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When is 'Spying on Your Competition' a Complete Waste of Time?
by: Ron Hutton
Copyright 2005 Ron Hutton

Your brain screams "Gimme Fast", "Gimme Easy", "Do it for me automatically"! So when you see the headline that reads...

"Imagine Spying On Your Competition To Build A Massive Targeted Keyword List Of 3000 Or More Keywords On Auto-Pilot... In 10 Minutes Or Less And Skyrocket Your Adsense Profits Quickly And Easily"

You think "Hmmmm. Sounds good. Looks intriguing..."

"Never Build Another Keyword List The Slow And Hard Way!"

Gosh. Is it possible?

"You must understand that this is a numbers game."

O.K. Now tell me something not quite so obvious.

The above headlines and subheadlines are quoted directly from a sales letter for a relatively new piece of software (no names will be mentioned here) that's intended to eliminate all the "hard work" of doing keyword research. It sounds exciting. No more tedious keyword research. Yes! I find life is so much more enjoyable when I don't have to engage my brain.

Don't pull out your credit card just yet.

With this particular product there's no need to review the entire sales letter to find out what else the software will do for you. It's all nicely summarized in the very first headline.

The sales letter includes a link to view a nice video presentation demonstrating how the software works, and it certainly appears to do exactly what the author says it will. I have no doubt that the program delivers on all of the promises of the sales letter, but what exactly are you getting?

Let's go back to the headline again...

"Imagine Spying On Your Competition To Build A Massive Targeted Keyword List Of 3000 Or More Keywords On Auto-Pilot... In 10 Minutes Or Less And Skyrocket Your Adsense Profits Quickly And Easily"

Again, I may be tempted to plop down one cool C Note, but what's wrong with this picture?

What doesn't this software tell you?

1) Keyword search frequency.
2) The amount of competition for any keyword.
3) Keyword bid cost in Google Adwords and/or the approximate Adsense value.

When you take the approach of "spying on your competition", be very careful not to give your competition too much credit for having done their homework. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't.

If you generate a "highly targeted" keyword list of 3,000 keywords and you don't know the search frequency, the amount of competition for any of the keywords, the Adword bid cost or the approximate Adsense value, what do you do from there?

ANSWER: Start over.

Some marketers like to say that Wordtracker is just "So Expensive"! Have you seen the price of a "Value Meal" at McDonald's lately? "SuperSize It" and you've spent about the same amount of money that it would cost to gain access to Wordtracker for a day. As of the writing of this article, a one-day subscription to Wordtracker costs $7.65.

If you've never used Wordtracker before, you can easily learn all of the "how to's" in a few hours by using their tutorials, which are very well done. Now you still have 20 hours to do intelligent keyword research. You'll have the answers to the important questions that you really should be asking, and you'll have spent a whopping $7.65. Now that's an outstanding value.

Just because someone creates a software application that "automates" the work for you doesn't necessarily mean that the information you'll generate is worth anything.

Would you rather have...

- A big fat hairy list of 3,000 keywords with no real useful information about any of them.


- A truly valuable list of keywords with the search frequency and amount of competition for each and every keyword.

Choose the latter.

Begin with the end in mind. Formulate a plan. Think through your entire project and strategize.

When you learn how to use Wordtracker efficiently, you'll be able to research 10 niche markets in a day without breaking a sweat.

When it comes to keyword research, there are some shortcuts that you can take by using services like Wordtracker and even some very good software programs, but don't give in to the temptation to shift the gray matter into idle.

There are effective ways to build content sites and there are other "click a button and build a bazillion page site" methods. The shelf life of the latter is getting shorter every week.

In the words of the great Aretha Franklin, "Think. Thinka-think."

About the author:
Ron Hutton is a 20 year sales and marketing veteran with a passion for coaching and training. Subscribe to "GoThrive Online", for big juicy marketing tips in small, easy-to-chew, bite size servings. 17 Free Cool Tools...

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