I wrote this hub in 2011. I used Google Adwords and thought it would be a great evergreen hub. WRONG! I have revised the hub and changed my title several times. Please tell me what you think. I have a thick skin.
"You Need a Plan for Retirement" http://sholland10.hubpages.com/hub/Reti … -is-a-Must
Thanks for your help!
The fact that there are 198,000,000 results in the Google index for that sentence should give you a clue. Do you really think your article can compete with articles from: U.S. News and World Report, Investopedia, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Social Security Administration, CNN, Forbes, just to name a few?
Checking traffic for keywords isn't enough. You have to check the competition, too.
Read information about how to write a description tag, too.
Thank you, Writer Fox! Well, my dream is that I can compete with those big news organizations some day! Of course, dreaming and living in the real world are two different things. I will look up writing a description tag. Also, isn't the "low"/"medium" status the competition? Thank you - I appreciate your input.
The competition that the Keyword Tool shows is the competition for the advertiser, not the writer. That is probably where you went wrong when you chose those keywords. I wrote a similar hub back when I didn't do keyword search.
Thanks, Barbara! I definitely did go wrong along the way.
So do we then have to choose some high competitive keywords? Even I had the impression that competition shown is for the no. of articles written on that that keywords.
You should check Google to see how hard the competition is to rank on Google. If Wikipedia, Youtube, a About.com or other hard places to beat come up first forget it. If the competition looks easy to beat, go for it.
Wikipedia is usually easy to beat. Youtube too, as usually videos come a few results down.
I'm writing about some competitive topics, but I believe I have a unique message to share...honest. What do you recommend?
How can you have a unique message but write on a variety of different topics?
I've written an article about weight loss and another about saving money. Based on some earlier comments in this thread, these are competitive topics that one might want to avoid. However, I believe that I have a unique message to share in each of these articles. Does the group have any advice for getting page views and visitors?
No - you're going to have a hard time convincing google that your message is unique, and therefore worthy because of that, in a over saturated topic.
You can promote it yourself - social sites, backlinks from your 200 blogs (just kidding), other forums, etc., but it's going to take an awful lot of linking to convince google. Long before you accomplish it, google will almost certainly figure out what you're doing and DE-rank it, not raise the ranking. Only if your links produce enough traffic that also puts up their own, organic, backlinks is that strategy likely to be successful.
Of course, if you really DO have a unique and worthy message, it might work. Readers DO put up backlinks, after all.
Ok here goes. I am writing this quickly so I'm not bothering with trying to give my opinion in a more palatable way
My initial reaction is that the keywords/subject matter you've chosen are far too competitive (just look at the sites on the 1st page of search for the phrase "plan for retirement"!). You also don't seem to have any other articles in that topic area, which would help you build some authority in the niche (but in this particular niche, on this site, I doubt that would actually help).
I think you've also misjudged what "retirement planning" means to most people, so there's a mismatch between search intent, the keyword phrases you've targeted and the content you've provided. According to Google search, people that type that phrase want info about finances and investments, not activities, relationships and time management. So while you do have some info on financial planning, the article is not focused on that. Therefore, it's not going to satisfy your reader, nor Google.
A quick search of your target keywords before you wrote the article would have given you this info
Thanks so much, Susana! You are right, people are thinking financial, not personal experience. Maybe a new title?
Glad it was helpful
Yep do some research for a new title. Once you've found a phrase that gets traffic and has weak competition you'll probably need to edit the text as well so that it's more tightly focused to the new title. Using John's idea of splitting the hub into two is a good one as well.
The military angle might be good, especially if you're going to write more articles in that topic area. You obviously have personal experience and that's a bonus, but I do suggest that you tone it down a bit. Work on balancing how much personal info you share and whereabouts on the page you share it. Searchers usually want the real meaty info that's going to help them much more so than the personal stuff - though letting the reader know that you do have personal experience is valuable too.
I read your hub and think there is a ton of important info in it. I say this from experience; I retired early.
The only thing I can say that might help is that there may be too much info. I think if you made this two (2) hubs it might work better? If you wrote one with material up to making the final decision to retire after a tour overseas, and then one with the material following, perhaps the length would somehow become more positive? Just a thought. Outside of that, I guess I can't offer anything else. It is funny how something we work at and tweak can still not be appealing to search engines? Good luck!
