As I’m waiting for my keyword golden ratio niche website to start ranking in the SERPs I’ve been reading about expired domains. The question in my mind is, should you buy expired domain for traffic advantage? Let’s find out.
One of the oldest tricks in the book in online marketing has been acquiring expired domains with powerful backlink profiles. The idea is to leverage the “link juice” and domain authority for building a new money site or acquiring several of such domains to build a private blog network (PBN for short).
The idea behind a PBN is to point powerful backlinks to your existing money site with complete control over things like anchor text. This is considered a gray hat/black hat technique by Google and will certainly lead in severe penalty or complete sandbox and deindexing if you get caught. And this can include every domain in the network.
That’s why I have no interest in using expired domains for building a PBN and I can’t encourage anyone else to do it either. I just wanted you to know this is one of the most common ways to use expired domains and you are bound to bump into information and marketing about PBNs if you look more into expired domains.
So once more, just so we’re clear: Private blog networks are highly frowned upon by Google and you should not risk using them. Still, many experienced marketers swear they are the way to go if you want to dominate the first page rankings. But if you hear about PBNs for the first time right now, you are definitely in the position to leverage them safely.
I’m still at the beginning of my online marketing journey and someone with more experience might be face palming hardly right now for me even thinking about using expired domains for SEO and traffic advantage in 2018. My research shows the topic is highly controversial even between very experienced marketers these days.
Some say that a deleted domain loses all its link juice as Google disavows any incoming link once the domain expires. Some say this is simply not true and that expired or dropped domains work just as well as before and give you an enormous advantage in building a new site versus on a fresh domain. Especially now as the time it takes for new sites to acquire trust and start ranking in Google seems to be getting longer and longer.
I like to do my research, but when my research is inconclusive I like to take things to my own hands, do some research and testing of my own to find out how things work. That’s what I intend to do with expired domains and I promise to share my results with you!
Let’s start by looking at what expired domains actually are.
Just like the name suggests, expired domains are domains that have been expired. Meaning that they had been registered before but the owner decided to let the domain expire and did not renew the registration.
The reasons for this are many. Maybe a company that owned the domain went bankrupt, maybe someone got tired with blogging or simply didn’t have time and decided to let it go.
Some times a domain can get expired simply because the owner forgot to renew it. Even though that’s unlikely since the owner will receive several notifications and most registrars will keep the domain in backorder for a month or two to give the original owner a chance to redeem his/hers property.
This still happens when people and companies have so much online property and limited time to process all the daily information they receive from those properties. Make sure that you are not one of these people and always keep your domain registrar contact information updated.
TIP: It’s generally a good idea to use your best personal email to receive domain expiration notifications straight to your smart phone.
There are some more worrisome reasons that someone looking to acquire an expired domain should know. The domain might be a part of a previous shady activity and it might already be deindexed. The owner simply let it go because it has lost it’s monetary and SEO value.
This is why it’s extremely important to check the history of a domain even if you are not especially looking for an expired domain. If you just come up with a good domain name and it happens to be free, the chances are high that it was registered at some point.
There are tools like Wayback Machine that have snap shots of the domain dating all the way back to the 90s. You can usually spot a spammy site easily.
The other thing you should check is the backlinks of the domain. If there are thousands on a free expired domain, I would steer clear. It’s a clear signal that the domain was subject of artificial link building that can lead to penalty.
If an old domain has several thousand high quality, natural backlinks it’s probably too valuable for anyone to let it just expire for free.
Just the fact that the domain was used before doesn’t make it worthless (or worthy) it depends on what it was used for. So don’t panic if you find your domain was used 10 or 15 years ago.
The idea in using expired domains is that they can have significant domain authority and good backlink profiles. Some old domains can have some very high authority backlinks from large companies, archives or news sites. In case you didn’t know backlinks are links pointing to your domain.
It’s not clear how much Google and other search engines value backlinks these days. Some say recent algorithm changes have dropped the value of backlinks close to zero and it’s the on-page SEO, quality of content, social signals etc. that matter the most.
Yet there are some very experienced and successful SEOs and marketers that swear backlinks still matter the most. They have some pretty damn convincing data to back that claim too.
One thing that is sure is that it’s the quality of the backlinks that matter. Wrong kinds of backlinks will hurt your rankings and the right kinds can pull a page from the bottom of the top 100 search results to the first page.
This becomes obvious if you do some research on backlink profiles of first page search results in competitive keywords.
Previously all backlinks provided “link juice” to your domain/site but since it was extremely easy to manipulate this with artificial backlinks they changed it so that only more authoritative domains related to your niche will give your rank a boost. The anchor texts of the links also have to be natural and not keyword stuffed.
This is why PBNs can be so powerful but since the whole point of devaluing unrelated backlinks was to stop artificial manipulation, Google doesn’t like any kind of artificial link building.
