As part of the structured approach on this site, now we zoom in on step 2:
- Step 1: Several ways to Find a niche;
- Step 2: Check out the Free organic and Paid web traffic Competition for your Niche Ideas;
- Step 3: Niche Profitability Check.
Competition on the internet can be tough and hard to beat, especially in the (niche) markets, where a lot of money is being spend.
Big shopping sites (like Amazon), as well as authority blogs / sites, make it difficult to rank on the first pages of the search engines.
Also the costs of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, in the high competitive markets can be (very) high, whether you use Google, Bing, or Facebook.
These obstacles emphasize the importance of a structured approach; a clear Niche Strategy to succeed with internet marketing.
The following topics are covered in this article:
- How to Check Out the online Competition for a chosen niche idea / topic?
- Free organic web traffic: Search Engine Optimization Competition Analysis;
- Paid web traffic: PPC Advertising Competition analysis.
How to check out the online Competition for a chosen niche topic?
Let’s start off with Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool, especially with sharing information concerning Keyword Competition.
After looking up your niche topics / ideas, indicated as keywords, in the Keyword Planner, the tool provides relevant information concerning:
- Search Volumes: The number of people interested in the topic;
- Search Trends: The search trends over the last year;
- Cost-Per-Click: The actual cost for each click in an advertisers’ PPC campaign. This indicates if advertisers are bidding on these keywords and spending money;
- Keyword Competition: This relates to the number of advertisers bidding for the keyword. Google uses ”high”, “medium”, and “low” to define the competition level.
Be aware that the Keyword Planner Competition has nothing to do with the Organic Search Engine Results! These results are shown when you perform a search using a search engine.
- Low Competition keywords in the Keyword Planner doesn’t mean “easy to rank for” in the search engines. It’s just an indication that no (or not a lot of) advertisers are bidding on the keywords.
- Also High Competition in the Keyword Planner doesn’t have to mean “difficult to rank for”. Don’t dismiss these keywords at first sight; there’s money being spend in these niches. Always check out the organic SEO competition.
Yes, there’s a significant difference between keyword competition for SEO and keyword competition for advertising purposes.
Remember, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is meant for advertisers and won’t give you information about the possibilities of ranking for a particular keyword.
Of course, there are (paid) automated keyword tools to support how to determine the organic SEO competition for a given keyword.
However… in the next section I show you how you can check out the Organic SEO Competition manually.
Free organic traffic: SEO Competition Analysis
How do you know if your idea could be a good niche for free organic traffic?
Well, one way to find out more about the competition for this type of web traffic is by using Google’s search engine.
Next, type in your niche idea / topic: “keyword phrase”. For example, “how to find a niche for affiliate marketing“.
Just below the search box you find information about the number of pages found with that particular “keyword phrase” (search term) on their site: ”About 2,110 results”.
Read further if you want to know the difference between Competition and Real Competition…
If you want the Real number of pages (without duplicate results) for that “keyword phrase”, the Real Competition; Click through (click “7”)….
…Until you reach the “last page” of the Search Engine Results (SER), and find the Real number of web pages to Compete with:
“Page 3 of 22 results“
This is the last statement on that page:
This is the Real Competition!
Often it takes more time / clicks (click page 10, 20, etc.) to reach the last Search Engine Results Page:
Secondly, using the AllInTitle function is another approach to find out the ranking difficulty for a particular keyword in the Search Engine Results. This approach is thoroughly described in an article about ranking your page, post, and / or video using Google’s AllInTitle.
In combination to the explained ways (2) of analyzing the competition for free web traffic, take advantage of the next TIPS:
- When looking at the first page Search Engine Results, most likely you will find Authority blogs / sites in the top 10 ranking. Your chances to rank well, increase when you notice at least 2 or 3, Non-Authority sites on page 1. This might indicate a good potential niche (keyword phrase) to explore.
