Do you want to learn the secret to find those secret niches that everyone claims to be making big bucks from? The following scenario may sound familiar to you: You have purchased Market Samurai, or used a similar application to find profitable keywords, but any and all niches that the applications come up with appear to be saturated. Even those not-so-profitable keywords look like they are extremely competitive and hard to rank for. First, don’t take competition at face value. To begin with, the three factors, which determine how tough any one of your competitors is, appear to be the Trust Flow, the Domain Authority and the Pagerank of the page (not the website). However, if you’re good at SEO, the true criteria that will decide your destiny are whether your competitor is doing SEO himself and how he is using his anchor text. A weak site (low TF/DA/PR) can beat a more powerful one very easily if offsite SEO is done in the right way. For example, if you see Facebook, Yahoo Answers or Wikipedia ranking on page one for your keyword, that’s a very good indication that the niche is doable. Those sites are very powerful, but it’s highly unlikely that anyone did any SEO to have those pages rank on page one for that keyword, so they likely ended up there, so to say, by accident. Anyhow, that looks like a topic that’s better left for another article. I will assume that you already know how to tell the difference between a keyword you can rank for easily and one you better leave alone. Therefore, let’s assume that the applications didn’t find any keywords you can tackle for the topic of your website. What do you do?
Before deciding on a course of action to take, let me clear up what the problem really is here. Are there no keywords left for the topic of your choice that can be tackled?
No, that is NOT the case.
There are hundreds of low-competition keywords, which have traffic, are relevant and have a high SEO value for any niche of your choice, including the big three: personals, health & fitness and make money. The problem is that all applications out there pull data from the Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords, and the Planner doesn’t provide an exhaustive list of all available keywords. Actually the “keyword ideas” it provides are a far-from-complete list.
Now, what happens is that most people use the Keyword Planner or applications that pull their data from it, and hence all those niches easily become over-saturated. The solution to the problem is to find keywords from other sources. But How?
METHOD I: Use Google Webmaster Tools to Find new Keywords
This method is for advanced users who already have a website, or are willing to put some time into it. It’s working like a charm for me with the MES Central! If you’re asking yourself how the heck it’s possible to do keyword research after fully setting up a website, you should read this article on my “macro-site” creation strategy, as well as my very first article on keyword research here.
To summarize the content of those two articles, the fool-proof strategy to create an authority site is:
- Choose a broad topic
- Tackle some low-competition keywords (even if they have negligible traffic)
- Rank for those keywords using any SEO technique of your choice.
- Build a good Domain Authority and Trust Flow.
- Create new pages on your domain centered on more profitable keywords.
- Rinse and repeat.
The key points to implement this strategy successfully is to remember that Google ranks pages (or articles), not entire websites. The idea behind a “macro site” is a huge collection of pages each of which can be considered as a micro-niche site on its own. The advantage of using this strategy over creating hundreds of smaller websites each on a different topic is that all pages on the macro site share the same Domain Authority, as they belong to the same domain. Trust flow is calculated on a page-by-page basis to some extent, and so is page rank, but DA is extremely important to achieve good rankings. If you and a competitor have the same SEO skills and are using similar techniques to rank your sites, DA, along with PR and TF are the two key factors that decide who gets a higher spot in Google. This is why people refer to macro-niche sites very often as “authority sites”. For further details on this strategy, read the above-mentioned articles. Let’s get to the sauce and meat of the article.
Here is how to find highly profitable keywords:
1. Use Market Samurai to find the best keyword for the topic that your macro site will be about. As long as it has some traffic and value, it’s OK. You’re not going to try to make a profit from these keywords. Even a very low SEOT of 5-10 is okay. Strive to find keywords, however, with the lowest competition level. Don’t forget to turn off the golden rules if you use Market Samurai to do this (You can just use the Keyword Planner instead).
2. Create your website and write an SEO-optimized article for the keywords chosen in step one. Try to write as naturally as you can. When writing the article use the tips provided with the PEACE method. Specifically, think about your readership, why they are searching for those keywords, and what they expect to find on your website. Prepare your content with passion, effort, action, competence and effectiveness. Write on the topic as exhaustively as you can (this is important to pick up as many keywords as possible in step 4). Be careful not to stuff your article with keywords.
3. Use various SEO techniques to rank your page on Google. Take a look at the articles on SEO on this site or use your own techniques to do your very best to rank your site as high as possible on Google — try to make it to page one. Even if you do, chances are, if you chose a low traffic keyword because you had no other options, you will not see a cent. This is what happened to me with this site when I began my online adventure.
