Niche vs keyword research, exact vs broad match, etc ?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by prosys, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. prosys

    prosys Newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
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    Hello again BHatters,

    I posted a brief report of keyword research I did on a three-word keyword I did related to my passion here on BHW at /seo/is-my-keyword-difficulty-analysis-on-target.929959/ (Can't post links yet.) I received the confirmation I expected, that it was likely beyond my reach currently.

    However, not being willing to give up on my passion just yet (which, by the way, basically umbrellas other sub-passions of mine I could branch into), I did some more brainstorming and research. But, I think I'm confusing myself.

    I have read a number of posts here and other articles, and I still find myself confused between niche research and keyword research.

    To me, niche research would be analyzing the viability of a topical keyword for a site overall, while keyword research would be done when determining what content one would create. Yes, no?

    For example, suppose one were to be looking toward building a (potentially authority) site of, say, less than 100 pages to be monetized with either premium content subscriptions and/or Clickbank.

    Would the suggested strategy be to define a broad keyword or brand (ie. niche research?) for the site as a whole, and then do the keyword research for the individual sub-pages that would hopefully be ranked to build the brand/site?

    Put another way, for researching the difficulty of ranking the site as a whole, would one look at broad match (without quotes) SERPs or at exact match (with quotes) for the main topical keyword? Or would one look at all the SERPs for the sub-keywords? exact match or broad?

    Aatrox, at /seo/this-is-how-i-do-my-keyword-research.821150/, appears to get excited about broad match hits of less than a million on a four-word keyword and doesn't even mention using quotes except for allintitle and inurl. On the other hand, macdonjo3 at /seo/the-absolute-newbies-guide-to-keyword-research.374487/, uses quotes even for the main keyword, ie. "golf".

    This confuses me regarding the exact purpose of each specific tactic.

    So, I guess if I could figure out how to ask what I'm not really even sure how to ask, it would be:

    1. What's the difference between niche research and keyword research?

    2. What strategy should be used to determine the difficulty of the overall niche topic: the topical keyword difficulty or the potential difficulty/ease of ranking multiple articles based on various long-tail keywords (since sites don't get ranked, but pages)?

    3. When should quotes be used and when should they not be used during research?

    I hope I haven't confused you too.o_O
  2. patriotnews

    patriotnews Supreme Member

    Oct 25, 2015
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    under there
    Let me talk about #1 as I view it.
    Niche research is knowing everything about your chosen niche that will complete your site.
    Who is your audience(primarily male/female, age range, avg income, etc.. )
    What is your audience wanting(videos, pictures, slideshows, PDFs, white papers, etc...)
    Where besides SERP results can you find your audience(what are their favorite social media channels, any web2 communities active, active forums, etc...)
    Monetization methods(cpa, ppc, Amazon, affiliate offers, service offerings, etc.. )
    Top 10-20 sites of the niche(not just their backlinks, but look for what they offer and how can you do it better)

    Keyword research
    This is where you dive into the niche and find the keywords.

    I will say, don't get TOO hung up on keyword research, if it is a niche you have a passion for, start doing it. Find other places to get your audience besides the SERPs at first. Engage them on social media, engage them in forums, where ever you can find your audience and get them to engage your site.
  3. Ftr

    Ftr Registered Member

    Feb 23, 2017
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    Passive is Massive
    Alpha Nomad
    To answer your questions...

    1)The niche is the house and the keywords are the furnishing you put inside the house.

    So I think your problem comes from looking at niche research as in keyword based. While you are looking for similar aspects you do it in a different way, allow me to explain more:

    You might mean niche research in respect to finding a niche, which is a different thing.
    Niche finding is more about finding an overall niche to make money in, for instance firstly you need to locate a niche that will make actually make money and that you can monetize.
    Whereas keyword research in this respect would be keyword you could actually rank for due to competition.

    Niche research is more about getting all the information related to that niche, demographics etc like market research.

    As patriot mentioned above if you find the niche is just to competitive for keywords then serp stuff might be out of the question but look at other avenues if you are going for a passion.
    Or look at specialising within it, if your passion is fitness then look more into specialising that into what you can, such as:
    fitness for teenagers with asthma
    Depending on how competitive it is depends on how deep you have to specialise.

