Today in continuation of our series on building niche sites, I want to talk about niche site keyword research. How, if you have been following this series you may have noticed that somehow, we have touched on this variously in our previous posts.
However, what I want to really do here is NOT to present a step by step guide on how to do keyword research but to give you a niche site keyword strategy that will put your niche site up on the search engines for it to drive the type of traffic that will pay you!
Remember that our niche sites’ principle is:
1. Build a niche site that is optimized for the search engines…
2. So, when a potential customer searches for a product in your target market…
3. Your niche site shows up…
4. Giving the potential customer the opportunity to visit your site, click on your affiliate link, and make purchases…
5. And finally, you get paid a commission for your referral!
With this in mind you will understand how important it is to choose the right keywords for your niche sites because this is what will ensure that your niche site perform creditably on the search engines.
So, choosing the right keyword/phrase is actually the bedrock upon which the success of our niche sites strategy depends. Get this wrong and you would have gotten everything wrong.
Now talking about our niche site SEO strategy, here is a simple layout of what we will be doing in the next few coming days:
1. Pick 20 – 30 less difficult to rank for keywords
2. Optimize each of your niche site pages with each of your selected keyword phrases.
3. Build backlinks to your pages.
Of course, you do understand that search engine optimization is simply about optimizing your webpages with the right keywords and then building back links to those pages. So this will be our focus from now on as we continue with building our niche sites.
So, let’s begin with…
How To Pick Less Difficult To Rank Keywords!
No matter how profitable your chosen niche is, picking keywords that are too difficult to rank for is a sure recipe for failure. You therefore need to learn the skill of effectively analyzing the top 10 results in the SERPs. This goes beyond the common tactic that many SEOs use in checking the number of competitors in Google. You know you’re usually told to enter your target keywords, enclosed in brackets, into Google search and then judge the difficulty of that keyword by the number that shows up!
For example, working with our “how do you stop snoring” phrase, you’ll have something like this:
As much as this may look logical, the truth is that this result can be misleading because you cannot really tell the difficulty from just that data. There are some other factors that need to be considered which includes:
• Is the title optimized with the keyword phrase?
• Is the keyword “expertly” sprinkled in the content?
• Is the keyword casually mentioned in the page or is the site built around it?
• How about backlinks, are these pointing at the ranking page or the root domain?
• Does the site have .edu, .gov, DMOZ, or Yahoo Directory links?
• What is the Google PageRank of the site and possibly the ranking page?
• Is the page ranking on the search engines a root domain or a subpage?
• How old is the ranking site?
You can see from the above that trying to determine the ranking difficulty of a keyword phrase, using the number of competitors in a search result on Google, is really not effective.
You’ll need to analyze the Google results using the above criteria before choosing your target keyword phrase.
How Do You Analyze The Competition?
There are actually three ways I’ll advocate here (1) manual (2) use free online keyword tools and (3) use paid keyword tools.
1. Manual: This will involve you checking each of the top 10 sites that show up on the search results in Google using the above criteria. First enter your seed keyword in Google’s keyword suggestion tool to determine your potential keywords.
Please read our previous post for a guide on how to do this.
From the results, enter each keyword into Google search box enclosed in brackets. Now use the above criteria to analyze the top 10 results. From your checks, pick 20 to 30 keyword phrases which will then form your target keywords. When you write your niche site content you will then optimize the content for each of these terms.
Of course, the biggest drawback of this method is the time taken. In most cases this method could take you days, or even weeks, to accomplish. As you know, time is money! So, if you think you’re saving money by doing it manually the truth is you’re actually losing money! But then, the choice is yours.
2. Use Free Online Tools: Some of the free tools I’ve always used to do this are Google’s keyword suggestion tool and Spyful.com. Simply get your potential keywords from Google’s keyword tool and then from the results, key in your potential keywords into Spyful.com. Spyful.com will then give you a summation of the results.
Here again is the result we got from Spyful.com in our previous post:
Again, read my previous entry for details on these data.
Please note that for this method you will also need to enter each of your potential keywords into Spyful.com. Though this method is a little faster than the manual method still it may take you hours and sometimes a day or so.
3. Use Paid Keyword Tools: There are various keyword tools that will do this for you in a matter of hours or even minutes! Once you enter your seed keywords and select your filters, the tool will go into work first suggesting potential keywords depending on your selected filters and then analyzing the results to determine the best keywords to optimize your niche site for.
This option is simply the best if you’re concerned with time, saving money and getting scientifically proven results. When you get a keyword tool that will do this for you automatically and you can devote the time gained into doing other things that will benefit your niche site business!
Here are my top recommendations:
a. Traffic Travis
b. Market Samurai
c. Long TailPro
In my previous entry I briefly mentioned how I tried out Market Samurai and Long TailPro to have a firsthand knowledge of how they work. What I did not tell you is that I actually have Traffic Travis and that is because I wanted to introduce it at the right time!
Now, this tool has been very useful to me. It stands between the free and paid tools because you can actually have a free version that you may use for how long you desire and when you find it useful, you can then upgrade to the paid version.
For me this is a better option. Instead of just testing the tool for just a week, why not use it to create some niche sites, see how it works and then as you make money with your niche sites, upgrade to the paid version. That’s reasonable, right?
Frankly, I must tell you that what you’ll have from this free version is more than what you’ll get from some of the paid versions. (Just watch out, I will be giving you an insider view of this tool in our next post)
Niche Site SEO Strategy Take Away!
In rounding off this post let me say that in analyzing the competition, our criteria above is very important. If you truly want to be on the first page of Google then know that simply using “exact match” keyword search will not get you there. This will never tell you the actual rankling difficulty for your keywords and this is what really matters. If you’ll ask me, I’ll let you know that personally I’ll go for any keyword phrase that has thousands, or even millions, of competing websites but has very weak websites on the first page of Google!
The only way to know this ranking difficulty is by using the criteria we laid out above. And what a better way to save your time and achieve results quicker than using a proven tool like Traffic Travis?
That’s it for now. Please let me know your thoughts on this in your comments below. And as usual, I’ll appreciate it if you will share this post with your online connections. Thank you for doing that!