So ideally the backlinks should be naturally received from more authoritative domains related to your niche. The problem is this never happens naturally. Especially on a young site, unless the content as absolutely phenomenal. That’s why gaining backlinks always involves some effort, time and sometimes money.
Domain age affects how much trust search engines give trust to the website. A domain that has been registered and had a website hosted on it for ten years will obviously be trusted a lot more then three months old website.
The problem here is that the domain age apparently resets to zero when a website gets deleted or the domain expires. That’s at least the official story but I have read some experiences that suggest otherwise. Some people seem to have had considerable ranking advantage on a recently expired domain that had a website for several years before. This might be due to backlinks and returning visitors but it still makes you wonder.
You can find great brandable domains and niche ideas
One reason I love to go through expired domains is that you can find some great brandable domains you wouldn’t come up with yourself. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of domains to choose from means you won’t run out of ideas very soon.
Talking about ideas, expired domains are also great from niche ideas and research. I’ve come up with some pretty interesting niches that I would have not come up on my own in a million years.
There essentially three ways to acquire an expired domain. You can buy one directly or from an auction before expiration, you can backorder one or you can simply buy one for the normal registration fee if it’s completely expired.
The ones in direct sale or auction are not really expired since they many times have a website on them but sometimes it’s just the domain. Either way it’s still owned by someone and not really expired. These can be very valuable and I thought I should mention them. They are not what I’m after right now.
The ones that are in backorder are expired domains that the original owner has a change to redeem. If they decide not to get it back the fastest buyer can grap the domain.
The thing about backorders is that it can be pretty hit or miss. You can’t know when the domain will free up for registration and the fastest will grap it. That’s why there are services that are specialized in this. They have automated software on fast servers that keep at it at the time of expiration. You can’t really compete with them manually apparently so it’s wise to use them if you really want a domain in backorder.
So where to look for expired domains?
The best free resource is Expired Domains.net. They gather and publish all the information you need for finding good expired domains. They list expired, pending delete and backorder domains.
Their membership is completely free so I suggest you register right away because you will get access to a lot more comprehensive listing with more metrics for analyzing the results.
There are other services like DomCop and Freshdrop. For free services Expired Domains.net is by far the most comprehensive. You get so much information that you have to start by learning what everything in the result table means. Sure there are short explanations on every metric but if you are a new to this stuff, expect to do some Googling.
I plan to write a post soon on the most important metrics as there really is too much stuff to discuss for this one post.
So do they really work? When in doubt, the best way is to try it yourself and learn from the process! That’s why I decided to get an expired domain with a decent link profile and build a WordPress site on it.
I’ll be documenting my results here and I will share them with you later on so make sure to check on me from time to time!
Like stated before, I’m not interested in PBNs for the quite obvious risks and possible future penalties, so my aim is to just build a pretty basic niche website and see if the history of the site has effect on the ranking speed and position.
I will be aiming for low competition and KGR keywords and it will be interesting to see if this site gains traffic faster then my other niche website I’m using to test the KGR terms.
The domain is actually in my professional niche of environmental sciences, so I have some pretty good ideas for content and I’m fairly confident I can bang out a dozen medium length, high quality posts fairly quickly.
My plan is to publish the content in the coming weeks and then I’ll just let the website sit for a while and hopefully start to pick up some organic traffic. At that point I might outsource some of the content creation efforts since I feel I’m spreading my resources too thin with three websites at the moment.
I can’t justify paying for content creation just yet since my online business is not bringing in enough money to have me convinced it’s going to work on the long run. It’s something I’ll definitely look into once I have a steady online income.
I plan to reinvest every dime I make online for the foreseeable future. Either in content, education or software and marketing. I figure this will grow my business at a much faster rate then doing everything manually. But I have to know I can do it on my own first!
That’s what I aim to find out. I will update this part once I have some data on the results. For now, I will show how I found a domain for my first test site.
I began by just scrolling the domains list until something sparked my interest. I stumbled upon something to do with the environment or maybe renewable energy, can’t really remember exactly. As I mentioned I’m an environmental engineer by profession so this got my interest.
I decided to do a search on the term environment.
I then sorted the results by the ABY metric, which is the oldest date in archive.org and exported the domain listing 25 results at a time through the import function. I wish there was a function to import the whole table or at least a few hundred ones but I didn’t fin one?
I then pasted the results to DomCops Open PageRank tool. Google gave up the PageRank data in 2016 and since then it’s been hard for webmasters and SEOs to compare domains efficiently for free. They have had to use paid services like Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic.
Open PageRank is free and can give a quick gauge on the potential of a domain. It’s a great tool for comparing large volumes of domains like we have here to find the most potential ones. You still need to do some more work but this helps to narrow it down. Or that is my logic at least, can’t really vouch for this just yet but feel free to try it yourself.
