Building a website today is not nearly as hard as it was just a relatively short time ago. Many blogging platforms and other website builders have allowed people with little or no experience to build a site of their own. What many people still do not know is how to profit from a website and how you can go about building a site that makes money. One of the most important steps toward achieving a profitable website is finding a niche. This article will discuss some of the tools and things you can do to better improve your chances at success.
Getting The Idea
There are many ways to go about finding the idea for your website. Like many businesses, if the owner is passionate about what they are doing and enjoy it, you will probably have a better chance of succeeding. Because you will need to write articles and blog posts on your website to help the search engine rankings, it helps if you are writing about something that you like and have knowledge about. While you may be wondering why you are coming up with an idea before doing any research on a niche, a lot that has to do with finding your niche comes down to keyword research.
As I just stated, this is where you will be finding a niche within the idea that you came up with in the previous section. For example, you have decided that you want to create a blog about jewelry and it will have jewelry information, pictures and other things related to your topic. Now it will likely be hard to rank for a keyword like “sell jewelry” since large nationwide jewelers and other shopping websites pay thousands of dollars to show up on the front page of Google. This is where you have to get creative and research what keywords have a high monthly volume and low competition.
To conduct your keyword research, there are a variety of tools that you could use but I would recommend using Google Adwords. Their Keyword Tool will allow you to find the search volume and competition for different keywords. Going back to the example above, you may find that it would be easier to rank for a keyword like “selldiamond jewelry online” rather than “sell jewelry”. While the volume may not be nearly as high, you will have a much greater chance of success and will be able to achieve it at a much faster rate.
When using the Keyword Tool, you have the option to search for broad, exact, and phrase. You can play around with these features to get a better idea of the keyword competition as a whole. Even if you find a low competition keyword with high search volume using the “exact” function, you may find that it is also used often in phrases and this could lead to difficulties with SEO.
Play around with the Keyword Tool to get a better idea of what niches are available for your website. It is also not a bad idea to start with finding a niche using the Keyword Tool before coming up with your idea if you are open to building a site about anything, or even if you are trying to decide on a few different options.
You now have the idea of your site along with a few different keywords that you are going to try to rank for. The next step would be to check out the competition. To do this, simply search for the keyword that you are trying to rank for in Google. Now you have the list of your competitors and can check out their websites to see what kind of content they offer. While looking at the competing sites, there are a variety of things you could look at depending on your knowledge of SEO. You could open the code inspector on your Internet browser to see the different headings used, as they are often a good indicator of what keyword someone is trying to rank for. Then you could also take a simpler approach and look at things like social media shares and followers to better gauge their level of exposure and the size of their network.
The above tactics will allow you to get familiar with your competition and see what you are up against, but there is still a better way to find out more of your competition. Even though Google does not give anyone the exact algorithm that they use to determine search engine rankings, people still have a good idea of what is important and the simple fact that the more links that are out there, the better chance you have of people coming to your site.
Using a tool called Open Site Explorer, you can input your competition’s URL and find where they have posted links on the web. This will give you great insight on your competition because it will show you how much work they have done in terms of link building. Open Site Explorer can also show you the amount of tweets and other social media data that can be beneficial toward your competition research. I would highly recommend using this tool as it can provide a great amount of insight and better help you find your niche.
You have your idea and have seen the level of competition that is out there, now you can decide whether or not that niche is something you want to follow through with or if you need to keep researching. If you have keywords with high volume along with a low level of competition, then you have set yourself up for success. Now you can begin building your website while focusing on the keywords that you have found.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Shawn Collins