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 promoting your local small business, capturing leads and making sales. It could be about plumbing, electrical, septic systems, camping, lawn painting service; – 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 business website can’t be a good producer too. Your website is a digital store and it is open 24/7. Treat it right and it will bring you customers and leads.
Deciding your Business Niche
Although blogging is an important part of getting traffic to your business website, it is handled differently than a “bloggers” website. Consider that whatever business you are in whether it is home remodeling or have a scrapbook supply store, each has a sub-niche.
You can blog about general stuff but try narrowing the focus of each post if not your service/product.
How do you niche it down then?
Tools and Resources for Finding Related Business Sub-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 know that you are setting 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.
Start free 🙂
I think using the search engines is a good start. There are 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 Google website for your business is a good idea anyway. 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 – Does offer a free trial. Although most everything can be done using free tools (except you will have to manage your own spreadsheet), Wordtracker has extensive results. It was with this tool I was able to increased the organic traffic to 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.
I’m sure you can figure out what the redacted words are 🙂
If there is one thing you really should invest in when starting out online – it is in learning proper keyword research! You don’t need to spend any money to start, putting in the time can pay off big. Being able to dominate in the long-tail keywords is a good solid step. Without a focused 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.
But still, you don’t need this. The free tools above plus following the “how to find a niche” detailed on this page will give you a tonne of insight and suggestions.
SEMRush.com – This is a BIG tool for the serious marketer. Highly recommended and great insight into what you are up against with your competitors too. You might have some opposition you don’t even know about! This is top level stuff that a small business could use to dominate their field of enterprise.
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 so you will know 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 can 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 endeavour. 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 in your advertising budget.
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. AND ever…
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 visit their site, 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. As a side note; 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 – Does have a free “try it” and 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.
They also offer 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” videos. 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. You are on this page because it was found by you while searching. That is the point of SEO.
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!