People often talk about how the riches are in the niches. In this article, I’m going to be giving you a deep dive in terms of how I would approach a potential niche that I might create a website around to see whether or not it’s worth it or too competitive.
Hopefully you’ll have a framework that you can use for yourself as well in the case where you are doing some of this research.
First thing you need to take a look
The first thing you need to do before we start jumping into SEMRush is we have to have some sort of idea of a niche that we are interested in. For the sake of today’s example, let’s say that we want to create a soccer blog, and we’re not really sure exactly whether or not soccer is going to be a good sort of area to create a site around.
Well, the first thing we need to do then is we need to take a look at some of the search intent behind soccer. So in the case where I am thinking about creating a soccer website, the first thing I want to look at is what are some of the informational phrases in this particular niche?
In this particular example, a common question that people ask is what is a soccer midfielder. So in this particular example, I can go ahead and open up a few of these websites that come up based off of this search result. And these are going to be some of the websites that are potentially competitors of mine if I were to explore the soccer niche.
Digging into some of the competitors’ website
So let’s go ahead and take a look at Your Soccer Home. This is a niche website, and the way you can tell is that they used that standard template that all of the income school students use. And so you can tell right off the bat that this is a website that is likely covering a lot of informational content.
You can see how it’s talking about the 11 essential roles of a midfielder. Similarly, on the next page, you can see that Stadium Reviews is very similar in format as well, where they’re talking about this particular keyword phrase, and they’re also covering some of the common attributes of a midfielder.
So the first thing I like to look for when I’m exploring a particular niche, is whether or not there are a ton of smaller affiliate websites or informational websites that are ranking in the top five spots for informational phrases.
The reason why is simple.
If these questions are getting top placements with some smaller sites, then it means that this particular niche may not be over-saturated. And that you too could create a website that is just as meaningful as these other competitors.
If I were to have typed in that phrase, what is a midfielder in soccer and I came up with a soccer.com or some big soccer website’s results and I wasn’t able to find a website quite like the two or three that I found just now, then that would write out the bat tell me that it’s potentially too competitive for me to truly stand a chance at making it in this particular niche.
So the first thing you want to check for is look for informational intent phrases, some sort of key questions or people also ask phrases and look at the top five results or so, and see whether or not some informational websites or some other niche websites are coming up. In the case where they are, then that means that you can continue onwards into doing a deeper dive into these respective domains.
Finding out how big the space is in a particular niche
Once we’ve gone ahead and identified that these are some niche websites that are ranking pretty well for some soccer keywords, what we can do is we can start to see how big is the actual space in soccer. The way you can do that is you can go into the Keyword Magic Tool of SEMRush and then you can start to look for the highest level phrase like soccer. And from here, what you can see is you can start to see all the different keywords as well as the volume that might be associated with this particular niche that you’re considering exploring.
What I like to do is I like to, again, filter down based off the question section and what that’s going to tell me is it’s going to tell me that there’s over 98,000 potential keyword phrases that are just existing in SEMRUsh’s database. This tells me there’s potentially a lot of opportunity here. But if I were to continue to deep dig deeper, what I can see is that if I were to actually filter down by 40 or less in keyword difficulty, in other words, some easier to rank keywords, you can see how there’s still only around 2000 keywords that might fall into that range.
That being said, though, the total volume of these keywords is pretty sizeable. And so what I like to look for at this particular stage is there’s still potentially tens of thousands of volume or a hundred thousands of volume in terms of potential traffic overall. The reason why is because you shouldn’t expect that your website is going to capture this entire pool of potential traffic, but if you can just kind of work backwards on some assumptions, like if we were to just capture 10% of this potential traffic, that would be a website that is getting potentially around 20K volume in potential monthly searches.
So this is telling me right off the bat, this is potentially interesting to me. You can see how there are long tail phrases, like how to kick a soccer ball, what is a soccer hat trick, what is a hat trick in soccer, what are fullbacks in soccer. And what’s nice about this is that all these phrases are coming in at under 40 and keyword difficulty and their volume is in the thousands. That means that even if we were to just rank in the top three spots or so for these particular phrases, we could get some meaningful traffic to a website.
So just to make sure you’re tracking with me, the first thing we did was we took a look at people also asked questions for informational intent and saw whether or not some smaller websites for ranking in those top spots. The second thing we did was we dug into the Keyword Magic Tool to take a look at some of the questions-based intent, as well as overall intent in the space to see whether or not the space was large enough for us to think it was interesting to us.
