With over 97 percent of Google’s $33.3 billion in revenue over the past year coming from online advertising, the search engine giant has been wildly successful in selling pay-per-click advertising on the Internet, making over $54 per click for top-ranked keywords.
As illustrated in this infographic from Wordstream (click to enlarge
), the 20 most expensive categories of keywords in Google AdWords range from “insurance” (No. 1) to “cord blood” (No. 20).
The question for domain name investors and entrepreneurs is: Are you focusing your investment and development efforts in the most lucrative areas?
As evidenced in the DomainSherpa interview with Christian Walter, domain names play a significant role in ranking well in searches for specific keyword phrases. Domain name investors and entrepreneurs should buy domain names focused on areas making $20, $30 or $54 per click.
High Lifetime Customer Value
Among the 20 most expensive keyword categories identified in the Wordstream study, the common factor is the lifetime value of a customer in each industry.
For example, the lifetime value of a legal client – who over the years may require legal advice in estate planning, intellectual property and litigation – can be quite high. As such, legal firms can afford to put significant resources into recruiting new customers, which translates into higher costs per click (CPCs) for related search terms. “Attorney,” “lawyer” and “claim” ranked at No. 4, No. 6 and No. 10, respectively.
Tie Customer Value to Your Passion
Starting a business doing something you enjoy and believe in – not just for the sake of earning money – will provide the greatest opportunity for satisfaction and probably some measure of financial success. When you enjoy doing something, it does not feel like “work,” and you will find yourself spending much more time on it.
To supercharge your financial results, try connecting your passion with an area of high lifetime customer value. This will allow you to do something you enjoy and earn more per customer acquisition.
For example, let’s say you love bobblehead toys and can make $0.50 per toy in profit. You may enjoy modest financial success but will have a hard time scaling your business into a multi-million dollar enterprise unless you create partnerships, have the capital to invest in marketing, or luck into media coverage.
Alternatively, let’s say you are a strong proponent in banking cord blood because your brother was saved by a stem cell-related medical procedure. Starting a website that reviews and compares cord blood banks could be a way to combine your passion with a revenue generating source.
Target Keyword Phrases in Domain Names
Once you have identified both an area that you are passionate about and a keyword category with a high lifetime customer value, the next step is to focus on your keyword and keyword phrases.
Domain name investors and entrepreneurs should target specific domain names composed of three to five words, making sure highly relevant phrases are used within the domain name. In our cord blood example, a good domain name might be “cordbloodbanksinseattle.com.” (Although single keywords or phrases composed of two keywords are desirable, it is unlikely that they are available to be hand registered.)
To help you find worthwhile domain names composed of three to five words, visit the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Following the procedure at How To Determine Monthly Domain Name Search Volume will allow you to type in a keyword category from the infographic above and find real keyword phrases that people are searching.
Your best bet is to find keyword phrases that have over 1,000 local monthly exact-match searches with a CPC of greater than $1. If you can find 1,000 exact-match searches on a phrase that has a cost per click of $50, all the better. Once you have found a desirable phrase, determine if the domain name is registered in the .com TLD and, if available, purchase it at your preferred domain name registrar.
Optimize Website Landing Pages
If you are driving potential customers to your website, you must be sure to have created a landing page that “converts” – that is, it generates a lead by having a visitor fill out a form, causes a visitor to click on an advertisement, and so on. While the average AdWords conversion rate across all categories is approximately 2 percent, conversion rates from clicks on landing pages often range from 20 to 30 percent.
When targeting the most expensive keyword categories in Google AdWords, you will find that competition for your selected keywords is fierce. Optimization of your landing page therefore becomes critical to realize the highest return on investment. In order to convert visitors, you will need to offer a product or service well aligned with your domain name and keyword search phrase.
Turn Leads into Revenue
Perhaps running a business that provides a product or service directly to consumers is not your cup of tea. In that case, you may instead want to take your leads and sell them to someone else who can use them – a business that already has a product or service to offer the leads, or an intermediary lead-generation company that will buy your leads at wholesale value and resell them at retail.
In the DomainSherpa interview with founder and CEO of Legal Brand Marketing, Braden Pollock acknowledged that he not only generates leads through his own network of DUI-attorney websites, but also buys leads from other sources as a supplement for his attorney customers.
There are number of companies that will purchase leads from suppliers, including Leads.com, LeadPoint.com, Reply.com, ProLeadX.com and LeadPile.com. By reading the blogs and marketing newsletters of lead-generation marketplaces like those, you can often glean additional information about the value of leads, niches of high value and tips for improving conversion rates.
Updated for 2012: Most Expensive Google AdWords Keywords
The most expensive Google AdWords keywords have been updated for 2012 by Fetch123.com and can be seen in the infographic below.
By using online tools and studying how advertising dollars are spent at Google, entrepreneurs and domain name investors can select and optimize their content, products, and services for maximum value.
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