It seems that there is a lot of confusion about when and how keyword research should be done. The fact is that keyword research should be part of your niche finding process and should start right after you have came up with your list of potential niches.
Once you have your list of potential niches it’s time to find out if they hold any income potential.
How are you going to do this?
Well to make it simple: you are going to have to do some keyword research to figure out what the competition is like for those niches. To do this you are going to need a proven way to research keywords surrounding your niche/niches. There are a couple of good tools/software out there that can make this process much less pain staking and help you find out exactly how competitive your desired niches are. The two that come to mind for me are Keyword Elite and WordTracker, both will do about the same job but there is some cost difference so you may want to look at both of them and decide which one is best for you. After you choose a quality research tool/software the fun begins.
I think we have covered the when in the above text so lets look at the how part of keyword research.
I am going to use Wordtracker as a guide here, mostly because I have it open right now. You can create a project if you want to help you better track your research, but for this example I am going to go straight to the Keyword Researcher section to start our keyword research.
The first thing we are going to do is make a list of potential keywords for the niche we want to research in the “your seed words” section. Then we are going to click on the research button and wait for our list of prudent keywords to be spit out. Now let’s look through the keywords and select only the keywords that are most relevant to our niche. Then click the delete button and delete all the unchecked keywords so we can remove some of the clutter right off. At this point we have very little information so let’s click the Evaluate tab to get some more useful information. Now we can see a list of our keywords including the number of results returned for each keyword. If we click that number it will take us directly to the results page within the search engine so we can have a look at the results returned. What we are looking for is direct competition which is basically any site that is actually offering the same type of information/product that we would like to offer or sell. If we see a lot of competition for the keyword then we can assume that getting a top ranking in the search engines is going to take a lot of time and that the pay-per-click cost will be high at this point we will most likely discard that keyword.
We will repeat this process with each keyword until we discover valuable keywords that can bring us both natural and PPC traffic that won’t break our bank. In some cases you may find out that a niche is too competitive and you will be better off going to your next niche and repeating the keyword research process until you find a profitable niche. This may become repetitive and some what annoying, but it is necessary to locate a profitable niche. Once you have found your niche and have your keyword list now you can register your domain name and start building your site.