If you have dual monitors and frequently blabber on about CPC, CTR, ROI, CPM, or RPM when talking about your Google AdSense earnings, then you definitely have that day trader vibe going on. Thank goodness we’re in an era where being a geek finally is considered the new cool. So let’s take it a step further. How can thinking like a stock market analyst help you increase your AdSense revenue?
We’re not turning you into a stock market junky. We’re just giving you some ideas on how to get really smart at planning your content to maximize earnings – complete with a 5 step process.
No MBA in finance or extra Zoloft required
Easy now. Relax your grip on your mouse or tablet. The next few minutes won’t require you to open up your 401k or investment account… reluctantly peeking through your fingers. It’s not a scary movie… or a scary article. We promise. And, just so you know, that wincing look is said to be the leading cause of early onset Botox necessity.
Without too much complexity, we’re going to explain how the stock market and the AdSense CPC ad market share some common behaviors. We’ll equip you with some tips on how to use data in a similar way to financial analysts. The end goal? It’ll give you a strategy to increase your AdSense earnings.
The AdSense triad: traffic, CTR, and CPC
There are three main factors that lead to increased earnings: traffic, click-through rate, and CPC.
You’ll hear marketing types occasionally tell you their job is: to sell more stuff, to more people, more often, for a higher price. That’s definitely how to maximize your revenue. But those are just the objectives, not the execution plan. What are the strategies for actually achieving it?
We’re going to focus on traffic and CPC.
These two factors line up nicely with volume and price in the stock market world. Your AdSense revenue is directly affected by the amount of traffic you have and the cost-per-click you’re getting.
Further drilling down, Google AdSense works by matching ads with content. A certain type of content can get more matches while others get significantly less matches. Google operates a bidding method, so the more advertisers you match with the better.
Also, it’s not just quantity but quality too. If you can attract many advertisers that are willing to pay a significant amount to receive traffic from your website the better off you are. In order to attract high paying advertisers you need to create content that focuses on high paying keywords that Google will match with high paying advertisers.
Keep your eye on the target
Before we jump too far ahead, we have to make sure we’re 100% clear on the main objective here. Otherwise, why bother?
Knowing which keywords have strong search volume, prediction of increased search queries, a high AdSense CPC, and low competition… gives you major advantages as an AdSense publisher and will nicely align you with the stock trader psyche.
When stock market traders analyze trends and spot opportunities, they make money. They know what to buy and when it will lead to profit. For simplicity, we’ll be sticking to decisions about when to buy.
As bloggers and forum publishers, knowing this sort of info in advance lets us plan our content strategy:
- What topics can we cover that are going to boost our ad earnings?
- And how can we get traffic from them before our competitors’ sites?
Thinking in terms of volume and price: traffic and CPC
In the stock market world, volume is the amount of a given stock that is being bought and sold. In the AdSense world this maps well with the number of web searches for a given keyword.
Think of a keyword as a stock.
Keyword = Stock
A stock market trader invests in a stock. An AdSense publisher invests in niche keywords.
Back in the stock market world, the last price that a given stock sells at is its price. That’s the value the market has set for it. In the AdSense world this maps with CPC, or the cost per click that advertisers are willing to pay you for every ad click on your site.
So you have some content on your forum or blog with keywords. The keywords are what AdSense uses to decide on which ads to display. And the CPC rate for those keywords is what decides how much you will make on every click.
Think of the CPC for a keyword as the stock price.
CPC = Stock Price
A stock market trader pays a price for a particular stock they expect to rise in value. An AdSense publisher creates content around keywords that have a high CPC – if they can get traffic for it.
3 Factors that bring advertising ROI from content
If you hired a stock trader to advise you on how to pick what new content to create, it would go a lot like this:
- Pick keywords that have a strong search volume and are likely to increase
- Give preference to keywords that are generating high CPC rates
- Prioritize for selected keywords with lower search competition
Once you have keywords that fit that criteria, you invest. And in the AdSense world, that means creating and publishing new content that covers those keywords.
It’s the kind of content that not only has lots of traffic, but lots of traffic that you can get a share of. When you do, every click pays well. You don’t need to attend a Gordon Gecko seminar to know that that is a winning formula.
So we have the theory down. Now we need the tools to make it happen.[Tweet “Give preference to keywords that are generating high CPC rates. #AdSense]
What tools do I need to analyze my CPC like a stock?
There are a variety of tools available that can help you collect and analyze your keyword data. We’ll feature two today that work nicely together to cover our 3 factors given above:
Google hires lots of statistics geeks. Nobody has better access to search data than they do. That gives us a reason to confide in the accuracy of Google Trends, and specifically its capability of predicting anticipated future traffic volume for a given keyword.
