Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Targeting Commercial Keywords to Increase Revenue


When it comes to creating profitable online content, no matter where you publish that content, choosing keywords with commercial intent can help increase the number of clicks you receive and the value of those clicks. As I continue my Infobarrel experiment this month, I'm also experimenting with different keyword strategies to find out which one works best for the site. One of the primary things I'm doing differently is to focus only on product-related keywords. Why? Because visitors looking for product-related information are typically ready to click (and ready to buy). This means more clicks per article and more affiliate sales, which also means more residual income every month.

As much as I love to write about my favorite recipes and herbal remedies, these types of articles just don't bring home the bacon. Visitors get all the information they need and then they leave (usually without clicking or buying anything). Only a very compelling ad can entice them to click, which does happen. However, targeting profitable keywords with commercial intent increases these odds. So, how do you go about choosing these keywords? It's easy! In this tutorial, I'll let you in on my method for finding good commercial keywords to target in my articles.

Products Galore!

When I begin my keyword research, the first thing I do is open the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (as described in my keywords tutorial), and type in a generic product. This can be anything that someone might be looking to buy such as refrigerator, air compressor, washing machine, microwave or even smaller things like dish towels, lamps or bicycle chains - anything you can think of. If you don't know where to start, simply visit Amazon.com and look at some of the product listings for ideas. You'll quickly find something you can use for inspiration. 

Now, type in a generic product and don't worry about getting too specific. Sort through the listings until you find a product-related keyword that has adequate searches and little competition. (Don't forget to set the match-type to "exact" and organize your columns.) I've covered this subject thoroughly in my keywords tutorial, so I'm not going to go over it again here. My point is simply to explain that product-related keywords result in more clicks and affiliate sales.

Writing Product-Related Articles

Once you've found some good commercial keywords that get plenty of searches and don't have much competition, it's time to create your content. We all know that Google frowns on thin content, so make sure to try and provide as much value to your readers as possible. Let's say our first keyword is "electric space heaters." (Note: I don't know if this is a viable keyword or not. I'm just picking something off the top of my head to use as an example.) We'll begin by creating a good title. Following are some examples of the type of titles that typically do well for me. Feel free to use them with your own keywords.
  • How to Buy "Electric Space Heaters"
  • Where to Find a Good Deal on "Electric Space Heaters"
  • How to Get Discount "Electric Space Heaters"
  • How to Choose the Best "Electric Space Heaters"
  • "Electric Space Heaters" Buying Guide
  • What Are the Best "Electric Space Heaters"?
  • Tips on Buying "Electric Space Heaters"
  • What You Need to Know Before Buying "Electric Space Heaters"

Do you see the trend here? The point is to entice readers who are looking to purchase electric space heaters (or whatever your keyword may be). Your title should convey that your article is going to provide helpful advice to the consumer by helping them make the best decision. Then, after reading your helpful article, they will hopefully click a related ad or affiliate link to make that purchase. It won't work every time, mind you, but this type of article will get far more clicks than an article about face scrub recipes.

Once you've chosen a great title, you'll have to actually write the article. I know, this part isn't much fun, especially when you're writing about boring products like electric space heaters. However, you can make your life easier by reading reviews of the top products on sites like Epinions.com and Amazon.com. Look for common features and things potential buyers should consider before buying the product. Organize this information in a helpful way, and perhaps even mention a few of the top-rated brand names. 

Using Affiliate Links to Increase Income

Some sites, such as Infobarrel, allow contextual affiliate links directly in the body of the article. (Make sure you read the site's terms of service before publishing an article that contains affiliate links.) Other sites, such as HubPages, allow you to add modules that contain affiliate links to Amazon products. After compiling all the information you can come up with regarding the product, try reviewing a few of the bestselling brands and placing an affiliate link either in the article body or in a corresponding module. 

One of my highest earning Hubs is about small coffee makers. I make most of my affiliate sales through this Hub, and I simply reviewed the best small coffee makers on the market. Many readers have found this information helpful and purchased the products through my links. In my opinion, you can make the most money through both Amazon and Adsense this way, since your readers are already in buy-mode.

However, these types of articles will require long-term maintenance, especially if you review specific products. In my coffee maker hub, for example, I reviewed a product that is no longer available on Amazon, which is where my affiliate link was pointing. So, I had to either take out that section completely, write a new review of another product, or take out the affiliate link. I chose to take out the affiliate link and let Adsense take over for that section. The point is that you'll have to review your articles once every year or so to make sure your links are still working and that the products are still available and useful.

Do you have any opinions on targeting commercial keywords in your articles? How do these types of articles perform for you on the various revenue sharing sites? I'd love to hear from you!

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