You can just copy paste the exported data from Expired Domains.net to Open PageRank.
I then list the results by PageRank and pick the ones that have PR of 3 or more. After going through hundred or thousands of domains I noticed that finding dropped domains with PR over 3 was rare and finding ones with PR over 4 and a healthy backlink profile and history was exceedingly rare. The ones with higher PR are probably too valuable for anyone to let them expire.
Once I had a bunch of “high” PR domains I looked at the amount of backlinks they had. ExpiredDomains.net shows this info as well. If the domain had several thousand backlinks I ditched it. It’s highly unlikely the link profile would be natural and there’s no way of easily checking all the links for free. Several hundred backlinks was a no no as well, especially on younger domains.
I found a good domain name that was registered around 2000 initially. It had only 16 backlinks and a clean looking history. I made sure of this by checking it with the WaybackMachine. It belonged to a small American environmental consulting company and the site had mainly contact information.
What really struck gold was the backlinks. 3 of the 16 links were from pretty damn authoritative domains with the domain name as anchor text. Two of the high value ones were dofollow links as well. I checked the backlinks manually with Ahrefs free backlink checker.
After thinking about it for a minute I decided to register the domain and install wordpress on it. I’ll start creating content on it as soon as I get this post finished, so I think it’s time to call it a day!
Well that’s it for now about expired domains. I hope to have some interesting info to share with you sometime in the future.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I bet you have a bunch of questions after my ramblings so please don’t hesitate to drop a comment, I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.
I will be updating this post once I have some results or more info to share. Might be three months or might be a week so please bookmark for future reference! I promise to add an email list soon to anyone interested receiving updates.
For now that’s all!
Today I want to share this quick tutorial on how to register your site in Google to anyone new to running a website. I’ve been creating a niche website that‘ve been documenting here on IHateWorking.net.
I made an amateur mistake in not registering my site with Google search console, I simply forgot. That resulted in most of my content not being indexed and ranked after several months.
After registering my site with Google and submitting my sitemap everything clicked on to place and my content started ranking in Google.
The thing is I already knew how important it is to add your website or property to search console because I have couple other sites (like this one). There are just so many small things involved in starting a new website it’s pretty easy to miss a step if you don’t use some sort of check list.
This mistake happened to be a big one. Fortunately the site is still very incomplete, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
There are almost 400 pages created on the internet every minute. That’s why it’s impossible for Google and other search engines to keep track and index all those sites instantly. So it’s up to you, the webmaster, to do your best attract the attention of the search engines.
In short, registering your website with Google by submitting your up-to-date sitemap to Google search console will ensure that Google has all the information it needs to rank your website and pages in their search results.
Let’s start by looking at what Google search console actually is.
What used to be called Google Webmaster tools is now known as the Google search console. The Google search console is a free service provided by Google. It allows you to track and administer your websites Google search result visibility.
Your site will be shown in Google results even if you don’t use search console but it takes a lot longer to get indexed. Especially on young sites.
Other benefits of using search console is that you will know that Google sees your content the way it’s meant to be. So sites that are supposed to be indexed are done so correctly and the sites you don’t want to have indexed aren’t shown in search results.
It also allows you monitor your site health for broken links, other errors and things like mobile functionality of your site. Google doesn’t like errors so anything that shows up should be addressed as it will in all likelihood affect your ranking negatively.
Other important features are related to how Google search sees your site. You can get information on what search queries or keywords are producing traffic to your site, are some keywords producing more traffic than others, backlinks pointing to your website etc. Great stuff for SEO.
As promised, next I’ll show you a quick tutorial on how to set up your website with Google search console.
1. Create a Google account
This is pretty straight forward, I’m sure you already have one. If you already have one associated with your website for example in Google Analytics, use the same. This way you don’t have to verify the property several times and you have everything under the same account.
2. Login to Google search console
This is pretty self explanatory. Login using the Google account created in previous item.
3. Add your website as property
Once you are registered and logged in search console it’s time to add your website or sites as property that you own.
Open the property menu on the left upper hand corner:
Click add property (don’t mind the Finnish in some of the pics)
Add your website URL. It’s important to use the correct extension since http:// and https:// are regarded as different properties. Add all variations of your URL. Http, https, www. etc.
4. Verify your property
Once you have added your site as property it’s time to verify it. There are few ways to do this as explained here.
I like to use the HTML tag. If you are using WordPress, just install All in one SEO plugin and copy the HTML tag generated in Search console to the field found in General Setting tab of All in one SEO.
5. Create an XML sitemap of your website
Now that you have search console set up, it’s time to head over to your websites admin area and create an XML sitemap. If you are using WordPress I recommend using the All in one SEO plugin with the XML sitemap extension.
6. Fetch sitemap on search console
The all on one SEO pack should automatically update your sitemap with search console when everything is in working order. It’s wise to check at this point everything is working by manually fetching the sitemap on search console.