Wherever you are in your respective niche site journey, you should ask yourself these same sorts of questions. Maybe you’re still building your very first website. So in that particular example, you might have wanted to look for an even smaller niche just to really prove out some different concepts and see whether or not you can build a successful site, but in the case where you have previously built a successful site, while then you might be scaling up in which you’re looking for the hundreds of thousands of potential volume in the particular niche that you’re looking at.
Finding out how these domains rank on SEMRush
The third thing we’re going to do today is we’re going to take a look at a few of those domains that we just looked at and see whether or not they have a meaningful traffic footprint in SEMRush’s domain research tab.
All right. So at this point, what we’re going to do is we’re gonna take a look at whether or not some of these domains have meaningful traffic or rankings as they exist right now. So the first thing is yoursoccerhome.com. I’m going to go ahead and look for this and what you can see is that this website is impressive. There is an authority score of 49. The organic search traffic is over a hundred thousand and you can see how over time this site largely was built in the span of 2020. And now in 2022, it is doing really, really well.
In fact, it has seen a little bit of a downturn in recent months, but it’s still getting tons of traffic every single month. So right off the bat, this is a good sign for me. The other thing I can see is that they’ve gotten around two and a half K referring domains linking back to this site. So as I go into the organic keyword research section, what I’m looking for is I’m looking to see potentially how long it took for this site to really start getting meaningful traffic.
In this particular example, you can see how it took about a year from the point in which they started this content spree in 2020 to really start getting meaningful. But what you can also see is that they targeted some phrases that get a ton of monthly volume. In this particular example, you can see that soccer positions has searched almost 50,000 times a month, and you can see that they are getting the third position in this particular situation.
And so this is telling me that this is potentially a really great area to look into because there is just this one site that is already getting so much traffic here. But what I need to do is I need to compare this to a few of the other sites that we’re ranking for that midfielder phrase to see whether or not their traffic patterns are very similar.
So to do that, what we need to do is we need to run the other domains through SEMRush as well. So let’s go ahead and take a look. The next one was stadiumreviews.com. So I’m going to go ahead and type that in and you can see here this particular site is ranking for 75,000 keywords, 300,000 monthly traffic. What you can see is that they cover a lot of other things aside from soccer.
So what I can do is to just simply isolate for soccer keywords is just search soccer and you can still see that after I filter for soccer, that they are still getting a ton of traffic. 2.1K keywords and 37.6K in traffic. So, what this is starting to tell me is that this is potentially an interesting niche. There are enough websites here that are ranking across the board for all these different information intent phrases, as well as just broader keywords, that this is a big enough space for more than one person to potentially win.
To really prove this point though, I’ve gone ahead and plugged in the third website, which was rookieroad.com. In this case, you can see how they are still ranking for 7.2K keywords and 37,000 in monthly traffic or so. And so what this is telling me is that it’s confirming what I’ve already kind of gathered, which is that this is an interesting niche to me.
Now what I need to do is dig deeper into each of these respective domains and see how defensible their respective modes are. One of the best ways you can do that at a really quick level is just go back into the overview section of the domain. And then you can look at how many potential sites are linking to these other websites. In this case, 10,000 for rookie road, authority score of 57. In this particular case for the stadium reviews, authority score is 51, 4.2K domains.
So, what does the numbers tell me about this particular niche?
What this tells me based off of the three sites I’ve looked at here is it’s telling me that if I really want to win in this space, I’m likely going to have to have a domain authority of over 50, and I’m also going to have to have a meaningful backlinking strategy. So what, this is starting to tell me right off the bat, is that in almost every single case of these websites, they were built in the last two years, give or take, and it took them some time to get some traction.
So what that tells me is that if I were to explore the soccer niche myself, I should not expect meaningful results for some time, just based off of the organic traffic charts of the other sites that we are researching. I encourage you to do similar research, just like we did today to get a general sense of whether or not the niche you are interested in pursuing is actually worth your time.
In this particular example, I would probably have to invest a decent amount of money into getting to a comparable place to some of these competitors. So I would probably pass on this opportunity, even though it has a ton of search traffic there, it would likely take me at least a year to at two years or more in order to start actively competing with some of these respective websites.
So in that particular case, it’s a little bit too large of a project for me to personally take on, but maybe it’s something interesting to you and something that you would want to pursue. These are the sorts of questions that you want to ask yourself is how big is the overall search opportunity as well as how big are our competitors and how defensible are their moats.
In the case where it had come back to me, and it had shown me that there was only a couple hundred referring domains or so I probably would’ve thrown my hat into the ring and start creating a soccer website. But by taking an overall look at the authority score of these respective competing domains, as well as the referring domains and the overall timelines that it took for them to get to their traction point, this is a pass for me and not something that I would be interested in pursuing.
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