How To Carve a Niche
Site Reference has a pretty good article on Niche Marketing SEO that was featured in their newsletter. I know from experience that many of his tips are right on target and what I like about the article is that he backs it up with some of his actual keyword research notes [you'll find a classic example of a perfect niche site idea in the story].
Once you find your possible topic, the article breaks down the process of deciding whether or not the topic is worth proceeding into a six step competition analysis. He provides excellent details about each of the steps, but on a high level they are:
1. Is the keyword phrase in the title of the listing?
2. Is the keyword phrase used in the Domain Name of the listing?
3. Is the keyword phrase used anywhere in the URL at all?
4. How many backward links are pointing at the URL?
5. Are the backward links pointing at the page mostly internal links or do the come from other quality websites?
6. Is the URL a top level domain or some obscure page buried deep within a larger website.?
If you can find a niche that has weak competition in a few of these areas, then you can definitely play ball against them. A lot of people don’t like to look at the web as a pure survival of the fittest competition, but that is in fact, exactly what it is.
One thing that I don’t ever hear mentioned, when it comes to these types of niche sites, is that it takes 8 – 10 months to well in Google. in my experience, no matter what you do, you won’t see anything but fringe traffic from Google for the length of time that it take to create a new human being [a coincidence?], so bear that in mind if you are trying out these kind of sites.
Please don’t work like a maniac for 6 months and then quit and pull your site offline because you aren’t paying for the hosting fees…you could be only a few weeks away from a big payday. On this site for example, I just reached the magic “term” and traffic and revenue have jumped dramatically since being freed from the infamous Google sandbox.