Niche and keyword research means all the difference between making money and, well, wasting a lot of time. It is not something that you pick off the tips of your fingers. Whenever I am starting a new niche blog, I spend about 8-12 hours doing systematic niche research.
How to Do Niche Research
A lot of people get stuck on the internet marketing basics like how to choose a niche, and think that they need a lot of tools and spend a lot of time getting it right.
Don’t waste your time!
Look around the room that you are in and you can find plenty of niches – furniture, office furniture, garden furniture, stationery, electronics, luggage, carpets, art, ornaments, communication services, gardening equipment, pets, cleaning products, kitchen products.
Within those categories, there are thousands of items that people buy online every single day.
Sell What’s selling
Now that you have a bunch of categories go to Amazon and search those categories, sorting the results by “bestselling”. Now browse through the first few pages and note the products that have the most reviews. These are bestselling products that people buy online and like so much that they actually take the time to write a review of them!
Twenty years ago getting this kind of info was time-consuming and expensive, now it is just a few clicks away.
Choose ten products that have a lot of good reviews – sometimes you will find that certain products have hundreds and even thousands of reviews – and start researching keywords.
There are a lot of good tools out there for analyzing keyword search volume and competition, as well as approximate value, the degree of commercial intent and AdWords cost-per-click. We can extract a lot of information and it is undoubtedly helpful in planning a campaign, however, niche and keyword selection is as much an art as a science and cannot be left entirely to software.
For example, we can filter results to show only those keywords with a minimum number of searches per day, or with a set amount of competing sites, or with a certain percentage of online commercial intent and so on.
There are many different indices by which we can sort and filter data using tools like Ahrefs, SeEMRush, Google Adwords Tool, SEnuke, Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder, Traffic Travis, etc. But these filters do not always shine a light into the dark cracks where it is possible to find easy profits.
Are You Filtering OUT The Gold?
Would you bother targeting a keyword that only has two or three searches a day? Most software would filter out such a low volume keyword, but what if you were selling a product that gave commissions of $100? A conversion rate of 1% on 100 visits a month would give you $100 a month commission just from that one single phrase.
Competition Isn’t Just About Numbers
When it comes to competition for a keyword it is important to look past just the sheer number of competing sites that feature the keyword in their pages and meta-tags. In WWII the Italian airforce had thousands of planes neatly parked on hundreds of airstrips and to any passing observer would appear a powerful enemy, however, the truth is that 90% of those planes did not contain an engine or fuel and were thus unable to fly!
Similarly, the number of competing sites is fairly irrelevant when it comes to your chances of ranking for a particular keyword. There may be 500,000 results thrown up by Google but if none of these sites are well optimized then it will be relatively easy for you to crack the top ten, conversely, results of only 2000 may seem like the proverbial “wet dream” but if all of these sites are well-structured, with great content and thousands of links you have an uphill task on your hands.
As far as buyer-intent keywords are concerned a lot of this is common-sense. A person searching for “keyword research” is probably looking for some free information to educate themselves, whilst “keyword researcher” would suggest that person is looking for an actual thing – software, or person – that will do the keyword research. Which is the buying term? Which has the higher chance of making a sale?
Learn the Formula
It will take a lot more than a single blog post to understand how to select and research a niche so that you know before creating your site that you will be successful.
Doing this by trial and error is time-consuming and expensive, but luckily there are plenty of marketers willing to teach us their successful methods. I personally has forged a reputation for over-delivery and massive value for money. As a front-line affiliate marketer, I teach real techniques showing you what is working NOW!
How I Do It
We will be using Chrome. You first need to install an extension called MozBar. You will also need to sign up for a trial of SemRush here www.semrush.com/sem/?ref=15077161.
Great. Now we are ready for work. So, what do we look for in a niche?
- We want a niche that has traffic
- A niche that has little competition
- And a niche that has products that we can sell
Amazon Bestsellers Categories
The easiest way to tell whether a niche has both traffic and products to sell is to head over to Amazon.com’s bestselling products page. Kindly go here http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs.
After you get here, there is no magic formula to tell which niche you should pick. This is where I spend most of my time… browsing through the different categories (Menu on the Left). If I find a product that is in the bestselling categories and it spikes my curiosity, I mark it down for further analysis.
The further analysis involves verifying how many people are searching for information on that niche, and how many bloggers are writing about this niche. Generally, I want the niche to have traffic of about 5000+.
Use SEMRush to Get Overview of Google Search Volume
So, I go to SeMrush, and type a random keyword associated with the product
From the industrial and Scientific category, for instance, I can pick the keyword protective eyewear and go search it in SemRush. This will give me the organic search volumes for the keyword, which in this case is 880 (too low).
But SemRush also gives you related keywords. So, I will look at the suggested related keywords. In this case I can see ‘safety glasses’ is quite popular at 27,100 searches.
I click on it.
Now, I have a keyword with a decent search volume on Google…. but I am certainly not the only one who’s noticed the numbers. I need to see how many other bloggers have decided to build their businesses around the keyword.
Weighing and Analyzing Niche Competition
At this time, I’ll head over to Chrome and search for ‘safety glasses.’
With MozBar installed, I can get both the Page Authority (PA) and the Domain Authority (DA) of the guys who are ranking on the first page of Google. I can also see the of number links that the ranking pages are getting.
The higher these metrics are, the harder it will be to compete with them. Any result that has a PA of 30 and above should dissuade me from entering into that niche. From the screen shot above, I can see that the the first result for ‘safety glasses’ has a PA of 68 and 908 total links. The second result has a PA of 48 and 3,504 backlinks.
At 78 and 40, the Domain Authorities (DA) for these websites is quite strong.
Those numbers are quite impressive and it will take a lot of grit and hard work to rank a niche blog using the keyword ‘safety glasses.’
So, from the results of ‘safety glasses’ on Google, I can see the competition is quite stiff. There is no way I will ever be able to dethrone these guys from the first spots on Google results… Although safety glasses are among the bestselling items on Amazon, and the search volume is awesome, it is not a niche that I will just get into. The competition is a Goliath!
But, if this is a niche that I really want to get into, I will go back to SeMrush and find a way to sneak myself into.
I will be trying to find other keywords related to ‘safety glasses’ that are not as competitive as ‘Safety glasses.”
I will actually be spying on my competitors to see which keywords are driving traffic to their website, but they have not optimized to rank for them. But of course, this will be another tutorial.