Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Keyword research - an example of a very deep and wide niche


Index-mining of a huge niche - an example
(a dull and boring, left-brained exercise)

Had to sort out some other stuff, so I've been vacant from marketing insight posts. But I was able to get some work done on the side, because an upcoming mess was staring back at me - so I put the old RankTracker to work at digesting stuff it wasn't designed to do.

My example is the huge, vast "niche" of self-improvement/self-help/personal growth, etc. It's that big because all humankind's adventures fall under it. Any time you push the condition of a person forward, it's self improvement in some guise or another. (Because actually, only the person himself can improve or worsen their own condition...)

So there were really far too many words to describe this area. And those terms above either gave no useful terms or too many when I ran them through my Adwords/RankTracker/OpenOffice system.

But I'd been doing this for months, getting various insights and doing trial searches. All of which resulted in lists and spreadsheets of words, but nothing definitive.

Finally, I decided to take a rather adventurous leap (like some cliff diver) and assembled all these numbers of lists into RankTracker and made it digest them. Turns out it was far more difficult than I thought. It chokes the WordTracker component at about 240 words, so I had to split these up - meaning my 6000 words took about 120 times to get them all ranked by KEI. (Several days' work in the background.)

And then I tried to get it to find alternate WordTracker suggestions - it doesn't choke so easily, but RankTracker can appear to hang after a thousand or so...

Finally, I got most of these done and wound up with over 12000 keywords (that's right - what a masochist). Extracted these to a spreadsheet, cranked up a database from that (OpenOffice is a wonder) and then built queries based on the top single-world keywords.

Turned out I had about 20 or so real keywords that were applicable (and not porn or popular culture related).

Now, I copied these by hand into a text editor, and then pasted that list into a new RankTracker project. Right now, I'm getting the WordTracker suggestions for these, which I'll run several times until I quit getting any decent KEI new keywords.

All this just to tell you how to take something that doesn't really seem to have a keyword set for that niche you know is there.

The steps:
  1. Compile all the lists you have into RankTracker and find their KEI and suggested alternates.
  2. Copy/Paste this into OpenOffice spreadsheet, then convert that to a database format to do queries and narrow down to relevant terms.
  3. Take that short list and run it back through a new RankTracker project to find the real bottom line.
  4. Convert that into a spreadsheet database and mine it.
Some notes:
If I had these all in spreadsheets to begin with, I'd probably been able to just extract the top KW from each and drop them into RankTracker. But some of these were simple text files from my earliest research into the subject.

Now I'm up to date and should shortly have a concise set of huge KEI niches (in the thousands, literally) that can be approached with finding the QAT (in quotes, in anchor, in text) for these and then lining up content and products to start this approach.

- - - -

The results: about 3700 keywords gave me just over 1100 usable (above 2.0 KEI) terms. Of these, there are nearly 50 which are over 10K KEI (rare). To get that kind of KEI, nearly all are under 300K competing pages (rule of thumb says that I probably have less than 1,000 actually optimized pages for these terms) and those high-competing pages have around 3K visitors every day.

While that mega-digestion took days, it now sets me up with some apparent uber-niches to develop. (Let's hope I can find a product for that niche which serves the community...)

So: there's your example of what is possible. I imagine if you took something as broad as pets, you'd then also be able to digest this down nearly as profitably. (I may go back to those top terms I had before just as a test, but I'm really going to have to have some free time on my hands...)

Good Hunting!
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