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How to Find Low Competition Keywords to Rank in Google: Spencer and Samara Call 4 for Niche Site Project 3

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How to Find Low Competition Keywords to Rank in Google: Spencer and Samara Call 4 for Niche Site Project 3

Hey everyone, welcome back to another coaching call between Samara and I for Niche Site Project 3.

This call may be the most important call we've done so far.

During this call, we finally start our keyword research process! Remember, in previous calls, we were only looking at what niches or markets to go into, not really looking for specific keywords to target.

I always state that getting your keyword research done correctly is the most critical aspect of the process.  If you get started on the wrong path, it can delay earnings, and is likely to derail your entire project.

In addition, I took a survey of my readers a while back asking about people's biggest obstacles to starting a successful website, and the number one response by far from people was keyword research.

Well, in today's call I REALLY hope to clarify for you exactly how to do effective research so that you can find easy to rank for keywords in Google.  So, enjoy the call!

Samara's Summary

Hey everybody!

As we mentioned on this call, Spencer and I spoke privately about the potential markets I found and we finally picked one. All I can say to that is “woo hoo!” I’m more than ready to move forward and learn about the next step of the process.

I thought this coaching call was especially interesting, as Spencer went over the ins and outs of how to find low competition keywords while sharing boatloads of fascinating information, not to mention some awesome tips and tricks about brainstorming for seed keywords.

I would highlight two very important things I learned. First, traffic really doesn’t matter, because even though a keyword has low traffic, you can potentially rank for many variations of that keyword, with the result that aggregate searches can really add up to a whole lotta traffic. How cool is that?

Second, you should always target the long tail phrase because not only do you have a good chance of ranking for several long tail variations, you might also end up ranking for the short tail keyword too. I think you guys will agree that’s also pretty damn cool! If you focus only on the short tail, you miss out on all the long tail, so long tail is the way to go!

As for the process, it turns out you don’t just find a bunch of relevant keywords with a low KC, throw some articles together, and blammo! You’re ranking number one. The next step, which is so very important, is to analyze the competition, and by competition, that means the top ten results in Google. Not the sites on page 2 or page 200. The first page is all that matters.

Personally, I would love to have a cut-and-dry set of instructions for this process but, as luck would have it, the analysis just doesn’t work like that. While there are definitely specific indicators of weak sites, it’s not black and white, and as we looked at a few examples it became clear that there are a lot of different aspects to consider when deciding whether or not you can beat the competition. As Spencer says, “There's a little bit of an art form to keyword research.”

After keyword research comes the articles, and when Spencer asked me if I could write 100 articles in six months, I may have replied “yes”, but I was actually thinking “oh hell yeah”. Although I’ve never written 100 articles about anything in my life, and it sounds daunting, and it’s hard to gauge how easy or difficult it will be and how much time it will take, I am absolutely determined to make my site a raging success and I’ll do whatever needs to be done to make that happen.

I thought this call was massively interesting, as there are several steps to the process of picking keywords and several things to bear in mind before pouring your heart and soul into article writing.

Speaking of which, I’m really eager to lean more about that process, and I have so many questions! What are the different types of articles I’ll be writing? How long should they be? How do I decide which type of article to write for each keyword? Is there a specific order to follow for successful article writing?

But first things first: I have to find my low competition keywords. Looks like I have a hot date with Long Tail Pro!

Watch the Coaching Call Here!

If you would rather just listen to the audio, you can download it here.

Slides from Coaching Call 4

Coaching Call 4: How to Find Low Competition Keywords

Project Overview

  1. Brainstorm general market/niche ideas
  2. Pick a niche through keyword sampling and site Doppelgangers
  3. Begin In-depth keyword research (find hundreds of low competition keywords to create content on)
  4. What problem is your site solving? How will your site stand out?
  5. Domain, Theme, Logo, Voice, and more to help build a brand
  6. Develop a long term content strategy
  7. Writing and publishing content
  8. Monetization strategy: short and long term (possible product ideas)
  9. Getting noticed: Outreach, PR, and Linkable Assets
  10. Social Media strategies
  11. Maximizing revenue through list building
  12. Paid traffic strategies
  13. Long Term strategies to continue growing

Goal: Target Long Tail Keywords in Each Article on Your Site

  • Find 100 long tail keywords in the first 6 months
  • Write articles that target these keywords (1 primary keyword per article)
    • (We’ll discuss how to include other secondary keywords in each article on another call).

