So single keywords are for losers. And a shift in perspective to 'keyword niches' allows you to work at the scale required to maximize profit. In this article, Mark Nunney pins down the definition of a keyword niche with a look at some real life examples that show how single keywords miss the big picture and keyword niches reveal it.
A single keyword is a word or phrase used to make a search on a search engine. A keyword niche is all keywords containing a single keyword.
For example, you might search Google with the single keyword business strategy.
The business strategy keyword niche is all the keywords containing business strategy including:
business marketing strategy
marketing business strategy
business management strategy
business development strategy
business strategy development
international business strategy
business plan strategy
business strategy consulting
business marketing strategies
small business strategy
business strategy planning
business corporate strategy
...and many more
The business strategy keyword niche includes the long tail of search for the single keyword business strategy.
A keyword niche is like Broad match in AdWords
If you’re familiar with Google AdWords, a keyword niche is like a Broad match view of a keyword.
In AdWords you bid for the keywords you want your adverts to appear for when searched with on Google. Your bid must have a ‘match type’ and there are three keyword match types:
- Exact match bid: your ad will appear for exact search business strategy and no other search.
- Phrase match bid: your ad will appear for searches containing the words business strategy in that order, eg, business strategy development but not business management strategy.
- Broad match bid: your ad will appear for searches containing the words business strategy in any order, eg, business strategy development and business management strategy.
So with a Broad match bid your advert will appear for all searches containing business strategy, ie, for all keywords in the business strategy keyword niche.
Keyword niches have long tails
Much SEO advice talks about targeting single keywords. But this misses the big picture. Example…
I have a page on a site that appears to target the single keyword:
- swot analysis
Check a few metrics for this page and we see that the keyword swot analysis is ranked 24th on Google and got 69 visits in the last 30 days. About 2 a day. That’s not very good.
But if we monitor how that page does for the swot analysis keyword niche then we see it does very well. See the following grab from a Google Analytics report:
That’s traffic for 480 different keywords containing swot analysis, ie, keywords from the swot analysis keyword niche. Against just 69 for the single keyword swot anlaysis.
That's over 11 times the traffic from the keyword niche.
That's working at scale. 11 times the scale.
That's analyzing at scale with keyword niches.
Don’t target single keywords. Target keyword niches.
Let’s widen our perspective a little and see how the page does for the swot keyword niche (that’s all keywords containing swot). See image:
That’s 1,673 visits from 849 different keywords. Let’s have a look at the top 25 of those keywords:
Notice how the keyword niche’s seed word – swot (highlighted) – only brought 10 of those 1,673 keywords.
Single keywords miss the big picture. Single keywords really are for losers. So target keyword niches, but…
…target the head, exploit the tail.
…target the head (of a keyword niche), exploit the tail (all the keywords in the keyword niche)
Eg, target swot analysis (the head keyword for…) and get visits and response from keywords containing swot analysis (…the swot analysis keyword niche).
Strategizer - a new tool to help you work with keyword niches
If you are going to target niches, you need to analyze keyword niches.
Unfortunately, site visitor analysis software like Google Analytics analyzes single keywords.
Wordtracker is soon to launch a new tool called Strategizer that imports your Google Analytics' single keyword reports and converts them into keyword niche reports.
So when you look at a Strategizer report with a list of keywords, unlike on Google Analytics, you’re seeing data for keyword niches. Let's compare the two...
On the Google Analytics report in the image below, the highlighted row shows us how the site performed for the single keyword business strategy (1,340 visits):
On the Strategizer report in the image below, the highlighted row shows how the site performed for the keyword niche business strategy. The results are different. We see that the site got 3,764 visits from 965 different keywords containing business strategy.
Strategizer has a few other tricks. In the report above, note that we can also see Google’s estimate for the size of the business strategy analysis niche (498,214 searches); and this site’s market share of that niche (0.76%). This shows us the potential this keyword niche offers the site.
With Wordtracker Strategizer you can analyze your site's performance for keyword niches. This allows you to…
- Work at the scale required for profit by targeting keyword niches.
- Target keyword niches proven to deliver the best response to your site.
- Target keyword niches you know your site can beat the competition for.
- Target keyword niches you know your site can get more results for.
- Discover the market size (the number of searches) for each target keyword niche.
- Know how much effort each keyword niche should get.
- Take the guesswork out of your search marketing.
- Plan action-led search marketing strategies in minutes.
About Mark Nunney
Mark Nunney has been a successful professional SEO since 2000. He is CEO of The Website Marketing Company and he publishes Leadership & Management Review from ThinkingManagers.com, the business management website.
Mark wrote SEO for Profit, Wordtracker Masterclass: Keyword Research book and co-wrote Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building with Ken McGaffin. He is also the founder and project manager of Wordtracker Strategizer.