Welcome to the first official update on my public niche site project! Last week I held a live webinar to kickoff the project and to start researching keywords live in front of everyone. As of today, I have found my keyword that I will be using publicly, but more on that in a minute…
I received a lot of great positive feedback from the webinar, and only one person told me to never talk to them again (really)…so that’s good odds. Maybe the guy didn’t like my story of me crying in the back of my family suburban. (Can’t believe I just brought that up again!).
I also shared a picture from my 1st b-day on my webinar (seen above here); that might have upset some people too.
So, I’m going to warn you – if you don’t like free information, just stop reading now. You might hate me for this stuff! 🙂
How to Brainstorm for Seed Keywords
On the live webinar, I reviewed why building niche sites works well (low competition), and how to find long tail keywords. Here a few ways that you can brainstorm for SEED keyword ideas:
- Existing Customers/Blog Readers
- Forums in your niche
- Amazon and eBay
- Look Around You
- Watch TV
- Go Shopping
- Use Google Trends
- Use Affiliate Networks (Clickbank, CJ, Neverblue, etc)
- Go to the Library
- Use Google Instant
- Try Wikipedia
- Pick up a Newspaper or Magazine
- Look at Online Ads
- Notice other Niche Websites
- Ask Someone
These are ideas that can help get you thinking about seed keywords, if you can’t come up with anything on your own. I highly recommend searching around for these base keywords before you really dive into the nuts and bolts of keyword research.
Winning Keyword Criteria
Once you have some seed keywords, you input them into a keyword research tool to generate more. On the webinar, I used Long Tail Pro to do this, but you can use other tools as well. Specifically, I was trying to find a keyword that had:
- 5,000 Exact Match Local (US) Searches per month
- I did not look at CPC as much
- If low CPC, I still wanted a niche with products being bought and sold
- I did look at advertiser competition – higher is better (no specific minimum)
A minimum of 5k searches per month is more than my usual threshold. Usually I’m happy to find keywords that get 2,500 or so, but for this project I’m hoping to build a site that makes more than $50 to $100 a month. And I have indeed found a keyword, although its fallen just shy of the 5k threshold. It actually gets about 4,500 searches per month…so its close! However, there are a TON of related keywords, so the potential for lots of traffic from related long tail queries is very high. I like that…
How to Analyze the Competition in Google
I’ve covered how to analyze the competition in Google many times. You can read about my methods here and here and here. However, let me give you some highlights. First, the ONLY way to determine if you can rank in Google is to look at the top 10 sites already ranking in Google! (This means things like “AllinTitle”, number of SEO competition, and other metrics are not effective ways to pick keywords). So, look at the top 10 sites in Google.
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Here’s some of the things I look for to know if I can outrank those sites:
- Keyword relevancy. Do most of the sites use the exact keyword in the Title of their page?
- Lots of root domains are bad.
- I LOVE to see multiple “weak” types of sites ranking: forums, yahoo answers, ezinearticles.com and other article directories, squidoo pages, other niche sites, or other user generated content
- Low PageRank (1 or 0 preferred) combined with low juice page links (30 or less preferred)
- Multiple sites with Low Juice Page Links
- Low Page Authority (an SEOmoz metric) is always great to see
- If top 10 has lots of eCommerce stores listed (amazon, walmart.com, bestbuy, etc), I usually skip – Google tends to rank eCommerce sites better for eCommerce related terms.
- On the other hand, I like to see information type sites (ehow, squidoo, etc) for information based keywords. Or lots of Adsense based sites also tells me I might have potential to rank (if other criteria above is met).
- If using Long Tail Platinum, I like to see a Keyword Competitiveness score of 35 or less (ideally). Keyword Competitiveness already takes into account many of the factors mentioned above.
Its a lot to think about, but I covered this in-depth with multiple examples in the webinar I just did last week if you want to see how I do it.
My Winning Keyword Is…
You thought this was an update on my Niche Site Project, right? Well, it most certainly is. The above steps for brainstorming, generating keywords, and analyzing those keywords is exactly what I have been doing for the past week. This is a MAJOR step of the project.
I’ve found my keyword, but I’m actually not quite ready to reveal it. I want to give myself about a week or so head start before I tell everyone what my keyword is. I know that as soon as I tell everyone my keyword, I will immediately have a half dozen competitors trying to build a site on the exact same thing. So, rather than shoot myself in the foot before I even start, I want just a little bit of breathing room. Is that okay? Pretty please??
However, let me tell you a little bit about the keyword.
- First, it gets just under 5k searches per month.
- Second, it has a CPC around $0.70
- Third it has an Advertiser Competition of approximately 60 out of 100
- Fourth, its a product review type keyword. So, its not a product per se like “kettle bell weights” but an info keyword based on a product, like “kettle bell weights review”. (My real keyword has nothing to with kettle bells)
- Fifth, I see lots of info sites/ad based sites ranking. A Squidoo page and a small niche site are ranking.
- Sixth, its not a SUPER easy keyword to rank for, its going to take some time, but I think it has potential to be a great site.
- Seventh, its a topic I’m interested in, but not an expert on yet. I have a little bit of experience with the product, but will be learning a lot more very soon. I will also enjoy trying out different versions of the product very soon.
- Eighth, there are TONS of different brands, shapes, sizes, styles and related keyword phrases that could make the site quite large if I ever wanted to do that.
- Ninth, I’m not revealing anything more about the keyword just yet.
- Tenth, I can stop the list now because I reached the number 10.
So, how will I monetize this site? Well, I haven’t decided quite yet. But certainly using the Amazon Associates program would be one good way to go. I could also potentially build an email list and monetize with multiple affiliate products; info products might work well in this niche.
Overall, that’s where I am with the Niche Site Project! I’ve found my keyword, and I’m excited to get started. I’ve given you lots of information about the keyword, and hope to reveal the actual keyword at the end of next week. I will also post an in depth video when I do reveal my keyword of how I viewed the competition and exactly why I chose it.
I would love to hear your thoughts or questions that you have below. Are you starting a niche site as well? How is your own project coming along?