Why Long Tail Keywords?

  • More Long Tail Searches than Short Tail Searches
  • Easier to Rank for
  • Usually people are further in the buying cycle

Picture1

High Volume is Not Needed

  • Ways to Make Money from your website – 10 LMS
  • 3,791 Unique Pageviews from Google Last Month
  • Keyword variations I rank for:
    • How to make money from a website
    • Ways to make money from website
    • Ways to make money from a website
    • How to earn money from website
    • How to make money on your website
    • Dozens of other variations…
  • Best ___________ ___________ (Example: Best Mouse Pad) – 50 LMS
  • Now ranking for “Mouse Pad”
    • 896 Unique Pageviews from Google Last Month

Criteria of a Winning Keyword

  • Relevant
  • High Advertiser Competition
  • Search Volume over 1,000 for a few keywords, but not required on all.
  • Low Competition in Google
  • Similar Sites Ranking (Weak Doppelgangers/other niche sites)
  • Longer Phrases (3+ words) are usually easier to rank for

Examples of Low Competition Keywords

  • Best Survival Knife – 9,900 LMS, High Ad Competition, $0.25 CPC, KC of 25, weak sites ranking
  • Best Garden Shears – 110 LMS, High Ad Competition, $0.65 CPC, KC 27, weak site ranking

How to Find Low Competition Keywords?

  • Long Tail Pro
  • Input Seed Keywords from Various Sources
  • Start with your own brainstorm
  • Use Keyword Modifiers
  • Amazon and Ebay
  • Wikipedia
  • Niche Forums
  • Google auto-complete (Ubersuggest)
  • Google trends
  • Other Niche Sites

Keyword Modifiers to Consider

  • Fill in the Blanks with your niche/keywords
  • Best _________ _________ (Example, “Best Survival Knife”)
  • _________ ________ Reviews (“Survival Knife Reviews”)
  • ________ vs. _________ (“Gerber vs. Kabar”)
  • Best ________ Brands (Best Knife Brands)
  • Where to Buy _______ (Where to buy a survival knife)
  • _______ Under $________ (Survival Knife under $100)

How to Analyze the Competition

  • First Page of Google is Your Competition
  • Keyword Competitiveness (KC) of 30 or Less
  • Low Domain Authority AND Page Authority is preferred
  • At least 2 results that have under 30 PA and DA
  • Relevant Page Title/content? (“Spencer Likes Honeycombs”, example)
  • Root Domain? Subpage is ideal (not required though)
  • Site Age Less than 1 year is ideal (not required though)
  • Under 30 Juice Page Links
  • This article is still relevant to analyzing competition: http://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-analyze-the-top-10-google-competition-for-your-keyword/

Additional Tactics to Quickly Find Low Competition Keywords…

  • UberSuggest.org
  • Bulk Import Keywords into Long Tail Pro
  • SEM Rush
  • “Steal” keywords from your competitors (Doppelgangers!)

Assignment for Call 4

  • Find 20 Low Competition Keywords for Your Niche Website
  • Use the various methods discussed to input seed keywords
  • At least 3 keywords with search volume of 1,000 or more
  • Remaining 17, search volume doesn’t matter

Wrapping Up

Overall, Samara is busy doing her keyword research, and I'm confident she is going to find some great low competition keywords!  I know others have been talking about their keyword research using Long Tail Pro in the private Niche Site Project 3 Facebook group here.  If you'd like to chat more with like minded niche site builders, you can join the Facebook group.

If you have an comments or questions, feel free to leave your thoughts below.  Thanks again!

Yes! I Love to Learn

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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51 Comments for this Post

  1. Ilya

    Ilya

    Very interesting as always! I recently started targeting long-tail keywords with my websites and it seems that combining that with a couple of “skyscraper content” posts works very well!

    To clarify since in the “Criteria of a Winning Keyword” section you state that the keyword should have High Advertiser Competition, are you planning on monetizing the site with AdSense and then adding Amazon and other affiliate programs or are you just yours/and Samara’s options open?

    Thanks Spencer!

    • Jub

      Jub

      (I’m not an expert) I believe this will reassure that the keyword is a buyer keyword

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      That sounds like a great strategy! High advertiser competition just helps determine if its a commercial keyword. Doesn’t always have to be high ad competition, but that’s an easy metric to look at. Our monetization options are open.