Select your website from the property list and click on the Sitemaps tab. The will be a field where you can enter the URL address of your sitemap. By default, it’s your website URL /sitemap.xml.
7. Check for errors
Once you have your sitemap set up it’s good to wait for couple of days for Google to index your whole site. Once that is complete you should check out the Coverage tab and Mobile Usability tab for any errors.
The coverage tab will show pages marked as ‘noindex’ as errors but you don’t have to worry about them if you have set the to noindex intentionally. If there are any errors you should figure them out.
Any errors on the Mobile Usability tab are also important to correct since Google gives increasingly more importance to mobile device experience. So make sure your website is smart phone friendly!
Congratulations! Your website is now registered with Google and you can check out interesting stuff on how your website is performing on Google search and what parts of your content are being linked to and producing impressions and clicks.
So you have some great content and you want that content to rank on the first page of Google? That’s the whole point of SEO. Besides submitting your sitemap as shown in this post, there are some general guidelines to consider.
These are just quick tips I have shared before. After all this is a topic whole companies are based on and can’t be covered in any real detail in one post.
Write long high quality content.
The bare minimum these days for first page content is around 1500 words. Essentially the longer the content the better. This does not mean you should ramble about random stuff, it has to be related to the topic, valuable, interesting and compelling to the reader.
Easier said than done, believe me, I know.
Find low competition keywords
Especially, if your site is new/young (and I’m sure it is, since you are reading this), it’s important to focus on low competition keywords. You won’t stand a change in competitive keywords with a new site these days. So use your resources wisely.
Writing a high quality 3000 word information post on a low traffic keyword might seem nuts but think of it as an investment. Ranking those low competition keyword will result in traffic and website authority that will make it possible to compete for better keywords later on. It takes time to build a successful internet business.
Learn about SEO. Then learn some more.
Things like keyword density, LSI keywords, backlinks, page titles, meta descriptions etc. all matter when it comes to competing on the first spots of search results. It’s not rocket science, but it’s important to know this stuff if you want to succeed, so educate yourself!
If you do everything “correctly” SEO wise, write some excellent piece of content on a relatively low competition keyword and manage to get few backlinks there’s no reason why shouldn’t be on the first page of Google with your keyword.
Don’t over think the SEO. Write naturally and make sure the critical parts are OK, search engines will take care of the rest.
What ever you do, don’t pay for backlinks or automated SEO software (I don’t mean keyword research tools etc.) These are almost always shady and can potentially get your rankings or even get your site sandboxed.
Things you should include in your content, when possible:
In short Google likes it when you use their services like YouTube and Google+ and likes when content follows their guidelines.
There you have it. A quick tutorial on how to register your website with Google by registering with Search Console and submitting a sitemap.
Hope you liked the tutorial and the quick SEO tips. Please drop a comment if you have any questions. I’ll be posting an update on my niche site journal soon, so please check that out as well if you find my ramblings useful.
More time has passed since the last update than I’d like to admit. I’ve been busy with other commitments and we just got a dog! While exciting, it’s definitely not progressing my internet business.
I’ve actually been trying to publish this update for two weeks already and I keep changing the date constantly as I never seem to have the time and energy to finish what I started.
I haven’t managed to create new content for the niche website, so I’m going to keep this update short. I have not been procrastinating completely though. I overhauled the layout of the site and updated every single post with some SEO stuff I’ll explain shortly. I managed to create some content for this site as well.
I also fixed a big mistake that was detrimental for my content getting ranked. I had forgotten to submit my site to Google Search Console. I wrote a whole post about it, that you should probably read if you’re not familiar with Search Console.
I got the SEO tips and the reminder to submit my sitemap to Search Console from this great training at Wealthy Affiliate. I actually did every single step pointed out in that training to all posts on my niche website. More about that later on.
I think I mentioned before the site was looking very rough with essentially just written content and not much thought put in to the layout. I just focused getting content on the site. Layout is more important to user experience than getting indexed.
That’s why I think it’s important to focus more on the content in the beginning of a new site and focus on the appearance once you start receiving traffic. Search engine spiders don’t care if your site is ugly if everything is working correctly otherwise.
Not that much has changed compared to the previous layout really, but I changed the theme to something even more basic and got rid of the extremely amateur header graphics.
I also got rid of all redundant menus and widgets. The layout is now very simplistic, which I prefer. Simple themes load fast, work well with mobile devices and look modern. I think the whole Internet has shifted towards more content centered layouts. When you browse a site with your smart phone, all out see is the content text after all.
You don’t need fancy backgrounds or animations if your content is interesting. Things like pictures, diagrams and videos are important but they need to be clear cut and sit well with the content.
More and more users are using the Internet on smart phones and usually the mobile layouts won’t even show animations or all menus and widgets. So the less stuff you have on the screen outside of your content the better I think. This makes the desktop and mobile experience similar and you can be sure your mobile visitors won’t miss anything important.
