It's rather a round-about scene, but here goes (and there's no guarantee on this, but it does get someone rolling with almost no budget for niche keyword research):
- Get a tool called Keyword Spider from http://www.keyword-toolkit.com (there is a higher-ranking free tool also called Keyword Spider, but it wouldn't work on my machine). What this program does is get the top search engine positions from either Google or Altavista and then pulls other keywords from these top sites. You get the themes they are using, not just a single keyword.
- Go ahead, install it and then pay the $25 to have the full version.
- You then take the list you saved in a text file from Keyword Spider and copy/paste it into Google Adwords Traffic Estimator (http://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox). This gives you what Google thinks about these and verifies them, plus maybe adds some more for you to use. Arrange them as you like and export them as a .csv file.
- Open that up in OpenOffice (http://openoffice.org) or your favorite spreadsheet program.
- Copy the keywords to your clipboard.
- Get a free tool, called Massive Keyword List Builder from http://www.ibizresearch.com
- On this, there is a "Competition Finder" under Keyword Tools (and upper right-hand button, right next to "print"). Paste your keywords in there (you might have to do this a bit at a time).
- Now you can see what real competition there is for those keywords and you can have your niche (and eat it, too). You don't see the ratios, like NicheBot, but you can visually see when there are 391,000,000 searches and only 5,020 pages that use that keyword in both anchor and title - well, you have a chance to get into the standings rather easily. As well, you can then search those pages in Google and use other tools to find out how that page is constructed and what they are doing to get that high rank - but that's beyond this particular post...
The nice point about having that list in Google (as well as your spreadsheet, maybe even your text file) you can see the related terms. If not, try taking the base term and put it into Trellian's keyword discovery tool (http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html) to find some related terms. (And it's pretty easy to scrape their page to get your terms.)
Now several of these are in SEOBook's free iGoogle gadget (and their Firefox plug-in) help this quite a bit when you want to find all these online resources.
Now the next thing is to test all these out. You've got all the tools above - what's keeping you?
Anyway, I'll let you know what comes of it.
Next up is Dr. Andy William's Site Builder - which takes keywords and helps you build your mini-web with them...
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