Finding your niche is obviously the first step when you're creating a micro niche site. This is why my Micro Niche Site Challenge also starts with this step.
The niche is basically the main topic of your site. Since we're going to build a micro niche site, we'll create about 7 - 10 pages, not more. At least not in the first step.
Your niche must fulfill several criteria to really earn you some money. It's not easy to find such a niche, in fact most people aren't earning any money because they haven't found this right niche.
For the MNSC I've done heavy research on how to find the right niche. I've gone through the most important blogs like Nichepursuits.com and analyzed the Niche Site Duel of Pat Flynn. When you use the results of aggregating the criteria of the most popular experts, you should be able to find a high quality niche.
Finding your niche means, that you need keywords that drive free traffic from search engines to your site. Using payed traffic wouldn't make any sense for niche sites, since that would decrease your revenue. You only can earn money, if your niche site get visitors from search result pages for free, without forcing you to constantly work on your site.
For this purpose, you need to ensure that your keyword has a reasonable amount of monthly search queries. Otherwise you simply won't get enough traffic to your site to make money.
It is important to know, that monthly search engine traffic will vary depending on the country you're targeting. My site will target the US but of course hopefully also get visits from other countries.
Please understand that it's not websites that rank in search engines. Single pages rank, that is why you should a different keyword for each page. If you target the same keyword with multiple pages, those will compete in the eyes of search engines. Instead focus each site with massively useful information.
The only way to attract free traffic to your site is to provide information that solves the problems of your visitors. People share sites, that help. Not sites that are just created to earn someone some money.
Pat Flynn has recently started his Niche Site Duel 2.0, where he tries to build an authority niche site. The difference to micro niche sites is, that authority sites grow over time and have by far more content than micro niche sites. But the criteria for the keywords are mostly the same, at least for the amount of monthly search queries.
I'm targeting keywords, that have at least 2,000 monthly local searches in the US.
On this way I'm ensuring, that each keyword get's at least 65 - 70 hits per day. The more traffic you get, the more money you'll make!
You'll need to get at least to rank 3 in Google, otherwise you won't get a lot of clicks from search results.
Researches show, that the first three results in search engines get about 65% of the traffic. So, lets see, what criteria are relevant when it comes to keyword competition.
When you've found a keyword that as a monthly search volume greater than 2,000 searches, you'll want to know with whom you're competing.
This analysis is very important in the process of finding your niche. There are several tools out there, some free like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and some payed tools like Long Tail Pro or Market Samurai. The latter two are affiliate links. Please don't use them if you aren't sure on how to use those tools. Instead, just leave a comment to get in touch with me.
In my challenge I'm using Long Tail Pro, simply because it's one of the most easy to use tools out there. Remember that you're only competing with the top ten sites ranking in Google. Don't bother when 200,000 sites are targeting your keyword, just worry about the competition in Googles Top Ten.
The Title Competition
When you're analyzing your competition, take a look at the titles of the top ranking pages in Google. When those titles include your target keyword, you know that those sites are most likely targeting the same keyword as you're targeting.
You'll want to see pages, that don't include your target keyword in their title. When you are the only one with a keyword in the title of your website, you're definitely ahead of your competitors.
The meta-description tag is very important for Googles ranking results. This is the 156 character long text displayed beneath the title in the search results page.
Make sure, that the sites ranking for your target keyword don't have meta-description tags including your target keyword. The purpose of the meta-description tag is, to guide people from the search results page to your website. This is why it's shown at the search results page, and that is why it's so important when it comes to SEO.
So when your meta-description can be structured in a way that contains your target keyword and sounds engaging for the visitor of the search results page, you've found a possible niche.
Googles PageRank is a key fact that's showing the importance of a site for search engines. It is based upon the number of backlinks and their quality pointing to a specific site.
It used to be important, but in todays rankings it is playing only a smaller role in the overall game. You'll see pages with a PageRank of 0 or 1 ranking in Googles Top Three, so don't worry too much about it.
When I analyze keywords, I make sure that the total PageRanks of Googles Top Ten is not higher than 2.2. So, when you sum up the PageRank of each site ranking in Googles Top Ten and divide this sum by 10, the result should be lower than 2.2.
Please make sure, that PageRanks of the top three sites aren't reasonably higher as the PageRank of the other sites. When you're competing with a top ranking site that has a PageRank of 3 or 4, a micro niche site most likely will never outrank it!
