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Niche Research - From Start To Finish

Updated on November 15, 2010

Selecting a niche can be a long, confusing and sometimes stressful process. As an internet marketer I know that my prospective niche could be a gold mine or a complete dud.

In this hub I'll discuss:

  • What a Niche is: Broad vs. narrow niches
  • Thinking of a Niche: sometimes trying think of a niche is the hardest part. I'll present a few ideas and tools that will help you think of niche.
  • Niche Demand: how "hungry" is the niche crowd.
  • Niche Competition: how to tell if there is too much competition.
  • Extended Niche Competition Analysis - 3 Google search commands that will show you your true competition.
  • Niche Research Checklist: Quick wrap up checklist.

What Is A Niche

A niche is a product or service that is in demand by a certain group of people, but that product or service is being under-served. Broad and narrow niches each have their pluses and minuses.

Broad niches usually have a high search count (which we love) but also have too many competing websites (which we hate). Narrow niches have often have a low search count but there are fewer competing pages.

So what's better? Narrow or Broad Niches? I have 2 answers:

  • Broad niches can make you filthy rich if you have a lot of money to pay for the PPC (AdWords pay per click) traffic and you have a killer landing page.
  • Narrow niches can make you rich if you have quite a few of them and you know how to SEO both on page and off page.

I love working with real world examples. Below are examples of a broad and narrow niche.

  • Broad Niche: Laptops
  • Narrow Niche: Used Dell Latitude D630

Niche Discovery - Niche Brainstorming Techniques

Thinking of a prospective profitable niche was one of the toughest parts for me when I first started internet marketing. Since then I've discovered a few tools that show me what people are searching for.

For used or discount item Niches I'll usually search

http://pulse.ebay.com.

For new items I like to use Shopping.com's top searches at

http://shopping.com/top_searches

For non-item niches I use:

  • http://google.com/trends/hottrends

  • http://buzz.yahoo.com

  • http://www.google.com/insights/search/

I'll usually select a niche that I find interesting because it makes content development much easier. Once in while I'll choose a Niche for pure money making purposes. I'll often do this when I find a highly searched phrase on hottrends that has almost no competition.

Niche Demand - Do They Need It Or Just Want It?

Ok, so you've found a possible niche. Now it's time to see what kind of crowd you're dealing with.

Is this niche comprised of people with wants or needs? Obviously people that need something are more apt to buy and people that want something are less apt to buy.

Think about it...it you're lost in the desert are you going to buy a glass of water or a special book? I don't need to answer this for ya.

Now, keep in mind that wants and needs are easily blurred especially if our niche is filled with wealthy buyers. Personally, I'll take a need niche over a want niche any day but it's not the deciding factor in my niche selection.

Niche Statistics - Searches vs. Competing Pages

Now we've come down to it...hard statistical niche data. We need to make sure that:

A: Our niche is getting a decent amount of daily searches

and

B: There are not too many (well optimized) competing pages

The figure I like to stick with is at least 60 searches a day with 10,000 or less competing pages for that exact niche phrase (and exact niche phrase is like: "internet marketing tutorials")

So, how do we find out how many searches our niche phrase is getting everyday? It's simple and free. We'll use the google keyword tool!

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordTool

Once the Google Adwords tool is loaded enter your niche phrase and uncheck "check synonyms" then click "Get Keyword Ideas".

In this example I'll use "dell refurbished laptops".

The phrase "dell refurbished laptops" has 6600 searches a month. To find out the daily search count just divide by 30. 220 searches a day!

So far so good. Now it's time to check the competition. We want to see how many competing pages on the internet have the exact same niche phrase that we are going to optimize our page/site for.

So in this case I would do a Google search for: "dell refurbished laptops"

Currently there are 6,690 competing pages in Googles index. Anything with results of 10,000 or less should be easy to rank for.

Ok, so we're really looking good so far:

  • 220 searches a day from Google alone.
  • 6,690 competing sites in the Google index.
  • High dollar commissions\clicks via someone like eBay or Adsense.

Extended Niche Competition Research - Google Search Commands

Ok, so now you have a general idea of how many searches your niche phrase is getting per day and you also know how many competing pages have your niche's exact phrase somewhere on the page....but....how many competing pages are actually SEO'd for that niche phrase?

Are we dealing with random pages that may have our exact niche phrase for some reason

OR....

are we dealing with a page or site that is completely optimized for our niche phrase.

Below are a few Google search commands that will show you who your true competing pages are (examples below):

The allintitle command shows you competing pages with your niche phrase in their title. The results from this command are super important. These pages were MADE for that niche phrase. Take a good look at these results and make sure your page is better than theirs and you will get results.

Here's an example:

allintitle:"dell refurbished laptops" currently yields 100 results. Very good. Anything under 1000 is great. At this point you should be taking a look at your competition. Your on page SEO needs to be better than these results.

The allinurl command returns competing pages with your niche phrase in the URL of the website. Here is an example:

allinurl:"dell refurbished laptops" yields 55 resuts Here is result number 1:

b2bfreezone.com/product-search/dell-refurbished-laptops.htm

Anything under 500 is great.

The last google search command is allinanchor. The allinanchor command returns competing pages that have your niche phrase hyper linked or...anchored. Here is an example:

allinanchor:"dell refurbished laptops" yields 5,830 results...ouch... Anything under 1000 is great, so I would have my work cut out for me there.

Using these 3 google commands will quickly show you your true competition. Your niche site/page needs to be better, that's all there is to it!

What's Our Niche Talking About?

Now that we have a niche we need to do more research into what our niche is talking about.

What drives our niche? What do they WANT?

The answer is free and it's all over the internet. Below are a few techniques that I use to find out what my niche is interested in:

Using Google - search for "niche phrase" + forum

Using Google Blog Search - search for "niche phrase"

Using Google Groups - find your niche's group

Niche Research Wrap Up Check List

  1. Find A Niche Phrase (preferably one that you're interested in).
  2. Use the free Google Adwords Keyword tool to find out how many searches your niche phrase gets each day. Take the number Google gives you and divide by 30. You're looking for about 60 searches a day.
  3. Enter your niche phrase in google wrapped in quotes (like "my niche phrase"). Make sure there is no more than 10,000 competing pages.
  4. Observe your "True Competition" by using allintitle, allinurl and allinanchor. Now, build a better site/page.
  5. Get to know you niche better by visiting relevant forums and blogs.

Got any questions? Leave a comment!

Comments

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    • profile image

      mukesh 

      7 years ago

      How do we know the SEo competetion,if it is under 10000 or not.

      Is it the no. of searches in the google index.

    • profile image

      Derek 

      7 years ago

      Great hub. Thanks. I've been looking for simple and effective summary of the Google search tools and the required number for competition. Thx.

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