If you want to learn how niche and longtail keyword research can help your marketing campaigns perform better, this guide is for you. (Pay attention to step #2. It can do wonders for your campaign.)

Niche keywords are more profitable and easier to target, especially for smaller brands without an infinite marketing or advertising budget. And as long as you have the right tools and strategies, they’re also quite easy to find.

This guide will show you the steps, tools, and tips on effectively conducting niche keyword research.

What is niche keyword research?

Niche keyword research involves discovering and building a list of profitable long-tail brand keywords.

As the name implies, niche keywords are highly specific keywords that focus on a narrow industry vertical. They typically contain three or more terms.

Niche keywords are used in SEO and PPC advertising campaigns. While they don’t usually have the highest search volume, they’re useful in targeting high-quality traffic with strategic search intent. The searchers are often at the bottom of the funnel and ready to convert.

Why is keyword research important?

Keyword research ensures your content marketing, advertising, and social media campaigns reach the right audience.

Remember, keywords are often utilised at the beginning of the online experience.

According to statistics, 68 percent of all trackable online traffic originates from organic and paid search results. This pertains to users firing up their favourite search engines, entering keywords, and clicking organic or paid results.

To appear in those results, you need to target the keywords your target audience uses.

You also need to analyse a handful of keyword research factors, namely:

  • Average search volume
  • Keyword search intent
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Average Cost Per Click (CPC)

What is average monthly search volume?

Average monthly search volume is the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase was searched for in the past 12 months divided by 12. Ranking for search terms with high search volume often results in more organic traffic.

What is search intent?

Search intent refers to the user’s motivation behind their online query. Some use keywords strictly for research purposes, while others use keywords when they’re ready to purchase a product.

What is keyword difficulty?

Keyword difficulty gives you an idea of how easy (or difficult) it is to rank for certain keywords. Several factors impact a search term’s keyword difficulty level, such as the backlink profile of the pages ranking in the top 10 of the search results, their authority, etc.

What is average CPC?

Average CPC reflects the price range businesses are willing to spend (per click) when targeting a keyword in advertising campaigns. This value is often indicative of the keyword’s profitability.

Where do niche keywords fall into all of this?

Niche keyword research helps you find keywords that:

  • Target users with purchase intent
  • Have low-medium difficulty
  • Perform well in advertising campaigns

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Examples of niche keywords for search engine optimisation

Let’s say you’re conducting keyword research in the weight loss industry.

“Weight loss” and “fitness” are broad keywords virtually unreachable to small businesses. However, they can be used as seed keywords to initiate keyword research.

Image Source: Google.com

Niche keywords are longer and more specific versions of these seed keywords.

Some examples of longer keyword phrases derived from the seed keyword “weight loss” are:

  • “Free weight loss programs for seniors over 70”
  • “Belly fat burning exercises at home for males”
  • “Student weight loss meal plan”

Rather than targeting the weight loss industry as a whole, the keywords above target a more specific submarket.

They may only attract just a fraction of the search volume of broad keywords. But they’re less competitive and more effective in generating targeted traffic.

Important: Keyword research is also an integral component of content research. By discovering profitable niche keywords, you’ll identify relevant and unique content ideas that your target audience is looking for.

How to find niche keywords for search engines

Here are the steps on how to find niche keywords for your brand:

Step 1: Identify your niche seed keywords

Start by looking for seed keywords relevant to your niche.

Broad keywords that describe your entire industry, such as “health,” “wealth,” and “relationships,” won’t do. If you use them as seed keywords, you could end up with keyword suggestions that are still too competitive or vague for your niche.

Remember that a niche is a small, well-defined section of a submarket that is relevant or closely related to your product.

For example, if you’re selling a social media scheduling tool, don’t start with broad seed keywords like “social media” or “marketing.”

Instead, use more specific terms like “social media scheduling” or “social media management.” Better yet, try using “social media scheduling tool” as your seed keyword.

Once you have a seed keyword, the next step is to look for keyword research tools that can expand it into long-tail keyword variations.

Step 2: Expand your seed keyword into long-tail keyword ideas

Take your seed keyword to your go-to keyword research tool and turn it into a list of long-tail keywords.

For example, the Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush refines your seed keyword into hundreds of profitable niche keywords.

From the Semrush dashboard, go to ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ under “Keyword Research” and enter your seed keyword in the search bar. Select your target region in the drop-down menu before clicking ‘Search.’

Image Source: Semrush.com

Within seconds, Semrush generates a long list of long-tail keyword variations.

Image Source: Semrush.com

In some niches, you need to look for keywords that include your target audience—or any term relevant to them.

For example, if your product is a skin collagen supplement, start with a seed keyword like “collagen supplement for skin.”

Semrush will provide you with longer, more specific niche keyword ideas that can be used immediately.

Image Source: Semrush.com

Semrush also reports important metrics, including keyword intent, average search volume, and keyword difficulty.

This brings us to the next step.

Step 3: Check the keyword difficulty

Before adding a niche keyword to your list, pay attention to its keyword difficulty rating.

Keyword tools use slightly different algorithms in determining a keyword’s difficulty score.

Semrush, for instance, uses a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the “most difficult.”

