It always feels good to write something people love.
I try to do it every time I write a blog post, but you can never really predict these things, you know?
When I wrote 23 Places to Find the Best Keywords In Your Niche (& 29 Screenshots Showing You How to Get Them), my goal was to create something that was helpful & that would continue to be helpful to the NicheHacks audience and people who came by the blog in the future.
But even though I put a lot of work making the post good, I was still astonished when Stuart told me the time spent on that specific blog post was well over seven minutes.
To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever written a blog post that good… and I’ve been writing blog posts for a while.
Clearly, finding good, quality keywords for your niches is something you guys care about.
Stuart suggested to expand on this post (to better serve your guys and your obvious interest in finding keywords) by picking one niche and going through the post step-by-step to show you guys more practically how to walk through these different keyword resources yourselves.
I had no idea which niche to pick, so I asked the NicheHacks Private Mastermind group members on Facebook what niches they wanted keywords for.
I thought for sure at least two or three of you guys would overlap in the same niche and we could choose a niche that way.
Boy, was I wrong.
Not a single niche was repeated, and narrowing it down to just one niche was incredibly difficult.
But the Winner Was…. Survivalist.
We actually published a post on the survivalist niche in January about the possibilities of making money with this niche, and you guys loved it.
It’s also one helluva profitable niche market to be in, as seen in our case study on SurvivalLife.com.
But even if you’re not interested in this niche and think all the paranoid Doomsday worriers are totally out of their minds, you can still follow along with these steps, entering the keywords you find for your particular niche into a spreadsheet as you go along.
But if you are interested in this niche… BONUS!… you’ll get a free CSV download of all the 375 keywords I compiled with this research just by sharing on social media.
What You’ll Learn:
First, a Basic Rundown of the Survivalist Niche & What We’re Looking at Specifically In This Post:
Put simply, “This is a niche where people are hungry for information and products and willing to spend to get it,” as we wrote in the January report on this niche.
Perfect storm for a profitable niche, no? Desperate/passionate people ready and willing to shell out cold, hard cash.
Basically, people who classify themselves as “survivalists” or “preppers” are typically normal, everyday people who are either paranoid about the state of the unknown future (Will there be an apocalypse? Will there be an unprecedented natural disaster we can’t recover from?).
They want the peace of mind that they’ll be able to care for themselves and their loved ones should things take a turn for the worse.
Though they live typical day-to-day lives now, they’re very into doomsday preparation and making sure they’ve got everything ready to go incase something bad happens.
With the desire to prepare for these possibilities, they take to the internet to get their information and look for the products they need that will be there for them if and when the internet no longer exists.
So, without further ado, the keyword research:
1. Google Auto-Complete - Where to Find Your First Keyword Research Stepping Stones
Google tries to predict what people are looking for with their auto-complete to make their experience faster, quicker, and more enjoyable.
We’ll start with two words that are central to this niche’s mission: “survivalist” and “prepper” to see what people look for most often.
Easy and straightforward, you can see that people go to Google to look for information and community rather than to buy something right away (except for maybe a generator).
The same thing for “prepper.” People want to know the things they need and to connect with others by using search terms like prepper supplies, prepper forum, and prepper list.
From this quick exercise, I got some basic results like:
2. Google Related Searches - The Easy Way to Dig Beyond the Obvious, Most Competitive Keywords
Exploring what auto-complete gives you, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what other kinds of golden keyword phrases people are searching for that are related to your niche.
Going with “survivalist forum,” the first keyword suggested by Google, I found these keywords to add to my list. I had no idea what “cheaper than dirt” was, but after following the link I saw that it’s a website that sells guns, ammo, and hunting gear—clearly related to the topic at hand, so it goes into the keyword list too.
The related keywords above showed us more or less what phrases people use when they want to communicate with others in the niche. These show us some they use when they’re ready to buy.
Digging into things that aren't as immediately obvious, I found keywords like:
3. Chrome’s Sneaky Shortcut for Competitor Keywords - Don't Let Your Competition Hold You Back
The fact is, if there’s no competition in a niche, then it’s probably for a reason. That reason that it’s probably particularly hard or impossible to make any decent money.
There’s no problem with creating a new authority website in a niche that already has a few “gurus”—people love a fresh voice and take on the subjects they love.
So don’t be ashamed of adding your competitors’ keywords to your list. There’s nothing wrong with it, and they probably did the exact same thing to their predecessors when they got started.
And fortunately, there’s a cool Chrome trick you can use to find exactly what those keywords are.
Hold down command + option + u on a Mac (control + alt + u on a PC) simultaneously, and all of the page’s data will pop up—either in the bottom of the screen or in a new tab.