Google Trends is going to complement SEMrush as our future traffic predictor.
If you’re already doing some serious search engine marketing, then you probably have your SEMrush account opened up right now. It is packed with powerful features.
However, we’re going to zero in on two main capabilities. We’ll use it for quickly identifying keywords that present opportunities for your site. And we’ll use it for targeting keywords that have higher CPC and weaker competition from other publishers.
Your 5 step process of pinpointing your top earning keywords
Let the traders focus on finding the winning stocks. Right now, your job is to identify the winning keywords.
Step 1 – Identify the keywords bringing you traffic now
Looking at which keywords you already rank for is the best way to know a bunch of related stuff you can rank for too. Think of this as capitalizing on low hanging fruit. You can have very big returns by simply leveraging what you’re already good at.
We like to look at the top keywords we ranked for in the last 30 days with SEMrush. But not only simply ranked for. They must also have sent us traffic.
By entering your website address, SEMrush will generate a report of your organic search results. It includes your best keywords, their position in the SERPs (search engine results pages), the estimated monthly search volume, the competitiveness, and the CPC for each.
You will focus on the ones that are sending you the most traffic that also have a high search volume. If you can get traffic for these, you’re in a good position to get traffic for similar ones too.
Step 2 – Find phrase match keywords for your top performing keywords
SEMrush lets us click on our top performing keywords from Step 1 and we get a new report. In this step, we want to identify other phrased match keywords.
Phrase matched keywords contain the original keyword phrase we ranked for. So that gives us an excellent opportunity to also quickly rank and gain traffic for them as well.
In the stock world, this would be similar to evaluating other stocks within a particular sector (like biotech or green energy) since you expect to find other winners similar to what you already have invested in.
But how do we pick the best ones?
Step 3 – Evaluate keyword phrases that look like good investments
So you’re staring at a list of phrase matched keywords, aka the low hanging fruit. However, they are not all created equal. You want to select the ones you’ll target based on how much traffic they can net you, as well as how much a CPC ad will net you with AdSense.
Try sorting them by volume, CPC, and the competitiveness score in SEMrush. We’re looking for ones with the best combination of:
- Volume of Traffic
- High value (high CPC)
- Reasonable level of competition
1,000,000 searches a day is no better than 100 searches a day if you can’t significantly rank for the term. Same goes with high CPC rates. First you get the traffic then you get the AdSense money.
Make a list of the keywords that have the best combination of factors. We like to sort by highest cost per click, and then scroll down the list until we find strong volume and low competitiveness scores. Those keywords may become solid investments for your content strategy.
Step 4 – Prioritize keywords based on predicted future traffic volumes
Though SEMrush does have search volume and trend data, we like to jump over to Google Trends for Step 4. The reason is that Trends has a neat little feature for predicting future traffic volume for a given keyword.
By now, you have a short list of potential keywords as investments. But if we’re thinking like stock market analysts today, we have a slightly smarter choice to make.
Our investment in keywords for our future content isn’t only about how the keywords have performed up till now. It’s also about how well we expect them to perform in the coming months and years.
Google Trends has a “Forecast” feature. When enabled, it shows you a graph extension that predicts what is likely to happen in terms of interest (i.e. searching activity) for the keyword for about the next year.
Use this data to prioritize which of the keywords from step 3 you would like to use to create new content around.If reading this tickled your trading bone then you can watch this video. Otherwise, skip scroll down to read what all this means.
Step 5 – Develop your new content
Step 5 is all about you. Follow your normal creative process to come up with new content that covers your new target keywords.
But we do offer one huge reminder. Your articles or posts have to be well written and designed for humans. Include your keywords in your writing naturally. Don’t just jam them in there as if you were put in charge of stuffing the holiday turkey. Make your content meaningful if you’re to be successful.
Content development is a true investment
If you remember nothing else about this article, remember that your content development is an investment. You will always see the best possible returns when you think a bit more like a trader.
Plan your new content around the best content opportunities. Always be evaluating what is most likely to pay off.
The very best stock market analysts are data and signals centric. They look for data trends to support their predictions. For smart AdSense publishers, it’s really not so different.
You need to focus on the AdSense triad. Which keyword based content is going to unlock traffic and ad clicks for you? – with the highest possible CPC rates?
The five step process we described above uses data from SEMrush and Google Trends. It leverages your best content to predict what other topics you can rank for. By approaching your content development plan with the mindset of a stock trader, you can see how new content really is a true investment.
What data sources and tools do you use to discover new content opportunities?
Eyal Katz is head of marketing at Pangeo. Eyal also likes long walks on the beach at sunset, having a cocktail with friends, and listening to Swedish Death Metal