is getting traffic on page 2 or even further back is powerful
              information to have. You know that traffic will be massively higher on the first page,
              making the keyword show a lot of potential.

              The Top Ten...

              Similarly moving up through the top ten positions drastically increases traffic with the
              number 1 position getting nearly 50% of all the traffic leaving the subsequent spots
              fighting for the scraps.

              You can see from the graph below that jumping just a few positions can sometimes
              more than double your traffic for a given search term with position 9 only having a
              quarter of the traffic of position 2, and having 15 times less traffic than position 1.

              Similar studies have replicated this trend, although it is worth being aware that it can
              vary for each keyword.

              Some keywords like a website name for example, will have disproportional favoring for
              the number one position. For example, people who search for YouTube know where
              they want to go and click the first result.

              Compare that to a search for a complex solution, like for example, fixing a dishwasher.
              People are more likely to browse the top 10 to see what looks to best answer their
              query rather than just jumping straight for the number one position.

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              So just be aware of this, but overall a little move up in the rankings can send you a lot
              more traffic. With this in mind you should be keen to give some of your pages a little

              When you see a keyword getting traffic that is only ranked on page 2 of Google that's a
              big opportunity as its usually much easier to move from page 2 to page 1, than it is to
              move from position 5 to position 2 for example.

              Since you already have some data, and have a guide to how much extra traffic you
              might get as you move up the rankings, you will have a much better idea of how much
              you can spend to get that keyword ranking higher while maintaining a good profit.


              Let's take Keyword4 from our example,

                   •    it has a position of 13 so sits near the top of page 2 and gets 60 searches a

                   •    we know that page 2 gets an average 4.5% of visitors for a search term

                   •    The page 2 distribution of search traffic will probably mirror page 1, but with less
                        severity as users will be studying the results more carefully to find what they want
                        by the time they hit page 2.

                   •    All things being equal then each spot on page 2 would get 0.45% of search
                        traffic. However, those towards the top would get more, so estimated position 13
                        as getting 0.7% of traffic seems reasonable.

                   •    So 60 searches a week is just 0.7% of the total traffic. The total traffic would be
                        857 searches a week, or 25,714 searches a month.

                   •    If it could land on page one in one of the lower spots it would get about 3% of all
                        search traffic, so 771 searches a month.

                   •    PROFIT: The earnings per visitor was estimated at $0.08 which gives the
                        potential earning of $62 per month for that keyword. Spending $50 on improving
                        the content and promotion would clearly be justified, leaving a very large yearly
                        profit, and practically guarantee a profit even if things didn't quite work out as
                        expected. If they work out better that's just icing on the cake!

              Your actual position in Google can change daily so you may want to monitor the
              keyword for a few days to ensure your data is accurately reflecting its current position.

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              Also be aware that Google ranks your pages differently to different users. For example,
              people in Canada see different results to those in the USA. Google also personalizes
              the results for most of its users which can cause your pages to rank in different
              positions for different people.

              To get an idea of the real baseline for where you rank in, use the Scroogle
              Scraper which shows the true ranking position before any personilzation. This gives you
              a good estimate of where you rank.

              Additionally you can pull data from your stats package, or Google webmaster tools to
              help identify the position of your keywords.

                    Stats Package:
              You will need a stats package in order to see what keywords are sending you traffic.
              You can use:

                   •    Google Analytics: Gives very detailed data on where your traffic comes from
                        and what keywords are sending you data. It requires you placing Google code on
                        your website. Overall it is very powerful and provides a lot of useful data. Some
                        webmasters don't like it as they feel it gives up too much data about their site to

                   •    Google Webmaster Tools: This is very handy as it can tell you keywords that
                        you rank for, how many clicks you have received for those keywords, the click
                        through ratio, and the average ranking position you have in Google. It does no
                        require putting any code on your site as the data is provided directly from

                   •    Clicky: Like Google Analytics Clicky provides very detailed data on your traffic,
                        as well as a variety of other insightful features which Google Analytics does not

              For those hot keywords that you identify you will want to improve the content and start
              some promotion to nudge it up in the Search Engines, something I decided to call

              This report is not about how to promote a website, but here are a few example ways
              you can nudge a page up in the rankings...

