How important is keyword research? Do I need to pay for expensive keyword tools to make money in a niche? Can I build an effective marketing campaign WITHOUT spending days, weeks or even months studying the right keywords to target in my market? And if so……what is the very BEST way to do keyword research on a shoestring budget? In this article we are going to take a quick and easy look at how to do really effective research in your niche, without spending a whole bunch of money….OR, more importantly, wasting a whole bunch of time on silly strategies that won’t build your business. Curious to know more? Continue reading as we take a closer look below.
Are keyword tools important? If they are….which ones are best?
I’m going to tell you something that most internet marketer types won’t. (or don’t know) But before they do, I want to give you a little bit of context. I’ve written or managed over 10,000 unique articles in a myriad of markets (and in a panoply of pen names) that have generated many millions of readers, and while I do pay for a few keyword research tools, I rarely use them anymore.
The ONLY tools that I believe are really effective on an ongoing basis are those that will “spy” on the content and campaigns of your competition. (tools that will analyze PPC campaigns, tell you which keywords are driving the most traffic, which keywords they are “missing out on”, which keywords have the most value in the niche, and so forth)
The PROBLEM with some of these tools?
Twofold. One, they are very expensive for most intermediate marketers. And secondly, they are kind of addictive…and really lead to a sort of dependence, which CAN actually become counterproductive very quickly. Spending hours doing keyword research is actually WORSE, in my view, than doing no keyword at all and just jumping in and using your intuition and instincts in a niche you hopefully know already. (as you should be creating content in topics you care about from jump)
With that in mind, here are 2 really simple ways to get ADVANCED niche knowledge, without paying a penny:
– Quantcast: A great tool for measuring web traffic and demographics used by the BIG boys and heavy hitters in the “real” world, but which also has tons of great FREE features for online marketers of all types and stripes and skill levels. Want to know how many visitors a particular site gets per month? Quantcast can tell you for free. Want to know the SPECIFIC keywords that drive most of the traffic to a particular site y you’ve got your eye on? Again….Quantcast can tell you for free!
Want to know the general age, sex and even browsing habits of the traffic that your competitor gets? Quantcast can tell you that too…….without shelling out a penny.
– Alexa: Very similar to above, but with a few unique features and points of difference that you’ll want to explore. Most people know Alexa mostly for checking the traffic “rank” of a specific site, but it has many more features that you can dive in and explore as well, especially as it relates to competing sites, keywords and so forth.
The truth is, there is NO better way to research a new niche than to see what folks who are already publishing in that niche are already doing. (and where they focus) The good news is, you DON’T have to pay for that information if you know where to look…and if you’ve read the above, now you DO, too!