Found yourself facing some stiff competition? Finding sneaky niche market keywords might be the boost your business needs
Almost every business owner will look at their competition at some point and feel a pang of dread. How the heck are you going to beat a website like that? Is there any chance of ever overtaking them on Google?
Firstly, take into account that every business has somebody doing better and worse than they are. What about that colossus of a website that pinches your customers is best buds with Google, and clearly does so much better than you? They’re nothing compared to the guys they are trying to overtake. Use it as motivation, not something to fear. If nothing else, remember that those currently on top of the pile are the ideal victims for some Ninja competitor analysis.
In a perfect world that would be enough. However, for startups looking for a quick source of income or businesses who are running uncomfortably low on funds, you still need a quick way to find money and grow right now. Taking weeks to fight for the most competitive keywords is going to be difficult, especially in flooded markets, and there may be a more productive use of your time.
That’s where niche market keywords come in.
Niche Market Keywords
In every market, there will be a collection of niche keywords that your competitors haven’t even noticed. While these keywords generally have fewer people searching for them, the lack of competition means that you see more business from that lower number.
We’ve seen businesses get more valuable customers from a niche market too. Generally, more niche keywords are used by customers who know what they’re looking for. And this means they’re looking to buy.
A Hairdressing Salon In a Highly Competitive Local Area
A hairdressing salon has struggled to beat other hairdressers in the area for the keyword “hair salon” and is starting to see a noticeable drop in rank. They decide to optimise their site for “wedding hair in <area>” as it gives them access to a niche market that their competitors haven’t looked at. They end up ranking a lot higher for this “long tail” keyword and see much more business as a result.
A Startup Coffee Shop Facing a Long Established Corporate Giant
A new coffee shop has just opened up, but Starbucks has just moved into the area also. The startup decides to avoid trying to beat Starbucks for the keyword “coffee” and looks into niche keywords instead.
They begin specialising in green tea, interesting flavours of coffee, and running multiple local open mic night events on social media to promote their name in the area. They then begin to optimise their online presence towards niche market keywords related to those things.
Suddenly, they get a big share of business from those who are looking for something a little less corporate than Starbucks, those who want to support local businesses, those who enjoy music, and those who find their green tea much better than anything Starbucks offers.
Sure, they can’t win when it comes to “coffee” as a keyword, and they still might not see as much business than Starbucks will for coffee, but it keeps a reliable source of income coming in from a niche market when faced with something as impenetrable as Starbucks.
While we’d never say give up challenging the competition for the competitive keywords, (after all it’s much more satisfying when you do eventually overtake them!) finding this specific niche can be enough to keep your business profitable while you work on dominating the more competitive keywords.
Boosting Your PageRank with Niche Keywords
Finding your niche market keywords can give you better online authority that can then spread to more competitive keywords.
Google ranks your site based on it’s authority (from links) and the information it gives to visitors. If you’ve been getting no traffic for a competitive keyword, a niche keyword can bring in more interest. This has two effects:
- You get more business and therefore more sales.
- By using longer-tail keywords, related phrases and variations, Google sees your site as more authoritative about the topic.
This increase in position then gives you a bigger slice of the more competitive keyword pie, which then tells Google you’re a good authority on that subject too. With a little bit of adjustment, you can see some extreme snowballing effects over time. And all of this is thanks to a slightly less competitive keyword that’s just as (if not more) profitable.
Finding Niche Keywords
Now that you know how useful niche keywords are, how do you find them?
Think Like Your Customers
It sounds obvious, but if everybody did it, the niche keyword strategy wouldn’t be a thing. New customers might know the general product they’re looking for, but not much more than that, so they’ll search for basic keywords first. Let’s take a look at a couple:
“Dentist in Oxford” – This could mean anything. Are they looking for teeth whitening? Do they have a toothache? Are they signing up with a new clinic?
“Plumber in Birmingham” – This could be an emergency leak, or they could be fitting a new bathroom. Again, it’s not too obvious what they’re looking for so the traffic will be quite broad. If you specialise in bathrooms, a more profitable keyword might be “bathroom fitter Birmingham”.
“Hairdressing salon” – Do they need a trim? Are they dyeing their hair? Are they looking for special occasion hairstyles? Are they male or female?
Generally, these are the most competitive kind of keywords to rank for, but by focusing on multiple detailed keywords, you can still take in a significant chunk of customers.
Let’s expand on the keywords for each:
Dentists – “dental implants”, “Tooth pain”, “Teeth Whitening” “emergency dentist” “family dentist”.
Plumber – “Leaking pipe”, “bathroom fitting”, “kitchen fitting”, “new boiler” “blocked drain”.
Hairdresser – “Wedding hairstyling”, “unisex hairdresser”, “hair highlights” “hair salon no appointment” (this is a phrase with very high commercial intent).
By spotting the detailed niche keywords instead of the broad market keyword, you can end up receiving more interest in the long term. There’s also more chance of spotting keywords that your competition hasn’t.
Use A Keyword Tool
Until fairly recently, Google’s keyword planner was our standard recommendation to find search volumes for each keyword. Then Google decided to remove access to it. Sweet.
Luckily, KeywordTool.io is a nice, free alternative.
A quick word about keyword search volumes: don’t always assume that just because the search volume is low there’s no money to be made or that people aren’t searching. You’re better off ranking top for a highly commercial keyword with 50 searches per month than on page 4 for a broad, informational keyword that gets 2,000 searches per month.
Our reviews look at the niche opportunities you might be missing, as well as giving you a ridiculously in-depth marketing plan to help you find your way. Get in touch and sign up for your review today.