Keyword Numbers & Niche Selection
Always look at keyword numbers in respect to the “big picture.” They are part of the whole that will lead to a successful online business. There are no black and white pictures of what the keyword numbers should look like because every site and site owner is so different.
- Some want a very tight niche specific to a local area or specific product and they don’t need the same type of numbers as a site that wants a global presence and has a vision for 20,000 visitors a day.
- Some have 60 hours a week to work on their online businesses and others only have 10 hours.
- Some have patience to build each page slowly and strategically while others are of the fast food generation with an extreme intolerance for waiting on results.
All of these things come into play when choosing a niche and the relevant support keywords.
In a nutshell, it is important to find a niche with enough demand (search queries) and supply (sites using that keyword) to support your business vision, not only for the main keyword of your site, but also for the additional keywords that back it up.
If you do keyword research on “elephant slippers” and that keyword phrase has a demand of 5,000 and supply of 30,000, then it may fit the qualifications of being a good site niche … but only if it has enough niche-specific keywords to back it up. If further keyword research of “elephant slippers” only returns 5 keywords, it is clearly not a good fit as a site concept as there aren’t enough supporting keywords to create a thorough site.
The true site niche might need to be “slippers,” or “elephant clothing,” or “animal slippers,” etc. In order to determine that for sure, keyword research on “slippers,” or “elephant clothing,” or “animal slippers” would need to be assessed.
I often see people do keyword research, pick out a keyword phrase that fits the demand/supply numbers they’re looking for and then build out their sites based on it, with no regard to other requirements. Those who build the foundational pages of their sites by pulling high demand and low supply keywords from a myriad of niche possibilities and make them fit under their random choice for a site niche are more often than not left disappointed and confused.
After all, how could a website built on all keywords with high demand and low supply possibly fail? Well, they do and I’ve seen it all too often.
So why does it fail?
Because you can’t trick the search engines into thinking you have a defined niche in “elephant slippers,” for example, by building your foundational or supporting pages on “soft jungle toys,” “animal collectibles,” “fun women’s slippers,” “halloween elephant costume,” “kid’s animal sleepwear,” “elephant birthday theme,” “animal lover gift” and so on… no matter how good the numbers for those phrases may or may not be.
Of course, your logical mind and text can make these all work on your “elephant slippers” site, but this is no way to build the foundation of a site. The search engines won’t be able to identify your expertise clearly because if you stand back and look at the keywords realistically, there are actually several niches represented… jungle toys, animal collectibles, women’s slippers, halloween costumes, kid’s sleepwear, birthday themes, etc.
There is so much more to choosing the keywords than just the numbers. You should be able to remove the site’s main keyword and then read down the list of the other keywords and be able to guess the niche or a synonym of it. If you can’t, there’s a good chance the search engines will never recognize you as an authority on the niche you are attempting to build a business on.
Level Two and Three Supporting Keywords
Now let’s consider the supporting keywords and phrases that back up your site’s main keyword. A well-rounded site will build pages on keyword phrases of varying competition levels. In general, the second level of pages will be the most competitive keywords, simply because their terms are more general. When you get to third level keywords, these tend to be more specific terms with less competition.
That, of course, is not set in stone. For example, on my site, I have a second level page on “scavenger hunts” with demand and supply in the thousands, and I have several third level pages under it with much higher demand. “Scavenger hunts” makes sense as the second level because it’s a more general keyword that works as an umbrella for the third level keywords- thus it is.
There are some instances where a second level keyword may even be 200 or less demand (I know, gasp), simply because it is the best fit at that tier organizationally.
In general, second level keywords will be in the high hundreds to mid-or-higher thousands in demand. Saying that in black and white means someone will interpret that as being “that’s how it has to be”. It doesn’t…
It is just how it turns out fairly frequently because general terms are searched for more often in most cases.
A higher supply keyword often indicates that it is a money maker. The fact that so many sites are building pages on it usually means there’s money to be made on it. Though it may take years to rank for keyword phrases with such numbers, when they do rank the surge in traffic growth and income to a site is phenomenal. More competitive pages require patience, but often pay a high dividend later on.
Your third level keywords are generally the early traffic generators. If you have a choice of two similar keywords and one has supply 500/demand 180 and another has supply 225/demand 20, which one do you choose? One will rank quicker; the other has more traffic potential in the long run.
Are you the type of person who needs instant gratification, or are you a “slow and steady wins the race” type? Only you can answer that and that will help you choose which keyword to write on.
Low supply keywords rank quicker. That’s a fact (provided they are closely related to your niche). High supply keywords tend to make more money in the long run and the traffic they drive once you rank for them is huge.
There really needs to be a balance of keyword competition levels. There is no hard and fast number specifications anyone can give. Every set of numbers needs to be examined in context with all of the information available – from competition levels to monetization potential.
For anyone to say all or never ever would be a mistake. That said, when I go over numbers with people and explain how lower supply keywords rank faster, I often have to reign in their enthusiasm for building all pages based on low supply. I also have to reiterate multiple times that building pages on low supply to drive early traffic should not be at the exclusion of building pages on more competitive keywords.
Most sites have a range in their numbers and competition levels. I have even seen several high-traffic pages with supply around 58 and demand around 12. So as you can see, there is no specific winning formula.
Please keep this in mind…
Be realistic about what you can achieve and how quickly you can achieve it. If you want to have a website rank quickly, it is better to narrow the concept and build out from there. If you have patience and a specific vision that you are willing to invest in and wait for results on, a broader niche is certainly a viable and lucrative option.
Brainstorm It!, SBI!’s proprietary keyword research tool, helps you find your site niche and thousands of profitable keywords.
This is a guest post by Wendy Legendre of diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com