  2. JerBear

    JerBear

    Hey Samara and Spencer,

    Great call! I almost felt the questions bubbling up in my mind and Samara immediately asking them! Looking forward to making progress on my own baby niche site along with Samara 🙂

  3. Sophy

    Sophy

    Thank you share best value of video screen cast! By the way, may I ask a question I watched a few screencast by you I always notice you use Firefox not Google Chrome. Could you explain Firefox vs Google Chrome for Online Markers?

    Thank Spencers,

  4. Paul

    Paul

    Hey newbie question here: if doing a site that may require reviews (of course only about 30% max of content) how do you get them done if they cost hundreds of dollars and can’t afford to get them?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Review based on price, size, features, overall amazon rating, and other readily available information online. You don’t have to claim that you’ve touched the product. Just compare…”This one is 2 lbs, and this one is 3lbs” etc.

      • Paul

        Paul

        Thanks Spencer, appreciate the answer.

    • Leeroy

      Leeroy

      Why only 30%? Does google have some sort of filter for this or something?

  5. Another Mike

    Another Mike

    Hey Samara,

    I’m stoked you’ve finally picked your niche and are no longer lagging behind those other two (swots) in the Niche Site Project 3 🙂

    You represent the everyman (everywomen) who watches these calls and wonder why they’ve previously failed on their niche websites. You are the The trier who has failed.

    Which is why I have to ask this question. Would ‘perennial niche site failure Samara’ likely succeed if she watched these calls – without having access to the private chats with Spencer?

    As you say, there is no precise formula for finding a niche, and finding good keywords – only guidelines. I think you previously followed the guidelines from the previous Niche Site Projects – and you failed.

    Please reassure us, your success this time wont be because of that extra little impetus of privately expressed knowledge/experience from Spencer. (Something along the lines of… ‘Hey Samara, what you’ve been doing so far is along the right lines, but those niches aren’t quite suitable.. please consider exploring these niches because I think they are right for you).

  6. Job ZZP

    Job ZZP

    Great article again!
    Does the maximum KC of 30 also apply to sites in other countries?
    For example, my website is in the dutch market and has the dutch extension: .nl. I can find many keywords with over 10,000 monthly searches in my niche, with KC’s of around 25. Does this mean I just found an extremely easy niche? Or is it because it’s harder to get higher authority with dutch websites?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I believe you will need to adjust your KC threshold for dutch (or other markets outside the US).

  7. Tomaz Rodica

    Tomaz Rodica

    Hi,
    First of all, great informative video there
    Secondly, I have a question 🙂
    Let’s say I have found 3 similar kw’s: best survival knife, best survival knife for men, best survival knife for women. Which option would you pick a) or b)
    a) Would you write 3 articles each for one keyword and than in the best survival knife article mention 2 other keywords and link to them. And from this 2 other keywords link to best survival knife article?

    b) Write one article where you include all 3 keywords.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      You could go either way with this one. If there are truly different options for men and women, you could make it a separate article. However, a large article that covers all 3 subjects would work great as well. Just title the article something like, “Best Survival Knife for both Men and Women” That way would target all 3 keywords with the one title.

  8. Darko

    Darko

    Great piece of content!

    Here is another hint for finding seed keywords. I would recommend: Soovle.com
    I think it’s a gold mine for finding long-tail keywords. At the same time it searches for the particular keyword on: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube and Answers.com

    Keep up the good work, Spencer!

  9. Natalie

    Natalie

    Hi Spencer and Samara,
    Another great call! I look forward to these each week.
    I have a question regarding finding 20 low comp keywords- is it better to find keywords that are relatively different to each other or does it not matter? For example, “red socks for babies with eczema” versus “socks for babies with eczema”. Within my niche, I have many variations of similar keywords that are all low competition. I do have 3 with search volume of 1000 or more that are NOT variations of the same keyword.
    What are your thoughts about this please?
    Thanks again!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I would try to find keywords that are more different than the example you gave.

  10. john

    john

    first time i saw that small orange button for KC .. never noticed it before.. thanks for that..