4. Here is where the fun begins! Go to Google Webmaster Tools. If you have done enough SEO you should see, under the list of keywords, many new ones that you are ranking for. Make a list of all the keywords that are relevant to the topic of your article. For example, if your chosen keywords were “make money online Yahoo Answers”, possible keywords you may find on Google Webmaster Tools include “how to make money on Yahoo Answers”, “make money with Yahoo Answers”, “Yahoo Answers make money 2014”, etc.
Now open Market Samurai or the Google Keyword Planner. Most of the time these kind of keywords aren’t pulled out from the Planner when you first enquire for keyword ideas. You wouldn’t have been able to find them, if not by going through this lengthy process. This is the whole point of this tactic. All the SEO you did has helped you rank for keywords that you didn’t even know existed. Now go to Keyword Research in Market Samurai and copy and paste all the keywords that you have found in the Add Keywords box, each on a different line. Analyze those keywords and find their SEOT and SEOV (traffic and value). In Market Samurai, you do that by clicking on Keyword Analysis.
5. Most of the time, you will find a few great keywords, with a better SEOT/V than the first one which you chose! Modify your article to direct your SEO efforts at these new keywords, if needed. Then use offline SEO to tackle them (put them in your anchor text, find relevant sites for guest blogging etc.)
That’s it! You start with a crappy keyword and you end up with multiple ones that are even better!
METHOD II: Comparative Review
Ranking for some keywords can be extremely difficult. Even if you use the method above, the initial keyword may be too difficult for you to tackle or the niche may be so tough or focused that you don’t manage to rank for any other keywords except for the ones that you start with. Don’t despair! There is still hope, depending on the niche you want to tackle.
Look for popular products in your niche. For example, if you want to enter the niche of webhosting you’ll find it to be very hard to find a keyword that you can tackle since this niche is super-competitive. So go for the name of a specific product, for example Bluehost or Hostgator and then create a review that compares one product to the other. You can create several different articles this way: Bluehost vs Hostgator, Bluehost vs Site5, etc. The combinations are endless. Just make sure that at least one of the products is quite popular. Even though one single article will not bring in too much traffic, creating many of these will bring in some cash.
This is a great technique and can be used to enter those super-tough niches easily and with very little effort. Of course, it doesn’t work only for webhosting or wealth. You can do Match vs. PlentyOfFish (dating), AB Roller vs. AB Sculptor (Fitness), FIAT vs. Opel (cars), etc. The more obscure the pair the easier it will be to rank, but the lower the traffic. I like to use a well-known contender vs. a more obscure one.
You should, in all cases, check the SEOT and SEOV of all the keywords you come up with to see if it’s worth tackling them.
METHOD III: Go Into Specifics
This involves knowing your niche pretty well. Suppose that you want to create a website on TV shows. This niche will be very hard to tackle, probably impossible. So focus on a particular show at a time, for example, Dexter (I used to love that show, that’s why I always bring it up as an example!). If that is still too difficult, go for a minor character in the show, e.g. Debra Morgan or The Trinity Killer.
This method can be applied to almost anything. It’s more difficult to use if the end product — the topic that we will be writing about — is an affiliate product with a high commission being offered. In that case, a comparative review is more indicated, but, if you want to enter a niche such as “fruit and vegetables”, this method works very well. Start with “joppa”, “berna”, “kona” (varieties of oranges), and then go for “oranges”. Do the same for “apples” and other fruits, and, in no time, you will have a macro-niche site on fruit and vegetables. A simple Google search will get you all the details about fruits that you need.
Always check the SEOT and SEOV of all the keywords you consider before you spend any time on them.
METHOD IV: Spy On the Competition
The people who dominate Google are also ones who know their job well! Go to their websites and find out the keywords that they are trying to target. It should be pretty straightforward for an experienced SEO to find out which they are.
If you find this difficult, analyzing their sites through a service such as SEMRush can help you out a lot. This service will tell you what the top keywords they are ranking for are! I have the SEOBook toolbar installed that allows me to access SEMRush with the touch of a button for all websites that I visit.
That should help you up find and take advantage of those untapped niches that the average Joe doesn’t know about.
Do you know of any other methods to find great keywords? If so feel free to drop your thoughts below, or, if you feel being a little more adventurous and you have enjoyed this article, why not guest post on the MES Central with a sequel?