It’s been almost three years now when I started my online journey. In the way to success I learnt a lot of things and implemented almost all the things that I learnt from best blogger’s around the world. We are living in information age where one can learn almost everything online, starting from scratch to become a master of those things.
Since almost one year I have building small niche websites and gaining profits from it. If you check my income reports; one thing is consistent that I am only using Google Adsense to monetize my all website and that is the reason my earning is not a SMART income. Building a website which can be monetized without using Adsense is one of my dreams. It can be Amazon affiliate site or something else but it should not be monetized with Adsense. So I decided to be a part of Niche site duel of Pat Flynn and going to build a new niche site from the scratch. I will be documenting my process over here on SRI under the NSD. May be I able to build successful niche site or I might get failure, whatever it will be I am going document to all here.
Why to build a niche site?
There is no much difference in a NICHE site and an Authority site. Purpose of both is to provide valuable information to its readers. Only difference we can see that NICHE sites are mainly targeted around one or two keywords, while authority site discuss lots of things on same platform. If niche site built correctly then there will rarely anything online that can easily surpass it. Building niche site to earn money is one of the most important mottos of any blogger but it should not be the ONLY thing that we expect from niche site. If you are not going to provide value to the readers it will be a failure.
The rules of SEO have been changed drastically over the past year. With all zoo updates from Google. The role of backlinks becoming more complex to rank any site in the Google. Old days are gone when Google used to count any backlinks that point to a website. With keeping that in mind some money expenditure is involve now building a profitable niche site. That is why ‘Keyword Selection’ process is the most important factor involved in niche site building. If you goes wrong in choosing keyword there is 100% guarantee that you will fail.
Niche Site Keyword Selection –
I learnt two different criteria’s & that is how we will differentiate our keywords.
- High Search Volume with relatively low competition.
- Low search volume with very low competition.
I specifically took this two because we are not big companies that like to ranks for high paying keywords. With high paying keywords, search engine competition increases so the amount of money and time we going to spend on SEO will increase.
First type of keywords is difficult to find because of its high search volume most of them are target of many webmasters. While second type of keywords are REAL GEMS which help us to build a successful niche site. So I will be targeting ‘Low search volume keywords with low competition to rank in Google’.
How to find ‘Niche’ to target?
This is one of the most important factors to decide when it comes to niche site. Niche can be found anywhere. It does not ask for Keyword Tool to find it. One can easily find many markets by following methods –
- Keep eyes open. There are thousands of small and big businesses around us and so the thousands of niche out there.
- Watch TV, Youtube videos, Ads in news papers to get inspiration for a niche.
- Think about existing products of other companies. Have a visit to electronics store, book store, and any possible store that sell products.
- Read others blog. Learn how other bloggers are finding the niches to target. Read Wikipedia randomly, It is one of the biggest Keyword tool available on the earth planet and covers all niches within niches.
- Visit eBay, Amazon, and other stores. Find different categories to target; then find keywords.
- Use your common sense and brain to think about any possible market. Write down the possible problems that people face, they will like to find answers online. If you have best answer you will get a niche.
There are thousands of ways to get inspiration to find any market to target. Once you find your market then narrow down your keyword research. This is the time when keyword tool comes in play. There has lot of information written by other bloggers on how to select a niche, so I will not put much my efforts describing this in detail. But surely here is a way I used to find my niche and keyword to target –
Criteria’s for my keyword selection –
- It should be having a good scope to create content.
- It should be having minimum 3000 exact match searches in Google keyword tool.
- Keyword should not be much competitive in terms of SEO.
I would like to build a website that I can able to monetize with Amazon affiliates, so I started finding my market in Amazon. After spending a couple of hours I targeted ‘Kitchen & Dining’ as my market while narrowing down the niche I selected ‘chef’s Knives’. There is thousand of knives available on Amazon which fits in different categories. I wrote down the common terms that appear with most of knives. For example ‘Ceramic Knives’ is one of the common terms for few knives and appear with each of that knife which made up from ‘Ceramic’. Also knife is grouped according their uses. I run a keyword search in Google keyword tool for all of these terms and found few keywords that I need to analyse for SEO competition. I found following keywords that got my attention-
- Best Kitchen Knives
- Ceramic Knives
- Serrated knives
There is few more keyword that I tested through keyword tool for search volume. Finally I chosen ‘Best kitchen knives’ to target which have monthly 5,400 global searches and 3,600 local searches (USA). The keyword looks perfect for my strategy of 3000 searches per month. I also tested the same keyword in market samurai and I am really pissed off when I saw some big authoritative sites sitting in top ten result of Google for that keyword.
How to check SEO competitiveness of any keyword for Google?
It’s a purely guess work because mysterious algorithm of Google, it is difficult to find out exact method that will tell us SEO competitiveness of any keyword but still there are few factors that help us to understand SEO competition so we can able to make our decision. These factors worked for me in past and still working. These factors are -
- Domain TLD’s of ranking sites. (Does Google shows .gov or .edu sites in results? Or shows pages from article directories, forum, Q & A sites and internal pages of dictionaries?)
- PR of webpage.
- Backlinks – anchor text, diversification of backlinks, site wide links, editorial links etc
- Keyword in Domain, title, URL and description of site.
- Authority and relevancy of back-linking sites.
- Length of relevant articles on site with keyword density.
- To check SEO competition of any keyword first I look at the TLD of ranking sites. If I found many educational or government sites are ranking on first page I usually avoid targeting that keyword. Because search engines gives more importance to these sites. It’s not like that we cannot able to rank for that keyword but it will take more efforts and money out of your pocket. If you find discussion from forum or pages from article directories are ranking well then there is lot of space for us to rank our site.
- Next thing I do is to obtain average PR of all top ten sites ranking for that keyword. (Sum of all PR of top ten sites divided by ten). It will be difficult to rank for the keyword which has high PR sites ranking for that KWD. (KWD =Keyword)
- I check total backlinks of each site and get average backlinks of top ten sites. It is also important to look for the referring domains because sometime site do have very few backlinks but rank well only because some authorative domains links to them. Getting links from educational and government sites really makes sense.
- Does ranking site have keyword in domain, title, and within URL? I also check for overall relevancy of content with KWD.
Google uses more than 200 factors to rank the sites and lots of them are difficult to guess. It is a secret sauce and a trade secret of Google search engine.
Let’s check SEO competition for ‘Best Kitchen Knives’. –
Top ten results for ‘Best kitchen knives’ does not shows any .gov or .edu. and it also does not show any forum discussion or article directory(ezinearticles, hubpages, ehow etc) pages ranking. So it seems like it is neither hard nor easy.
I took average PR of top ten sites which is 3.6, we will consider it as 4 PR which is difficult to rank. Average backlinks is almost 350 with average 30 referring domains. It is little difficult task for any NEW website to gain such backlinks with diversity (especially in initial days). Almost all ranking pages have KWD in title and in URL.
Final thoughts – so considering all together ‘Best Kitchen Knives’ is having MODERATE SEO competition. Means if we target that KWD properly and put our time, efforts and money then we can able to rank well in first few spots in Google. But looking at monthly search volume which is 5,400 globally and 3,600 locally (for USA) (which is real low for our efforts) this keyword does not pass our test to target.
That is why I dig deeper to find another KWD which fairly passed the test. I am super excited to start building the site for that KWD. I am not comfortable to reveal my keyword within this article but in coming weeks I will definitely going to revel that thing. Till then have fun and don’t forget to leave a comment
Have a safe weekend!!