Investigating My 275% Increase in Adsense Revenue

Today, I’m sharing a deep dive into a recent (huge!) increase in my Adsense revenue.

My security guard training niche site from the Niche Site Duel has been sitting at number one in Google for a little over 2 months now. As January comes to an end, I’ve already passed the $400 mark in revenue for the month (from Google Adsense)—a 275% increase from December, and there are still 5 days left to go.

[Editor’s Note, 2019: While the Niche Site Duel challenge was really formative for SPI, the strategies presented are no longer current, and so we made the decision to remove those posts. We don’t want you to waste time pursing outdated strategies.]

This drastic increase in earnings actually caught me by surprise—so I decided to do a little investigating to see where this extra income was coming from.

What I found out surprised me even more.

The Power of Long-Tail Non-Target Keyword

My first hunch told me to check my stats from Google Adsense.

Were there more clicks than last month?

Yes, of course.

Was there a higher click-through rate?

Nope! It was virtually the same as last month. So, this means that I had more traffic coming to the site (and obviously more impressions of my ad as a result, which was reflected in Adsense).

Google Analytics

Now that I knew I had more traffic, I wanted to figure out where it was all coming from. So that’s when I checked my Google Analytics account and noticed something very interesting.

Here is a snapshot of my traffic and keyword analysis for December (about 60 days to 30 days ago):

December 60 Days to 30 Days Keyword Traffic: Showing 64.72% of traffic coming from the target keyword and the remainder coming from non-target keywords

Note that my target keyword, security guard training, accounted for about 62.88% of the search engine traffic coming to my site (total: 2,228 hits).

Now, let’s check out my results for the month of January, or about 30 days ago until present:

January 60 Days to 30 Days Keyword Traffic: Showing 52.35% of traffic coming from the target keyword and the remainder coming from non-target keywords

There was an increase in search engine hits, however my target keyword this month only accounted for 52.35% of search engine traffic, even though there were basically the same amount of hits (total: 2,263 – only a 1.5% difference). This means that 47.65% of my total search engine traffic, which amounts to 2,060 hits, came from keywords that are not my target keyword, and to be honest most of them are not even keywords I would have even thought of as secondary or tertiary keywords for this niche.

Here are some examples of some of the long-tail keywords that people are finding me with:

Long Tail Keywords in Searches. A long list is shown; here are a few samples: "nevada security guard course of fire," "new jersey security guard training school," "new york state armed carry guard." Each of these keywords has between 1–2 visits.

Notice that each one of these long-tail terms accounts for only one visit. That’s not anything spectacular unless you understand that there are thousands of these long-tail terms that drive traffic to my site. Like I said, these accounted for about 47%, or 2000 hits from search engines during the last 30 days, which is pretty amazing to think about. This is why, I believe I saw such a large increase in Adsense revenue over the past month. I’m guessing Google just happened to find my content relevant to these searches fairly recently.

For the Smart Passive Income Blog, I’m getting search engine traffic from about 5,000 different keywords each month, and only 28% of that traffic comes from my top 2 keywords:

SPI Passive Income Keywords:
- smart passive income, 4,626 visits
- passive income, 3,388 visits
- pat flynn, 1,806 visits
- smartpassiveincome, 1,606 visits

Some notable keywords that people have found my blog from are:


How to Get Long-Tail Non-Target Keyword Search Engine Traffic

It’s easy: write.

And, write for people, not just the search engines.

The more content you produce, the more chances there are that people will find you—not only from the primary keywords that you place into your posts and articles, but from almost every other phrase that you write as well. It’s not really something that can be strategically planned, you just have to write, and write more.

When it comes to niche sites, a lot of courses recommend simply writing 3 to 5 posts, strategically crafted for particular keywords, and then that’s it as far as content is concerned. Work on your backlinking strategy and then eventually you’ll have an automated income stream.

Sure, that can work, but only 3 to 5 articles? That’s where you should start, however I believe you should keep adding content—as much as you can and feel comfortable producing, because like I said you’ll give yourself and your site more chances to reach more people through long-tail keywords like in the above examples. And, as a result, your traffic will go up, you’ll have a bigger audience, and more potential to earn more too.

Just for fun, what are some crazy or cool keywords that people have found your site with?

Thanks for your support, as always, and I wish you all the best. Cheers!

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  • Pat Flynn

    Hi, I’m Pat, founder of SPI and host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Let’s continue the conversation over in our communities.

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