To me this feels a little unfocussed. My suggestion would be to put some structure on the front end that summarizes the main points coming up as bullet points so they focus seems predetermined rather than wandering. e.g. You plan will need to include 1) having sufficient income, 2) having activities to structure your time etc.
I would say you're not getting the desired traffic because your keywords are too broad with too much competition. For example... if you are using retirement planning which is in your URL, there are 175 million competing pages. Way too many to compete with here on HP and not having enough authority links to back you up.
I would dig deeper into the retirement niche and try to build off of that. But even then, not having the authoritative backing is going to hinder any traffic gains.
Thank you, LiveWithRichard! I guess it is saturated. It seems like the keywords were low to medium, but I may be remembering wrong or it has changed. If I can't fix it, I might consider deleting it. I appreciate your input!
Hi, Can I suggest you give www.jaaxy.com a try.
It is online, easy to use, has a free trial , and the pro version is much cheaper than the others (market samarai, niche finder, etc.).
Its not perfect, but it show what expressions have a better chance of working (green, amber and red). The topic is saturated but a quick check showed that
"Why Plan for Retirement" got a green light and also appears in top spot on Google Autosearch. It would be worth adding some extra keywords for a longtail such as "money, home, lifestyle, health"
Wow, JAnderson, I will check it out and try to work those keywords in. Thanks!!
Please note: run jaaxy and find other good keyword combinations that relate to the contents of your article - don't just add them without checking
ie "retirement lifestyle tips" has a green light
also "retirement health plans" has green light
"Why Plan for Retirement - Lifestyle Tips and Health Plans' -that's probably not the focus of the article but that's the way to do it IMO.
Good advice - you have built three good longtail keywords into one title (two of them exact) and probably 2 or 3 more minor ones.
It's what I try to do as well - put several longtail keywords into those 64 characters of the title.
Thanks JAnderson and Wilderness. I need to print this out before I lose it.
When using the Google Keyword Tool and you find a keyword that is labeled Low or Medium in the competition column, that only means that people are not bidding on those keywords as much... do not rely on that column for competition. Search Google for your keyword phrase in parentheses "keyword" and that will give you a better indication of how many competing pages you are up against.
I have found the best results when there are less than 750,000 competing pages and at least 2000 Global Monthly Searches. Do not even concern yourself with high paying keywords here on HP since the HP Ad program pretty much killed Adsense earnings here.
Remember the "competition" column in Adwords isn't relevant: it's not competition between writers, it's competition between advertisers. If there is low competition, it just means there aren't many advertisers interested in advertising in that niche, so they don't have to pay much. It tells you nothing about how many writers are writing about it.
I read the hub and I like it. With your personal experience, you might try to tie in the military aspect of it. I am shooting from the hip here but you might want to try something like "What to Expect When Your Military Spouse Retires" or "How to Plan for Military Retirement and Handle the Changes in Your Spouse." Something along those lines. Like I said, I'm shooting from the hip without running anything through Google KeyWord Tool.
Side note: My husband starts his terminal leave on July 1st. He's been stationed in Georgia for 18 months and I'm in Indiana so I'm expecting the difficulties you described. I think it's a VERY common occurrence in military families and that's why I suggest you take it that direction.
Thanks, Helena! I have thought about creating a military wife niche. I would feel comfortable with that.
Good luck with your new retiree. Mine is now back to working with soldiers. Some women might not like that for their husbands because of the travel (which we are used to - I know you get that), but I know that is my husband's elements. My daughter and I truly did have to have extraordinary patience with him. LOL I can laugh now, but it wasn't funny then. Best Wishes to you and yours. Thank you and your husband for serving our Country.
I think you should! The thing with using Adwords to do keyword research is that you can miss small but important niches.
Sometimes you can write a Hub on a subject you enjoy, that didn't seem to offer good keywords, but it goes gangbusters quickly. It's a sign you've found a niche with a small audience, but there is very little on the internet about it, so that audience is actively seeking answers and will pounce on anything it finds, share it around etc. That gives you a great opportunity to build a loyal following, write an ebook or two, etc.
I have a suspicion the military wife niche could be one of those. You're not seeing it because your title doesn't tell your readers what the Hub is really about - I read it and assumed it applied to 60-somethings.
Great advice so far. I can't really add to it, other than to suggest more of a keyword theme, rather than trying to rank for 'plan for retirement'. I would also suggest working on the title and making it specific as possible in regard to the content. A tool I find helpful is Ubersuggest for keyword themes. It can help give more specific topics that you can expand on if you want to write more hubs covering this topic.
Try entering 'plan for retirement' into the keyword box and you'll get some ideas of real search queries for this topic.
With such a saturated topic, I would make sure you use authoratative links as a resource.
Great advice above from Helena.
Thanks, RebekahELLE! I am writing the site down and adding it to my list.
Hi rebekahELE - Thanks for the suggestion on Ubersuggest. Can you explain what the values are of the results generated by Ubersuggest. Are these just suggestions or are the highly competitive? I entered a title I was considering and it brought back many results, but I don't see which results are superior relative to the other hundred results. The FAQs page is not very helpful. What am I missing?
How did you keyword research? The biggest mistakes I see with people keyword researching are:
1. They use "broad" instead of exact.
2. They assume the "competition bar" is for them (it's actually for advertisers). You need to look at the SERPs yourself and decide if the results will be easy to beat.
Thanks, WryLilt! I do use "exact." BUT, since I wrote this when the keyword concept was new to me, I might have used "broad." I did assume the competition column was for me. I am glad to learn that I need to look at differently now. Yes, I see now that looking at the SERPs would be more helpful for this and all my hubs. Thank you, again, for your help.
I'm glad I read this thread. I was under the same impression I should be looking for high view numbers with low competition. I thought I had just hit a gold mine with keywords viewed 220,000/ month with low competition. Maybe not so much.
But I know you all would read an article on what men want from women right? Don't worry, it doesn't violate hubpages rules!
Actually, as writers, we should be looking for topics with "high competition". That means advertisers are willing to pay more money for ad clicks!
There's a famous AdWord that presently sells for over $400 for a single click. Chances are, you could never rank a website, let alone a single HubPage, high enough on search engine results to earn any money for that keyword. Huge competition factor!
I would advise a HubPage writer to just do a simple KEI analysis. For larger clients, I advise signing up for a tool that does that, but writing a HubPage doesn't warrant the expense. To determine KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index), take the monthly search volume figure from AdWords and divide by the number of competing webpages per Google Search Results. The result is the KEI. Look for something at least greater than 3. 30 - 40 is golden.
(The KEI for the $400 AdWord is 0.0054.)
Not following your method of finding KEI.
One of my best performers has 8100 monthly searches (keyword tool) if the "broad" button is checked (not the best way to use the tool).
A search for the exact keyword, in quotes, (again, not the best way to check search results) shows 243,000 results.
KEI is thus .0003, (8100/243,000) and most of the keywords I use are going to be worse. I've never seen anything around 3 or even .3, let alone 30.
Even though I have been writing online for a couple of years, I am still learning. All this information is great, and I am learning so much. Thank you, everyone!! I love the HP family!
Total results don't matter a damn. It's only the front page you need to worry about.
Your math is off. The KEI = 0.03.
KEI was invented by Sumantra Roy and has been used for more than a decade. As a general rule, he states that 0.001 – 0.010 is a Good Keyword and 0.010 – 0.100 is an Excellent Keyword. For novices, I always recomend less competitive keywords until they learn what they're doing.
KEI isn't the only thing to look at when choosing keywords, but it's something to remember if someone is basing keyword choice on AdWords pricing alone, which is a very bad idea.
I am going to unpublish it, revise it, break it up into at least two hubs, and take as much of your advice as possible.
Great discussion, and I appreciate all your help!!
Thanks So Much!
Solaris, the suggestions come from google search queries. I think the value of the tool is that it helps give real suggestions related to niche based writing, which in a post Panda world, is important. If you already have decent authority in a topic, some of the suggestions can be turned into hubs which can be linked to your related hubs. If you want to find search volume, you can always add the suggestions into the google keyword tool.
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But I am wondering why there seems to be competition in the real google world and no competition showing for it in the external keyword tool world?
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