  11. rusta

    rusta

    I just finished read Brian Dean’s post here : http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

    one of the example on that post says that even if a site have perfect traditional on page SEO tricks like keyword placement on title, h1, images, etc with decent content, it will still rank lower than site with better content despite that site don’t have perfect on page SEO targeting the keywords.

    Is this means even if we find a good long tail keywords and optimize a post for it, we probably will rank lower than another site that have better content but don’t exactly target that keyword?
    I mean probably that site happen to rank just because it have (unoptimized) awesome content (but broad, not targeted to our keywords)?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sure. So, if you do on-page SEO and keyword targeting AND write great content, you will be ahead of the game.

  12. Shaun Baird

    Shaun Baird

    Thanks. First time I “finally” understand… after many years its clear. Ive just upgraded to platinum.. I thought Id try the “spencer loves honeycomb” experiment on my own site with my own phrase….. still waiting for the post to get indexed, so guess I need googles robots to come round quicker. The site Ive put it on is a very old site (made in 2003 but elapsed over a year ago.. I recently re-bought the domain and linked to the sites files still on my server and have since added a few new posts).. just wondering these days how long for indexing, and ranking to occur given a zero competition scenario like “project honeycomb” 😉

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Awesome! Feel free to share your results!

  13. vigneshraj

    vigneshraj

    i am hearing a lot about long tail keywords when searching for best way to promote..finding perfect keyword and niche is always a tough task, lot tougher than finding a life partner.. you site is making all look simple .. nice work..

  14. Alex

    Alex

    Hey Samara and Spencer.

    Great video with lots of hints.

    Btw: I’s a fan Samara 🙂

    // Alexander

  15. Martinos

    Martinos

    Hi Guys,

    Great video again. Love the tips on how to find a winning keyword, it’s definitely useful to have a few measurements to judge your keywords against, even if a lot of it is down to intuition as well. I’ve been digging into SEMrush this week, which is a goldmine of information, but was wondering what you based the figure of 4000 visits per day on, as a good metric for judging Doppelgangers?

    Obviously the more traffic the better, but would you steer clear of sites with 1, 2 or 3k visits per day?

    thanks again guys,
    Martin

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      It was just a quick number; not a rule.

  16. Toki

    Toki

    Hey Spencer!

    Maybe I am confused. So if I had a keyword that had a KC of 18, with 200 searches and 3 plus words BUT did not have 2 sites with a DA/PA below 30… you would NOT target?

    Thanks!

    Toki

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Probably not. However, I doubt you could find a KC 18 keyword that didnt’ have 2 sites with a DA/PA below 30.

  17. Tyler

    Tyler

    “gardening tools that start with a g” … that’s gotta be reflecting crossword puzzle cheater searches. Maybe in a major city’s paper. I’d be interested to see the chart for the historical searches per month.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Good point, could be. Definitely worth checking google trends on that one.

  18. Phil

    Phil

    Hi Spencer
    Loving the training but I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind
    1 You say to look for domain/page authority below 30 which i understand but how do sites with low authority get to be in the top ten when all the others in the top ten are high authority sites
    2 I’m from the UK and searching using Google uk i find a lot of affiliate sites from the USA, would it be easier to out rank these sites using a uk site if being searched from the uk
    Thanks

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      1. Better keyword targeting usually.
      2. That’s possible.

  19. Ahmed

    Ahmed

    when will you add the next call

  20. terry

    terry

    nice coaching call for sure, one of the best value here, cant wait to see the next one

  21. leann

    leann

    Hi Spencer, I have a question .. been bugging me. btw, I am a Long Tail Pro Platinum user.

    If I use ‘Best xxx’ keyword, for instance ‘Best Mouse Pad’, I tend to get mostly e-commerce websites and I noted your advice not to use the keyword if most of the sites are e-commerce as they tend to be viewed more favorably by Google.

    This happens even for different niches that I am in.. I chose those with KC below 30 and this happens too. Majority are e-commerce sites.

    How do you tackle this issue, or do you experience this issue at all?

    Thanks!

  22. Peter

    Peter

    Nice tips there. I’m currently trying to squeeze the last keywords out of my niche site and the tips here should help. I do use long tail pro and it’s a great timesaver for finding those lost keywords.

    Semrush is great. I use it daily and can judge a websites success through the different keywords being reported.

    Thanks.