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                   •    Article Marketing (submit articles which link back to your page)

                   •    Video Marketing (submit videos which link back to your page in the description)

                   •    Social Bookmarking

                   •    Social media (tweets, facebook shares etc.)

                   •    Guest Posting

                   •    Linkbait

              The key to nudgiteering and staying profitable with your marketing is simply to nudge
              your page up in the rankings. This means doing a little bit of promoting at a time. A
              calculated effort to push your rankings up a little higher to get the exponential rewards
              of higher traffic from higher rankings.

              This prevents you from pumping a huge amount of effort into a keyword which may be
              an over-investment. Sometimes you don't need much at all to move into a very high
              position, and also as you move higher the expense to move up one position begins to
              drastically increase and may not be worth it.

              By nudgiteering it allows you time to reflect and collect data to see how the campaign is

              In addition I personally always put some budget aside for random nudgiteering of posts
              on my large content sites (i.e. promoting random posts) for 2 reasons:

              1. It really helps your overall Google rankings to have links going to more individual
              pages. This shows Google that your entire site is valuable. It is important not to let lots
              of pages drag behind if you can afford not too. Random nudgiteering will boost your
              overall rankings, and helps the spread of Search Engine juice throughout your site.
              Remember that when a page on your site gets linked to, it also gives a little bit of help
              the other pages on your site as the juice spreads around your site..

              2. The individual page will rank higher, and you never know what pages were just sitting
              below the threshold of getting decent traffic with a little push, so this can reveal more
              profitable pages (see below)

                    Lost Keywords Emerge
              As time goes by if you check your stats you will always find new opportunities. As I have
              said previously every page on your site is providing your with potentially hot keywords
              you may want to pursue further.

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              Rather than trying to target new keywords, you will often get much stronger results from
              targeting keywords that have already proven their potential.

                    Accidental Keywords
              When you publish tester content, don't just look to see if the keyword you are targeting
              has sent traffic, but watch out for other keyword phrases that you have accidentally
              ranked for. These can be a huge opportunity and you will discover keywords that you
              would have otherwise never found.

              Your page is probably not optimized for those accidental keywords which means as
              soon as you optimize the page, or create another optimized page for that keyword, you
              will rank even higher.

                    New Opportunities
              You should continually check your stats for new opportunities. As your site grows, and
              as you push forward with guaranteed keywords, you will find new hot accidental
              keywords emerging in your stats.

              You likely find keywords you previously decided not to pursue because they did not rank
              very high or get any traffic before, but are now getting traffic. You will also find that you
              are ranking for keywords you never even targeted or even thought of.

              Keep an eye on your statistics for such opportunities as these keywords can be ripe for
              bumping a little bit higher. Often it is easier to increase your traffic and revenue this way
              than searching for new keywords to target.

              I can't stress enough what a huge opportunity is lying in wait in your website statistics.
              The more content you produce and the more you test promising keywords with easy
              test content, the more big opportunities will present themselves.

              Within your stats will be keywords getting a trickle of traffic which can quickly become
              $20/day, $50/day, $100/day or more keywords, with just a little calculated push.

              When you continue to search out and focus your effort on keywords with such potential,
              higher profits are inevitable.

                    Raising the Bar
              As your traffic grows, your site's authority builds up and as more cash is coming in, you
              will want to consider targeting more difficult keywords from the outset.

              At this point your experience will be giving you a 6th sense for hot keywords, and you will
              also have more resources at your disposal to go for bigger fish.

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              To target bigger fish you need a slight change in strategy. Instead of just popping up
              tester content and seeing what promising keywords shine, you identify slightly more
              difficult promising keywords.

              These keywords will have slightly higher competition, but also more potential traffic.
              However, it is very unlikely these higher tier keywords would manage to rank at all with
              your typical tester content.