- Always look at what is currently ranking in the SER, especially the Quality and Length of the content. Are you able to create better content? In other words, could you deliver something Better than what is already offered? If so, this will help your rankings (on the long term). Instead of creating the content yourself, you could consider to outsource this task…
- I always evaluate the Ratio: Real Competition “keyword phrase” / Search Volume Keyword Planner. I consider it interesting for free traffic purposes, when the ratio is below 1. Mostly combined with a low search volume (< 1000).
Next, let’s discuss how to check out your Competition for PPC advertising purposes.
Paid traffic: PPC Advertising Competition Analysis
How do you know if your niche idea, could be a good niche for paid traffic?
If you looked up your niche ideas in the Keyword Planner, you probably noticed the Cost-Per-Click column (CPC). As explained before, this is the average cost per click for a keyword in Google’s AdWords program.
The information provided by the Keyword Planner are estimates. For example, the CPC’s aren’t always that accurate. Oftentimes you can get this traffic much cheaper; the actual costs per click are often lower in an advertisers’ PPC campaign (don’t know why, but that’s my experience).
Based on this knowledge, I always check the estimates for interesting keyword phrases.
How? Follow the next 3 steps:
- Step 1: Again use Google’s search engine for your niche idea / topic;
- Step 2: Check out the number of advertisements, on top, on the side, as well as at the bottom of the page;
- Step 3: Are there any ads (bidders / advertisers)?
- No: If there are no (or just a few) advertisers, the traffic will be cheap, probably cheaper than the estimate.
- Yes: When there are ads, check out how many, as well as the type of bidders (advertisers). If you notice other Search Engines like ask.com, or EBay, chances are that you can get this web traffic cheap.
No Bidders, No Money to Earn?
Some marketers say you can’t make money here, because there are no buyers. Over the past couple of years, I have learned that there are several opportunities to monetize these low competition niches, especially:
- With Cost Per Action marketing (CPA), where selling is not (always) needed. One way is creating a blog / site, buying this cheap web traffic, and leading people to what they are looking for….
- When using this low competition web traffic to redirect searchers to more expensive niches via articles, ads, links, etc..
Making (small) satellite blogs / sites around one larger Authority blog / site.
This could be very profitable if you do it right. It’s a great way to beat the competition, the big spenders; a different angle to enter a highly competitive market, which you could monetize using AdSense. A couple of years ago, I heard for the first time about this approach during a Marcus Campbell Blog Profit Network training.
Are your Afraid of using Paid Traffic?
You don’t have to, if you plan, test, learn and modify your campaign(s).
It’s always important to test, and start off with a small amount of money. Yes, you can test your niche market with just a couple of bucks a day. When you buy about 200 – 300 clicks you should know how your content / offer is performing.
An important metric, I use to stay in control is the Return on Investment (ROI), often expressed as a percentage. This profitability ratio represents (Benefit or Return of an investment – Cost of an Investment) / (Cost of an Investment) * 100 = …%.
I use a spreadsheet and record my advertising results on a daily basis: ad Spends versus Earnings (my affiliate commissions). This way I always know my numbers. If I pay 20 cents per click, then I should earn at least 20 cents to break even.
I Test (Not to long, so I can control my ad costs!), Tune and Reinvest my profits.
Check out your Ad, and Landing page Content. Are they in sync with the searchers’ intend? Figure out why people are clicking or Not. If necessary, make modifications to increase your results (a positive ROI). Know Your numbers!
Read the more detailed TIPS to stay in control with paid traffic.
Next Actions after the competition analysis for free and paid traffic
After checking out the free organic traffic competition, as well as the competition for paid web traffic, you have an overall impression of the competition for your keyword phrase(s), which represents a (part of a) niche market.
By now you have probably enough information concerning your niche potential, in terms of competitiveness, to decide whether it could be interesting to build a blog / site, for free organic web traffic and / or paid traffic.
But…how do you know if it’s possible to make money in your niche?
Based on the performed steps, you have an idea if it could be profitable to monetize a blog with AdSense. That’s one way, but are there more options to profit your niche? What are the signs of hungry niche markets? And how can you Test the profitability of your niche topic?
That’s what’s the third step of our Niche strategy is all about:
2. Competition Analysis for paid and free organic web traffic;