    With keyword research this is purely text based like "how to keep fit" and is for search engine result stuff, like keyword research allows you to identify what your customers/visitors are searching for letting you target those keywords in articles you write and putting those words and related words on your website.
    It lets you know the competition for going for those keywords how much a chance you have at getting to number1 in google for what they are searching for.
    It also helps you work out what you need to target and offer based on the most searches, and provides exact traffic data for each keyword.

    2) To identify the keyword competition you can look to a few different things, the first one would be things like KC or KEI scores basically keyword difficulty rating, these are scores based on different factors such as the top 10 results how strong their domains are, if they are targeting the keyword etc etc I wont go into the details but basically different software does this for you.
    You type in the keyword and it provides you a score out of 100 showing you quickly how easy or hard that particular keyword is.
    For this you can use services like 'Long Tail pro Platinum' or AHREFs keyword difficulty rating score.

    There's many other methods to utilise alongside this like checking the top 10 search results manually on google, and seeing how powerful and good are the domains in those top spots. But all that is way beyond the scope of this reply, do a lot of research into it you will come across a plethora of information.

    3) Quotes in the search engine should give an exact match to that keyword, I guess you could use it to determine which sites are going for that exact keyword but the thing is that is not how search engines work any more. They give weight to semantic words (synonyms) so exact match keywords don't really cut it any longer, and normal users don't really search with quotes around their words.
    Plus all services and software that show a keyword difficulty score do this for you.

    So as for when quotes should or shouldn't be used, well basically never as their is no point, but searching for exact matches provides you with more detailed down traffic and data analysis to work with, whereas broad match provides you more with the overall picture. You would probably be utilising both of these at different points but you want to be looking for exact matches when doing keyword research.
    Broad match can be used for looking at the general niche research kinda stuff, exact match used when your doing legit keyword research.


    Hope that helps, my advice to you based on the sounds of it would be to read some of the keyword research guides here on BHW and some of the niche research guides here on BHW and also look over googles searchings for the 2 and build up more of an idea of it, both topics are real core foundations and take a long time to master, but super important aspects to get right.
  4. prosys

    prosys Newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
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    Thank you both very much for taking the time to provide such informative responses!

    I think I've grasped the difference between niche and keyword research. Let me see if I'm clear on a couple things.

    I have read the keyword research articles linked to at [BHW]/seo/how-to-do-keyword-research.844885/, and my confusion partly arose from those. As far as niche research articles here, I found only one.

    So then, two last questions if I may.

    If I wish to get a general idea how difficult it might be to break into a particular (micro-)niche, I would need to look at the KD (competition) for a significant number of each of the keywords related to that niche. Yes?

    And, just to be clear since the articles seem to conflict on this point, when analyzing keyword competition in the SERPs, I should perform my search based on exact match. Yes?

    Again, thank you very much for your time and encouragement.
  5. prosys

    prosys Newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
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    After even more research, I have come to believe that I was confused about keyword research partly because (I think) it is done for two different reasons. And, the articles about it did not differentiate between the two. I may still be confused, but here goes.

    Keyword research is done for:
    1. Gauging demand so one knows what content/product to provide and if it's worth it (keyword research), and
    2. Gauging supply so one can determine the difficulty/ease of both, getting the word out that he/she has such (or better) content/product, and making sales (competition research).

    If that is correct, then let me summarize how I now see it, hypothetically and metaphorically:

    Let's suppose I have a keen interest in having guests over so they can watch their favorite movies in my amazing home theatre setup. But, most people in my neighborhood are obsessed with video games and couldn't care less about movies. I guess I have to move.

    First, I would want to find a neighborhood where people love to watch movies (niche). If they only like to watch certain types of movies like westerns (sub-niche), that's okay too.

    Then, I need to determine the exact movie titles they would want to watch (keyword research) so I can provide them. But, if there are already quite a few others already providing a tailored home theatre experience in that neighborhood (competition research), then my home theatre would be left lonely.

    My awesome home theatre doesn't want to be lonely.

    Now regarding this:
    I'm going to assume the answer to this is, Yes.

    However, I still have not found an answer to the following regarding analyzing the SERPs for intitle, inurl, desc, H1, backlinks, etc:
    I suppose that for taking a quick look at competition before deciding to do more detailed research, one might use broad match as Aatrox shows at /seo/this-is-how-i-do-my-keyword-research.821150/.

    But, for the more detailed competition research, analyze the exact match SERPs?