Niche Designer

An Exploration of Niche Site Design and Development
Feb
04

Keyword Research Methods

Category Keywords, Niche Marketing  Time  7:37 pm

One of the most important steps in niche site building is keyword research. You can have the best design, best content, but if you pick poor keywords you simply won’t get the traffic you deserve. One option is to spend money on a keyword subscription. I prefer to do things for myself. I think it’s also beneficial to find your own keywords because then you don’t have to compete against the other members who are using the same keywords. Here are the steps I go through when I research keywords.

  • Think of a topic. This is the hardest part. You need to find a topic/niche that doesn’t already have a large online presence. Think about your life, your friends, your family- what hobbies, diseases, collections, problems, interests can you find that are different and unique?
  • See what people are searching for. I use the Keyword Playground to see how many searches were performed last month on any given term. Find exact keyword phrases that get higher traffic. I generally look for terms that have a few thousand to 500 searches per month.
  • See what terms are paying well. Check out the bids at Overture for an idea of how well a term pays. These won’t be the same as Adsense, but if a term pays well in Overture, it generally also pays well in Adsense. I like terms that get over $1, but I will also go for .20 clicks at a high volume. Remember that if you can’t get traffic going to your site, you’ll never actually get any of those $5 clicks. While you could be making $10 off of 50 .20 clicks with a term that gets high traffic.
  • Check out the competition. Enter your terms into a search engine. What types of sites come up? If its big name sites, its going to be stiff competition. If its small sites, like yours, then your golden. I like to check the PR of the sites ranking on the first page. I know PR isn’t definitive, but I find it gives a good estimate. If everyone on the first page has PR over 5, good luck getting your brand new site to out rank those sites. I don’t personally use KEI or any specific value. It’s easy to look at sites and judge if their out of your league, or in your range.
  • Analyze the competition. Once I have found a niche that gets a good number of monthly searches, gets good money, and is easy to compete in… Then I think about what I must do to out-rank my competition. I take the URL of a site that ranks on the first page and looks comparable to my site. I enter that URL into SE-Inspector. It will give me the keyword density, number of words, and number of links into that site. I get this data for about 3-4 sites for each term I want to rank well in. Now I know what I must do for my pages to rank well. If it seems I need at least 10 links in, I get make sure I get links. I have also found that different niches need different keyword density to rank well. I try to use approximately the same keyword density when I write my own content.

So far these methods seem to work well for me. How about you? Do you have anything to add about keyword research?

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