Since Google is giving more importance to mobile device experience these days I think a simple design is the way to go. I personally hate sites with too much distracting information on the screen
So as I told you in the introduction I did some SEO optimization on all my posts. I read about these tips in this training at Wealthy Affiliate. If you are not a Wealthy Affiliate member you can create a trial account without even registering a credit card. I’m not 100% sure if you can access the training with a trial account though.
I definitely recommend you check the free trial and Wealthy Affiliate out anyway. You can read my review of the service here. I would appreciate you drop a comment if you can’t access the training, so I can provide correct information to other readers.
In case you can’t access the training, it’s about ranking your new content as fast as possible. The training is called “21 minute ranking method” as a reference how fast content got ranked in Google after indexing on the example site. The results will vary a lot depending on the age, rank and authority of your site but the principles will be the same.
Here are the main SEO points of the training, that affect the ranking of your post or page in Google after indexing:
Once you have included those everything on the list on your content you should share the content in Google+ using the meta title and description. Google likes it when you use their services.
After that you should resubmit your sitemap in Google Search Console to signal Google you have fresh content that needs to get indexed.
The last tip is to get some interaction on your site in the form of comments. You can accomplish this by leveraging social media or using Wealthy Affiliates comments services if you don’t have a solid reader base already. Google appreciates reader engagement and comments add to the word count of your post/page.
That’s about all the details I can give you. For more details you have to check out the training yourself, it’s definitely worth a watch.
I have also done some keyword research and I have one great keyword lined up for the airsoft niche site. I plan on writing a post on it as soon as I get this update wrapped up.
I’m not sure how long it takes to post another update. 3 weeks is starting to seem like a realistic time window. I hope that some time in the near future I will have some traffic data to share.
Currently many of niche website posts are ranking in Google somewhere around page 5 or so, so it’s going to take some time to get those rankings up. Wish me luck!
As a closing I would like to share this KGR related keyword research video tutorial by Doug Cunnington:
Till the next time!
So having a full time day job, chores, hobbies and other commitments AND trying to write two different blogs and doing research has turned out to be quite a handful. Who would have thought… I can’t even skimp on sleep because I become totally useless when sleep deprived.
I had to deal with reality and accept the fact that I need some downtime as well. I can’t be doing something productive CONSTANTLY. As I just started to finish up this post, I realized two weeks have passed since I last had the time and will to work on it. Oh well, that’s life I guess.
I know there are a lot of people pitching constant productivity as something you should strive for in life. But I say fuck that, you have to live a little every now and then!
The bad thing is that I can’t fully enjoy my down time (watching Netflix, going for a beer with friends etc.) when I know there are things to be done. Fortunately I have made some progress and I apologize for this random rant. Just had to get it off my chest somewhere and this is my site after all, you know? But let’s get to the point!
So it’s taken me a bit more time to get new content on my niche project site than I anticipated. The good news is that I found some good KGR terms! And what’s even better is that most terms are so called “buyers keywords” and I found good products to market. One problem is that everything isn’t from Amazon and at least one of the vendors doesn’t seem to have an affiliate program. Might have to contact them separately and see if there are any options.
Since my last update I’ve manged to release three posts. I was planning to write couple posts, get some comments going and make this update well over two weeks ago, but it seems time is working against me.
In my defense the first post is over 3000 words and the two other around 2000 words and all took quite a bit of research. It really slows the writing process when you have bounce between Wikipedia and Amazon pages and try to come up with your reworded version of the information.
All-in-all I’m at my goal of one post / week. Someone might think this seems low, someone else might think it’s a lot. To me it’s just realism. If I can’t make this whole affiliate marketing thing work at this rate, It might not be the thing for me. I plan on keeping a steady pace however, as I figure long term consistency is the key, just like with everything else worth pursuing in life.
So as I said before I found couple great KGR terms. I will share them with you in a second but would like to ask you something in return. Please don’t copy my information and try to rank for the same keywords.
I know this might be pointless to ask this on the internet but please take into count that I’m not making any real money yet. I’m sharing this to help others out.
The other reason why I ask this is that I don’t know if this KGR stuff really works and if many people start compete for the same term it might skew the results. So please keep this in mind as you read on and start doing your own keyword research.
So let’s get to the keywords and posts.
Best WW1 Airsoft Guns
I found the keyword for this using the Google autofill once again. I can’t remember where I got the idea to check for different eras in my airsoft niche. E.g. Vietnam war airsoft, ww2 airsoft, ww1 airsoft etc.
From those examples everything else was pretty competitive but to my surprise the term WW1 Airsoft guns had 90 local searches / month according to Keywords Everywhere. The allintitle results showed over 106 exact matches, so it wasn’t a KGR term.
