Latest posts by Ewan Hollander (see all)
Like me, you may have heard terms such as CPC, ROI, CTR, CPM or RPM when reading about Google Adsense and found it slightly daunting. Now let me ask you a slightly left field question. Have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street? Wall Street? Maybe even a documentary on stockbroking? Do you know what a stock broker is?
Ok. A stock broker is an individual who usually works or is associated with a brokerage firm. They buy and sell stocks in exchange for a fee or commission. The basic concept- buy when its cheap, sell when its expensive. Stock brokers have numerous analytics tools and research systems providing a constant stream of data to them to help pick and more importantly, predict stocks and trends. Now as a blogger or website owner, you may have looked at your Google Adsense dashboard or reports and thought ‘I have some great content but I can’t seem to get much revenue for it.’ And to add injury to insult you are getting a lot of traffic but your revenue still won’t grow.
Today’s bloggers, authors, columnists, publishers and website owners need to do more than just write content that people want to read. It needs to be content that is searched for on Google. Let’s go back to the stock broker analogy. They use data to predict trends and find cheap stocks to eventually sell for a profit. As a blogger, you have access to data that can help you predict key search trends.
Google Adsense’s trinity
The three main factors that affect your Adsense revenue are: traffic, CTR – click-through rate, and CPC – cost-per-click. Before we dive into what these are, do you know how Adsense works? Google Adsense works by matching adverts with content. Different types of content can get more ad matches while others get less. Google utilises a bidding method when it comes to placing adverts. Simply put, the more advertisers your content can match with, the better. Now, to add another level of complexity, it’s not just the quantity of the advertises but their quality. Before looking at any analytics, you need to ensure you are writing top quality content, that focuses on high paying keywords that Google matches with high paying advertisers.
So we know how Adsense works now. Let’s more onto predictive search terms. Knowing the keywords that have a strong search value, prediction of increased search queries, a high Adsense CPC and little competition will give you a measurable advantage as an Adsense publisher. Stock brokers analyse trends and see opportunities. From this they buy potentially high earning stocks and sell them for a profit. As a blogger or publisher, knowing information in advance can help you plan a content strategy. You will look at: “What topics/events can I cover to boost the ad revenue?” and “How can I get a foot up on my competition?”
Back to the analogy. Think like a stock broker for a moment. You have a stock and you have a stock price. Imagine your keyword is the stock and the cost-per-click is the stock price. As a publisher, you don’t invest in stock but, instead, invest in niche keywords. As a stock’s value is the price people are willing to pay for it, a keyword’s value is the cost-per-click advertisers are willing to pay for every add on your site. So, as the keywords determine which adverts Adsense displays, the CPC for the keywords is what determines how much money you make per click.
How would you put it in practice? Search for keywords that have strong search volume and probably will increase. Be sure to give preference to keywords generating high cost-per-click rates. Finally, give priority for the selected keywords with lower search competition.
Trends, analytics and predictions
I mentioned above that stock brokers use systems to track and predict stock trends. What systems can you, as a blogger or content publisher, use to help predict high CPC keywords that will have little search competition?
What are they? SEMrush is a tool that is used to find profitable keywords. It is used extensive among publishers and bloggers and I won’t be surprised if you are already signed up. Google Trends is a tool that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search volume across different regions globally. Now that you have your tools you should look at identifying the keywords bringing traffic to your site, find phrases match keywords from the top performing keywords for your blog and evaluate which ones look good enough to invest time in. (A phrase match lets a keyword trigger an advert to show only when someone searches for the exacty keyword phrase or a close variation.) One final note to consider is that Google Trends has a nifty feature that allows for predicting future traffic volume for keywords. If you can predict trends, you can go ahead and write content that will be potentially highly searched for in weeks to come, thus staying ahead of the curve and generating revenue that you wouldn’t have previously.
And remember, it may be the keywords that bring traffic to your site but it is the content that keep people reading and coming back.