Niche Site Challenge 002: How I figured out my target keyword(s) for my niche site

Things have been really busy over the past few days, but I have been making some real progress in my Niche Site Challenge. When I decided to do this, I literally had no idea what niche I was going to select – all I knew is that it had to be potentially profitable and somewhat interesting to me (otherwise I would have less motivation to work on it). To be honest, it wasn’t all that easy to discover profitable keywords but I’m happy to report that I actually found two that I’m pretty excited about.

My process for finding profitable keywords:

I’m totally learning as I go here, so the first thing that I tried was a handy Google tool called Google Trends. This is a fantastic free tool that will allow you to type in multiple keywords and see the ¬†search volume for each mapped on a chart. This was highly revealing to me in several ways: first of all, I discovered that the keywords I have been targeting for my existing websites were actually very bad with low search volumes(!). I felt almost defeated at that point, realizing that I’ve been wasting my time for years. But hey – the flip side to that was that I felt like I discovered the root of my problems. So that was great! The second thing I discovered by playing with Google Trends was that the keywords that I wanted to target for my new niche site weren’t that good either. Nobody searches for the things I’m interested in, I suppose. ūüôā

Now that I had a pretty good idea of what keywords and phrases people were searching for, I needed to find a way to figure out how competitive those keywords were. Google Trends won’t give you this information, but after a long internet search I discovered an amazing keyword tool called Market Samurai. It’s basically Google Trends on steroids – not only can you search for the keywords you are interested in, but it will actually give you a list of alternatives that can be sorted by search volume. Even better is that it has an SEO Competition tool which will show you in amazing detail the top 10 competitors for your chosen keyword. This is an amazing time-saving feature, because it’s extremely crucial to choose keywords with weak competition. You need to choose battles you can win, and trying to compete against established sites with millions of ¬†indexed pages and 100,000 back links is just not worth it. You can’t win battles like that!

Market Samurai is a highly complex keyword-finding tool, but it’s pretty easy to play with once you’ve got it figured out. Here is the steps I took:

1). Here’s the start screen. As you can see, Market Samurai offers an amazing set of keyword analysis tools such as Rank Tracker, Keyword Research, SEO Competition, among many others. This is very powerful software!

start screen

2). In this example, I am using “Sample” as my keyword to research. As you can see, it will give you a complete list of alternative keywords based on the one you provide, which is an awesome way of discovering keywords you may not have thought of yourself. You can also filter these results to your heart’s content.

keyword search tool screenshot

3). Once you’ve chosen a collection of keywords you’d like to compare, you can see exactly how valuable they actually are (in terms of Google Adsense revenue). This feature alone is a huge time saver, because you’ll very quickly see how some keywords have much higher value than others, which will help you narrow down your choices very quickly.

analysis tool

4). Finally, you can get a microscopic view (and comparison) of the top 10 competitors for your chosen keyword the the SEO Competition tool. A lot of red in this table is bad – the more green fields you see, the weaker the competition.

SEO Competition tool screenshot

Without Market Samurai, I’d still be looking for good keywords tonight. This tool has literally saved me days worth of work and I highly recommend it to anyone searching for highly competitive keywords.

Anyway, as I mentioned at the top of this post, I found two keywords. I was only looking for one, but I stumbled across two really good ones that (unfortunately) happen to be in completely unrelated fields. That means if I want to use them, I’m going to have to build two niche sites instead of one. I’m still not sure if I want to tackle two new niche sites right now, but I’m really happy that I’m sitting on some potentially very profitable keywords.

Now the fun part begins. Time to start creating some content and launch the site(s)!

Other posts in the Niche Site Challenge series:

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