Even if you already know what you want to blog about it is a good idea to research your market and the keywords that will bring you the right traffic.
If you aren’t quite sure what you want to do yet but are looking for a profitable niche business model – niche keyword research is absolutely necessary if you want to have positive results.
Proper Niche Keyword Research
I like to start with general search engine information. One, because it’s free. Two, because I like to spy on what the others are doing. Three, it tells me what the Search Engines think are relevant to my search terms.
I am going to assume you are building a blog for the purpose of making money. It could be about scrapbooking, weight loss, survival, dating, woodworking, photography – you name it!
Some niches are more profitable than others simply because of the volume of people interested in that particular topic, but that doesn’t mean your little niche can’t be a good earner too.
The three top niches are:
1. Making Money
2. Love and Relationships
3. Health and Wellness
Before you pick one, consider that these all have sub-niches. If you try and blog about one of the BIG THREE generally, your blog will likely get lost in the herd. Try doing a general search and you’ll see there are BILLIONS of others that will come up in that niche.
How do you niche it down then?
Tools and Resources for Finding Niches
These tools will help you in finding the traffic (number of people using these search terms), related relevant terms, and more. This is a necessary resource so you can first validate if you are getting into a niche that will make money plus help you set up your site to be more attractive from an SEO perspective.
Knowing the difference in what a “buyers” keyword is compared to a “research” keyword can make the difference in an advertising campaign too. Marketing, whether you are investing in paid traffic or not, is all driven by well-chosen keywords.
The free tools are good, paid tools are better because they have much more powerful insights and resources to help you do your job. Some paid keyword tools also offer “lite” versions which are free but have limitations with the option to upgrade to paid to the full power of the paid version.
Keyword Research Tools
If you are just starting don’t worry about buying anything you don’t need to just yet though.
Start free 🙂
I think using the search engines is a good start. There are a other free keyword research tools too that do a pretty good job.
Free Keyword Research Tools
Google Keyword Planner – no longer available without signing in meaning you have to have an account with them. Not a bad idea anyway because having a G+ and Authorship is a good idea. You can check it out here.
One big drawback to Google tools is they don’t give you the full story anymore. If you want to know more than just the basics you will need something other than Google.
Übersuggest – fast and dirty. It will break down suggestions by alphabet and number and continue to niche it down into related phrases.
All you do is enter your keyword, select “suggest” and then you can click on the keywords that are generated for even deeper niche keyword suggestions. Try it yourself!
Google will give you the number of times a keyword is being searched and Übersuggest does not. You can combine the two to get a better overview.
Paid Keyword Research Tools
Most of the tools that are available for a monthly or yearly subscription also offer free versions or free trials.
Wordtracker – Not worth all the money. Everything can be done using free tools except you will have to manage your own spread sheets. They used to offer a free tool but not any more. Too bad too because it was with that tool I was able to increased the organic traffic to one of my sites 300%.
I’m glad you asked! Long tail keyword recommendations.
Words, sentences, and phrases that you just can’t think of on your own.
They will put your word into categories and they also allow for “adult” search terms as well.
Longtail is where it’s at!
If there is one thing you really should invest in when starting out online – it is in keyword research. But you don’t need to spend any money, putting in the time will pay off big. Being able to dominate in the long-tail keywords is a good solid step. Without a heavy niche keyword research tool you could end up trying to compete against some pretty heavy hitters.
These next two are more than just simple keyword research.
Long Tail Pro – Lots of excitement around this. It has the ability to do more than keyword research and can research more than one keyword at a time.
It will find exact match domains as well, although that isn’t AS important as it once was, it is still a good idea if you are launching a narrow niche website and will be concentrating on SEO and organic search.
Although I can definitely give Market Samurai an honourable mention – Long Tail Pro is less clunky and a little more intuitive. Sign up for their free trial and take it for a test drive. It is the only way to really make a personal decision.
SEMRush.com – This is a BIG tool for the serious marketer. Highly recommended and great insight to what you are up against with your competitors too. You might have some opposition you don’t even know about!
To truly dig up the dirt on your competitors so you can get a fair shake advantage, SEMRush is the right tool for the job.
They also have a free test drive and I will suggest you don’t waste it. They have great training video tutorials and all sorts of support.