Do a text search for tags like <title>, <keyword>, <h1>, or <h2> to see what they put between these tags. (The reason these tags are key rather than any random words on the page is because Google reads these tags to identify “important” words to learn what your site’s about.)
Here’s the “Survival Skills” page on SurvivalLife.com before I apply the Chrome trick.
Here’s the vast wealth of information that popped up after I hit command + option + u simultaneously.
The <title> tag search gave me a TON of keywords that really exploded my list, including:
The <h1> search gave me the names of authors for this particular site, but since this site is popular and their individual fans might want to find out more about them, I add them to the list too:
4. Amazon Product Listings: Find the Emotion that Leads to Profit
And a big part of money-making in the survivalist niche is that you get people to buy physical and information-based products.
What I’m particularly interested in here is not so much the products that pop up, but the “Show results for” suggestions in the side bar. I add all of the applicable ones to my keyword list, along with the product result keywords that come up like camp stoves and long-term survival guide.
Clicking on the Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide, I check out the product description, suggested products, and customer reviews.
Looking at the description written by the person trying to sell this book to the preppers niche audience, I get a lot of event-foucsed keywords important to the survivalist niche.
In these up-sell and cross-sell listings, I find keywords that are more related to actually taking action in response to or preparation for some of the events that might happen.
Then, I got to the good stuff… the raw emotion and candid thoughts of real people who are hard-core members of this niche. How? I read through the reader reviews on this book.
This review is only one star, but it was the very first one on the list, and the fact that almost 89% of the people who took time to read through the customer reviews found this one helpful says a lot. I didn’t capture the full review in one screenshot, but here’s the emotionally-charged keywords I got from it (most of which appeared multiple times throughout the review): long term survival, stockpile, food storage, grow new crops, long grain rice, raising and growing food, preparedness, Ragnar Benson, and homesteading.
Here's some of the good stuff I got from Amazon's product listing (not mentioning the 1-star review, which is in the photo caption):
5. eBay Keywords - Where I Found An Unexpected, Endless Treasure Chest of Relevant Keywords
eBay’s also pretty good at purchase-driven SEO. And they’ve got everything.
Picking one of the keywords I’ve already uncovered, I go with “off the grid power” to see what comes up.
Right now, eBay’s got a lot of DVDs teaching people how to live off the grid.
The titles of the products themselves give me keywords like off the grid living, country living survival, and so on. The ads on the right suggest wind generator turbine.
I clicked on the Doomsday Prep product since that one seemed most related to the niche at hand. When I scrolled past the seller’s long-form description, I felt like I’d just found $5,000 buried in my back yard.
This bullet-based description went on forever, which was incredible. If you’re on eBay looking for keywords, try to find one like this.
Here's just a taste of what I uncovered:
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)
6. Wikipedia - The Internet's Single Smartest SEO Master
A little background on Wikipedia, in case you didn’t already know: it’s #4 on Google with ZERO paid advertising, and it’s #6 in the entire world.
So, clearly they know what they’re doing when it comes to SEO.
I chose the keyword “post-apocalyptic” from what I’d already acquired in my list, since that seems to be a big fear among the survivalist/preppers group.
And this site didn’t let me down.
Tip: If you don’t want to spend time reading through articles, the introduction & table of contents are usually more than sufficient. Wikipedia front-loads their articles with inner-site keyword links to beef up their internal SEO.
The first paragraph along is filled to the brim with keywords like end of human civilization, nuclear warfare, extraterrestrial attack, and runaway climate change. The contents section (and the rest of the article) provide a lot as well.
Here's what Wikipedia gave me from the first paragraph alone:
7. Yahoo Answers - Find Out What Your Target Audience is Frustrated About (And How You Can Save Them)
Yahoo Answers is typically a place people go to out of frustration to find answers to questions they've searched for online, but haven't found.
People are desperate to find an answer to something, so they put it out there in the universe of the internet with hopes that someone, somewhere will relieve their stress and just answer their question already.
If a question has a decent level of engagement, you've found a great new topic for a blog post or downloadable item to grow your email list... it's information people want to know but aren't satisfied with what the rest of the internet is telling them about it.
It's also a great place for finding keywords.
This person, desperate to find fellow doomsday preppers to communicate with, has unintentionally given us a list of valuable keywords you know he/she is using to research and learn about being a survivalist online. The ads (and some of the answers) below the question also have something to offer.
Look in the question, answers, ads, and related questions in the bottom right corner for more keywords.
Here's the keywords I gleaned from Yahoo Answers:
8. Product Reviews - Helpful For Concerns Related to Bigger-Ticket Items You Want to Sell
Searching through pre-existing product reviews can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to push affiliate sales for a bigger-ticket item on your site.
