Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Experts working at search engine optimization firms are obviously familiar with link building and making a new set of keywords. The clients may be completely bewildered as to how the SEO consultant knows whether a set of keywords will be profitable for them, or how much profit those keywords will yield.
Clients are naturally concerned about getting a return on their investment. If you’re going to build a keyword list for a big new client, you’ll have to know how much the client can expect to profit off your methods. Experts at search engine optimization firms should be asking themselves the same question as well.
One method of gauging profitability on your new keywords is to run a PPC campaign. With a PPC campaign, you can not only generate a profit, but also important data that can evaluate how a new vertical will perform. This may not be the answer for all clients, however. This also assumes that you already have a list of keywords you intend to target and are estimating their profitability. If you don’t have this list quite yet, the process of forcasting profitability will probably be a longer, more intensive process.
You can get data directly from researching on Google Keyword Tool. You can use up to one hundred keywords and fetch results on search volume.
If you’re still discovering new keywords and developing your list, you may get a little inspiration from checking the “only show search ideas closely related to my search terms” box. With this method, you’ll find variations on your own keywords, and may be surprised by how much you’ll profit by keywords you haven’t even thought of.
Your click-through rate (CTR) is also another factor to consider in forecasting profitability. Since Google has recently developed personalized searches so that no one’s number one result is quite the same, it can be difficult to estimate keyword performance this way. You can still use data analysis by the Google CTR Study to determine click rates of specific keywords.
Next, you’ll need to determine your conversion rates. You should calculate your conversion data based on analytics on an established and related site. If you’re researching a brand new vertical for a start up, acquiring conversion data isn’t so easy, but you can use marketing benchmark reports available online
Compute all of your data into a spreadsheet, using a profitability equation. Your spreadsheet will have several columns, including keyword, number of monthly searches, estimated traffic for a Google ranking, estimated conversion rate, and finally estimated sales. If you don’t have all the information you need, you can leave the profitability column blank until you can acquire it.
Forecasting the profitability of a new list of keywords is never a precise science, which is something you should remind your clients. It should also be noted that there are other unaccounted for factors in SEO that could affect your profitability and rankings. Yet with the right tools at your disposable, it can come close to determining whether the keywords will provide your client with a return on their investment.