Looking at google’s keyword planner makes me wanna quit

Today’s one of those days where I feel like quitting. By looking at my bank account and at Google’s prospected clicks for my niche I should probably get a job.

So, I looked at the numbers for Kanji Book’s prospective impressions using Google Adwords. I finally understood how Google’s keyword planner worked thanks to my ignorance not to read their documentation first. As it turns out, the demand for learning Japanese is a little smaller than initially thought.

To cut to the chase, here are the numbers for my preliminary keywords I am talking about:

The addressable market

  • Maximum bid/click: 1000
  • Daily budget: 100000€
Keyword Estimated Clicks Estimated Impressions Estimated Cost € Estimated CTR Estimated Average CPC Estimated Average Position
learn japanese online 26.57 477.45 52.03 5.6% 1.89 1
learn to speak japanese 12.38 185.61 22.64 6.7% 1.76 1.01
study japanese 6.58 142.01 11.59 4.6% 1.7 1.02
learn kanji 2.94 52.18 2.44 5.6% 0.8 1
kanji book 1.17 19.75 0.53 5.9% 0.44 1
learn to read japanese 1.05 19.38 1.32 5.4% 1.21 1
learn japanese kanji 1 17.15 0.79 5.9% 0.76 1
japanese learning software 0.54 12.67 1 4.3% 1.78 1.09
learn japanese vocabulary 0.3 8.95 0.37 3.3% 1.2 1
how to study japanese 0.33 8.95 0.45 3.7% 1.31 1
learning kanji 0.36 7.08 0.24 5.1% 0.63 1
kanji cards 0.19 3.35 0.1 5.6% 0.53 1
kanji learning app 0.12 2.24 0.12 5.6% 0.91 1
wanikani 0.03 1.12 0.03 2.4% 1 1
learn to read japanese online 0.02 0.37 0.02 5.2% 1.01 1
how to understand japanese 0.01 0.37 0.01 3.0% 1 1
wanikani alternative 0 0 0      
anki alternative 0 0 0      
learn basic kanji 0 0 0      
  53.59 958.63 €93.68      

What I can afford

  • Maximum bid/click: 0.5
  • Daily budget: 5€
Keyword Estimated Clicks Estimated Impressions Estimated Cost € Estimated CTR Estimated Average CPC Estimated Average Position
learn japanese online 6.89 107.06 2.21 6.4% 0.31 2.92
learn to speak japanese 2.94 47.15 0.96 6.2% 0.31 3.14
study japanese 2.02 44.34 0.72 4.6% 0.34 2.79
learn kanji 1.34 23.36 0.41 5.8% 0.3 1.59
kanji book 0.65 11.03 0.19 5.9% 0.28 1.16
learn japanese kanji 0.41 7.79 0.17 5.3% 0.4 1.67
learn to read japanese 0.32 4.97 0.13 6.4% 0.39 2.74
how to study japanese 0.16 3.68 0.05 4.5% 0.32 2.35
learning kanji 0.18 3.46 0.05 5.1% 0.3 1.81
learn japanese vocabulary 0.06 2.16 0.02 2.7% 0.36 2.6
kanji cards 0.1 1.73 0.03 5.5% 0.34 1.38
kanji learning app 0.04 1.08 0.02 4.1% 0.43 1.6
japanese learning software 0.05 0.65 0.02 7.1% 0.42 2.33
wanikani 0.01 0.65 0 1.1% 0.37 1
learn to read japanese online 0 0.22 0 0.3% 0.22 3
how to understand japanese 0 0 0      
wanikani alternative 0 0 0      
anki alternative 0 0 0      
learn basic kanji 0 0 0      
  15.17 259.33 €4.98      

This is the forecast for 2 campaigns with the same keywords but with different budgets. The first table kind of represents a portion of the addressable market for Japanese learning tools for a single day.

Why I am a little bit aggravated is that I thought entering keywords without enclosing quotes would give me results where each contained word would be included. To my surprise or idiocy, this is not the case. To get an outcome where only small changes to the keyword can happen (singular, plural, typos, etc), I have to add quotes to the keywords. Buying ads is all about getting leads which have a high chance of generating a sale. If you had a keyword with “learn japanese” without the quotes it could as well match learn X where X could almost be anything related to japanese in a very broad sense. Hence, my initial estimations of the daily addressable market is way smaller than expected. If you add to that the few competitive keywords I could come up with to gauge the market, I have to admit that the daily leads which I could generate are a little bit low. Google’s keyword planner estimates that I will have on average 15 clicks per day going on my site. This equates to 450 monthly visits.

If I have a terrible funnel, which I probably do have now, I can expect maybe 5% of the people who visit Kanji Book will sign up for the free trial given the data I have from the last 4-5 weeks. So I am left with just 22 people who will probably give me their email every month.

Of those 22 people I can hopefully expect that 1%-10% (in the best case) will stick around and opt in for a subscription plan. In the end I would be left with 0.22 to 2.2 people who would pay money for Kanji Book (not considering churn). That’s a terrible growth strategy given that the starting price for Kanji Book is $10/month to be competitive with existing solutions. I either have to come up with a more distribution channels or increase the price tremendously.

Hence, I got a little discouraged today. I wanted to document this fact for the future.

Updates:


The mind agrees.