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(The Entrepreneur Ridealong) Building A Niche Travel Site From $0 to $350,000: Keyword Research

James Oliver September 11, 2023

(The Entrepreneur Ridealong) Building A Niche Travel Site From $0 to $350,000 Keyword Research

What Tools and Techniques Do You Use for Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a foundational aspect of SEO, and the tools and techniques I use are pivotal in ensuring success.

Some of the tools I recommend include Ahrefs, SEMrush, Keyword Chef, and Google’s own search engine.

One technique I employ is mapping out keywords from popular pages within a niche.

By identifying the main pillar pages of competitors, you can gain insights into the most sought-after topics.

This can be done simply by Googling and observing the top-ranking pages.

Once these key pages are identified, I use tools to find “low-hanging fruit” or easier keywords that might not be immediately obvious.

The goal is to find those golden keywords that strike a balance between difficulty and traffic potential.

In practice, this looks like:

  • Downloading every niche site competitors keywords.
  • Putting them all in a Google sheet and deduplicating them.
  • Filter keywords under 5 KD (Ahrefs) + 100 search volume.
  • Filter for “best” keywords

This gives you the easiest round-up of affiliate keywords to go after. I generally do 30ish of these. Then I use phrases like “best, review” etc. as negative words and find informational topics.

How Do You Determine Which Keywords Are Most Relevant to the Website’s Content?

Relevance is crucial. For instance, if you’re building a niche website about fruits, you wouldn’t want to delve into unrelated topics like paddleboarding.

The key is to stay on topic.

One effective way to ensure relevance is by using competitors as a guide.

By analyzing their content and keyword strategies, you can craft a content plan that aligns with what the audience in that niche is looking for.

Are Topic Clusters an Important Part of Your Keyword Research? If So, How So?


Topic clusters involve creating a series of interlinked articles or pages around one main topic, ensuring comprehensive subject coverage.

For instance, if you’re writing about toasters, you’d have a main page about the best toasters and then supplementary articles on topics like “best toasters for thick bread” or “best energy-efficient toasters”.

Each of these clusters also needs informational content.

This helps in SEO and provides value to readers by giving them in-depth information.

How Do You Balance High-Traffic Keywords with Long-Tail Keywords When Choosing the Focus Keywords for Content Creation?

High-traffic keywords are often more competitive, while long-tail keywords, though they might bring in less traffic, can be easier to rank for.

My strategy involves identifying key “money pages” and then supporting these with long-tail, informational content.

This approach ensures a mix of traffic potential and ranking opportunities.

How Do You Assess the Search Volume and Competition Level of Keywords to Ensure They Are Suitable for Content Optimization?

While search volume is a factor, I don’t significantly emphasize it.

Many tools can be manipulated, and their search volume metrics aren’t always accurate. I’m not concerned if a keyword has zero search volume, especially if it’s a topic I haven’t covered before.

However, with a new site, I adjusted for search volume to 100 plus monthly searches. This is particularly important when resources, such as time or money, are limited. The goal is to maximize efficiency, achieving more traffic with less input.

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush offer keyword difficulty scores, it’s also essential to manually check the competition by Googling the keyword.

If the top results are dominated by authoritative sites like Forbes, it might be challenging to rank for that keyword.

However, if the results show forums like Reddit or Quora, a well-optimized article could rank higher.

Do You Consider User Intent When Conducting Keyword Research, and How Do You Align Content with the User’s Search Intent?

Understanding user intent is crucial.

If a search query is “best smartphones 2023”, and all the top-ranking pages are round-up reviews, creating a single product review for that keyword wouldn’t align with the user’s intent.

It’s essential to study the current top results for a keyword to understand what users are looking for and then create content that matches that format and exceeds the current expectations.

What Strategies Do You Employ to Identify and Leverage Semantic Keywords and Related Terms That Can Enhance the Website’s SEO Performance?

Semantic, related terms, LSIs, (the name changes every few years). I don’t focus too much on this.

Tools like Surfer SEO can help identify these related terms. Which is what I use to optimize my content. Other than that, I don’t delve too deeply into it.

However, it’s also essential not to over-optimize and stuff articles with the main keyword; that’s why related terms must be used.

Also, people search differently so a different phase could get you extra traffic.

Remember, the content should be natural and provide value to the reader.

How Often Do You Update and Refresh Your Keyword Research to Stay Current with Changing Trends and User Behavior?

I don’t update my keyword research frequently.

The initial keyword research provides a solid foundation, it’s beneficial to revisit and update based on current trends occasionally.

Tools like Google Trends can offer insights into emerging topics or shifts in user behavior.

Same with platforms like TikTok. If a topic gains traction there, it might be worth creating content around it to stay ahead of the curve.

This approach isn’t as evergreen and requires periodic revisits. Some might find value in trend jacking, but I prefer a more foundational approach.

Do You Incorporate Local SEO Factors into Keyword Research for Businesses Targeting Specific Geographic Locations? If So, What Methods Do You Use?

Certainly, local SEO is a significant factor, especially for businesses targeting specific geographic locations.

One method I employ is ensuring the inclusion of a consistent Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) on the website. This establishes credibility and signals to search engines about the business’s specific location.

Additionally, leveraging local directories is a foundational link-building strategy.

By getting the business listed in local directories, it reinforces the geographic relevance of the website.

For instance, if building a travel website, the geographic locations and local nuances are deeply integrated into the content, ensuring relevance and authenticity. This approach not only aids in ranking but also mimics what a real business would do.

How Do You Ensure That the Chosen Keywords Align with the Website’s Overall Content Strategy and Target Audience?

The content strategy should always meet the target audience’s needs and interests.

By mapping out the niche and understanding the competition, you can ensure the chosen keywords and content resonate with your audience.

Can You Provide Examples of Successful Content Pieces That Were Created Based on Your Keyword Research, and How Those Keywords Contributed to Their Ranking and Visibility?


One of the strategies I’ve found success with revolves around targeting long-tail affiliate keywords, specifically those that are more niche and less competitive.

For instance, using a keyword like “best X for Y” has often yielded impressive results.

Even though it’s a longer and more specific phrase, it’s precisely what some users search for.

One such piece that stands out began to rank and attract traffic sooner than anticipated.

While I don’t track exact positions, the surge in traffic indicated a top position on the search results page. This approach, focusing on low-hanging fruit or less obvious keywords, has often led to content pieces outperforming those targeting more generic, high-competition keywords.

The key is to find those golden opportunities that others might overlook but are precisely what a segment of users is searching for.

How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of Your Keyword Research and Content Optimization Efforts, and What Metrics Do You Use to Evaluate the Success of the Chosen Keywords?

Measuring the effectiveness of keyword research and content optimization is crucial.

Primarily, I look at traffic as the main metric. If a piece of content starts gaining traction within the first six months, it’s a positive sign.

However, if it’s been over a year and there’s minimal traffic, it’s an indicator that something might be amiss.

Google Search Console is a tool I frequently use for this purpose. It offers insights into how specific keywords are performing and allows for content optimization based on real-time data.

For instance, if a page isn’t ranking as expected, I might delve into the Search Console to see if there are any impressions for phrases not currently in the content and then incorporate them.

Tools like Query Hunter from Joe Davies have also streamlined this process, automating the extraction of this data from Google Search Console, and making content optimization more efficient.

I don’t have a chance to do this because it’s not Black Friday (affiliate) focused, but I update content a month or two before.

Updating content shows Google you want to be on the first page.

That’s basically it.

Catch you in the next update.

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