In this example, we’ll look at customer reviews of “Israeli Style Civilian Protective Gas Mask” on Amazon. There’s loads of other review sites out there, so if your niche has a particular one, check that one out too.
Even from people who hated the product, you can collect great product-based keywords like functional gas mask, threads for mounting, and NATO 40mm filter.
Make sure you read both the good and bad reviews to get keywords that will help you reinforce quality and reduce doubt while convincing someone to purchase.
Here's the keywords I found:
Here's some other product review sites you can use to glean keywords from:
9. Internal Search & Customer Emails - What Your Audience is Directly Telling You They Want
These work wonders if you’ve already got a website with fans who use it regularly.
Inside your Google Analytics dashboard, you can go to the “Behavior” section of your main dashboard, click on “Site Search” and then “Search Terms” to see what information people want you to offer when they get to your site. (For info on how to set up internal search, check out this post on the FG Blog.)
Here's where you can find your site's internal search terms.
Further, since niche site owners typically operate as customer service, sales rep, along with being the site owner and content producer, if you’ve got a site selling a product or two, you’ve probably received at least a few emails from happy or unhappy customers.
Go back into those emails and search them for keywords.
10. Google Correlate - Expand Your Research with High Correlations
True to its name, Google Correlate shows you the exact search phrases that are the most highly correlated to whatever subject area you type in.
They also show you a fancy chart along with the phrases they give you. Which is a bonus, if you like fancy charts.
From this, I can deduct that people who are interested in underground bunkers mean business when it comes to spending money on their doomsday preparations. How? Phrases like bunker for sale and build an underground bunker.
I found a lot about the sale of bunkers (people thinking about buying - yay!), and about the plans for them:
11. Free Book Previews - Popular Niche Authors Know What's Important to Your Audience
The table of contents in a book that’s popular in your niche can be gold to help you realize which keyword areas you’ll want to focus on and how to categorize your on-site content.
Rather than checking out just one book, you can also check out the books in the “Customers Also Bought” suggestion section in the bottom right.
The table of contents inside a popular book in the niche you’re trying to serve can give you ideas of the main topic areas you’ll want to focus on with your keywords. (Particularly helpful if you’re new to that niche.)
Some phrases I found here included:
12. Google Search for ‘[keyword]’ + ‘most popular [posts/sites/article]’ ... So You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel to Find Popular Keywords
The step is particularly helpful if you’re just starting out in a niche and aren’t exactly sure who you’re biggest competitors or niche leaders are just yet.
Beyond showing you who you should follow, it’ll tell you which posts in your niche your target readers like the most… and, if you do a little digging, show you the SEO keyword terms the authors used to make those posts rank so well.
Going generic to look at the survivalist niche as a whole, I searched of the most popular posts in survivalism, and this is what I found:
Just from the search results alone, I gleaned these new keywords to add to my list: survival items, survival antibiotics, MacGyver, and stockpiler.
Clicking on the result, and following an article in that list called “Where You Should Hide Your Food,” I used the Chrome trick to collect a lot more keywords.
Searching through this site’s text-based backend was the first time I ran into any significant number of repeat phrases that I already had in my list.
Even though I ran into some repeats, I still added these to my list:
13. Wordle - Visualize Your Keywords for New Ideas
I realized I didn’t have a lot of keywords about doomsday weapons, so I took the text from Survival Life’s article ‘Alternative Weapons | How to Defend Yourself Without a Gun’ and ran it through Wordle to see what results I could get.
The cool thing about Wordle is that it helps you discover potentially powerful word combinations to use as a part of your SEO strategy.
Since 'weapons' is clearly the central theme here, I used other highly-suggested terms within the word map to create combinations like:
14. Press Release Sites - Because Online PR People Know What's Up With SEO
The cool thing about press release sites is this: not many people visit them on a regular basis.
Let me explain.
PR experts know people don’t normally go hanging out on press release websites for the sheer joy if it, and they’re okay with that. Because they’ve got other ways of getting eyeballs onto their latest news, and one of them is via keyword-based SEO for organic traffic results.
So, by checking out the keywords in a press release related to your niche industry, you’re effectively gleaning the SEO-based keywords the PR experts know work.
This article on PR Newswire about how climate change and nuclear tensions are leading to an inevitable doomsday was spilling with keywords for the survivalist niche.
Some of the new keywords I got from this press release included:
15. MetaGlossary - Turn One Word into 50 or More
Focused more around definitions of words, MetaGlossary works with one-word queries, so for this example I chose “pandemic.”
As you can see, a lot of the results were disease-specific, which could help me if I wanted to great a disease preparation section on my survivalist-based niche website.