However autofill suggested the term best WW1 airsoft guns which had zero monthly searches on Keywords Everywhere and Jaaxy but the fact remains that if Google suggests it, someone is looking for it.
The allintitle results showed three results, all easily outrankable. I also checked out the top results for the term WW1 airsoft guns and realized there were a lot of forum posts and I figured I could probably outrank most of them with decent amount of work. A quick recap of results is shown in the picture below. The funny looking language is Finnish in case you are wondering.
So I created the post titled Best WW1 airsoft guns. The post ended up being around 3000 words long with several product suggestions and affiliate links. LSIGraph didn’t return that much useful LSI keywords so I just wrote naturally and I trust that Google will see the relevance of my keywords within the post.
It turned out a bit hard to find products to promote. I want to promote only products I know are high quality but WW1 replica airsoft guns are kinda rare to come by. I managed to find couple decent models from Amazon but everything else is from retailers that don’t have direct affiliate programs.
So I don’t really know how I might monetize the post better but I plan to worry about that only if the post starts to produce content. At this point it’s about pushing out fresh content on the KGR term to start getting rankings.
American made airsoft guns
The next term I wrote a post about was American made airsoft guns. It had zero local monthly searches on Keywords Everywhere but showed an Avg of 48 on Jaaxy. The term was once again brought up by Google auto-fill. The allintitle results turned out to be 4 results, all from forum posts. Should be easy to rank then.
I’m not sure how well the KG ratio works when using Jaaxys Avg monthly searches with the allintitle results. With the 48 Avg and 4 allintitle results the ratio is 0.083 which is well below the 0.250 upper limit so I might as well try, especially since the competition doesn’t seem that tough.
Ended up writing a 2000 word post with several Amazon affiliate product links.
Blank guns for under $100
The next keyword was a bit different. I ventured out from my main niche to things that might be related somehow to the niche. After some random tries is stumbled upon a term blank guns for under 100. It showed average monthly search results of 140 in Keywords Everywhere and 32 Avg in Jaaxy.
By the way, I’m noticing a big discrepancy between Jaaxy and KE here. Just goes to show that keyword research tools give educated guesses, not absolute facts. They all have different ways of determining the search amounts so combining several sources is always a good idea.
The allintitle results showed 7 matches, that once again didn’t seem that tough to compete with. With the Keywords Everywhere monthly volume of 140 the ratio is 0.057.
In case you don’t remember, anything below 0.250 is good to go. So this was pretty golden. A KGR term with actual traffic. That’s why I decided to make the article a bit longer from the get go. I plan on adding a lot of stuff if I start receiving traffic.
The initial article is around 2000 words but I faced the same problem as with the WW1 replica guns. I didn’t find any affiliate programs for blank guns since Amazon doesn’t sell them. If I start receiving traffic I have to try to figure something out. Now the products I recommend are legit but not through an affiliate program.
The other problem is that it’s not really a part of my main niche, which is airsoft. But I figured replica guns is a close enough term that Google might not see my site completely irrelevant. We’ll find out later on I guess. This keyword had the best KGR ratio and traffic so far, so I couldn’t pass the opportunity really.
That’s it for now! Stay tuned for updates. I really haven’t had the time (oh damn you time, damn you) to catch up on research and education so I plan on focusing a bit more on that side for the next couple of weeks. I still aim to produce at least one KGR post on the niche website, but it might take a while to update here.
So no good links and resources to share this time, but I’ll try to dig up something juicy for the next update. I promise! 😉
Please drop a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I would also love to hear if you like this type of content. I would also love to hear it if you think this is the worst piece of content since the birth of the Internet. All feedback is welcome! Any tips and ideas from more experienced marketers are also more than welcome!
All right folks is time for part 2 in my niche site project journal! I have done some more research and created my first piece of content centered around the keyword golden ratio by Doug Cunnington I talked about in the first part of this series.
I have chosen the niche and have researched for some keywords and as promised I will share the process with you.
So without further ado let’s get to the point!
After some initial research I have decided to use my existing airsoft niche site at BestAirsoftGuns.net. I started creating the site as a part of the Wealthy Affiliate online entrepreneur certificate training. I pretty soon decided I wanted to focus more on the work from home / make money online niche and focused more on creating IHateWorking.net.
I also realized airsoft guns is a surprisingly small niche with some tough competition, even though my initial research suggested otherwise. The keyword research method using only Jaaxy they teach at Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t really give all the necessary information you need to asses the competition.
I have found seemingly great keywords with Jaaxy with the QSR <30 and SEO over 90. Yet a simple manual Google search shows that the first page is filled with authority sites and niche sites targeting that exact term. Most of them have several thousand words of content and tons of comments. To make outranking them even harder the domains are several years old and have a ton of back links. That’s why I think it’s important to do more keyword research than they teach at WA.
