Keywords are vital for good performing articles
Definition of "Article Performance"
Article performance here refers to both the number of visitor, (traffic), and the number of clicks on displayed ads, (action). While traffic is good, action is usually better since that is the only way Infobarrel authors earn money. As an author, you want both to increase as much as possible. There are different strategies that you can use to improve traffic or action but some similarities as well.
Keyword Research is Vital
As many will attest, Internet articles are all about the keywords. Even Google admits that content is king, basically meaning that content should be of high quality when compared to keywords that people use to find information. Luckily, the Google Adwords system includes keyword tracking.
Get a Google Adwords Account
While you can use the Google keyword tool without an Adwords account, it's easier with one. You just sign up at adwords.google.com. If you want to do online advertising and keyword research and if you have never used the service before, you can get an online advertising credit at no cost that allows you to publish your own ads. Once you are logged in to your Adwords account, you can use the keyword tool without having to enter any verification phrases.
Use the Keyword Tool
When you are logged in to Adwords, go to the "Tools and Analysis" tab and select the "Keyword Tool". Enter a keyword into the "Word or phrase" box. Click on the search box. In the example, "Project Management" was entered in the box. The tool returns basic information about the entered keyword and a number of related keywords. In this example, the keyword had medium competition, 3.3 million monthly searches, and a cost of about twelve dollars. These terms mean different things to advertisers than they do to Infobarrel authors.
This term refers to the number of web sites that are referencing the keyword, primarily the advertisers. In the example, medium competition doesn't really help much. The other competition possibilities are Low and High. Here is what impact each term has for advertisers and authors:
|Cost of advertising is reduced since fewer other advertisers target the keyword.||Fewer relevant ads will display in article ad blocks and/or action value will be less.|
|May be useful depending on monthly search volume.||Avoid medium competition keywords.|
|Cost of advertising is higher since more advertisers are bidding higher amounts for the keyword.||More relevant ads will display in article ad blocks and/or action value will be higher.|
Number of Published Web Pages
Many people confuse "Competition" with number of web pages. Competition refers to the number of advertisers bidding for a particular keyword. Number of web pages refers to the Internet content that highlights the keyword. As an Infobarrel author, high competition is good since more advertisers want to bid on the keyword. On the other hand, a high number of published pages is bad since your article will be one more in a vast number that use the keyword. Find out how many pages use the keyword by searching for it with Google and look for the total number of web pages returned.
Global Monthly Searches
This value represents the popularity of the keyword. In the example, 3.3 million searches are performed for project management each month. This is a fairly active level of searching. Advertisers may like higher values but Infobarrel authors do not. That's because a high number of searches means that the searchers are not highly focused. In the project management example, a great many people are searching for the keyword. An Infobarrel article would be very generic if it applied to the project management search term. Generic articles do not perform well, with action, compared to those that are more highly focused.
Approximate CPC, (or Cost Per Click)
This represents the average cost that an advertiser would need to pay to ensure that their ad is displayed on search results for the keyword. A high CPC is bad for advertisers since they need to pay more money per viewer action. It usually is better, however, for Infobarrel authors. It is important to note, however, that an article about project management is unlikely to receive $12 per user action despite the CPC being that high. The Adwords CPC is a measure of the cost an advertiser needs to pay for the keyword on search result pages. Infobarrel articles are part of the Google Display Network. Costs for advertisers there are lower so the value of viewer actions on Infobarrel articles is lower as well. Still, the CPC value is relative in that higher amounts should translate into higher action values for Infobarrel articles.
How to Improve Article Traffic Performance?
To improve traffic performance, standard search engine optimization, (SEO), techniques are used. A published Infobarrel article is shared on social media sites, mentioned in forum posts on relevant web sites and becomes part of a series of articles referencing the keyword. The generic keyword is referenced in the article as perhaps 4% of the number of words in the article. With more traffic, hopefully the action also increases, but this is by no means a certainty.
How to Improve Article Action Performance?
Action performance can mainly be improved by targeting more focused keywords. In the example, project management is very generic. Visitors to the Infobarrel article may want to know about project management templates, but the article discusses risk mitigation. Viewers quickly leave without performing an action. If the article is re-written to highlight risk, the action performance should improve. Just by adding the word "risk" to the keyword, the monthly searches drop from 3.3 million to barely 50,000. It is easier to write an article specific to this keyword than to the generic one. Visitors to the article may be more inclined to take action since they are more likely looking for particular assistance while searching for the keyword.
Add an Adwords Filter
Below the Adwords keyword box, the option "Advanced Options and Filters" can be opened by clicking on the small "+" symbol. This allows the selection of location, meaning where the people searching for the keyword live. The "Filter ideas" box is useful for Infobarrel authors. Change the local monthly searches to be ">=" 1000. Click on "Add Another" and specify local monthly searches to be less and 5000. This limits the keywords to those related to the master term which have at least 1000 searches a month and a maximum of 5000 a month. Click Now a list of highly targeted keywords will be displayed. These are much better choices for Infobarrel articles than generic keywords.
Putting it all together
If you find a keyword with between 1000 and 5000 monthly searches, that has high competition and a high CPC, you may have found a good keyword to include in an Infobarrel article. If the keyword is related to your area of expertise, even better. If there are relatively few existing web pages using the keyword, better yet. Be sure to write a good quality article of about 1000 words that uses the keyword a number of times, up to 3% or 30 times in a long article. Use it naturally, though. Mix in some variations as well. For example, "project management risks" is treated as distinct from "project management risk".