If you are not familiar with niches, you should be. But we aren’t talking about roles within an ecosystem, but rather about marketing.
It’s impossible (yes, impossible) to reach all the consumers in a market or industry. Unless you are Amazon or a player of that size, of course. But what normal people do is choose a niche. “I’m the best one selling eyeglasses in Spain”, said General Óptica. “I can make eyeglasses and compete against everyone or make wood glasses and be the first and best”, said the creator of Palens glasses.
That’s the thing. You can bang your head against a concrete wall and try to tear it down (or die from loss of blood). Or you can go tear down a cardboard wall.
There’s a number of tools you can use to identify your niche, and we will discuss them, but common sense is very important.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Common sense, my friend.
How far can I go with my time, money, and the product and service which I am offering? So far, and that’s my limit.
Please forget about entrepreneurial clichés and wild-eyed dreams. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to be the next Jeff Bezos, but, let’s not fool ourselves, someone else already got that ticket. So focus on what you can do now and you can always expand later on.
When I do keyword research (looking for keywords to include in a medium-/long-term positioning strategy) for a client, I take the following factors into account:
- Where is the client?
- How far do they want to go?
- What work has already been done (on the on-/off-page SEO level
- Can SEO work be combined with SEM support?
- What investment can be made to get there?
- What is the timing to get there?
- Who are their competitors?
- What are the competitors’ strong points?
- Where do the competitors move?
- What are the means available?
For example, doing kw research for a sex shop is not the same thing as doing kw research for a distributor of typical products from Asturias. Many variables should be taken into account.
What’s already going on should be included in the search. Is it a new client? You can start from scratch. Is it a client with an online history? You should analyze their metrics and see how their website is reaching people, what keywords are being used, what URLs have already been positioned, what searches are bringing in business, which searches are leaving a good margin, etc. .
If I am starting from scratch, the first thing I ask a customer is what keywords they intend to position. In this way, I can gauge whether what the client has in mind is real or not, and how wide the gap is between reality and what the client wants (and I can educate them in this sense). Let me explain myself:
- I have come across people who have a sex shop and wanted to position themselves in the number 1 for the term “sex shop”. That’s completely unrealistic.
- I have come across people who wanted to position “sex shop at the best price”. That’s realistic, if we understand “realistic” as viable in terms of possibilities, time, and money.
Once I see those keywords and I specify with the client which ones are realistic or unrealistic, I start looking for more keywords (keyword niches) to position. As I have said before, Google Analytics can help you here as it can provide data about what is already positioned and working. For everything else: SEMRush, Google Adwords, and Google Trends.
Step by step
I usually start working with SEMRush. That’s how I do it. Everyone has his or her own method.
I have already talked several times about this tool. Of course. Because it’s fantastic. Suppose I have a client who wants to position “magento development”. With SEMRush I can obtain a report about the number of searches in Google.es for that search chain, which URLs are positioned for that chain, and which are the related keywords.
Taking a look, I can get an idea of which keywords are viable for positioning and which keywords will be impossible to position. You can forget about generic terms and/or those which have a high CPC .
If you have more “crazy” terms than viable ones in your graph, you’re doing it wrong. “Magento development” as few searches, so you can try other keywords in the full report (which you can see if you have the paid version of SEMRush).
It’s clear that I will go for the keywords with less traffic and fewer competitors, because positioning yourself there is viable, rather than positioning yourself in terms with more traffic.
You can do very well with keywords, so you can start a strategy aimed at positioning yourself with those keywords. You won’t receive contact as “Magento development”, but you can receive indirect contacts from related keywords. You can generate contents to position those keywords. Even so, that’s not exactly what you’re looking for. You want people to find you via keywords related to “Magento development”.
Who are the main references in Spanish? As far as I know, Ydral and Interactiv4. So you look up the keywords that position them in SEMRush: they include “magento”. So, voilà, here’s a niche that may interest you:
Now you want to hone your search, so you get a report on matches for “magento store”.
From there you get the following keywordss: magento store, online magento store, magento stores, magento online store, magento online stores, magento virtual store, store magento, and stores with magento, which get almost 300 searches every month in Spain.
That’s not much, is it? It depends. This is just one of the niches which you should attack and, If you achieve visibility there and get 30% of those searches, that’s 90 visits to your store that are looking for what you sell.
If 4 of those 90 ask you for a budget (4.5%, practically nothing) and you get 1 project for, let’s say, €5,000, was it worth it? Indeed it was.
But do those keywords that you are positioning have stable traffic in Google Spain? Let’s see what Google Trends says.
Looks like it.
What other words for this cloud of keywords which I have found does the Adwords keyword planner suggest?
To be honest, I’m not crazy about them. But they could complement your SEO visibility with Adwords visibility, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to run a campaign using those keywords, segmented by your main “action locations” (let’s say, Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia).
So following this method, which, as I said, is my own method and is neither better nor worse than others, you can find a niche where you can position yourself and achieve visibility, views, and potential client leads.
This is one of the niches which you can find, but there are more, and the process should be repeated N times to find those N remaining niches.
What is clear is that you have more possibilities of being viewed in that niche than competing in terms with a high traffic and many competitors. The fewer people there are, as long as it’s viable for your business, the better.