Before reading about the keyword golden ratio I thought it would be very hard to rank for any posts in the airsoft niche with reasonable amount of work and pretty much forgot about the site for few months.
The thing is, search engines take into account domain and site age and that’s the biggest reason I decided to keep using it. My content should rank a bit faster than with a completely new domain. I also know a lot about the sport so it’s easy to create content.
My current research has not shown that great possibilities for traffic so I’m treating this project as more of a proof-of-concept. If I can bring in traffic with very low competition terms in few months, I know I can replicate this with other niches.
I already have couple other niches brewing up that seem to have a lot more potential. I just don’t want to invest time and money in creating even more sites before I’m certain about my approach.
Finding KGR terms is not that easy. I decided to focus on zero competition terms suggested by Google autofill. This might mean I shouldn’t expect too much traffic but I have read that sometimes even keywords that have seemingly low monthly search volumes can rank for many unexpected keyword combinations. That can add up and bring surprising amounts of traffic.
So if I find a term related to airsoft that Google autofill suggests and the allintitle: results for that term are zero, I’ll go for it. SOMEONE is looking for the term and it might rank for other terms as well.
I also try to implement as much LSI, or latent semantic keywords in the content as possible. You can find great free tools for researching LSI keywords here.
Just remember to write naturally. Don’t go stuffing LSI or any other kind of keywords into the content if it doesn’t sit there naturally.
So the first post where I am applying these KGR ideas is about biodegradable airsoft BBs. This is a term that both Keywords Everywhere and Jaaxy show less than 10 searches for month.
On the other hand the allintitle: search returned zero matches, so it should be fairly simple process to rank for it.
The term of course was suggested by Google. There would be no point to try to rank for a term I just came up with and potentially zero traffic. Now I at least know that someone, somewhere has looked for the topic in the past.
I used the LSIgraph free service to come up with a bunch of LSI keyword that I mainly used as headings. Some are included in the text as well. Here’s a screenshot of some of the results:
I didn’t spend too much time on the content creation. I aimed for around 1500 words with the LSI keywords included and at the end included an Amazon link to a product I recommend.
I’m not worrying about conversions at this point as I can hone the posts if they start producing traffic. At this point my main priority is finding keywords, create content around them and get them online and indexed.
As you can see the site is very crude. I simply haven’t had time to make the layout better and more professional looking. And I have no intentions to invest too much time to that side until/if I start receiving organic traffic. I’m also pretty much a complete newb when it comes to web design and I have no artistic vision. I’m an engineer for f***s sake 🙂
Fortunately your site doesn’t have to be pretty to rank in Google. It has to function well however. That’s why I’ll be making sure it complies with Googles mobile friendly guidelines and loads fast and correctly with all devices.
Once I had the initial content published I set up the all-in-one SEO details in WordPress. I just put the main keyword as the title and included it in the description.
I shared the content in my Google+ (feel free to follow me, I will return the favor) and asked for comments at Wealthy Affiliate to increase the likelihood of search engines to take note of my new post.
I’ve also kept up with my research for new ideas. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by checking out these two posts:
That’s it for now. My next step is to create at least couple more KGR posts before I will post another project journal update.
I’d love to hear any thoughts from you so please drop a comment if you have questions or anything to share.
I would love to hear some critique as well if you think/know I’m doing it all wrong. I’m doing this as a shared learning project, so any insight from more experienced marketers is always welcome!
Recently I have been doing some research in niche websites and have decided to focus my online efforts in creating a successful niche website. So if you are interested in learning how to build a profitable niche website in 2018 you might want to stick around and follow my progress.
I will be focusing on the niche site for a while and have decided to keep a project journal here at IHateWorking.net. This serves two purposes really. It keeps me accountable to myself for getting things done and provides valuable information to anyone interested in creating a niche site.
So, for the foreseeable future I will be mainly focusing in journal style updates on the progression of my niche site. I plan to share all the information about how I do SEO, select post topics and products, create content and get traffic and conversion. If I succeed – and I have all the intention to do so – this journal will become a pretty honest step-by-step guide to creating a niche website in 2018.
For the foundation of my niche site I will mainly follow the instructions shown in the Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification training.
If you are a complete novice in the online marketing world, you might not be familiar with the niche site concept. In essence, it just means a website that is built around a certain topic, a niche if you will.
Since competition online is though these days, search engines look for relevance of blog posts with the rest of the website. That´s why it’s important to narrow the niche down enough to be able to rank the site in Google with decent amount of work.
So for example your niche might be tennis gear and apparel. The competition is probably pretty tough for that so you could narrow it down to tennis rackets or even composite tennis rackets or what not. You get the point.
So what is the point of creating a niche website? In all honesty it’s making money. Some might be sites created by enthusiasts from the passion to the hobby but most are made for marketing purposes.
