Keyword Research – How to find profitable niches

So you’ve found a niche you’re passionate about but you don’t know if it will be a profitable one. You’ll waste a lot of time and money building a web site and writing lots of content for your niche only to find there’s no demand or interest for it.

This is why you need to do keyword research first before you write even one word. The number of searches will determine if it’s worthwhile pursuing the niche you’ve chosen. If it doesn’t receive many searches move on to another niche your passionate about. This is why you created a list in the beginning.

Camping is my passion

Let’s go through the exercise of doing keyword research for the keyword “camping” since it’s one of my passions.

1. Enter “camping” (with the quotes) in the search box of the free keyword research tool…wordtracker. It will list the first 100 keywords and show the number of times people have searched on that word in one month.

Tip: Your main keyword should get 500 to 1000 searches. If it’s less than that move on to another keyword (topic) you’re passionate about.

Here are the first 10 keywords:

1280 camping world
1119 camping
645 camping gear
466 camping tents
441 camping supplies
314 camping equipment
218 motorcycle camping trailers
178 camping rankings
164 camping costa brava
161 camping trailers
130 camping recipes

2. List the top 10 web sites in Google

This will give you a bird’s eye view of your competition. I chose “camping gear” as my main keyword because camping is too general and “camping gear” receives over 500 searches.

Here’s the top 10 web sites in Google (this may change anytime)

3. Check the number of backlinks of competing web sites.

Backlinks are the links that point to your web site from another web site. The number and quality of backlinks determines the rankings of your web site. A great free tool to check backlinks is Yahoo Site Explorer

Enter the top web site… in the search box. In the inlinks drop down box at the top of the page select: “except from this domain” to “only this URL” It says this site has 114,510 backlinks. If you want to compete with this website you’ll need to get more than 114,510 links pointing to your own web site.

Do the same for the other top 9 web sites. Ideally you want to find web sites that have only a few 100 backlinks otherwise you will spending all your time finding backlinks to outdo your competition.

Do this same exercise for at least your top 10 keywords that were generated from wordtracker until you find one with few backlinks from the top 10 Google list.

Once you’ve found your ideal keyword phrase you need to do market research. This will show you where your customers go online to find information related to your niche.

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Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Design and SEO Services