Keyword and Niche Research

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Keyword and Niche Research

Some keywords are easier to rank in comparison to others. Some niches are saturated with well established existing websites, and breaking into these niches involves a lot of time and money – a good example of this is the mortgage niche. However there are other niches that are relatively undiscovered, perhaps a niche hobby that has just begun to gain popularity, or perhaps a particular segment of a niche that has not yet been exploited by the big players because their attention has been focused elsewhere.

Doing detailed keyword research before you start your online project can result in a high Return on Investment if you find one of the untapped niches.

The ideal keyword has a lot of buyers but has low competition, which should make it cheaper and quicker to rank for. If your keyword has a group of related keywords that also have low competition, you may have chanced on a small goldmine.

Most people perform keyword research using Google’s External Keyword Tool, which gives the average monthly searches for keywords that Google users have been typing into the search engine. However, the numbers in this tool tend to be out of date. For example, the monthly traffic quoted for the keyword “Apple iPad” hasn’t really changed in the three years since the iPad was launched – even though in reality there was a massive spike in interest and traffic at the very beginning, which dropped later on. You may be better off looking at the Google Insights for Search tool, which at least shows you how traffic changes over time for any given keyword and reveals seasonal ups and downs.

A new development in keyword research is the use of scraper tools, which scrape all the suggestions that the search engines offer to their visitors. The theory behind these tools is that most search engine users type in just a part of their query and then click on one of the suggestions if it is approximately what they want, to save their time. If you have optimized for the original phrase they were going to type, but not the suggested phrase, you could be losing a lot of traffic.

Once you have picked out the keywords you are thinking of targeting, the next step is to assess the competition. There are several ways of doing this – you can check the number and strength of external links to the page you are competing with. You can check the authority of the website and the page rank Google has assigned to it. You can check the on-page optimization, such as use of title tags and header tags.

There is no set formula that calculates which keyword is worth attempting to rank for - keyword research is as much an art as a science, and the more experienced the person doing the research, the more likely that he will have developed a sense of whether a keyword will pay off or not. Our firm has highly experienced SEO professionals who would be happy to give you advice on keyword and niche research.

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21 Feb 2014

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