Keyword Research: Size Up Your Competition
By Jan Ashby
When you are researching for a profitable niche, you want to begin with keyword research.
Keyword research is used as a way to find a profitable niche market to build your business around. For instance, if you type the phrase “dog training” into Google search engine, you get around 26 million links returned to you.
On one level, this is great. Why? Because you’ve identified a strong market, in which you can be sure there’s lots of interest. Many families have dogs, and are interested in training, right?! Okay, so to rank my website, is this ALL there is to it? Heck no..
You have to take a look at the competition. You may have to “drill down” and find more keyword phrases in the dog training niche – phrases with “less” competition.
You need to locate those keyword terms and phrases that have a relationship to “dog training”, where the competition isn’t going to be as stiff. You can visit the free Google keyword tool in order to look at related keywords for “dog training”. You simply need to have a Gmail account, and go through the process of signing up for a Google adwords account (don’t worry, you won’t have to SPEND any money).
So – the very first thing you do – before you write an article, a press release, or create a website – is to LOOK at your competition. You may have to get narrow in your niche thinking, but a profitable sub-niche is certainly better than a large niche with tons of competition .
Detailed Research: What’s the Reasoning?
If your concept is great but your idea gets lost in a sea of websites, then all the TIME you put into a well-prepared article, press release, or video script will go to waste. You will be disappointed, in the end. You’ll soon realize you should have taken a closer look at the competition; what I do once I’ve found a potential keyword (with the free Google keyword tool) is head over to Google.com and put the term in “quotes”.
You’ll see how many competing pages there are (many say you want 100,000 or fewer competing pages); next I check on how many sites have the chosen keyword phrase in the title. I type “intitle: dog training” (as an example).
You should probably use a spreadsheet to keep track of the numbers each search engine returns. If you don’t have excel (Microsoft), then you can use Open Office – they are FREE, and have a spreadsheet available for you.
Be prepared to have to do some further keyword research (drilling down), before you’re through. More often than not, it will be necessary as there’s often competition.
Keyword Research Tools and SEO
In order to thoroughly analyze your potential niche, you’ll probably want to use a tool like SEO Book, Market Samurai, or Traffic Travis (Traffic Travis has a good free version, so I’d suggest using this tool in the beginning). Seo book does have some nice features available – it’s split up into “free options” & “paid options”. Market Samurai has a 30 day trial, and then you pay.
So initially you can focus on optimizing your blog site for the keywords with less competition. And if you choose to use video blogging, you can really do well. If you are interested in
Keyword research is ultimately a way to attract prospects to your business, and with these sound tactics a decade from now your business will still be flourishing.
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