As the PageRank is based on the backlinks referring to a single site, it's the link juice that's very important when analyzing your competition.
Link juice is measuring those links, that are beneficial for the ranking of a single website. You can have a lot of link juice with relatively low backlinks and also have very low link juice with 1,000s of backlinks.
Finding your niche requires analyzing the backlinks of your competitors page, especially with focus on the link juice.
Search engines love old sites, it's as simple as that. Why?
Because old sites are most likely to be shared over time and thus have a lot of backlinks pointing to it. Search engines tend to treat the age of a site as a sign for it's relevancy, since high quality content stays relevant. When you analyze your competition, take a look at the site age of your competitors.
Though the site age is no main criterium for dismissing a keyword, it's worth to be considered.
MozRank refers to Moz’s general, logarithmically scaled 10-point measure of global link authority (popularity). - moz.com
This fact is similar to Google's PageRank and also serves as a very important fact to analyze your competition.
It represents a link popularity score from 1 - 10. Websites get MozRank when other pages link to them. The higher the quality of a link, the more MozRank is added to the specific page.
Cost Per Click
When you monetize your site with Google Adsense, you'll want to take care of the Cost-Per-Click. That is the amount that Google pays for a single click on an advert on your page.
Remember, that you'll get around 70% - 80% from it, not the whole 100%!
On my niche site I won't use Google Adsense as single source for monetization, thus I'm targeting keywords with a Cost-Per-Click above $0.70. Normally I'd only choose keywords with a CPC above $1.00.
The list of those metrics could be expended, so it seems to be a pretty huge deal to analyze your competition in Google.
Luckily, there are some keyword tools out there, that help you with this analysis.
You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, a free tool to find keywords, and analyze the competition on a basic level. Although this tool is really useful and sufficient for the first analysis, it lacks usability when it comes to deeper keyword analysis.
That is why I'm using Long Tail Pro, a great keyword tool created by Spencer Haws, the well know host of Nichepursuits.com.
Spencer is expert in building niche sites since 2008 and he has build this tool, to give you an easy way for finding your niche.
What makes Long Tail Pro stand out of the masses is the fact, that it aggregates all relevant metrics into a single value called Keyword Competitiveness.
I was sceptical at first myself, but I'm using Long Tail Pro to optimize the blog posts on this site, and it actually ranks #1 for his main keyword in Google.
This screenshot shows you the keyword competition analysis for one of my target keywords. You can see, how Long Tail Pro aggregates several key facts like Page Authority, Domain Authority, and all facts mentioned above into on single value.
I've censored the domains and titles, because I don't want to reveal my keyword right now. The only ones who get it, are my newsletter subscribers. The reason is, that I don't want to show a public niche site and thus increase competition before my page has launched.
After the launch I'll fully reveal my keyword strategy!
The keyword competitiveness will give you a number, that helps to find the right keyword for your niche. You can fully trust the program, since Spencer has more than 5 years experience in building niche sites and makes his living from his niche sites.
Long Tail Keywords
Long Tail Keywords are those keywords with a relatively low search volume, but high ranking potential due to low competition. This is also where the name Long Tail Pro comes from.
The great thing about Long Tail Keywords is, that you can find on base keyword and then start building cornerstone content around it.
I've chosen one keyword which let's me created several posts targeting various related Long Tail Keywords. On this way I'm not only using one keyword to drive search engine traffic to my site, but to utilize multiple keywords.
Let me show you the screenshot from Long Tail Pro related to the traffic estimation.
This screenshot shows a huge amount of traffic. Each row stands for a Long Tail Keyword, that I'll target with one specific post.
I'm targeting seven keywords, so it's clearly a micro niche site. When I rank #1 for each keyword, I'll get around 27,000 unique monthly visits. But visitors aren't the only indicator for monetizing potential.
The conversion rate for a top ranking site is about 7%.
That means that 7% of your visitors are clicking on your ads. For this site, that would be 1,890 clicking visitors.
Do you see the potential that is laying in micro niche sites?
The Next Step - Installing the Niche Site
Ok, the keyword research is done.
When you're struggling with finding your niche, just leave a comment and I'd be more than happy to help you 🙂
The next step will be to install a WordPress site to publish content on. This includes configuring several plugins for security, SEO, displaying ads, and also choosing the right theme for your site.
This post will be published next Monday, July 1st.
Until then I'd be more than happy to work with you on your micro niche site.
Just leave a comment when you have a question or if you just want to say 'Hi', I'm always happy hearing from you.