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SEO Keyword Research

Long-Tail Keyword Research to Define Your Market

This is one of the most crucial steps in your business, so take care that you do it properly. Knowing that you will be coaching others in your industry is a big jumpstart, but you can’t stop there. You need to get more detailed.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Take a few minutes to brainstorm. Make a list of every aspect of your business operations. Think about daily, weekly and special tasks. Don’t worry about if you are an “expert” at any of these things or if you even consider them important. Right now you just need to write everything down; you may surprise yourself with everything there is.

• Put stars next to all of the items you excel at or that work really well in your business.

• Highlight each item that you can apply the following questions to and answer “yes.” Is this an important problem or goal? Do you see people currently going to great effort and/or paying large amounts of money to deal with this problem or attain this goal?

• When you have identified your starred, highlighted item(s) you are on the right track. These are the primary options you should consider focusing on for your specialty.

• Next start thinking about the type of people that would be paying for the services for each topic. Who would you rather work with? Who would be more likely to be willing to learn via an online mentoring program? Who would be more willing to pay to have their problem solved or goal achieved?

These final questions should help you further narrow the list until you are relatively certain what niche you are interested in serving and how, but before you consider your work finished, check to see if you can whittle it down even more.

WARNING: Due to market saturation, what once may have been considered a specialty may no longer qualify.

It’s common knowledge that specialists earn more. A pediatrician earns more than a general practitioner; a birth injuries attorney specialist will probably earn more than the run-of-the mill lawyer. We could go on all day.

It’s no secret that individuals that get focused can accomplish great feats, and we are willing to pay for the better results that come with the service that expert knowledge can deliver. In fact it is generally assumed that a person who tries to do everything is significantly less likely to be excellent at anything. Award-winning motivational speaker Nido Qubein said it well, “Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.” So how does this all apply to your professional coaching company? You can select a niche that will instantly give you a higher perceived value.

Here are a few ways to narrow down your niche/specialty and find the best long-tail keywords:

• Narrow down the group whom you work with

o Ex: X professionals with 3-10 years experience

• Realtors with 4-6 years experience

• Attorneys with 7-9 years experience

• Florists with 3+ years experience

• Editors in their first year

• Limit the business activities you participate in.

o Ex: X professionals who specialize in or want to specialize in “insert industry or business activity”

• Coaching Realtors with 4-6 years experience, who want to specialize in short sales.

• Coaching Attorneys with 7-9 years experience, who want to specialize in divorce.

• Coaching Florists with 3+ years experience, that want to specialize in weddings.

• Coaching Editors in their first year, who want to specialize in dissertations.

• How you do it

o Ex: X professionals who market with “insert marketing”

• You will coach attorneys with 7-9 years experience, who want to specialize in divorce and are interested in utilizing seminar marketing.

• You will coach Realtors with 4-6 years of experience who specialize in short sales and are open to attracting clients through public speaking events.

• You will coach florists with 3+ years experience how to specialize in weddings and attract clients by publishing informative articles.

• You will coach editors how to get started by specializing in dissertations and growing their business through referrals.

The examples above are not recommendations of particularly worthwhile niches, they are only meant to show you different ways that you can easily define the market that you work with and therefore differentiate yourself from the masses and give you the focus you need to be able to excel within your niche. I’m sure once you start thinking about it you will see there are lots of other ways to narrow down your niche as well.

Here is a sample description of the clients I have worked with in the past:

Independent financial advisors earning between $150-$300k in commissions that currently utilize seminar marketing and want to specialize in reducing taxes on IRA distributions for retirees.

That’s it, those are the only people we marketed to, and there were still enough to generate more than $50k in revenues every month. If you excel in an area, it could be a particular kind of sale, or a specific part of the business process. Commit thoroughly to being excellent. You will be rewarded with the opportunity to own that market.

Is there enough interest in your potential niche?

You have a niche in mind, but is it big enough? The primary fear with niche businesses is that you will cut out too much of the market and not leave enough to survive. Here are a few ways to figure out if people are looking for the information and services you are providing. If so, how many people are looking, and who else is trying to make money in this market as well?

1. First Google your topic with quotation marks around it so you get more accurate results.

For example, “long-haired Australian shepherd training” has no matching results, but “train Australian shepherd” has about 50,700 competitors at the time this article was written. That may be a good place to start.

2. Secondly, take a look at the Google key word tool to see if you can gain some insight as to how many people are looking for this information and other closely related topics. To find the keyword tool go to Google and enter “Google keyword tool”.

Now for our example you would enter: train Australian shepherd

You will see that the results are “not enough data.” That does not necessarily mean that no one is searching this key phrase, but the numbers are probably relatively small.

The Google keyword tool also will give you other related or similar words and phrases and their results. Looking over this information and then selecting related keyword and entering those in the Google keyword tool to see if you can find other connected phrases will begin to give you an idea of how large the market is. As you begin to gather the popular phrases you can return to Google and enter the words and long-tail phrases in the search engine surrounded by “parentheses” to see what the competition looks like for each.

In our example, the next step is to look at related topics. For example “Australian shepherd dogs” has 27,100 searches, “Australian shepherd dog breeder” has 390 searches per month and “Australian shepherd dog breeders” has 720. Now you can go to Google and see what kind of competition is out there for those categories. You may find other people trying to do the same thing that you are and often that’s a good sign. If you are not finding much interest in your topics, this is a great time to tweak your topic and test out other niches.

Keep in mind that the competitor number may look large at first but don’t be easily intimidated. For example, 5,000 competitors for a key phrase is not large when you consider that some of the most popularly searched words on the Internet, like “money”, currently have about 993,000,000 competing Websites. Stick with smaller markets that are showing some life. A little competition is good for business.

Also, it is likely that if your topic is relating to improving a career or profession it will be far more popular than the Australian Shepherd dog training.