How To Find Profitable Niche Keywords In 3 Simple Steps

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
2. Competition
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:

Amazon.com (for physical products)
Clickbank.com (information products)
MarketHealth.com (health products)

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.

niche keywords

niche keywords

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).

niche 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.

niche keywords

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.

Why?

Let’s type “lcd tv” into the trusted Google AdWords Keyword Tool and explore some answers.

niche keywords

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”.

niche keywords

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.

niche keywords

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.

Conclusion

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.

18 Comments

  1. Adam June 13, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    For me finding the seed keywords was the toughest thing to do. I only say this because I am always looking for keywords that people are not actively pursuing and as you know, those are becoming very limited these days.

    Adam

    Reply

    • Anshul June 13, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Adam, It is a lot harder to find good seed keywords no doubt but I always manage to surprise with what is still out there. How about you? Are you using any cool tricks you want to share for finding seed keywords?

      Reply

  2. Michiel June 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Hey Anshul,

    Excellent post again, thanks!
    Impressive thing that the Dent puller is still available. Would your next step be to build a small nichesite around it like you did with the coffee machines or would you build a more extensive site?

    Also, with a search volume of only 2.900 I think you can reasonably expect to get 1.160 (40%) visitors on your site. Lets say 3% buy a dent puller worth $14.95 on Amazon. You get 5% commission so each sale gets you $0.70 per sale.
    3% conversion of 1.160 visitors is 34 sales a month so you get about $25 a month. Does that make it worth it to create an entire site about the topic?

    Thanks,
    Michiel

    Reply

    • Anshul June 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      Hi Michiel, your revenue estimate is spot on! You have to remember that such a keyword is typical of a micro niche site and there is a lot you can do with such a site once its ranking well.

      For eg you could look at selling it on Flippa for as much $600 and make a decent profit or quickly build many such sites and you can almost make a full time income within months but it will take a lot of work to manage hundreds of sites.

      Alternatively, you could build a handful of large sites and make the same income but it may take a lot longer. So, the correct approach is to really weigh up what is going to work best for you and how much work you are willing to put in.

      Reply

  3. Shaefer June 15, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Hello Anshul,

    Nice article, a lot of great information we all can use. i have not been able to buy the SE Cockpit yet but I am looking forward to it when I can. Shane has done an excellent job in its development and UI. I am still working with Market Samuri. I do not build that many sites at a time right now and MS is paid for.

    Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Anshul June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Hi Shaefer,

      Glad you like the post. You can pretty much use any keyword research tool for this purpose as the metrics for competition analysis are almost the same except displayed differently.

      Reply

  4. sanjay June 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Good thing I found your blog! I was struggling on keyword research, as I am thinking to go for affiliate marketing to gain a little bit of cash. I’m going try your steps and see how it goes. Thanks for these tips!

    Reply

    • Anshul July 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      You are welcome Sanjay and all the best with your affiliate marketing venture:)

      Reply

  5. Cudjoe June 30, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    I am confused. what are all these? Please help me.

    Reply

    • Anshul July 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Hi Cudjoe, this post is about finding niche keywords to build a niche site around.

      Reply

  6. Thomas July 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Hey Anshul,

    Great article. I myself have been on struggle street for the past week in terms of finding the right niche that isn’t to competitive. I believe I am being way to cautious and that is the reason I have not moved pass the keyword research stage.
    I seem to be running into keywords that are just way to competitive. (I am using Market Samurai for competition analysis)
    I can see how you’re evaluating your competition, but I myself seem to find most of my chosen keywords highly competitive.

    Any tips?

    Regards,

    Tom.

    Reply

    • Anshul July 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Hi Thomas, here is what I suggest. Don’t get too bogged down with your primary keyword, pick your main keyword with a relatively high search volume (even though it may be more competitive than you want) and then find 5-6 low volume/low competition supporting keywords, create content around all those keywords and then start driving links to your low competition keywords first. Eventually as your site gains traffic, you will find that you will also start to rank for your main keyword and then you can take a more aggressive link building approach to your main keyword. For eg a root keyword like “dent puller” can also be supported by a keyword like “suction cup dent puller”. Hope that helps:)

      Reply

  7. Thomas July 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi Anshul,

    I just finished watching a video which stated exactly what you have just said above (good timing), haha. I think it all has just clicked and I now understand how to move onto the next stage a lot faster.

    Thanks for your help Anshul!

    Tom.

    Reply

  8. Mrphamxuanhung August 11, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    Thanks for your sharing! I very like it and apply for myseft!

    Reply

    • Anshul August 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

      You are welcome Pham and all the best with using the information!

      Reply

  9. rohit kothari August 21, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Anshul, its really a great post but the problem i am getting is i am new in affliated marketing and seo cockpit is kinda costly as you said seo quake is an alternative but can you please guide us how to use seo quake for finding perfect niche please

    Reply

  10. vivek September 24, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Is there is any free alternative of SE Cockpit.You write extremly well easy to understand for new blogger…

    Reply

    • Anshul September 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Hey Vivek, I would recommend going with Market Samurai as a cost effective alternative to SE Cockpit.

      Reply

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