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Niche and Keyword Research

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Ultraburner, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    Hey,

    I've been searching the forum reading posts on the above subjects because I wanted to get a better understanding of how to preform these fundamental tasks.

    Get these 2 bits wrong and I would suggest that all subsequent efforts are wasted.

    Niche Research

    Currently I've just been picking niches I am interested in or subjects that I have previously searched for - no great science really and currently I don't have any tool to assist me so I just gather ideas from life.

    Micro Niche Finder and Magic Niche Finder seem to be the weapons of choice.

    Keyword Research

    Everything I have read until joining BHW suggested that I should pick one keyword that has a moderate number of global monthly searches (plus 6000 using phrase match), a low number of competing pages and where possible some paid advertising e.g. Adwords.

    I'm now forming the opinion that one keyword isn't sufficient and that you need one very competitive keyword with a greater number (10 to 20) of less competitive keywords underpinning it.

    And that Exact searches are the way to go.

    Market Samurai appears to be the weapon of choice here.

    I would really appreciate your views, opinions, experience on these subjects. I'd like to and I'm sure others would like to get these stages clear in their minds so we can enjoy the research and move on to the next stage confident in our selection.

    Cheers Si.
     
  2. littlejohn

    littlejohn Newbie

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    I've had the same questions and look forward to input from from the bhw community.
     
  3. CashInHand

    CashInHand Regular Member

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    get the market samurai trial and see for yourself, as for the niche finder

    I dunno:eek:
     
  4. goingreen

    goingreen Regular Member

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    Market Samurai does everything keyword related. Get it and forget the rest. By far the best tool Ive bought so far. Go buy it, take 2 tylenol, and call me in the morning
     
  5. Flurbuff

    Flurbuff Regular Member

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    The keyword you choose is based on many factors. Probably one of the most important is the answer to this question: what are you capable of?

    For someone who is experienced and has many tools at their disposal, a high competition keyword with tons of monthly searches is something they can tackle. They know what to do and have the means to do it. Even if they only get to the front page, but not #1, they'll still bank good profit.

    For someone who is less experienced and doesn't have good tools then they must set their sights lower. They might need to be satisfied with a lower competition term that only gets 2-3k local searches a month. When they learn what to do and can afford good tools to get it done they graduate to harder stuff.

    In a sense it's like a video game. You kill things, get xp and loot, then level up and get new spells and attacks or whatever. You go to the next map/level/dungeon. A micro niche site with 2k exact match local searches is like the newbie grounds. Then later on you tackle the local villain who is stealing the grain and ravaging the women. Then after a lot of work you go slay the dragon and get your six figures a year.

    Here are some things I consider when looking for a keyword:

    - Top 10 site competition. Are there already IMers working this keyword hard? Is it loaded with huge authority sites? Are there more quality backlinks than I can reasonably generate without it taking a year? Is it already dominated by a brand name company?

    - Long term stability. I want sites that can sit for years and keep getting traffic. I avoid temporary interests or internet fads. There are better ways to profit from fads so I usually don't go through the trouble of building a site and doing seo for them. I think fads are more suited for social media traffic.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  6. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    Thanks to those that responded.

    Do any other experienced guys/girls have any wise words on this fundemental part of the process?
     
  7. voldemc

    voldemc Junior Member

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    Flurbuff ,thanks for that good information , it was really useful for me and i think i will start from 2k searches , to see how it is going and how to do all those things.
     
  8. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    I'm really surprised by the lack of input guys. I would imagine that there are a lot of inexperienced IMers on this forum who would appreciate some guidence.
     
  9. iseegreen

    iseegreen Power Member

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    I find it hard to answer this question.

    Finding a Niche - depends what affiliate programs your in - because it has to pay a certain amount to attract you - and also how easy to get content

    once I have a few programs then Im checking out the competition and how long it will take to make money - as Im not using PPC its got to be seo or social networks

    Keyword analysis - Market samurai full stop


    Then it depends on your motivation and how much content you have and how good your site is ... Im happy to work on these things all day myself - but you take my partner - I can tell him all this and he uses the same tools - and he just looks at the screen for hours - then copies what Im doing

    That's why it's hard - what works for one person or what motivates one person does not motivate another ... alot of this stuff takes time and some people want to know why they aren't making money today.

    so you have to balance your niche selection / affiliate programs / keywords
    to something that works for you... in terms of time for payoff.
     
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  10. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    Many thanks for the response so far. Something that is becoming apparent and what I hoped for is that the old adage of 'pick something you are interested in' is only any use if that interested converts commercially.

    Can we have some more views opinions from experienced BHers - Grey Wolf where are you??
     
  11. volund

    volund Senior Member

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    Exact matches are the way to go. That is the real number of people looking for the term.

    Personally as my first site I would tackle something on the easy side to get your feet wet and let you make your mistakes on a site where it is not going to cost you a lot of money. As you gain more experience move up to more competitive niches.


    I like to find niches with a lot of related keywords for a few reasons. First you are not putting all your eggs in one basket, if one keyword drops you are still earning money on the others. Second it allows you to build a larger site with more content. Third those keywords can help support each other. Fourth it allows me to target keywords that do not get enough searches to target by themselves but as a group they can bring in a fair amount of money.

