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Beyond Brainstormer

Adequate keyword research is very important for succeeding in your niche. You certainly want to know what keywords have enough demand to get free traffic, but also have low enough competition for that keyword to get on the first page of Google.

And Brainstormer is an excellent tool for this kind of keyword research. For those that don't know, Brainstormer is the keyword research tool that comes with Site Build It!.

But keyword research alone is not enough to succeed.

Note: And depending on any keyword research tool alone, is a big mistake. All research tools rely on historical data and can, at best, give you only a general idea of what has happened in the past. It will get your boat pointed in generally the right direction, but that's all. You MUST add your own marketing instincts to the analysis.

And just writing Keyword Focused Content Pages (KFCP), as SBI recommends, is not enough either.

In order to have a website that makes money, an online business, you must find a niche and a market where people have a problem they are willing to spend money online to solve.

Let me repeat that...

In order to have a website that makes money, you must find a niche and a market where people have a problem they are willing to spend money to solve online.

That all sounds simple enough but it's often misunderstood when using Brainstormer to find keywords. Just because you've found what seems to be good keywords does not mean you've found a good market.

To be sure you will make money you must look deeper into those keyphrases and your niche. Unless you can find "buying intention" in that niche you may never make any real money.

And to turn a visitor into a customer, you must have content on your site that moves people through your market's sales cycle and gets them to take action to solve their problem.

This is why you must go beyond keyword research, and do Market Research before you build your website.

Beyond Keyword Research

Putting yourself into the shoes of your potential visitors is very important first step in Market Research. You need to thoroughly understand their problems and what would motivate them to solve that problem. Developing this empathy is critical to becoming a good marketer in whatever niche you choose.

Ask yourself...

If you were them, how would you go about solving your problem online?

Thinking this through completely will help you visualize the process your target market would go through online to solve their problem.

Market Research Questions

Before you choose a market/niche, you need to be able to answer these questions...

Getting Your Market's Attention

Before you can market to anyone you have to get someone's attention. In this day of online oversaturation and spam in all areas of advertising, this is not an easy task. The only chance you have to get your markets attention is to truly understand their problems and be able to communicate that understanding to your prospects.

If you can empathize with your potential customers you can begin to "meet them where they are now" in the SEs and Social Media, and make a connection that can move them to your site and your solutions.

When I say "meet them where they are now" I mean that both literally and figuratively.

You want to know what online locations people tend to go to solve their problem... search engines, social media, forums, etc.

And also "what is the converstion going on in their heads" as they try to solve their problem. If you can empathize with that conversation, you can begin to "talk the talk" that will get their attention. You'll be able to connect with them using the "what's in for them (WIFT)" language that will convince them you are someone who might be able to help them.

Why Keywords?

One of the first things you need to know is, what keywords people are using now. Guesswork will not work. You must research exactly which keywords actually ARE being used by real people.

Of course, no research tool can predict the future, so you have to rely on historical data to get a general idea what people have used to search in the past. All research tools rely on historical data. So keep that in mind as you analyze the results of your keyword research. Always take these results with a grain of salt, and use your marketing instincts to judge them.

SBI's Brainstomer

Brainstormer is Site Build It's keyword research tool. Brainstormer is excellent for helping you find these keyphrases that have been used in the past. The number of times the phrase has been used gives you the demand for that keyword. It will also help determine how many competing sites are using that keyword, or the supply.

But Brainstormer has some issues.

The Profitability Value Is Not Helpful

Brainstormer offers a column for Profitability. This number is determined numerically by Demand divided by Supply times 1000. A Profitability number greater than 1000 merely means that there is more searches being done for that keyword than there are sites using that keyphrase. That implies that the keyphrase is winnable. It has nothing to do with profitability (making money). Just because a keyword is winnable does not mean there is any buying intention implied in that keyword.

Think about it...

A phrase like "underwater swimming" has a profitability value of 9664 in Brainstormer (when this was written). With a demand of 2213 it might even get you some traffic. But when you put it into Google you see only one paid ad (AdWords) on the right, and that one is auto generated by Target, so it might not have any real value.

The point is...

Unless you do the rest of the work and analyze whether that keyword actually has buying intention, you could end up wasting 100s of hours on a niche that might never make you money. So you can't go by the Profitability value alone.

So What Do You Do?

I've moved to a Market/Keyword Research Tool called Market Samurai. This tool is far richer than Brainstormer. It's also much easer to use and much more intuitive. Plus it offers great compatibility with WordPress. When you move to WordPress you'll begin to see the power of Market Samurai.

it also does a better job at helping you find "buying intention."

Market Samurai Video

I've created a video that shows you how Market Samurai works. Go to this page to view it.

FREE Trial of Market Samurai

If you'd like to test out Market Samurai yourself go to this page. I promise you will be very excited about what you see. And you'll have 12 days to see if it's right for you.

Try Market Samurai now for free!

Getting On The First Page

Another critical factor is determining whether you can get on the first page of Google...or NOT. To know that you must analyze your competition and determine whether you can beat them at Search Engine Optimization. If you can't, you may be climbing a 20,000 foot mountain when you thought you were climbing a 1,000 foot one.

Note: If all the sites on Page 1 have been around for years and have thousands of backlinks and have all the "on-page" SEO factors right, then you will have a very tough time beating them and getting onto Page 1.

And if you can't get to Page 1 you will have no traffic. That's the only page that counts. Fewer than 10% of searchers on a keyword ever make it to Page 2.

In fact, according to some studies, the #1 organic position on Page 1 only gets 42% of the clicks on that page. By the time you get to Position 5 you're down to less than 5% of the clicks. And, as you can imagine, nothing happens on Page 2.

So getting the highest position you can achieve on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) is critical for getting traffic.

The Market Research Process - Finding Buying Intention

OK how do we go about going beyond just keyword research?

Start by doing a Google search on some of your suspected keywords for your niche. Look for keywords with plenty of Google Ads on the Results page (at least 10). That means someone is actually making money otherwise they wouldn't be buying the keyword.

Next, use the Google Keyword Tool to see how much that keyword is selling for. If they are selling for $10 or more, then you've probably found a very competitive keyword that the experts are already fighting for (or they have high margins to work with). This may be a good thing if you can find good monetization partners, and it may mean Adsense has a good payout. But it could also be a sign that you are entering a very competitive market and you better know what you are getting in to.

If the keyphrase is selling for less than $2 it may still have good value and is worth continuing your research. Just be sure to check out the monetization partners closely.

While you're on Google check to see how many other sites already are using that keyword. Type in the phrase you are researching in quotes ("keyword phrase"). That will bring back "phrase matched" sites that are using the exact phrase on their pages. If there are less that 100,000 sites you may still be in the ball game. But you'll have to look a little deeper and actually look at the site in more detail.

Researching The Competition

If everything is looking good so far, next you'll need to research the top 10 sites in the organic listings for that keyword. This is where the hard work begins, but it's worth it because it could save you hundreds of hours in the long run.

Here's what you want to know...

If all 10 sites on the first page of Google are strong in these categories you have a very tall mountain to climb. It could take years (or never) to get on the first page. If you're looking for "low hanging fruit" then you did not find it.

If on the other hand, if you feel you can beat at least 5 of the sites, you may have found a good niche keyphrase that could get you on Page 1. Congratulations!

Market Research Is Hard Work... Unless

As a beginner using Site Build It, solid Market Research is not something you are probably equipped to do. Unless you already have good marketing instincts, understanding how to judge an online market will be a learning process. It will probably take years, and maybe some failures, before you will have the skills required to adequately judge a market.

But don't dispair, no one starts out as an online marketing expert. It's a skill that's learned the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. But the sooner you learn these skills, the sooner you will succeed online.

Or more importantly...

Good Market Research will h elp you avoid going into markets where success is unlikely. This can save you hundreds of hours and much stress in the long run... not to mention money.

And this market research process is still critical for success.

And yes it does take skills that not many people have...

As you can see, doing Market Research takes skills. It also takes time.

But the time it takes is nothing compared to the hundreds of hours you'll spend building out your site and promoting your site. Once you decide your market is a go, the real work begins. You certainly want to feel your boat is pointed in the right direction at least.

And there certainly are no guarantees for success. Even some of the best market researchers sometimes guess wrong.

And yes it is a guess. There is no tool or process that always succeeds no matter what people tell you.

But at least if you do your due diligence and do complete Market Research before you go "all in," you are increasing the odds of success. And It sure helps to feel there's a pot of gold at the top of that mountain when you are done.

If for no other reason, than to keep you motivated along the way.

Want To Learn About Other Market Research Tools?

Now I think Brainstormer is fine, but there's other research tools out there. My favorite is Market Samurai. Check out their free trial here.

Try Market Samurai now for free!

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