Finding niche keywords: Graphic of man using a magnifying glass

Finding Niche Keywords in a Saturated Market: 5 Steps to Follow

For many businesses, their niche is, well, not that niche. In a saturated market, SEO newcomers often find themselves choosing between unattainably difficult keywords or keywords with negligible search volume. You don’t want to pour hours of effort into a losing strategy, so stop targeting such competitive keywords. 

You’ve got to start finding niche keywords to stand out. That’s going to help you reach your target audience and score a real shot at landing on page 1 of the SERP. 

So, when you find yourself crammed in a corner on the internet, how can you get noticed? Check out this guide to finding niche keywords, no matter your business model or audience.

How Finding Niche Keywords Benefits Your Business

Niche keywords go beyond the generic keywords that everyone in your industry is targeting. Instead of a keyword like “accounting software,” you create more specific options like “payroll software for HVAC businesses.”

Niche keywords are long-tail keywords, which use at least three words. Because they’re longer, they typically won’t have as high search volume as hub-and-spoke keywords, but in many cases, this also means conversion rates are likely to be higher and organic traffic to be more qualified. 

Volume alone won’t boost SEO, clicks, or sales — but relevance will. And niche keywords have the relevance you need to boost sales. Translation: you’ll find the exact people you need to get in contact with while minimizing irrelevant or unqualified traffic. 

There’s nothing wrong with targeting a few broader keywords, but finding niche keywords can help you: 

  • Improve your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy: If you want to boost organic traffic to your website, your SEO goal should be to rank as highly as possible on the search engine results page. Sprinkling niche keywords into your web copy, headers, and metadata can help you do that over time.
  • Bring in more PPC leads: Which keywords should you add to your paid ad campaigns? Niche keywords might get you fewer clicks, but they’ll help you connect with higher-quality leads that actually want to engage with you — and that translates into more sales. 
  • Score wins faster: Because niche keywords have lower traffic volume, we often find that our client’s competitors haven’t discovered the value of these keywords and aren’t targeting these keywords at all. Since niche keywords have less competition, the barrier to entry (or keyword difficulty) is lower, which means you can see quicker gains in your SEO and PPC campaigns. 
  • Save money: If you’re finding niche keywords to use in advertising campaigns, you need to choose options with a low cost-per-click (CPC) to control your budget. Niche keywords tend to have low CPCs, which means you can connect with lower-funnel leads at a cheaper rate. 

5 Steps for Finding Niche Keywords

While there’s an argument to be made for targeting broad industry keywords, you can save both time and money by finding niche keywords early on in your content marketing strategy. This is especially important for small, growing brands that need to make the most of a less-than-ideal marketing budget. 

To get more bang for your buck, you’ll need to research which niche keywords are the best for your business. Follow these five steps to find the best keywords for your content marketing campaigns. 

1. Define Your Niche Target Audience

First things first, you need to understand your target audience. What do they need? What’s their biggest pain point? 

Your goal is to connect with a very specific type of customer through carefully selected keywords, so you need to understand your ideal customer before you select niche keywords.

Identify your customers’ biggest problem and brainstorm potential search queries for that problem. For example, if your customers struggle to find affordable, cruelty-free beauty products, your niche keywords might include “vegan beauty products under $25” or “affordable cruelty-free mascara.” 

Search intent also matters here. You need to understand your target audience enough that you choose keywords that reflect their intent. For example, a generic keyword like “full coverage insurance” doesn’t show intent, but “affordable full coverage for teen drivers” does. 

2. Look for Common Questions in Your Niche

To find the best keywords for your niche, you’ll need to compile a list of keywords to start. Paste potential keywords into an Excel sheet for now — you’ll narrow them down in step #4.

You can try finding niche keywords by putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. If you are a mattress brand, who do you sell to, and what questions are they asking online? 

You can find these by looking at: 

  • Quora, Reddit, or industry forums
  • Social media platforms like Pinterest or YouTube
  • Google Autocomplete answers
  • Take a look at the “people also ask” feature in the search engine results page

Questions are an easy way to find long-tail keywords that you can easily integrate into your SEO or PPC campaigns, too. 

3. Use a Niche Keyword Research Tool

While you can do SEO without tools, keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs or SEMrush, can certainly speed up the process.

For most tools, you’ll enter a seed keyword and the tool will spit out related keywords for that search term. That usually means you enter a short-tail keyword and the tool will produce long-tail keyword suggestions to choose from. 

Google Trends is another great SEO tool for finding niche keywords. This free tool will show trending topics and ideas based on Google searches. It might not give you a ton of long-tail keywords to start, but Google Trends provides big ideas that you can then whittle down into a more specific niche keyword.

Sometimes you can get ahead on emerging trends with this data, so don’t knock the power of Google Trends. 

4. Compare Keyword Metrics

At this point, you have a list of potential keywords, but that doesn’t mean you’re done. Targeting 200 keywords will make you go crazy, so you need to narrow the list down to your top 20 to start with. Instead of simply picking your favorites, back up your selections with data. 

For PPC keywords, try using Google Keyword Planner. This option is now only available if you have a Google Ads account. Google Keyword Planner allows you to not only generate keyword ideas, but check out how effective they are for Google Ads campaigns too. 

For SEO, we recommend Ahrefs. This keyword tool costs $99 to $999 per month, depending on your needs. Simply enter your list of keywords into its Keyword Explorer tool and Ahrefs will spit out essential metrics about those keywords. 

Whatever tool you decide to use, you’ll need to evaluate your keywords based on: 

  • Monthly search volume: This tells you how many times people search for this term every month. Keep in mind that niche keywords will have lower monthly search volumes. Even so, you should try to target keywords with higher volumes where possible. Choose keywords with a minimum of 100 searches per month.
  • Keyword difficulty: This measures, on a scale of zero to 100, how difficult it is for you to rank for a keyword. Think of keyword difficulty as the level of competition you have to deal with for each keyword. Ideally, you want a low keyword difficulty with a moderate to high monthly search volume. 
  • CPC: High CPCs will eat up your PPC budget if you aren’t careful. If you’re finding niche keywords for ad campaigns, you should rank them by estimated CPC. Research tools will tell you, on average, how much you can expect to pay for that keyword every time someone clicks on it.

There’s no such thing as the perfect keyword, but you can choose specific keywords that work best for your digital marketing campaigns based on these metrics.

5. Track Niche Keyword Performance Over Time

Whether you’re running an SEO strategy or an ad campaign, you can’t expect niche keywords to change your business overnight. Content marketing is a long game, and results can take 3-6 months to see, which means your team needs to monitor keyword performance over time to get an accurate understanding of how well your strategy is performing. With SEO, consistency is key.

If your keyword strategy isn’t gleaning the desired results, in three to six months, it might be time to revisit and rethink your strategy, and consider optimization opportunities for existing content. You won’t know that without data, though, so tracking your SEO and PPC performance to know if you found the right niche keywords is imperative.

Do Keyword Research to Get Ahead

You’re investing a lot of energy into your SEO and other marketing strategies, so arm your site with the best keywords for the job. Finding niche keywords is easy when you have the right processes and tools. You can find niche keywords by: 

  1. Defining your target audience
  2. Looking for common questions
  3. Using keyword research tools
  4. Comparing keyword metrics
  5. Tracking keyword performance

But we know it’s tough measuring your keyword performance long-term, not to mention optimizing your campaigns for these keywords. If it’s time to refresh your niche keyword strategy, go with Growth Machine. 

We help growing businesses overhaul their SEO for impressive organic results. Chat with Growth Machine now to find the best niche keywords for your business goals. 

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