Even though results are typically only one word, I still found some great disease-based words that could help protect someone in a pandemic.
Some of the disease-based keywords I found on Metaglossary included:
16. Thesaurus - The Old-School Method That's Still Effective
This is a rather low-tech way to go about finding keywords.
It’s the way your great-great grandfather would have done things. You know, if niche marketing were a thing in his day.
But rather than getting up off my bum to take three whole steps to the book shelf, I just opened my computer’s dictionary app. It’s the full-fledged New Oxford American Dictionary, so it’s totally legit.
When I started to look up “doomsday” I found “doom” instead. I could add almost every single word listed here—almost none were already in my list.
Looking up epidemic yielded more words that I’d already found, but did show me some new ones like epizootic, rampant, and widespread.
And what did I get from going old school? These cool keywords:
17. Amazon Auto-Fill - Quick Search Keywords Focused Around Purchases
This performs a lot like Google’s Auto-Complete feature, but is more focused aroundproducts that people want to buy. (Which is good, considering you’re trying to make money here.)
Even this simple search yielded still-uncovered keywords.
Some of the still uncovered keywords I found here included:
18. Blog Comments & Industry Forums - Find Out Which Content Areas to Prioritize, Based on Popularity
Basically, the idea here is to find places where people are readily active and talking about the target subject of your niche and find out the phrases and things that get them most excited and peak their interests.
Controversy is good, but not always necessary. You can also find great keywords where a lot of people are agreeing on one thing.
I went to SurvivalistBoards.com to see what kind of popular topics I could find:
After a quick look to see which boards had the most users, it was obvious that I needed to check out Wilderness Survival, which had 408 active viewers.
Even just looking at the topics of the forum discussion yielded 10 new keywords, including survival retreat, live in the woods, and snake bite first aid.
In this forum, I found words like:
19. Ubersuggest - Say Goodbye to Mind-Numbing Keyword Matching
This is a keyword tool that really takes a lot of the time-consuming, mind-numbing work for you (or your VA) by figuring out all the letter-based possibilities someone could use surrounding one specific keyword phrase.
After typing in survival retreat, it gave me a whopping 122 suggestions that I could add to my list. (For the sake of not spending all day re-typing “survival retreat +” over and over again, I added the first keyword in each sub-list to the document… still around 20 new ones.]
One of the coolest things about Ubersuggest is the way it automatically expands things out for you. For example, if I were putting together a piece of content about doing survival retreats, I’d know that “survival retreat locations” and “best survival retreat locations” would be important keywords to include.
The list of new, possible keywords from Ubersuggest goes on forever, here's five of the ones I added to the list:
20. Soolve - Find Out How to Rank in Respective Search Engines
Rather than going to individual search engines to collect results, Soolve shows you the top searches around the keyword you type in for Wikipedia, Google, Amazon, Answers, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo all at once.
If you want to explore one in particular a little deeper, Soolve lets you click on the search term and it takes you to the results for that particular search engine.
The Doomsday Clock keyword was one I found really interesting from my research. It stuck in my mind, so I decided to use it here to see what I could find out. I came away with a solid addition of 15 more keywords.
To rank high on certain search engines within topics related to doomsday, you might want to try out these keywords:
21. SEM Rush - Dig Up SEO Dirt on Your High-Performing Competitors
If you’re just breaking into paid traffic strategies for your niche site, finding out what’s working for your competitors—including the keywords they use—is a great way to make sure you don’t get left in the dust and have a fighting chance at getting more fans to your site.
Unfortunately, when you’re using the free version of an online product, there are some limitations. Prepperreview.com showed up with ads for about half of the keywords I typed into Google from the list I’d gathered, and the other keywords had no ads. This is good news if you want to drive paid traffic to your survivalist niche site (Low competition!), but not so good news for getting data from SEM Rush.
22. Keyword Tool Dominator - I got 193 Relevant Keywords With Just One Search
Be careful what you type into this tool… you only get three free searches per day.
But, when you do type in a word, it gives you the top long-tail results from Amazon, Google, and YouTube that are most related to your original query. Unfortunately, each one (Amazon, Google, YouTube) each count as a separate query, so choose wisely!
Another cool thing, is that with the Google results, it shows you the keyword rank based on popularity.
I realized our survivalist keyword list was a little short on weapon-based keywords, so I tried “survival weapons” to get Google-based results. Keyword Tool Dominator did not let me down with 193 long-tail keywords to check out. But to protect the quality of the keyword list I created, I only copied down the keywords with a rank of 1, 2 or 3 into the list. Still, it was 75 new keywords. Not bad.
I'll save you the agony of writing out all the 75 keywords I added to the list, but here's a few good ones: