If you ask any successful internet marketer, online entrepreneur, adsense guru, cpa master, micro niche developer they will all tell you the same thing. Keyword research is the absolute most important aspect to any kind of success. Picking the right keywords will make or break you.

Domain name, age, and relevancy… not as important as you may think.
Backlink quality and quantity… you should barely need any backlinking for a good low competition keyword.
On page SEO… You would be surprised with some of the content you can rank.

Now I am not saying to throw a pile of complete trash together on some random un-relevant domain with no backlinking and expect to see results. What I’m saying is that with the right keywords, you wont necessarily need a strong authority or exact match domain, with a ton of backlinks and perfect on page SEO to rank #1.

If you thought about slacking on any of these aspects for a popular high competition keyword with a high search volume and CPC, you may as well just give up now and save yourself the time and money. Your site would never rank well enough to the point where you see enough traffic to make a return on, that’s if you see any traffic at all.

Ask yourself this question: Would you rather rank on page 1 for a keyword that has a search volume of only 2000 a month, and a CPC of $1.50 or rank on page 20 for a keyword with a search volume of 75,000 and a CPC of $3.50?

The first scenario would net you instant results, you will start seeing traffic almost immediately. The second scenario you would be looking at 1 year+ of consistent quality backlinking and content updates just to try to get near the first page, and there’s no guarantee you will.

That’s the difference you’re looking at. You could spend months, and hundreds of dollars on backlinking tools and services trying to better the rank of that site on page 20. But the reality is it’s going to be a very long time before you see any results. I am talking months at the very minimum and that’s if you know what you’re doing. Ranking has never been harder, google is starting to give less and less value to spammy, easy to come by links like profile links from xrumer, blog comments from scrapebox and articles from directories. You can even do more harm than good with some of the tools and services out there in this day and age if your not careful. Too many backlinks in a short amount of time can get your site in trouble and set you back with a sandbox or google dance. Check out my post on linkbuilding post panda to see how the game is changing.

Anyways, back to our two scenarios. In the time and money you took to try to rank that high competition keyword(if you were even successful), you could have had 50+ sites/posts up and ranked for 50 different keywords. Most of which will have a very fast return bringing traffic in almost immediately in some cases. Seeing results quickly in this industry is crucial: Not only does it tell you that you are doing something right, but it will also provide that extra bit of income to continue on with more or expanding. Lets not forget about the motivational aspect of seeing a return on your investment. Everyone likes seeing numbers go up ;)

What about up keep? How hard is it to maintain good rankings? On a low competition keyword, there will be virtually no upkeep compared to a competitive keyword and here’s why. The competitive keyword will have people constantly trying to improve their rank, always competing with each other. Over time trying to get to first page will just become harder and harder, and maintaining a first page rank if you ever got there would become increasingly harder. If you have little to no competition, then how is anyone going to pass your sites rank if no one is doing anything on that keyword?

Another thing to think about is what happens if that site gets google slapped, or even sandboxed? All that work is gone, where if you had 50+ different websites or posts, its very unlikely for all of them to get hit. More eggs in more baskets means a safer more stable income.

Here is a great screenshot of the traffic graph for one of my wordpress blogs. You will see the first 10+ weeks I was going straight for the big boy keywords with a ton of traffic and high CPC, but also a ton of competition.

High competition keywords VS Low competition keywords

High competition keywords VS Low competition keywords

The traffic I was getting was not from the keywords I was after, it was from the keyword extensions I thankfully took the time to add in there. The extended keywords were a little easier to rank for and was the only source of traffic I was getting. Now keep in mind these are SEO optimized articles on a PR4 strong, aged domain and I still couldn’t rank for any high traffic high competition keywords.

As soon as I switched my strategy for this blog and went to low competition keywords, I instantly saw a boost. In 8 weeks I had tripled my traffic and earnings. In 17 weeks I had increased by 5x with very little work. All I was doing was hiring a writer because I was too lazy to write them myself, and posting these 500 word articles with a little bit of backlinking and seeing traffic from just about every single post I made within a day or two of publishing it.

So if you still don’t know where to find the money, then you’re in serious trouble!