Image Source: Semrush.com

For small brands, keywords with a difficulty rating of up to 49 should be ideal. Those with a difficulty rating of 50+ likely require link-building efforts, which is a bit more challenging.

Tip: Use Semrush to generate a domain analysis report and evaluate the difficulty of keywords you already rank for. This will be your benchmark when picking keywords based on their keyword difficulty rating.

Semrush reveals the keyword difficulty rating of keywords under the “KD%” column.

Image Source: Semrush.com

If you can’t find a keyword with a suitable difficulty range, use Keyword Magic Tool’s keyword difficulty filter. Select the keyword difficulty range you’re comfortable with or enter custom minimum and maximum values.

Image Source: Semrush.com

Within seconds, Semrush reloads the page with keywords that match your filter.

Image Source: Semrush.com

Step 4: Look at the keyword intent

Understand the intent behind each keyword idea so you know how to utilise them effectively.

The SEO community categorises keyword intent into four groups: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.

  • Informational Intent. Informational keywords are used when the user is conducting online research. They’re looking for answers to their questions, not solutions or products to buy.
  • Navigational Intent. Navigational keywords help users find content from a specific website. The user already knows exactly what they’re looking for, which is why navigational keywords already contain or product or brand name.
  • Commercial Intent. Commercial keywords help users inspect brands or compare solutions between providers. These keywords indicate that the user is already considering a purchase.
  • Transactional Intent. Transactional keywords signal that the user is ready to make a purchase. These keywords are useful if your goal is to generate conversions.

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool lets you filter keyword suggestions based on search intent.

Click the “Intent” drop-down menu on the filter toolbar and select your target intent. You can choose more than one before clicking ‘Apply.’

Image Source: Semrush.com

Tip: Don’t ignore keywords that only generate 100 monthly searches or less. Not only are these low-competition keywords easy to target, but you can also target multiple keywords in a single campaign and combine their traffic potential.

In some cases, Keyword Magic Tool will only return a few keyword variations after applying multiple filters. But if the resulting keywords have a reasonable search volume, approachable keyword difficulty rating, and the right intent, you’ve struck gold.

Step 5: Check the keyword’s Cost Per Click (CPC)

If you plan to do paid search campaigns, look at the “CPC” column to gauge the profitability of keyword ideas.

Image Source: Semrush.com

The CPC value is indicative of the keyword’s profitability in paid campaigns. A higher value means that the keyword has a high likelihood of generating conversions, which is why advertisers are willing to pay more for clicks through that keyword.

Apart from the CPC metric, check the average search volume of keywords and the “Competitive Density” column to determine their profitability.

The competitive density metric measures the level of competition in Google Ads campaigns on a scale of 0-1.

If the keyword has a competitive density of over 0.8, they’re often used by people who intend to make a purchase. On the flip side, you’ll have to pay more to get your ads seen.

However, keywords with a competitive density of 0.6 or below are easier to target in campaigns. This makes them useful if your goal is to get some eyeballs on your website and raise brand awareness.

The downside is that advertisers avoid low-competition keywords because they may not effectively draw users who are likely to convert.

Broaden your target keyword pool by checking for phrase matches and related niche keywords.

In Keyword Magic Tool, switch to the “Phrase Match” and “Related” tabs.

Phrase match keywords include terms or phrases with the same meaning as your seed keyword. Optimising for these keywords will help services like Google Search understand what your content is about.

Phrase-match keywords will also help you find low-competition keywords for your marketing and advertising campaigns.

Image Source: Semrush.com

Related keywords, on the other hand, are semantically related to your seed keyword. These closely-related keywords also help search engines understand the context of your content.

Click on the “Related” tab to quickly view related niche keywords. When selecting your target keywords, don’t forget to analyse the important keyword metrics (search volume, keyword difficulty, intent, and CPC).

Image Source: Semrush.com

Step 7: Check for question-based keywords

Look for question-based keywords to find even more niche keyword ideas for your campaign.

Targeting question-based keywords is perfect for content development since they tell you exactly what users are searching for. They also help you rank for voice searches, which is an emerging trend worldwide.

Data from Google reveals that 20% of all searches through the Google app are voice searches.

That’s far from the majority. But since billions of searches are done daily, optimising for voice search is a lucrative keyword strategy.

The Keyword Magic Tool has a built-in “Questions” tab that instantly reveals question-based keywords.

Image Source: Semrush.com

Other tools you can use for niche keyword research

Other than Semrush, here are additional keyword tools you can use for niche keyword research:

  1. Google Keyword Planner. The Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool specifically designed for PPC campaigns. It’s integrated into the Google Ads platform, streamlining the keyword research and ad campaign planning processes.
  2. Surfer. Surfer is a handy and affordable on-page optimisation tool that provides useful niche keyword suggestions as you write your content. It also helps you plan your SEO strategy with the SERP Analyzer, Content Planner, and Site Audit features.
  3. Supermetrics. Supermetrics is a data management tool that can consolidate marketing data from all your platforms into one dashboard. Data streams can be sent to destinations like Google Sheets, Data Studio, or Amazon S3.

Build your niche keyword strategy today

With niche keywords at your disposal, it’s only a matter of time before you see sustainable results from your advertising and marketing campaigns.

All you need now is the proper execution.

Click here to book a free consultation and let our team help you plan your niche keyword strategy.