Internet Marketers and Search Engine Optimization professionals often dream of ranking for massively popular keywords like "life insurance" or "business loans." No doubt owning a top ranking site for those keywords would be fantastically rewarding financially, but it would also be incredibly difficult to achieve and maintain. With the level of competition involved in those kinds of queries it would be a never-ending battle to keep that top ranking as well.
I prefer to target a few mid-range keyword sets most of the time. Keyword sets that, when combined, generate a lot of traffic. They are still reasonably competitive, so it takes some sweat and elbow grease to get them, but nothing like the mega keywords mentioned previously.
But there's another tactic that I've also implemented with solid success: targeting a lot of low competition keywords. They're easy to rank for and maintain, and can pull in a lot of quality traffic. Generally speaking, the more terms in a search phrase the better qualified the traffic.
For instance, if somebody is searching for "insurance" you really don't know what they're after. Life insurance? Auto insurance? Health insurance? But if they're searching for "low cost term life insurance" -- well, you know exactly who you're selling to. That means higher conversion rates and more revenue per visitor, even if the number of people searching for the phrase is smaller.
Here's another, similar, method that Google's drop-down list of keyword suggestions makes possible: find out what questions people are asking and answer them.
For instance, go to Google and type the phrase "where can i find" and wait for Google to populate the drop-down list. What I get is this:
where can i find chunk norris
where can i find a notary
where can i find my ip address
where can i find coupons
where can i find a job
That first one is kind of weird, but obviously somebody's searching for it since it made it to the top of the list! But the list gives you an idea of some popular things people are searching for.
From that list you can expand out to get more detailed questions on a particular topic. For instance, at Google I typed "where can i find coupons" and got this list of suggestions:
where can i find coupons for groceries
where can i find coupons online
where can i find coupons for diapers
where can i find coupons for six flags
See what I'm getting at here? It's a great way to explore the kinds of questions people are searching for answers to. Build a page with the exact question as the title, some quality text answering the question (perhaps pitching a product that fills the need or using AdSense for revenue) and do a little link building to rank it. Voila! A rinse-and-repeat profit formula.
Another great thing about targeting these kinds of full-length questions is that the number of searches per month, while not huge, are often significant -- but the competition is more meager.
As an example, I typed "how many" into Google and got back a great question suggestion:
how many calories should i eat a day
There are results in the top ten for that question with only a few dozen unique links to the entire site, and those links are not high quality, either. But the Google AdWords Keyword Tool shows that that question gets asked almost 3,000 times a month (local monthly searches). That's a good traffic level for something you can rank for so easily. And it's a safe bet that anyone searching for the answer to that question is looking to lose weight -- so you know what kind of products you should be offering them!
If you're interested in going after some of these kinds of questions, I've made your task of exploring some of the questions people are looking for a lot easier. Below is a list of text files containing a long list of questions people are searching for. I used an automated tool of mine to extract all of these questions.
Here they are. Click the link to get the full list of questions.
NOTICE: I haven't filtered anything out of these lists, and they were generated using an automated tool, so they may contain some queries that aren't exactly family-friendly. If they do, I apologize in advance.
- how many (1646 questions)
- how much (2120 questions)
- what is (3514 questions)
- where is (3259 questions)
- what are (2549 questions)
- where can i (1471 questions)
- where can i find (1323 questions)
- how can i (1781 questions)
- why should i (767 questions)
There are, of course, a lot more you can dig out of Google on your own. But that list should get you started.
Please leave your thoughts and questions in a comment below.