A Young Entrepreneuer's Quest
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How to Find a Profitable Keyword for Your Minisite

keyword research

by Patrick Toerner on March 28, 2010

This entry is part 2 in the series $1,000 Per Month Minisite

$1,000 Per Month Minisite

Before we do anything with our minisite, we must do keyword research.  This is by far the most crucial part.  So without further ado, let’s begin.

The overall goal of your keyword research is to find an “untapped niche” or a niche with little competition and a decent amount of searches.  It is better to find this niche in something we enjoy or know a lot about, because it will make creating the content a lot easier. So I want you to list things you enjoy or are an expert on. Here are mine:

  • Golf
  • Web Design
  • Snowboarding
  • Video Games
  • Making Websites
  • Partying

So now I would head over to the trusty Google Keyword Tool and try something like this:

minisite research

This is my exact keyword research, it might be dumb cause you guys might try to compete with me, but it will help you out a lot more I think to see exactly how I did it.  As you can see I just searched golf.  I then sort by global monthly searches and switch the phrase match to exact.  I switch it to exact, because I want to know how many people are searching for the exact keyword that I possibly will target.  Generally the more monthly searches the harder it will be to rank, so we want to scroll down to something around 3000-6000 searches per month.  Here is what comes up when searching golf:

keyword research

(Note: I only pay attention to the global monthly searches: the second column) What we are searching for is a “buying keyword.” This is a keyword or phrase, that you think the person would be looking to buy something.  For example in the picture above, someone searching ‘golf gift’ is definitely looking to buy something where as the people searching ‘free golf’, not so much.

The thing is, none of these keyword are really any good.  None are interesting to me and there are not any good buying keywords.

So I will switch my search to something more specific.  Next I tried ‘golf swing.’ Here is what I got:

keyword minisite

Ok, now I search through and see which look like buying keywords:

  • perfect golf swing
  • golf swing trainer
  • stack and tilt golf swing
  • how to swing a golf club
  • golf swing instruction
  • golf swing lesson
  • improve golf swing
  • the perfect golf swing

It looks like we hit the jack pot here, but we aren’t done!  We need to analyze how tough it would be to rank first, second, or third in Google.  So we search Google for each term.  I normally start with the highest searched term because I would rather have a lot of searches on the key phrase I am targeting.  So I search ‘perfect golf swing’ without quotes.

My goal now is to see how authoritative, in Google’s eyes, these sites are.  How we are going to do that, is analyze the backlinks.  I use the Firefox plugin seo quake, it shows something like this under every search result:

seo quake

This shows you the PR, backlinks to that pages, backlinks to the domain, indexed pages, and a bunch of other stuff.  IF you don’t feel like downloading this free plugin you can type this into yahoo to find the backlinks: link:http://[the specific page you want to check backlinks for]

Use yahoo for this search because they show all backlinks while Google hides them to try to prevent people stealing backlinks or something.  Oh Google!  Anyways, pick the 3rd or 4th term and try this.  If the backlinks to that specific page are less than 100 you’ve got yourself a winner.  If they are less than 1,000, then it is doable, but very difficult.  It will take two month or more to get that many backlinks.

You should also take into account the amount of links to the domain and age of the domain.  These can have an influence on rankings, but not as much as links to the specific page.

I ended up picking “perfect golf swing” as my target keyword for a few reasons:

  1. It gets a lot of searches.
  2. The competition seems possible to outrank, after a couple months of link building.
  3. I know I won’t give up even though it will be hard.
  4. If I get in the top 3, I will be making at least $1000.

Lets pretend I didn’t pick this keyword and try a keyword with a lot less searches.  Let’s try ‘improve golf swing.’ It gets 4,400 exact match searches per month.  That can still make a lot of money!  Here is a quick breakdown to prove it:

4,400 (searches) x 20% (percent of traffic you will get if second on Google) = 880 (Traffic you will get per month.)

880 (traffic) x 5% (percent that might convert) = 44 (Number of purchases per month)

44 (purchases) x $25 (affiliate income) = $1,100 per month

So as you can see even with a fairly low-level traffic keyword, you can still make a good amount of money.  Also, you will likely get other search results as well, so you will probably get more traffic than that.

Anyways back to what I was saying, how is the competition for ‘improve golf swing.’  From searching through the competition I found that the top 5 search results have decent backlinks: 200-600. Under than, the results have less than 10.  This means it will be very easy to get onto the front page of Google for this keyword and it will take some time to get into the top 3.

Another important thing to look at is whether the sites you are trying to outrank are homepages or not.  If the sites you are trying to outrank are not homepages like www.site.com/page/page2, then it will be a little bit easier to outrank.

So here is a summary of everything:

  1. List your hobbies, things you enjoy, and things you are an expert on.
  2. Check the Google Keyword Tool for ‘buying keywords’ for each item on your list.
  3. Find a keyword that has 3,000-6,000 exact phrase, global monthly searches.
  4. Analyze the backlinks of the competition.
  5. Analyze other variables of the competition if the backlinks are low enough.

And there you have it!  I really hope this helps you with your keyword research.  If you have any questions or comments, leave them below and I will get back to you quickly.

Series Navigation«$1,000 a Month From a MinisitePicking a Product to Promote on Your Minisite»

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Walter March 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Hey, this is a nice strategy. Although I’m a little bit confused with squeezing my way into the first page of Google. :-)

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2 Patrick Toerner March 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Well this is just the beginning, making sure its possible to get on that first page. Building backlinks is how you actually do it. That part of the series will come in a week or so.

