Estimating the Financial Potential of Keywords for Adsense

As you already know the potential for earning some serious bucks with Google Adsense is a reality. Don’t be fooled though – it will take time, effort, and a lot of trial and error to get it right so there’s not easy solution or magic-wand mentality here!

And one of the best ways to help you understand the financial potential is to do some research (using one of the better keyword research tools, of course).

To start you have to understand how Google handles SERPs and how this relates to clicks – an easy way of showing this is the following image:

As you can see the top three results in Google’s search engine results pages is nearly 80% of clicks! In other words, 80% of the time a search engine user will click one of those top three results.

This research, by the way, was done by Cornell University back in 2008. Pretty slick.

This is what you are competing for specifically – you are competing for keywords that will help your blog rank in the top three. Just think of the power, authority, and potential if you had nearly 80% of people searching for specific content to land on your blog? That’s what makes people so darn wealthy with Google Adsense (when done right)!

The Issue with “Search Volume”

So what does this mean for you? This means that if the “search volume” for any given keyword is 100,000 per month and you are in the top three on SERPs then you will most likely have around 80,000 unique visitors!


But don’t be misled – the greatest trap for you young Adsense optimizer is believing that search volume is where it’s at – it’s not. For example, I researched the term “professional blogger”:

As you can see there are only 1,600 or so global monthly searches. Not bad.

But check out below where they have “keyword ideas” that could complement my keyword strategy! If you order the table by “Global Monthly Searches” you’ll see some really high “search volume” for a few keywords:

Whoa! That’s a lot of impressions! Over 100 million for those top three!

The challenge is that most bloggers will go on volume alone but what you really want to do is look at the last column – Approximate CPC:

This will give you a better understanding of keywords that will give you more money based on the number of searches.

It’s also good to note that doing this research is a good thing even if you’re not planning on using Google Adsense as a monetization strategy. You can actually plan an entire blog around some of these research principles to see what’s competitive and what’s not!

Think about that for a second…!

Not only is it good for research for general traffic generation but it’s been proven that this also is a good qualifier for product sales, affiliate marketing, and other ways of monetizing traffic.

True Earning Potential

Now if we take these figures for certain keywords how can we estimate the true earning potential for them? This is all dependent on CTR, or click-through rate as I discussed in this overview of terms that you should know.

Some websites and blogs can get as high as 15% CTR while others can be much closer to 0%, which isn’t very good. You should try to shoot for a good 2-5% and try to get clear north of it as possible. Most of us will never get higher than 2% but that’s ok – you still can earn some great money with that CTR.

Using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool you can see the Estimate CPC column. It’s good to remember that this is the amount that advertisers are bidding on and paying for those keywords, not what you’ll make. Most people are either confused about that or simply forget since the tool is directly for purchasing (which can be inversely used for sales).

What it does is give you a basic estimation. So, what you can do is assume that you’ll make 20% of the CPC which means the following:

  • Earning Potential = Search Volume x .5 x CPC x .2 of CPC x .02 CTR

If we use the example above for “small business blog marketing” we’ll get:

  • 720 * .5 * $9.32 * .2 * .02 = $13.42

Not too bad, right? This is assuming a number of things but I think you can optimize it even more. What if you had bigger volume, for example, “blog marketing”?

  • 110,000 * .5 * $5.86 *.2 * .02 = $1,289.20

Wow. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Perhaps this is where you should head with some of your keywords? Perhaps this is where you should head with your content and blog focus? Win a couple of these big keywords and you could be looking at some significant sources of income!

Marinate on this very simple concept and you’ll begin to see the power of simply researching keywords and making very simple decisions based on your findings.

[This is part of the Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]