If you're tuned into the web application development industry, there probably isn't a day that goes by now without you hearing SEO mentioned at least once. There are businesses that specialise in coming up with the right combination of keywords to get you ranked well on the search engines.
This is what you'd want because the higher up you are in the rankings, the more people are likely to click on the link to your website, blog, landing page,etc. When they click on that link, they've already decided that you have something of value for them. They're a prospect. A potential customer walking in the door.
So, if SEO is about getting your name in front of people, how do you know where to find these people and even if they exist? What are the clues along the way that support the viability of your chosen niche? How can you know if your chosen niche is commercially viable?
Want to Find Your Niche?... Start Here
So the first thing to do is to pick a broad topic that is either very profitable or very large.
For example, a popular topic that fits this criteria is "perfume". The perfume industry is one of the very few industries that actually bucks the trend during economic downturns.
There have been claims, some based on research and studies, that as much as 80% of women will buy perfume at least once a year. I don't know if this is true or not but Google's keyword tool seems to have reached the same conclusion.
When you look at the results from Google's Keyword Tool for the term "perfume", you'll notice it has a search volume of more than 16,000,000 (as at February 2010). The problem is that it will be tough to get a high search engine ranking with a keyword that has more then 16 million web pages - and expensive.
As you can see we have a good broad area that appears popular and quite rich in terms of the number of people seeking information about perfume. The problem is that with 16 million web pages the competition is fierce for getting up to the top spots for search ranking. This means you'll pay more to get the attention of people who are interested in perfume. Depending on your marketing budget you may be prepared to pay whatever it takes or not.
Its definitely no surprise then that competition for Search Engine ranking is getting white hot. There are even some sectors that have gone nuclear already!
For some, it's an essential component of their Internet strategy. Without a healthy SEO strategy that they work on constantly, they're not even in the game. For others, their first sign that things need more careful attention is when they find their advertising costs suddenly start to rise sharply and out of proportion with earnings.
If you're investing in a paid advertising campaign, I imagine you'd also want to make sure you were keeping your acquisition costs as low as possible because the lower you keep your acquisition costs, the higher your profitability.
So what's the answer?
The Sweet Perfume of Success
One strategy being used very profitably by the most successful and highly regarded Internet Marketers is Niching. These Marketers have discovered how to use a variety of techniques to find profitable niches on the Web using nothing but their imagination and Google.
During January we tested two of their techniques using the keyword "perfume" and here's what we found -
The keyword phrase "Making Perfume" gives you access to the same profitable market of searchers, people interested in "perfume", and because we've added search clarity by including the word "making" we've filtered out a whole bunch of competitor web pages so a search would present fewer links.
In fact, typing "Making Perfume" into Google reveals around 30,000 search results. At 30,000 you've got a good number because it means your advertising costs will be lower cost base on less competition, so it'll be less expensive to raise your search engine ranking to the first spot.
We found that a good rule of thumb for a solid and stable niche is one that has between 25,000 and 50,000 search results. In our case, with the phrase "Making Perfume", we can see that it falls comfortably within that band.
Take a look for yourself - enter "Making Perfume" into Google and you'll see that the approximate total number of results listed in the top right corner of the search results page is 30,000. Something else to look out for is that there are a number of Sponsored Links on the right hand side of the search results page. When you see a few ads, it gives you a pretty good indication that there is already a viable market opportunity for your keyword phrase.
Now you may not be in the perfume making industry in your business. The same rules apply for finding your SEO keyword phrase niche within a sector.
1. Find out how many competitor web pages exist for your current keywords or sector
2. Create as many keyword phrases for your sector as you can
3. Check your keyword phrases in Google; look for number of results & ads
4. Change the wording on relevant web pages of your website - OR
4.1 Set up your ad campaigns using your keyword phrases
Using this approach you may even stumble over a valuable niche like "making perfume" that inspires you to build a new business.
Even if you can't find a way for your products to help someone make perfume, you can always grab an affiliate product from where like Clickbank and sell it through your website!
Using the four steps mentioned here, you get massive value - you identify new niches within your existing market (great for product leverage and innovation in your business), you're improving your search engine ranking (great for customer awareness and market exposure) and you're saving money (great for lower cost advertising rates and you did the SEO yourself - no professional fees to pay).
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