    I usually build a pyramid of sorts I try and start with about 10 related keywords that have a nice higher volume keyword at the top. This allows me to support my attack on the main keyword and gives me some easier ones that will support the site while I am working on that higher dollar term.

    It might look something like

    Low volume easy to rank
    long red widgets
    short red widgets
    long green widgets
    short yellow widgets
    crazy blue widgets
    crazy purple widgets

    Moderate Competition and traffic

    blue widgets
    green widgets
    yellow widgets
    purple widgets

    High competition and traffic

    widgets

    All the low and moderate keywords get their own page and the main page is designed for the top keyword. I do 80/20 on my linkbuilding so that 80% of the links for each term go to the page and 20% go to the main page for each term. This gives each page a targeted attack and gives the main page a nice variety of related keywords. You can end up with quite a few double listings that way. I usually wait until I have all the minor and moderate keywords ranked well and then start in on the top keyword which is usually no too bad by this point if I choose my keywords correctly.
     
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  12. chockomonkey

    chockomonkey Regular Member

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    I like the vigor in keeping this thread alive Ultraburner--i too would love to get an insight as to how a pro goes about their keyword research. I've done a shit ton of it, and i still feel like I don't know what i'm doing... It's so very long and tedious, yet so damned essential to get right.

    Picking a niche has never been a problem for me, it's the keyword research. I'll kinda layout what i do below.

    So i have my niche, the core keyword. I throw that into google's keyword tool and market samurai. I'll probe for more keywords. I usually have an idea as to how people might search for the niche, so at this point i export the data and empty out google keyword tool, then throw in another term related to my niche.... i save that information too. I keep doing this until i have about 2000 keywords. I bring them all into MS and analyze them, then filter them.... this part takes forever because they're so damn many keywords (so i should change it right?), but i can't seem to get away from the feeling that i need all my keywords on one page so i can see them.

    Anyway, now working completely in MS... after the analysis, after the filtering of low-traffic keywords, i start checkout out my list, sorted by searches on exact, looking for low title comp entries and checking out the SEO competition. I end up checking out TONS of keywords with all differing variances of difficulty.

    The trouble i have, i suppose, is that through-out this process, I don't ever get anywhere and don't really learn anything. Like, sure i'll know how difficult all the keywords i've analyzed are, but that doesn't ever get me closer to adding a keyword to my "list of keywords for x site". When it comes down to deciding which keywords i want to use, i typically end up choosing what i had already figured in my mind, not really anything that i found in MS or GKT.

    I guess i've never come across any info while doing my research that I was like, "Ooh this is a good keyword i should use it" --- they all seem the same after awhile...

    ^^much more of a ramble at this point, but i seriously need help with my keyword research funk.

    Cheers

    Edit: Also, another question: How do you guys control relevancy? Like, as you're working with your lists of keywords, how do you make sure that the keywords are relevant to what you're doing? (outside of looking at each one and making the judgment call--as this is what is wasting a of my time) Like, i was told to "Include Additional" when you scrape with a tool so that i have the opportunity to find keywords which i might not have thought of, but this brings a LOT of garbage with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  13. rick diculous

    rick diculous Registered Member

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    Very Interesting thread! Bookmarked
     
  14. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    Still trying to keep this post alive...

    I'm thinking there should definitely be a sticky in this forum on both these subjects...

    If we can get more input/share more experiences I'll summarise and create a PDF so bookmark and contribute if you are interested.
     
  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @ultraburner - nice topic for a thread.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence, but there's a lot of other members better than me at keyword research that could probably give you some more advice.

    You're right that picking the right niche and finding the right keywords is crucial. I struggle with that myself, but it's important to get it right if you really want to succeed. It's always a good idea to find something that interests if possible. That way it's easier to stay motivated and easier to create your own content etc., but it still has to be something that interests other people too. If no one but you is interested, then no one but you will ever be looking at your pages. You need to find something that has as much interest as possible and as little competition as possible. Find the right balance and you have a chance to make some real money.

    The tools you mentioned are definately good, and you can also find additional tools listed in this thread. Some Links to help you out. There's some links in that thread that can help with keyword research.

    I think Flurbuff, iseegreen, volund, and chockomonkey gave some pretty good input for people trying to figure it out. Hopefully some of the other members that have keyword research down to a system can add something more to your thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  16. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

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    Thanks GreyWolf. Any other input from seasoned BHers would be much appreciated...
     
  17. littlejohn

    littlejohn Newbie

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    Thanks to Ultraburner for keeping the thread going on and to those who've given solid content.

    I have questions about picking keywords for local search. As a newbie, and not wanting to make things too difficult for myself...

    What should minimum search volume be for local search?
    What should maximum competition be on the keyword? In broad? In phrase? or In exact mode?

    Let's use example of if I'm going to work with a realtor in Los Angeles to find leads.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. Flurbuff

    Flurbuff Regular Member

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    - exact phrase

    - local searches

    - competition matters more in what you can accomplish so check out the top 10 and see if they are beatable according to your means

    - monthly searches only determines that potential traffic. there are keywords with 500 monthly searches, but insanely tough competition that you can't beat. there are keywords with 10k monthly searches where the competition is nowhere to be seen.
     
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  19. josh21

    josh21 Junior Member

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    it was really useful input for me and will start from 1000 searches , to see how it is going and how to do all those things.thanks dude.