Attacking weak niches for strong returns

If you are looking to increase your business through niche marketing then you should seriously consider tapping into some of the more overlooked niche markets.

Many times you can get a very good listing in the search engines for very good keywords while only doing some basic search engine optimization.
All you have to do is spend five to ten minutes doing a little competitive research to analyze the top ten search engine results for your keywords.
The question you want to get answered by doing this research is:
"Are the top ten listings for this keyword weak enough to easily outrank?"
Start your research by going to and do a search for the keyword phrase that you want to do your research on.
Here's a list of what you will be looking for and things to note that will let you know if can snatch a top ten spot for your keywords and easily expand your niche marketing business.
Example Keyword:    Bed In A Bag
(Numbers Represent WordTracker Estimated Search Volume) 

bed in a bag - 1,273
bed in a bag sets - 90
discount bed in a bag - 86
clearance bed in a bag - 49
wholesale bed in a bag set - 43
king bed in a bag - 29
chinami bed in a bag - 24
holiday bed in a bag - 21
bed in a bag camoflouge - 20
tropical bed in a bag - 20
california bed in a bag - 19
dan river bed in a bag - 19
palm tree bed in a bag -19
blue and orange queen bed in a bag - 17

As you can see there's a pretty good amount of search activity for this keyword phrase.

So how do you figure out if this is a market that you can get a top keyword ranking for? Well, all you have to do is spend five minutes doing a little research analyzing the top ten search engine results for this keyword.

Is the keyword in the title of the listing?
Search engines place a lot of weight on the title of a web page when they consider how well it will rank for a given keyword. Normally the title of the listed results are just exact duplicates of the text that is used in the META Title Tag of a particular web page.

You will rarely find a top ten ranking for any keyword phrase that doesn't have the keyword phrase you searched for in the title of the listing.
If the keyword phrase is not in the title of many of the top ten listings this is a good sign that you may have weak search engine competitors.

Is the keyword in the URL of the listing?
Having the keyword phrase as a part of your URL also helps your website to rank well; much in the same way that having the keyword phrase in your title does. If the keyword phrase is not in the URL of many of the top ten listings this is a good sign that you may have weak search engine competitors.

How many backward links are pointing at the URL?
The off page factors are weighted VERY heavily by Google when it comes to getting a good search engine ranking with them. Off page factors are something that you don't have total control over, such as how many other websites link to yours.

Google sees the links to your website as a vote from other people that you have a good website related to your chosen keyword phrase.
Now, if you have the Google tool bar installed all you have to do is right click on the titles of the top search engine results and then choose "Backward Links" from the context menu that will display on your screen. You will be taken to a new page that will tell you exactly how many links are pointing at the competing website.

Do this for each of the top ten websites.
If they all have a relatively low amount of backward links this is a good sign that you may have weak search engine competitors for this particular niche market.

Is the URL a top level domain or some obscure page?
One way to spot very weak search engine competition is to look at the the URL path of the pages that show for the top ten spots.
If you see a website that is a top level domain it will end in  .com  .net  .org or any of the other common top level domain extensions.
If you notice that many of the top ten listings are for URLs that are pointing to some obscure page within a website, for example...
Then this may be a sign that these pages were not designed to rank well intentionally and have gotten a top ranking simply as a result of having some content on the particular search topic.
By doing this simple analysis of your search engine competition you can then decide if it is worth your time and effort to build a website around a certain topic.
If the site has very few links to it, there's only a page or two about the subject matter, and the domain or URL isn't highly optimized for the keyword, you may have a chance to get a good search engine ranking without having to do an overwhelming amount of work.
I have discovered many keywords that get good traffic and have extremely weak search engine competition doing exactly what I've discussed in this article.
Go on and try it using the keyword examples above.
You can often find niche keywords with weak search engine competition in the keyword lists you receive by visiting: [UPDATE: This website has changed.]

James Jackson was the CEO of

November 23, 2005

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