Probably the most common type of niche website is one created for marketing physical products from Amazon. Niche websites utilize the affiliate marketing model.
Essentially you refer customers through your niche website reviews to Amazon or any other vendor with an affiliate program. If the referred customer makes a purchase, you receive a piece of the pie. It’s that simple really.
Affiliate marketing is very profitable for the companies since the basically outsource their marketing in a very effective way. It’s even more profitable for the marketer, since you don’t need large investment to start making profit as an affiliate marketer.
It’s actually possible to make money without any investment (except for time of course). Something that really isn’t achievable with typical business models.
Well yes and no. Yes, if you don’t care about making money with the site. No, if you wish to create some sales and income.
Despite what some gurus and places like Wealthy Affiliate say about it being possible to create a successful niche website in just about any niche, it really isn’t true these days. This is one of the very few things I don’t like about Wealthy Affiliate by the way. I don’t think they stress it enough how important choosing the right niche is.
Sure, it can be more fun to write about stuff you know about and it makes content creation a lot easier. But would you start a regular brick and mortar business based on something you just happen to like without doing any market research? Yeah, I wouldn’t either. It’s no different with niche sites.
You need to do your research and choose a niche that has the potential to generate traffic and sales. Generally this requires a few things. Firstly the competition for the niche has to be low or at least decent for a new site to stand a chance.
Secondly, there has to be a profitable market and a decent amount of products to choose from. The products should also be in a price point that is likely to convert in to sales that produce decent affiliate fees. So something not too expensive but not too cheap either as you would be earning literally pennies from a sale.
Thirdly the products need to be something people generally buy online. Sure if it’s in Amazons inventory, someone will probably buy it online no matter what the merchandise. But it would be much better if the products were something most people are comfortable buying online. In general people buy big appliances and things like furniture from their local stores and small appliances and tech online from the best deal. There are exceptions of course but you probably won’t achieve many conversions marketing sofas.
The Keyword Golden Ratio or KGR for short is a metric used to evaluate the competition of a low search volume keyword. It was developed by Doug Cunnington after combining some ideas from “some very smart people” as he puts it himself. You can read all the details from Dougs post that I linked in the beginning of this post.
In short the Keyword Golden Ratio must be below 0.25 and it is the ratio of Google allintitle: results divided by the local monthly search volume. The local monthly search volume also needs to be below 250.
In essence KGR terms are keywords that are being searched for in Google but don’t have enough matching search results.
This of course means the competition for such terms is not very tough and creating content around that term will get you ranked in Google almost instantly. That is the theory at least, we will see about the facts later on.
Generally speaking KGR terms are always long tail keywords. There are certain formats that work the best for niche marketing like Doug outlines in this video.
So I will be mainly targeting keyword phrases in the following format:
(what is) the best [product name] for a [specific task or user type]
So using our previous example: What is the best tennis racket for intermediate players
The thing about KGR terms is they won’t produce huge amount of traffic. This is obvious when you look at the formula. It dictates the local monthly search volume needs to be below 250.
The little research I’ve done already suggests it’s very hard to find KGR terms with even 100 monthly searches.
But there lies the magic. They are easy to rank terms that convert well. Receiving organic traffic to high competition keywords requires tons of work and site trust. It’s next to impossible (apparently) with a new site with little content.
The competition won’t be as tough either as most marketers are greedy and go for higher volume keywords. But it’s pointless if you can’t beat the competition.
My main keyword tool will be Googles own auto fill. As shown by Doug Cunnington in the Keyword Golden Ratio masterclass, Google will happily show you what people are searching for if you give it a change.
You don’t necessarily need expensive research tools if you are willing to do a bit of manual work. Some folks would rather automate this process but I actually enjoy keyword research more than content creation and plan to do it mainly manually.
This means looking for ideas for long tail KGR terms in the Google auto fill results or in Googles related searches.
For faster analysis of Google results, I will be using the Keywords Everywhere free browser plug-in, that shows average monthly search results right away.
For the time being I won’t probably utilize AHrefs and SEMRush that Doug highly recommends for doing some more advanced keyword research. They are both rather highly priced and I might decide to use them later on, but for the time being I will try to achieve results with the tools I have available right now.
That’s about it for the day folks! Keep tuned for updates on my progress. I promise to share all the little secrets I learn along the way. I have dedicated almost a month for pure research and it’s time to take that knowledge and put it in to use.
If you decide follow my journey I promise you I won’t disappoint you. If I fail after giving it my best I will be completely honest about that as well. This way you’ll be able to learn about my mistakes with me. I hope. No. I KNOW it won’t come to this however! I’m determined to succeed with this.
That’s it for now. I will probably post my first real journal update later this week once I find the time. I have actually already started doing my keyword research and I will be using a niche website I started building a few months ago, but gave up on. It’s easier to rank sites that have already been online some time and indexed by Google. But more about that in the next post.