              So you need to invest a little to promote your tester content. The amount of promotion
              really depends on the tier of keywords you are targeting, but its best to stick to quick
              and easy promotion just to give the tester content a bit of a push.

              Any links you can build quickly and easily will be a good choice. Something simple like
              taking the content, and republishing it on another site (such as Xomba) with a link back
              to the original tester content is a good start, along with the odd social bookmark.

              You could even post to a free press release sites that publish instantly like
     or Simply write a standard press
              release that announces new content on your site, and make quick simple changes that
              take less than 2 minutes.

              Again this is about doing as little as possible to get real data on those keywords and see
              which ones stand out. You should still be minimizing the effort in at this point, so that
              you can focus your efforts on the hot keywords that present themselves.

              Make sure you keep the level of promotion equal between all tester content so you can
              compare and identify the hottest keywords most effectively.

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                                         Deadly Mistakes to Avoid
              I've seen a number of people make these mistakes which has caused them to miss out
              on a lot of traffic. Don't make these mistakes...

                   •    Target one keyword – The important part of this strategy is testing a number of
                        promising keywords to find those which stand out. If you only have one keyword
                        to pick from, there's little point to the exercise. By picking a larger number of
                        promising keywords you can target the clear winners that present themselves.
                        You can quickly see where our efforts will be best spent. You should target 10
                        promising keywords as a minimum. 20-50, or even more is better.

                   •    Lack of Effort: Jumping in and taking action is critical. If you found this guide
                        useful, but don't put it to practice, it has been nothing but a waste of your time.
                        Knowledge is useless without application.

                        Doing some keyword research, and then creating 50 pieces of tester content and
                        publishing can be done a week or two. Although with practice it can be done in a
                        2-3 days without much trouble.

                        One keyword alone can be responsible for $100/day in income or more if you find
                        the right one. That's a full time income from one keyword. Realizing this is a
                        pretty good motivator to get you on the hunt for that uber-hot keyword.

                   •    Analyze the Wrong Thing: When you look at your stats to see the results on a
                        keyword, you should look at the traffic the keyword sent to your page, not the
                        total amount of traffic the page got. That way you specifically know how well the
                        keyword is performing and whether to pursue that keyword. The page itself might
                        be getting traffic from different keywords or possibly other sources.

                   •    Target Difficult Keywords: Instead of picking something easy and very small,
                        most of us will focus on a big target. If you were starting to train for a marathon
                        after years on the couch, you wouldn't run out the door with the aim of running up
                        the nearest mountain, you'd start of small and ease yourself in.

                        It is no different with keywords. Go for the little victories, the ones you can win.
                        This is key when identifying promising keywords. Too often people go for
                        something too difficult and then find that all of the promising keywords they
                        targeted are not worth pursuing.

                        If you do find yourself in this situation, go on the hunt for ultra low competition
                        keywords, or keywords with zero competition. Keyword Reality contains a variety

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                        of strategies you can use to do this...

                   •    Big Targets – If you set yourself a big target from the outset, it can be
                        overwhelming to get started. Instead start off small and build up. If you say to
                        yourself you will find just do 10 keywords today, and for the next two days write 5
                        pieces of tester content each day. In 3 days you are done, and it is a small bite-
                        size task to tackle so you are more likely to start, and more importantly, finish.
                        Once done you can then ramp up your goals.

                        A big goal from the outset can be intimidating and off-putting. Starting off small
                        ensures you get it done.

                   •    Going Alone – Avoid doing this alone if possible. Find someone to buddy up
                        with. Anyone else you know or have networked with online who is building a
                        website is a good person to partner with. All marketers want more traffic.

                        All you then do is keep tabs on each other, and run a little competition to see who
                        can find the most hot keywords, and how can get the most traffic from their
                        efforts, sharing your success along the way.

                   •    Outsource – once you get the system for doing this down, outsource it. The
                        content doesn't need to be spectacular, and keyword research is a system, so
                        outsourcing this for cheap is easy to do.