  23. Brett

    Brett

    Great information on emphasizing the power of the long tail. After you create a post targeting long tail keywords, what do think in terms of of blog post length and frequency? Are ya’ll going to discuss PBN strategies or are you no longer using PBNs? Keep up the great work Spencer and Perrin! I’m loving the niche site project 3.0 coaching calls.

  24. Alan T

    Alan T

    Hello Spencer & Samara. This video provide really great information. Thanks for doing this great call! I really learn a lot. I have a quick question though:

    You mentioned that even long tail KW with 10 Local Monthly Searches is still a good target as we will be ranking for different variation of the long tail KW.

    I found a KW with KC below 20 and the top 10 result, where 3 results have below 20 DA and PA but these 3 sites have eCommerce capability like adding product to cart and check out. These 3 sites are not big time eCommerce site like Amazon or anything. They are just small time site.

    My question: Will you go ahead and write an article based on this KW? Do you think I will have any chance to rank above these 3 small eCommerce site since my blog does not have any eCommerce capability? Or it is not important because the DA and PA of these 3 sites are so low and we can easily beat that 3 sites with better contents? Anyone thought in this is greatly appreciated too! Thanks.

  25. Yann

    Yann

    Hey Guys,
    Just starting out a niche site following those different projects. I am non native speakers but i am going to run an english niche site. So you might already guess that i am going to outsource the content part of it. Well my point is, when you get your longtail keywords (i already have hundreds of them, many are variation or speaking about the same main subject), you are not going to write an article titled for each longtail keyword you found right ? You ve to organize those keywords around the main subject and stuff an informative article of those several long term keywords. Or you just do small articles about each longtail keyword (except if it’s variation of course). Not sure i am making myself clear. So let me know, i ll try to explain my thoughts in a better way.

  26. Wichly Cazeau

    Wichly Cazeau

    Great Post! I’m new as well to keyword research. I have website that’s been up for the past 8 months and traffic is very poor (not even getting 1 day) but I’m sure the person who I hired for doing the keyword research and writing the content for my blog is partly to blame. Although, I have 10 articles on my site all posted between August and September, this person clearly planted all high competition keywords within all the articles they’d written. Not to mention, I’m going against big brands like Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, eBay and few other well known sites. It’s clear that I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked security cameras for a niche. 🙁 Well, right now I feel as though I’m already well over my head and there’s no turning back, it’s either I come with new strategy such as doing keyword research myself targeting longtail keywords, editing the 5 months old content on my blog post, adding new content perhaps a total of 80-90 posts and setting up Adsense and see what happens. In overall, it’s great that I came in contact with your site Spencer. Everyone Speakes very highly of you! Thank you for all the support.

  27. Danny Veiga

    Danny Veiga

    Thanks for the great information Spencer! This has really helped me focus on what type of keywords to look for when going using LTP. What I’ve done is grab the keywords from UberSuggest & then throw them into Keywordshitter.com and have it spit out almost 4K that I’ll throw into LTP. Not sure if you’ve tried that before.

  28. abdusalam saheed

    abdusalam saheed

    My favorite tools:
    1.Spyfu (no limited search) I love this tool!
    2. Semrush
    3. Google keyword planner
    4. long tail pro
    5.Keyword shitter. I love this tool
    6. Firefox. Its more secured than google chrome.
    With this tools I think I am a king in niche persuading. Good luck.

  29. ryan

    ryan

    What’s the difference process wise between keyword sampling to find a niche and finding low competition keywords to write articles on (the 100+)? Are the criteria the same in terms of DA, KC etc?

    Also, when talking about LMS, out of 100 articles, how many of those would you prefer to target keywords over 1,000 LMS? Also, do you have a minimum threshold for LMS when targeting keyword ideas for articles?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      The same. Perhaps 10 over 1,000 LMS…just depends on your niche. No minimum.

  30. Tim

    Tim

    Hi, I have been working at choosing my 20 keywords. Although in my keyword sampling I found enough results to make me choose my niche, it has taken me hours to find 20 keywords to target. I have found tons of keywords with the words “best” and “reviews”, but difficulty finding a PA and DA under 30. I added a few keywords with the words “how to”, although these articles are not very buyer focused. At this point I have like 11k words loaded in LTP that I have been working with. Should I reconsider this niche? I know it is a large niche with many products where I could maybe find a sub-niche. Thanks.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sure, the niche might still be worth considering.

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