Local Business: How To Choose a Winnable & Profitable Niche, Part 2 of 7
Market research is the first of the four crucial tasks that you need to get right if you want to take your offline business online – for online businesses, this market research manifests as keyword research. Find the best keywords to target for your web pages, make sure they’re aligned with your overall website concept (or niche) and you have the best chance to beat your competitors.
For example, Bob has a local business that fixes local British cars. During his initial keyword brainstorming, he found acceptable demand for the keyword “classic cars.” However, the keyword “British classic cars” didn’t do well and demand disappeared entirely when he added his community’s name “Tucson.”
Bob’s goal for his site goes beyond attracting clients interested in classic models or restoration. He also wants to increase his later model customers. So Bob’s target group boils down to British car owners looking for local car repair work.
Bob wasn’t sure about what his site concept should be. One was too broad. Another one was too narrow. Bob was stuck. He felt as though he was “missing the picture somewhere.”
There are two key issues in Bob’s niche identification scenario. If you have a local business, pay close attention to our advice for Bob and apply it to your own situation…
1) Local Focus
Some local businesses might use a site concept keyword with the city/country in the keyword (ex., “Hollywood real estate”). The demand may be low, but the returns are extremely high and it’s exactly what people would search.
But in general, if you have a local business, choose to create content on the niche that you know a lot about, and that you are passionate about. Then simply drop “local clues” along the way on your site (more on this later). So, let’s take Tucson out of the picture for now.
2) Narrow Niche
Even taking “Tucson” and “repairs” out of the picture, “British cars” is fairly narrow. A Seed Generator Brainstorm for “British cars” brings back reasonable demand and a great range of vertical and lateral topics.
One of the tools that comes with every SBI! subscription is Brainstorm It!, a sophisticated niche research and brainstorming tool. Its Seed Generator functionality is extremely helpful for generating lots of possibilities from a single word or term.
How does it work? Seed Generator takes ANY particular topic that may interest you, and delivers hundreds of possible related ideas for profitable web based businesses. Not only that, it also keeps you from choosing losers, i.e., topics that will either be too competitive for most people to win, or too small to earn much income.
Brainstorm It! is far superior to use than other keyword research tools that rely on Google’s free Keyword Planner tool that is focused on the paid advertising marketplace.
And, if you do the full brainstorming for British cars and related topics, you’ll have a ton of great content to write about, for example a range of makes and car brands that provide excellent related (or lateralized) keywords.
“British car repair” is smallish in demand, but that’s OK. That would be a TIER 2 page. The TIER 3s for this TIER 2 would be all about repairing the various makes. More work usually than it would be worth, except for one thing — it’s your business, your current primary way to make money.
We use the term TIERs to indicate the various levels of a website’s content. In a properly structured website, you have one homepage (TIER 1), perhaps 5-15 or more TIER 2 pages, and many times more TIER 3 pages than TIER 2s. TIER 3 pages are the end-topics of the sub-categories or sub-concepts (TIER 2) of your Site Concept (TIER 1). Learn more about organizing and executing your site’s TIER structure.
If you widen your site’s scope to British cars, you’ll find there are more ways to make money than simply repairing these cars.
All you have left is the “marketing word” to tack onto “British cars” — something appealing or fun or whatever you want to project to your visitor. Come up with a neat hook.
What About the Local Angle?
When you find zero demand for “Tucson British cars,” you broaden your niche by dropping the word ‘tucson’ from your keyword phrase.
But how do you get found for “Tucson British cars,” you ask, if you drop “Tucson”? Good question!
The answer is “without even (hardly) trying.” Since you will build a site that will be a high ranking site for “British cars” in general, all you have to do is include your local geographic keywords on the page. Google will have no choice but to list your site for that rarely searched for term.
Be sure to extend your keywords beyond Arizona… “Tucson British Car Repair… serving Arizona, California, Nevada, etc.”
Also place your mailing address, postal/zip code and phone number at the bottom of every page of your site. The search engines will pick up that information and show your pages when someone searches for your locale.
And be sure to get your business onto Google’s new platform for local businesses, called Google My Business. Google claims that Google My Business puts your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.
You will create content that PREsells people so that they will literally bring their precious British cars to you for repair from hundreds of miles away.
The exact organization and structure of the site needs to be thought through carefully, but this is a tremendous winning opportunity. Consider, too, all the other ways you can monetize. For example, do you know of a good British car repair shop in New York City? Cut a finder’s deal and set up a form for various geographic locations.
You will absolutely own the Southwest for British car repairs and have several other ways to monetize what is a narrow but highly lucrative little niche.
In other words, you will have a nice narrow niche with tons of winnable keywords that will not only extend the geographic reach of your own business but it will add other monetization streams as well.
Read all seven entries in our Local Business series:
- Take Your Local Business Online: What You Need To Know, Part 1 of 7
- How To Choose a Winnable & Profitable Niche, Part 2 of 7
- How To Get Your Site Concept Right, Part 3 of 7
- Top Tips For Getting Your Website Found, Part 4 of 7
- Local Business: How To Build Strong Customer Relationships, Part 5 of 7
- Use Social Media To Grow Your Local Business, Part 6 of 7
- Monetization Strategies To Boost Your Profit, Part 7 of 7