Research keywords, competitor SE rankings and what they are ranking for, as well as current trends, spy on competitors advertising, and training as to what you can do with all this information.
If you are a niche blogger/marketer OR a local business marketer – SEMRush is a tool that will really make the difference.
You can try it out for free right now and if you still aren’t sure, sign up for just one month – you will be glad you did.
Niche keyword research, done well, is an ongoing thing. Installing Google analytics on your website will give you some idea of what search terms your site is being found under. Google doesn’t give up all the search terms like they used to but it is still a good free tool combined with their Webmaster Tool Box.
More Spying on Your Competitors
If you want to keep it free all the way all you need to do is put together a collection of tools.
The drawback to free – as always – is the limitations. Be aware that although you can get free or lite versions of really great software, they do set limitations. Either you will be restricted to the number of times you will be allowed to access the tool in a day, or the number of terms, competitors etc will be limited.
Knowing where your competitors are getting their traffic from can save you a BUNDLE of bills.
Suppose you choose a niche that has a big competitor and you want to start putting more money into your business by paying for leads. You can go about this in different ways, the most common is to do a shotgun blast of advertising, using targeted keywords and hope your ad shows up in front of someone that is interested in what you are selling.
After weeks of pouring money into your campaigns, tedious record keeping and analyzing your ROI, you will eventually get to the “winners”. This activity will tell you what ads are most attractive, what keywords are bringing in your buyers, and what landing pages are converting best.
Continuous monitoring and analyzing is something you NEED to do – forever.
The advantage to knowing what your competition is doing, especially some of the long time spenders, is seeing WHERE they are getting a lot of the traffic. If you knew where their ads were profitable wouldn’t you want to take a look? Maybe advertise there too?
This technology IS available!
Follow.net Free to paid service. The free version is pretty good for showing the traffic sources including PPC, banner ad placements, and social media sources.
They also have a free Firefox Addon.
The tool puts together an aggregate of information that it is pulling in from other sources like Alexa, Compete, iSpionage, Keyword Spy, Whois and more
If you aren’t sure where to start, it’s simple, just sign up (free), then plug in the URL of a site you are curious about.
What Runs Where – No free trial with this one, but you can try for $1. One of the top rated competitive intelligence resources there are.
If you want to avoid throwing your money away when advertising plus overcoming the fear of advertising, just knowing what the others are doing will be a huge advantage.
Adult AdSpy – If you are in the adult market the other resources won’t be able to give you the information you need to compete. There is no free trial BUT the adult marketing world is highly competitive and you can get a 5 day trial for $9.95.
Marketing in the adult space can be very tricky. Getting the right tools and making sure you are dealing with adult-friendly advertisers will go a long way towards your success.
AdBeat- No free trial but a full 30 day money back guarantee. They don’t cover the search channels but they do cover the display / contextual networks. This means banner advertising.
Access to 81 networks and direct buys that others are using. You get to research all of it.
Loads of video training. As a matter of fact – you will probably learn a thing or two about advertising best practices just by watching some of their “how to” video’s.
They are still adding to the AdBeat resources too. Just recently they have added “Ad Spend” that tells you how much and with whom your competitors are spending their money.
If you are currently using PPC or are about to start – you will save yourself a lot of time and headaches (AND money) buy researching the competition.
SEO/Keyword Related Tools
Yoast WordPress SEO – when it comes to on-page SEO, this is the tool you cannot do without. On-page SEO is about having each page of your website be relevant to the topic of that particular page and the general topic of your site.
If you want to rank for a keyword on a page then this plugin will guide you to that goal.
On-page SEO is important for both organic and paid search. It is necessary to make sure your message, media, and market are all perfectly matched.
This SEO plugin is available in a free lite version and a premium version that ties in with your Google Webmaster tools.
Places to Research Niche Ideas
Using the keyword tools recommended above will give you some great niche ideas and the right keywords to build upon that will bring you targeted traffic.
There are other places and tools you can use to do your niche keyword research too. When looking for great ideas and places to find profitable niche’s or trending search terms, there are traditional places to go – like Google Search Trends.
For a more interesting approach check out the “Coming Soon” section on IMDB or the magazine section on Amazon. Hundreds (if not thousands) of ideas there. Another hint with magazines is to use their headlines for Blog Post title ideas!
Of course one great place to look for niche ideas would be right in the ClickBank marketplace too.