                        Write down the steps you do to complete the strategy, and also record yourself
                        doing the whole thing, and then hire someone to takeover from you.

                        It is best to start off with one stage at a time. Getting the tester content written
                        and published is the best place to start in my opinion.

                                       "How Keyword Needle Fits
                                          Into the Big Picture"
              I wanted to make sure you are able to fill in the blanks and have everything you need to
              put this to effective use in a real online business.
              Knowledge is great, but if you are serious about applying this then you need to see how
              it fits into the big picture so you can make it work in your real business...

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                    Step 1 - Initial Keyword Research
              Keyword Needle does NOT replace your existing keyword research, it fine tunes it and
              filters it down to the keywords that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
              However, you still need a solid list of keywords to begin with. If you pick bad keywords,
              all Keyword Needle will do is identify them all as not worth pursuing.
              If you want keywords with guaranteed profits, you need to pick keywords that have that
              The WRONG way to do it: Relying on the Google Keyword Tool.
              I take a different approach to keyword research after finding the traditional methods to
              be less effective. My keyword strategy is discussed in detail in my Keyword Reality

                    Step 2 - Identify Keywords with Guaranteed Profits
              This is where the Keyword Needle strategy comes in. You know what to do!

                 Step 3 - Promote Your Hot Keywords - How to Build
              Those keywords that you identified should already be bringing you some traffic, but you
              will want to push it further with effective link building.
              This is a major disaster area for some people. Link building seems simple and straight
              forward, just get whatever links you can and hopefully some will stick, right?

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              Unfortunately that is neither wise or effective. As you begin to tackle more difficult
              keywords, and as your site grows, the more you will need a varied and high quality
              backlink portfolio that gives Google the signals it needs.
              This backlink course is what I recommend unless you already have a solid and effective
              link building plan in place:
              IMPORTANT: There's a reason I recommend this course over many others. A lot of
              SEOs *think* they know what they are talking about because they have had some
              However, until an SEO actually starts to hit large numbers and has had their fair mix of
              success and failures, can they really give quality information, especially when it comes
              to link building.
              Beware of bad advice that is outdated, dangerous, not long term, or missing key
              Attaining link authority is essential for massive traffic from Google and other Search
              Engines. You need to know the most effective up to date strategies that are not only
              effective, but efficient too.
              This detailed video course will get you up to speed and give you everything you need to
              know to start an effective link building campaign:

                    Step 4 - On-Site SEO
              On-site SEO has to be the simplest part of the whole equation. It's hard to really go
              wrong here, especially if your sites are relatively small - massive content sites can be
              more troublesome to get right.
              While on-site SEO is essential, you can get 80% of the effectiveness with a few simple
              tweaks. If you use Wordpress then the All-in-one SEO plugin will do just that for you
              with a 1 minute install of the plugin, just make sure your post titles actually contain your
              main keyword at the start.
              That's pretty much all there is to it!
              It is really that simple, don't let any grandmaster SEO persuade you otherwise.

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              Gaining the remaining 20% is also relatively straight forward (mostly). If you are not
              happy with your on-page SEO then take a look at Subversive SEO, this will get you up
              to 95-99% effectiveness with your on-page SEO.
              The remaining few percentages involve very advanced tweaks that requires you to be
              constantly testing theories in controlled experiments, and essentially read the mind of
              the Google algorithm and tweak those tiny minor things to its liking. At this level the
              rewards are exceptionally diminishing.
              Honestly, if you've picked the right keywords up front, just simply using the Subversive
              SEO methods will have you getting traffic for a lot of them, without the need for any
              serious promotion. It tells you how to put your website together in the correct way in a
              step-by-step fashion:

