This guide on finding a niche market outlines all of the steps that I take to find a new Amazon product niche. I feel like the niche selection process is one of the most important steps in building a successful Amazon product site. Even if you pick the best or most popular products to promote, you will never make sales on a regular basis without a great search engine ranking to bring targeted traffic to your site. This guide will teach you how to find a niche and a keyword phrase that will allow you to easily get a top ten search engine ranking on a keyword phrase that actually receives traffic.
This guide will NOT teach you how to actually build your website - it's just a guide to get you to the point of being ready to start building your website that will actually be successful and make you money every single money!
I always begin my search with product selection. You have to figure out what products you are going to be promoting before you can proceed to keyword and domain name selection. I use a number of different websites to find products. Ebay Pulse is a good website to see what people are looking to buy, although some of these products may not work well for this type of website. Even more so, some of these products may not even be available for sale on Amazon.
Everyone has their own method of finding products, but I personally prefer to find them on Amazon itself if I am going to be making a website that promotes Amazon products. This saves me a lot of time in the long run because I never find a product that ends up not being available for promotion.
I mainly use the tools that are available to the general public on Amazon. Just go to their main page and select a department. You can then further refine the department until you get down to specific types of products. Any of these are potential niche ideas, although more research will be needed to find out if it's a niche that you will be successful with. Start by simply making a list of some possible niche markets.
When you are searching within a particular category on Amazon, you can sort your results by 'Bestselling', 'Avg. Customer Review' and even by price. I like using these features to find some of the popular items or to target higher priced items. It does help sales a lot for a product you are promoting to have customer reviews.
You can also find out what people want to buy on Amazon.com by checking out Gift Central. Gift Central shows you some of the most wished for items in various categories or for different kinds of people (grandpa's, for example). This is a superb way to find out about popular niche products that you would ordinarily not even think about.
A lot of people will only select products with a price of $150 or higher, but I don't always agree with that policy. You will get lower commissions but better conversion rates with lower priced products and the opposite with higher priced products. This means that you will need more traffic to convert a single sale when you have a site promoting higher priced products. I really like it when I can find a niche that offers a bit of a variety of product prices so I have some cheaper items to promote that will get frequent sales and more expensive items that sell every now and again but bring great commissions.
Try to avoid the most mainstream high-priced items that are already over-promoted: TV, computers, etc. Although I do not have any specific places to recommend to find these specific products, new types of products that become available to the pubic are often the best niches to make a website for and they will usually have available domain names. Once you have a general product category, try to find new products made in that category within the past year or even products that will be coming out next year.
Keyword & Domain Name Selection
When I am trying to find a new niche market, I will only choose a primary keyword phrase that has the exact phrase available to register as a .COM domain name. This is one of the most important aspects of my entire campaign besides actual product selection. Without it, getting search engine rankings will take more work, time and effort. I prefer spending my time researching and making new websites - not marketing and maintaining!
Obviously, almost everyone will know about keyword resources from Google: Google Insights and Google Keyword Tool.
Google Insights is great to find out whether a product is on the rise or decline. You don't want to get on board with a product that people won't want to buy a few years from now and on the other end of the spectrum, you'll make a ton of money down the road if you get in on a product that is just starting and gains popularity over time. Insights will also give you suggestions of other relating search terms that are popular in addition to breakout searches featured on the right hand side of the page. An important point that I want to stress about Insights is to NEVER rely on these keywords to decide on a primary keyword phrase or domain name. Use this information as a guideline only to have an idea of the popularity of your products and whether they have seasonal tendencies.
Google Keyword Tool is used to actually select a keyword phrase for your product(s). You want to find a keyword phrase that has a good monthly search count. Although you will not see this option when you first make a search on the keyword tool, after your results are displayed you will be able to mark check boxes for "Broad, Exact and Phrase". You can check each of these boxes to give you an idea of the power for your keyword phrase in various areas. I've provided a brief explanation of each of these settings below.
Broad - This number shouldn't be taken too literally because you will likely never receive all of this traffic. This figure is a general traffic stat that will tell you how much traffic that subject receives, although the actual searches can be very different from your keyword phrase. If you end up creating an authority site that essentially covers every single topic for a subject, you could possibly see a portion of this search traffic.
Exact - Most people only go by the exact monthly search traffic in their keyword research. While this is a good practice, I don't think the other numbers should be ignored. I have had many websites with low exact monthly search traffic that gets many times more traffic than sites with considerably higher exact monthly searches. That's where the other two factors come into play, because you will usually target more than a single keyword phrase over an entire website. Depending on the price of the product I want to sell, I usually look to get a bare minimum of 200 exact monthly searches for my primary keyword phrase. Obviously, more will be better but it's hard to find available .com domain names containing the exact phrase for keywords that receive more than 1000 exact monthly searches. Some people claim to only make new sites with that kind of keyword traffic, but I believe automated scripts have snatched up almost all of these domain names. Whether that is true or not is not important because you don't need that many searches to have a successful website that makes daily sales.
