It is often said that keyword research is the unshakable foundation of higher organic rankings in the search results and when it comes to profitable niche keyword research, there are three unmissable factors to consider for a successful campaign every single time:
These unmissable factors are:
1. “Buyer” value of the keyword
3. Search Volume
Notice that I put search volume third on the list, while for most people that would be first on the list. Finding great niche keywords it is not always about how much traffic you can attract purely in terms of search volume but also about the quality of traffic you can attract. This almost inevitably leads to better CTR and conversions in any type of niche market.
Finding a niche keyword inevitably starts with what we call a “seed” keyword.
So, what is a seed keyword?
This seed keyword is essentially the broad market or demographic you are targeting but not necessarily the right keyword for building a niche site around.
For eg we can describe “lcd tv” as a seed keyword but not a niche keyword. In most cases going after a keyword “lcd tv” wouldn’t be such a good idea because:
A.) It would be too competitive and
B.) It’s not a buyer keyword (yet) and probably will not convert very well.
So, how do you hone into a profitable niche keyword using such a seed keyword? More importantly, how do you even find a seed keyword?
Let’s look at some simple yet highly effective strategies for finding great seed keywords and subsequently use them to find profitable niche keywords.
Step 1: Finding a seed keyword
This step is all about finding your broad target market and is often the most challenging. If you are new to niche or affiliate marketing, you may find yourself hitting roadblocks while trying to come up with ideas for niche markets.
In reality, there are plenty of ideas all around you. Look at everyday things at home, home appliances, electronics, gadgets, gardening, plumbing and even the car you drive are all ideas for seed keywords!
Armed with these ideas, you can then venture online and kickstart your niche market research using some of these trusted sources:
Simply browse through various categories in all of the above marketplaces and looks for products, categories and offers. These categories and offers are essentially your niche markets.
I have previously demonstrated a step by step strategy for finding great niches markets using Amazon in the video here. You can also use the same technique to extract some great seed keywords from Clickbank and markethealth (for health related keywords).
Another great strategy for finding keyword ideas is Google instant. Typically, you can start with typing “problem” related words like “how to”, “fix” and let Google offer you some great keyword ideas.
I have personally discovered 100’s of seed keywords using the Amazon/Clickbank strategy. Once you have narrowed down a niche market you are interested in, its now time to find a niche keyword that we can actually use to build a site around.
Step 2: Finding a niche keyword using seed keyword
Remember, a seed keyword is just an idea which allows you to hone into finding a keyword that is likely to attract clicks and sales. In step #1 I gave an example of a seed keyword like “lcd tv” which is a great start but is it a great niche keyword? Probably not.
Let’s type “lcd tv” into the trusted Google AdWords Keyword Tool and explore some answers.
Straightaway you can spot some great examples of potentially profitable keywords and the reason why “lcd tv” wouldn’t have been a great choice for a niche keyword.
Keywords like “samsung 42 inch lcd tv” and “samsung 40 lcd tv”, although with a lower search volume are likely to attract better CTR and conversions since your prospective visitors are closer to making a purchase decision as they have already narrowed their search to a brand, size and a model.
Similarly, you can also spot some excellent niche keywords using the Amazon strategy. Not so long ago, I built a site around an extremely profitable niche keyword in the automotive niche just browsing through hundreds of categories on Amazon.
After drilling down into the automotive category, I discovered a product that was selling extremely well on Amazon. The humble “dent puller”.
Type that into the Google AdWords Tool and voila! a near perfect niche keyword with 2900 exact match global searches/month. In fact you can also spot dozens of related keywords even based around the niche keyword “dent puller”.
Now for the most important step of your 3 step niche keyword research process. Competition analysis!
Step 3: Niche Keyword Competition analysis
Remember, this step is absolutely critical to the long term success of your niche site so I would highly recommend investing in a paid tool like SE Cockpit to help you take out the guesswork from keyword research.
A basic and somewhat successful competition analysis is possible with free tools like Google AdWords tool but SE Cockpit can make this entire process extremely straightforward.
For keyword competition analysis we look at 4-5 key factors before making a decision on the viability of a keyword and always remember we are only concerned about the top 10 organic competitors in any given niche as that is where almost all the search traffic is likely to click.
These key factors are:
1.) Keywords in title
2.) Pagerank (or Mozrank)
3.) Keyword in root level domains
4.) Inbound links and social factors
Let’s look at the “dent puller” example to see this competition stacks up.
Using SE Cockpit, these factors are easily viewable simply by clicking on the keyword and are colour coded green based on the competition strength (with green being the lowest). This keyword looks extremely promising as most of our deciding factors are within acceptable limits.
Here is a brief breakdown analysis:
1.) Number of websites with the Keyword dent puller in title = 0
Ideally this number should be at least 3 but its not deal breaker so I will be inclined to proceed to the next step.
2.) Number of sites with pagerank less than 0 > 2
You can see in the mozrank column that we have at least 3 sites with a mozrank/pagerank of 0 so I am satisfied with that criteria.
3) Number of sites with less than 10 inbound links = 2
Looking at the “juice links” column, it’s clear that all bar one site has 0 incoming juice links so we definitely pass this criteria with flying colours!
4) Number of websites with top level domain < 5
Once again all the results listed are sub pages of the top level domain so the keyword also qualifies our last criteria.
If you currently don’t have access to SE Cockpit, then I suggest using the SEO Quake toolbar to display all of the metrics using the regular web browser.
Using these 3 simple steps (and some practice) you can easily spot at least 5-10 profitable niche keywords every single day and if you think all the niche keywords are already taken or saturated, think again!
What about you? What strategies have you used to spot great niche keywords? Please share your comments and feedback below.