                    Step 5 - Outsourcing
              This is the key to scaling your business. Start by outsourcing the smallest and simplest
              tasks which are taking up your time.
              Anything which you can do to free up your time and allow you to focus on higher level
              tasks is important. If you earn more than $3 per hour from your online business then
              you are in a position to outsource some of the most basic tasks that take up your time.
              My biggest piece of advice I can give is to get together clear documentation for your
              staff to follow, no matter how simple the job. Take screenshots, and even record a video
              of yourself doing the task. Obviously if you are outsourcing to a ready-to-run service
              then you don't need to do that, but quality ready-to-run services are rare, and if they
              exist tend to be expensive.
              Outsourcing is difficult, in fact finding good people at the right price is something I
              always find challenging.
              Outsourcing Skillset
              Rachel Rofe built an outsourcing company with over 100 employees and then sold it.
              She knows a thing or two about outsourcing, and my team is very small in comparison
              to what she has built.
              Rachel spells out how you can get started with outsourcing just little tasks to free up
              your time to begin scaling your business. This is a great way to start outsourcing and

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              leverage a lot of people for pennies.
              Outsourcing Backlinks
              When it came to hiring people to handle promotion I literally contacted over 1000 SEO
              companies and individuals (well my VA did), and out of those I found only 5 that were
              anywhere near worth using.
              Most were over-priced, or using dirty aged tactics that I would not want to touch. I found
              that hiring an SEO company to do your link building is pretty much never going to work
              in most cases. Why? Because anyone that is any good at it is in such high demand their
              prices are through the roof - their target market is fortune 500 companies.
              There are a handful of out-of-the-box services that you can use, but you have to be
              smart about how you use them, they can easily be used incorrectly. Other than that it is
              a case of training your own team. I use a mixture of the two for an effective promotional
              If you are considering doing the same then I recommend 'Never Build Backlinks Again',
              which in 30 pages gives you a very solid insight into outsourcing your backlinks:
              Be sure to combine this knowledge with what you learned in the backlink course:
              Outsourcing Offline/Local Marketing
              I don't do offline/local marketing for small businesses, nor do I have clients. However, I
              know this is a very popular business model, and if that is your business model and you
              are ready to start outsourcing then I've heard very good things about this Offline
              Marketing Outsourcing course.
              It covers everything from outsourcing lead generation and web design, to outsourcing
              iPhone apps for local businesses. If you are making any money with local clients this is
              a no brainer:
              I hope that giving you resources that fill in the blanks has been useful for you.

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                                                       To Sum Up
                   •    If you are already getting traffic for keywords, then work out some important
                        information to help you get rough averages on how keywords perform. This
                        includes your average earnings per visitor or eCPM, how traffic you get from
                        keywords compares to Google's traffic estimates, and how much time or money
                        you typically spend getting a keyword to move up in the rankings.

                   •    Use these averages to help identify very rough estimates of potential profit and
                        loss for your marketing campaign. This is the process Mark went through in his
                        original question.

                   •    Employ effective keyword research to identify keywords that look promising.

                   •    Don't jump in and invest heavily in all the keywords you identify. Instead use
                        tester content to see if the keywords have potential. Simply write short content of
                        about 150 words and publish it on your site if your site has good ranking ability,
                        or alternatively on Hubpages.

                   •    Wait and see what keywords start to rank and note down where they rank (using
                        Scroogle and your site's stats), how much traffic that keyword gets, and if it
                        shows any earning potential.

                        Those keywords getting traffic, but ranking low are ripe for pursuing.

                   •    Also keep a close eye on your stats to spot more profitable opportunities from
                        other keywords you were not focusing on.

                   •    For the keywords you identify as hot work out how much extra traffic you can get
                        if you move up small amounts in the rankings to confirm if it is worth pursuing.

                   •    Start nudging your keywords up in the rankings with small promotional
                        campaigns. Reflect on the results, and consider whether to push further.

                   •    As your site grows bigger, has more authority and you have more money at your
                        disposal, begin to target more difficult keywords. Ensure you do some cheap and
                        quick promotion for your tester content to reflect the greater difficulty of the

                   •    Enjoy your low marketing costs, and the exceptional profit margins you get
                        from pursuing only keywords that are practically guaranteed to be hot.

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