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August 20, 2008

Smarter SEO; How to Own ANY Niche

Just ten years ago if you wanted to profit in a niche market it was typically an expensive and risky undertaking. First you had to do the research to see if the industry was big enough to support you. Then you would setup a shop of some sort, whether it was a storefront, mall kiosk, or kitchen table run a mail order company and tons of little classified ads to bring in the business. It usually took at least six months to see if a profit was likely in your future and finding good suppliers for specialty items could be just as demanding as selling the stuff you managed to get hold of. Thanks to the Web, those days are long gone.

Today, with a little basic information and $50 you can have a nice niche thing going. Or with that same $50 and some hard won insider tips you can OWN any niche you want. That’s what we’ll focus on.

First things first, spend wisely. Setup a budget early on and find ways to stay within it. Use free tools whenever possible and when you do need to spend money on something, make sure it’s a bargain.

Okay, now for the good stuff. Let’s start with finding our keywords…

Part One: Finding Keywords

Finding Keywords 1: We can use a free tool to do this part. Go to and type in a common word or phrase that describes your niche (check the Use synonyms box to get the best variety of results.)

Finding Keywords 2: Now click on the “Approx Avg Search Volume” header to sort by the average monthly volume. You are going to take each of the search terms that look like good possible keywords and run a search on Google for them. But lets keep track. Take a sheet of paper (or Excel doc) and jot down the keyword, then the “Approx Avg Search Volume” and finally the number of pages returned on Google.

Finding Keywords 3: When you have that information for a good handful of keywords you want to come up with a success potential ratio for each. It’s easy. Just divide the “Approx Avg Search Volume” by the number of pages on Google. This is your success potential ratio. The higher the number; the better.

Example A: Approx Avg Search Volume (6,500) / Matching Pages on Google (100,000) = .065 is your Success Potential Ratio

Example B: Approx Avg Search Volume (9,750) / Matching Pages on Google (233,000) = .042 is your Success Potential Ratio

Example B has a lot more searches performed but with even more competition than A. Long story short, this means the keyword from Example A is likely our best bet to target.

Part Two: Securing Domain Names

Securing Domain Names 1: Now go to your favorite domain registrar (like or whatever) and run a domain registration availability search for the keyword phrase with the highest Success Potential Ratio.

Securing Domain Names 2: Use dashes! And don’t feel like the splits need to be perfect. For example, if you have a possible domain that is three words long, first try it without any dashes. That will be gone, I can almost guarantee. Next try separating each word with a dash. Maybe it’s taken, maybe not. If not, grab it! If it is taken, don’t despair. Try just one dash between the first two words and let the second and third run together. If that version is taken, move the dash so it is between the second and third while the first and second run together. Chances are you will find one that works. Ad the best part is the search engines read it as the same keyword!

Securing Domain Names 2: Keep in mind, this domain and resulting Website is for SEO purposes NOT branding. Who cares how long it is or how many dashes it has? Certainly not you. The search engines will love it!

Securing Domain Names 3: A word of advice… Get your domain name as quickly as possible. The older it is, the better in Google’s eyes. And they actually run date scans on domains using a Whois registry so they know the exact date and minute the domain was registered.

If you’ve never used one check out or and enter any domain name. It tells you all kinds of stuff, including the owner, registrar, date or registration and even the owner’s home phone address if that’s what he or she used to register.

Securing Domain Names 4: As for the domain type, .com is best bet and .net and .org extensions also do well. I don’t bother with the others and I really strive for .com whenever possible.

Part Three: Deciding on Website Type

Deciding on Website Type 1: Do you want a blog or a regular static site? For quickest results I recommend setting up a WordPress blog (free technology with thousands of free templates.) Google loves blogs because they are fresh, dynamic and already nearly perfectly optimized for their spidering bot.

Deciding on Website Type 2: If you do go with WordPress I also recommend installing the free WordPress plugin “All in One SEO Pack” by Michael Torbert. It’s amazing and totally free. You can get it at

Part Four: Finding Web Hosting

Finding Web Hosting 1: There are tens or thousands of companies you can go with or you can even just host your site at

Finding Web Hosting 2: Personally I like to maintain full control of my site for future expansions and customizations. And I have so many niche blogs in service that saving even just a few bucks is a big deal. I use the starter blog package available at for $25 per year. It’s also got push button WordPress installation, which is nice. So I’m up and running in about five minutes.

Finding Web Hosting 3: But again, there are literally tens of thousands of hosts to choose from. Shop around and stick with one you really like. It’s much easier to track each of your niche blogs with a single host (control panels, stats, etc.)

Part Five: Optimizing Your Site

Optimizing Your Site 1: So far we’ve covered how to select the most profitable keywords, purchase unbeatable domain names, use the Website type most revered by Google for quickest results and how to get reliable inexpensive hosting with bonus features. And we have only spent about $35 ($10 for the domain and $25 for hosting.)

Optimizing Your Site 2: Now we move onto the actual optimization part. I will laundry list the things you need to keep in mind for a competitive edge and recommend a tool bargain if you decide you need one.

Use two of your most important keywords per page; the primary and a secondary.

Use your main and secondary keyword in the page or post title.

Try to make each page about 500 words in length or more, using at least five paragraphs.

Mention your main keyword about four time one the page as follows: Once at the beginning of the first sentence, once in the second paragraph, once in the third paragraph and once towards the end of the final paragraph.

Mention your secondary keyword about four time one the page as follows: Once toward the end of the first sentence, once in the third paragraph, once in the fourth paragraph and once towards the beginning of the final paragraph.

Add your keywords and META descriptions to the WordPress plugin “All in One SEO Pack” and let that do the heavy lifting for you.

Optimizing Your Site 3: If you have an SEO analyzer tool, use it. This is a tool that goes through you site just like Google will, and does the same to your top competitors that dominate your search engine of choice, then tells you EXACTLY what you need to do to steal their top positions.

Optimizing Your Site 4: If you don’t have a tool like that but think it would help, you can download a free trial version of one of the better ones at If you decide to buy it, you will have the same tool that makes eBay number one all over the world. And for about $250.

Well that’s it. You can dominate any niche you want with little time, effort or expense. Why do I feel so confident about it? This is the exact process I have used to dominate over fifty niches from Bass fishing to coin collecting and, of course, search engine optimization.

Above all else enjoy the ride. Best of luck!

Mike Small is the owner and founder of . With eleven years in the SEO industry he has written several popular books on optimization and continues as a consultant working with clients from around the US, UK and Japan.