There were two traps I fell into when I first started trying to make money online – not doing sufficient market research and not doing sufficient competitor research. After a few failures I got it through my think head how important it was to do lots of niche and keyword research before buying a domain name and putting up a WordPress site. However, it took several more failures before I realized and understood the importance of competitor research.
Making money online really comes down to two things – traffic and conversions. If you can’t beat your competitors in ranking, you won’t get a sufficient amount of traffic. And without a sufficient amount of traffic you won’t be able to test offers, track results and improve conversions.
You must take the time investigate the strength of your competitors once you have identified a profitable niche market. The temptation to get started quickly is hard to resist with the excitement you feel when you have found a niche that looks like it can make you money, but you have got to find out who you are up against and if you have the resources to beat them.
My favorite piece of software, Market Samurai, now makes competitor research very easy with their SEO module. What used to take many hours of tedious work using a number of tools now can be determined in a number of seconds.
Look at the screen shot below. Recently, I have been looking into the natural health niche. While I wouldn’t target the keyword “natural health” for a number of reasons, Market Samurai can tell me at a glance what I am up against if I wanted to try and rank for that keyword. You’ll notice a lot of red – this means a high level of competition. So I would stay away from this word.
If we look at the keyword “JLPT” , an acronym for Japanese Language Proficiency Test, a sub-niche in the Japanese Language niche you can see quite a bit of red, but a lower level of competition. I managed to get top page ranking for site of mine called JapaneseProficiencyPower.com (highlighted). I sell a test guide on how to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. JLPT gets 110,000 phrase match searched a month, some of which ends up on my site. As you can see my site has only 6 indexed pages, but I have had it rank on the top page of Google for a two years thanks to the help of Market Samurai.
Take a look at this video of Anthony who gives a tour of the Market Samurai SEO Competition module. He walks you through how Market Samurai gives you an easy but incredibly powerful way to assess the level of competition in any particular niche.
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