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3 Richard Scott | Jewelry Secrets March 28, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Excellent. I like how you went into details with the keyword search. I’ll be making note of this and having fun tomorrow. Making minisites is both fun and a pain. lol

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4 Patrick Toerner March 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I totally agree! Keyword research is fun for about 15-20 min, then it just becomes a pain. But it really is the most important part. Good luck tomorrow, hah!

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5 Jack | Online Marketing Blog March 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Great post! Will the linkdomain: function for Yahoo give you the same backlink count as seo quake? Also, what cms platform do you use to create minisites with?
.-= Jack | Online Marketing Blog´s last blog ..Digsby = IM + Email + Social Media…. Free Download! =-.

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6 Patrick Toerner March 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Yeah it gets the link number from yahoo, you can click on the number and be brought to the yahoo page. SEO Quake is really a great plugin for analyzing competition.

I’m using wordpress for this one. I have made them before with just basic html, but working with wordpress is more fun and flexible. For example, it handles url rewrites, also helps with backlinks from comluv enabled blogs, and I added a blog on this minisite.

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7 Moon Hussain March 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Patrick,

Great write-up! I did something similar with my Understanding the Google Research Keyword Tool in the beginning.

I will have to check out Seo Quake and will keep in mind the point about the percentage of traffic for position #2. Something to definitely keep in mind. Thanks!
.-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Are You Embarrassed Of Saying “Passive Income” Out Loud? =-.

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8 Alex March 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm

This is great stuff! My question is what should we be selling? You can show us how to get people to visit, but what is it that we are getting them to buy?
.-= Alex´s last blog ..Fran Maier, Match.com Co-Founder =-.

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9 Patrick Toerner March 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Well generally an info product, I will cover that in the next of the series. It will be posted in a week.

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10 Allyn April 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Very well written and described tutorial.
I would also say that, at least for me, about 8 out of 10 sites I build end up sucking wind big time. Even though I “think” I am targeting buying terms, when I get to page 1, position 1 and get traffic, it many times will not convert.
The good news is that I can always re-purpose the sites to send links to other sites I am building. The point is that even the failures can be turned into something good.
AL
.-= Allyn´s last blog ..The Walmart Blog, A HUGE Failure, Here’s What We Can Learn =-.

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11 Patrick Toerner April 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Great point Allyn. You never know exactly what to expect until the work is done, but all is not lost if it turns out to be a failure.

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12 Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet April 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Hey Patrick,

I think you’ve done part of the hard work but you don’t seem to mention the domain choice. I wrote about a combination of both of these factors in an older post:

http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com/how-to-research-and-buy-keyword-domain-names/

You’ll rank easier if you go with perfectgolfswing.com, .net or .org

But I question that niche’s ability to earn you $1,000 per month. People searching that are most likely looking for videos showing the perfect golf swing (like what I see in the search results). How can you earn money by showing a free video? If you try to pitch a product you may get a few sales but most people will simply stick with the free videos and the earnings from Adsense probably won’t be that great either.

Chris Guthrie
.-= Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet´s last blog ..Proliferation of Misinformation =-.

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13 Patrick Toerner April 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

You have got some good points.

The domain choice you are talking is included in a future article about SEO and link building. You are absolutely right about the domain being a factor.

As far as me choosing a non buying keyword, I somewhat agree with you. I realize that the person searching the “perfect golf swing” probably isn’t looking to buy something. But the reason I chose it is because it gets a ton of traffic, there is very little competition, and other keywords relating to perfect golf swing are buying keywords.

For example, there are over 1000 searches for terms like, “How to perfect your golf swing” and keywords like that.

Plus, I already have an ebook written about improving your golf swing :)

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14 Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet April 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Also, I forgot to add:

I would for the most part disregard global search terms as the other country based search engines rank sites based in the US lower than those found in other countries.

You may be safe with such a general term, but definitely for geo based terms you’ll rank lower.
.-= Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet´s last blog ..Proliferation of Misinformation =-.

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15 Patrick Toerner April 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

What type of info product is geo based?

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16 Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet April 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I’m not addressing info products in my comment. I’m speaking to search terms.

i.e. EdinburghCastle.co.uk will rank higher than EdinburghCastle.com on Google.co.uk (all other things being equal: number of links)
.-= Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet´s last blog ..Proliferation of Misinformation =-.

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17 Patrick Toerner April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Ah ok, i gotcha. Yeah that makes sense.

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18 Julius Kuhn-Regnier April 12, 2010 at 12:40 am

Patrick I am just now using part of your strategy. I think I am targeting too many keywords but my web site is not supposed to be a single page anyway.

I am trying to rank for some travel related words. Will see whether it works ;)
.-= Julius Kuhn-Regnier´s last blog ..What Traveling through Scotland Taught Me about Blogging =-.

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19 Patrick Toerner April 12, 2010 at 2:06 am

Is it a mini site? Or andbreak?

I will be writing a post about mini site seo in a week or two, it will help you get those rankings :)

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20 Julius Kuhn-Regnier April 12, 2010 at 3:49 am

Oh no it’s not my blog. I actually thought that you were going to think that. No it’s a mini site about traveling. I am just trying to rank for some travel related keywords. Will see whether it works.

Btw. did you get my email? I think I tried contacting you via your contact form.
.-= Julius Kuhn-Regnier´s last blog ..What Traveling through Scotland Taught Me about Blogging =-.

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