Phrase - I like using this stat in combination with the 'Exact' stat to get an idea of the traffic that I can reasonably go after with a new niche market. I will give you a brief example of how important this number really is. Let's say your exact keyword phrase is "niche markets" and it receives 200 exact monthly searches (all made up figures, by the way). Most people will never consider this to be a good choice for a primary keyword phrase. However, if the 'Phrase' monthly traffic figure shows a reasonable amount of traffic then I would never pass up this choice as a primary keyword phrase. In fact, I want my 'Phrase' traffic to be considerably higher than my 'Exact' phrase traffic for my primary keyword. This gives me something to build my website with because all of those other keyword phrases that contain your primary keyword phrase will make for excellent content pages on your site. You optimize the main page of your site for the primary keyword phrase and then have many other pages that are each optimized for a single long-tail phrase that contains your primary phrase (ie, "new niche markets" or "product niche markets"). When you add up the traffic of all of these keyword phrases, you receive the 'Phrase' traffic number. I view this as the real potential for a website.
Another important thing to look at for your keyword phrase with Google Keyword Tool is the search volume trend shown in the bar graph for each keyword phrase. Unless you are targeting a seasonal product, you want to see a fairly steady bar graph or a bar graph that is on the rise. Never go for something that is really high to start and almost gone towards the end of the bar graph. This means the keyword phrase is losing traffic. You should also remember that the monthly traffic figures that Google provides are based on a 12 month average (an average of the months shown to you in those green bar graphs for each keyword). If you find a keyword that is quickly gaining popularity, it could show a low monthly search average but actually be receiving many more searches. When I find some real prospects for a keyword phrase, I ALWAYS download the CSV file from Google for the keyword results (there's a download button at the top of the results). Open that file with a spreadsheet program and take a look at the search volume counts. It will show you a count from the previous month - this figure will give you a real idea of it's current monthly search traffic. I believe this aspect is overlooked by automated programs and I have found keyword phrases with 500-800 average monthly searches that actually are receiving 1400 monthly searches as of last month. In almost all of these situations, I found the .COM domain name to be available for registration.
That brings me to my next point - domain name registration. ALWAYS get a .COM that is an exact match of your primary keyword phrase. An an example, if your keyword phrase is "niche market" then you want to be able to register "nichemarket.com". Keep searching through keyword possibilities until you find one that has an available domain name. Unfortunately, after you make your way through all of these steps, this entire process can take numerous hours or even longer to find a good niche. You can even go all the way through the process only to never find a single available .com domain name. In this case, you just have to brush it off and search for another niche.
When you find an available .com domain name for your keyword phrase, you need to do one more bit of research on Google before you make a final decision.
Go to Google and search for your keyword phrase. You need to look for a few things when you do this search:
- Paid Advertising (Look at top and on right)
- Authority Sites in the Top Ten (About, Wiki, Amazon or other major sites in your niche)
- Websites in the Top Ten with ALL/ANY of your keywords in the domain name
- Websites in the Top Ten with the exact keyword phrase in the title and/or description
- Websites in the Top Ten with more than one listing for the keyword phrase
- Search for the keyword phrase contained within quotes (ie: "niche market"). If you see more than 30,000 websites in those search results, you will need to put more effort into marketing, on-site optimization and content building. If you can find a keyword phrase with less than 10,000 results in this search, you should have a fairly easy time getting into the top ten if you follow the other guidelines I've talked about.
- Search for the keyword phrase contained within quotes with "allintitle:" in front of it (ie, allintitle:"niche market"). If you see more than 10,000 websites, you will need more effort as stated above. In an ideal situation, I like this number below 1,000 or even below 500.
- Go through each site in the Top Ten and perform a search to find out how many pages that particular website has (ie, site:example-domain-name.com). I don't have a set number I'm looking for here, but I like to mostly see websites that have a lower page count. When you find sites that have hundreds or even thousands of pages, this will let you know that you may need some extra effort to top these websites. The more pages a website contains, the more weight they will have in the search results in general (this helps to translate into a higher page rank for a site, which is why sites with millions of pages like wikipedia have high PR).
- Just like before, go through the sites in the top ten and look to see how many backlinks Google shows for the website (ie, link:example-domain-name.com). Unfortunately, you can't take these exact numbers literally because new links will usually not show up in these results even if Google is already considering their weight. If a page other than the main page of a website is the ranking page in the top ten, check out the backlink count of that specific page as well as the entire domain name. This also helps you to determine the overall power of a website that you will compete with. Some people say to try and get as many backlinks as all of the pages in the top ten have combined to get a #1 ranking, but this isn't needed in most cases unless you are in a high competition niche. You can be #1 with zero backlinks while the other sites below you have many backlinks - it's just one of the many factors in the ranking equation.
Once you have found your keyword phrase and domain name, you are ready to create your website. Set up a Wordpress blog on your web hosting account. Create nothing but "pages" for your entire website. Use one of these pages to replace your front page. I like to use this front page as a guide to the various areas of the website. My DogCrateSizes site should give you a pretty good idea of what I am talking about (it's a .com website by that name, by the way).
I realized after reading a lot of people's comments that they are failing at promoting Amazon products because of their poor niche, keyword and domain name selection. If you get these three factors right, I have actually found it difficult to FAIL promoting Amazon products. I put very little effort into marketing my niche product websites and am able to quickly obtain top ten search engine rankings. With a bit of marketing work, I can usually get to #1 within a couple months of starting a new site. I run a lot of different websites and constantly make new ones, so I really don't devote a lot of time to the marketing process. I find that if you put some serious thought and effort into the planning of your website then all of the other pieces will fall into place with ease.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments.
I hope you have been able to take something useful away from this thread and are able to find a niche market. In the end, you will probably need multiple niche product websites to make a good monthly income, so put the work into the most important aspect - your research. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time making a website only to never make a single penny with it and I hope you will be able to avoid that situation using this guide.