Now you might be thinking that there is no way youll be able to compete with a company able to pay 221 per click on a keyword

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Don't worry. You won't have to bid those amounts on your keywords to be competitive. I certainly don't spend that kind of money on pay-per-click (PPC) keyword terms, and yet my dating sites consistently return between 4 and 5 dollars to every dollar I spend on PPC advertising.

At this point in our research, we are primarily concerned with the value of the topic, and high bid amounts for popular keywords are an indicator of great value.

Your task is to build HUGE lists of high-demand, low-competition keywords. Building an extensive keyword list is crucial to your site's success. More than 'extensive', your list should also be 'exhaustive'. Leave no stone unturned in your search for phrases that surfers might use to find your site.

By way of example, when I created my dating site back in 1998, and started advertising with pay per click search engines, I built a spreadsheet consisting of more than 2,500 search terms related to my site.

Five years later I'm still the only advertiser listed under many of those keywords and phrases. Those terms are currently grand-fathered at 5 cents per click at Overture.com, and some of those low-priced listings send thousands of visitors to my sites each month.

Wordtracker's Competition Search - To more quickly assess the competition across several pay per click search engines, I again like to use Wordtracker's service.

Their Competition Search tool produces results from global search engines and directories including; AllTheWeb, Altavista, Google, HotBot, Lycos, Looksmart, MSN Search, Netscape, Open Directory, Teoma and Yahoo! It also produces results from PPC's such as Overture, Findwhat, GoClick, Kanoodle and SearchBoss.

Using the KEI, or Keyword Effectiveness Indicator component, you can determine which keywords in your list are especially popular but have relatively little competition. The theory is that any keyword or keyword phrase that scores better than about fifteen is a good keyword, and anything over 100 is excellent.

While it's nice to find keywords with little supply and high demand, I don't put a lot of emphasis on the KEI results, as I don't plan to compete against EVERY site on the web, just those that advertise.

In my research, I often came across the terms related to 'single parent'. Although people searching on that term may be looking for parental support, I discovered that there were thousands of searches for terms related to 'single parent dating', i.e. 'dating single mom', 'single parent meet' and 'single parent mingle'.

I did a quick check at Overture to confirm my suspicions, and sure enough, each of the forty listings on the first page of results is related to single parents' dating sites. To find out how much advertisers pay to promote dating services for single parents, I also use the Competition Research component of Wordtracker.

Here are the amounts that the top 10 advertisers are paying per click on the term 'single parent(s)' at Overture, Findwhat, Bay9 and GoClick.

Overture

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

12

$0.60

$0.52

$0.51

$0.51

$0.51

$0.50

$0.21

$0.20

$0.15

$0.14

$0.10

Findwhat

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

12

$0.12

$0.11

$0.10

$0.06

$0.05

$0.05

$0.05

$0.05

$0.05

$0.05

$0.01

Bay9

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

12

$0.0171

$0.0103

$0.0103

$0.0103

$0.01

$0.01

$0.0025

$0.002

$0.002

$0.0015

$0.001

GoClick

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

12

$0.11

$0.10

$0.07

$0.06

$0.05

$0.05

$0.04

$0.03

$0.03

$0.02

$0.01

Those are fantastic results! Only 11 cents will buy you the 11th spot at Overture, while you can get into the 3rd spot at Findwhat for a mere six cents per click.

Not all the sites that pay to advertise will actually be competitors.

In the next section we dig a little deeper to learn more about the competition.

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