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How to Find Niche Keywords for SEO in 3 Steps

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How to Find Niche Keywords for SEO in 3 Steps

Niche keywords represent clear and specific topics that appeal to relatively small, often specialized parts of a given market.

In other words, these are the “sustainable” and “recycled” jackets in the overall jacket market. 

Niche keyword examples with "jacket"

Niche keywords can be an opportunity to attract highly targeted traffic in a short time since they typically refer to specific things that don’t have a lot of competition. 

In this guide, I’ll show you how to find niche keywords with Ahrefs in three steps.

Step 1. Create an initial keyword list

Open Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, type in broad terms that point to certain markets, products, or interests (i.e., seed keywords), and hit enter. 

Inserting seed keywords

Then go to Matching terms and set the maximum volume and TP filters to something low for this industry, like 1000. 

Filtering for low-volume and low-TP keywords

Why these two filters? The volume filter will look for keywords with a limited number of searches, while the TP filter will help make sure those keywords are specific topics and not just unpopular ways of looking for popular things.

Sidenote.

Since there is no set value that defines a niche keyword, we can’t tell you the exact volume value here. It depends on the size of the market and how “niche” you want to go. For some markets, it can be 500. While for some very big markets, it may be 2000. So feel free to adjust the volume and TP filters. You can also set the minimum filter right away if you’re not interested in keywords with very low search volume or zero-volume keywords.

Step 2. Refine your list 

After step #1, you already have a very raw list of niche keywords. 

The number of keywords in the initial keyword list

But looking through the entire list manually can take a lot of time. So in this step, we’ll refine our list to make it more manageable. Here are some ideas you can use. 

Low ranking difficulty with a minimum search volume

This set of filters will allow you to find niche keywords with considerable demand and low competition. 

  • Set KD to max 10 
  • Set volume to 100–1000 
  • Set Traffic Potential to 100–1000
  • Click “Show results”
Finding keywords with low difficulty and minimum search volume

Next, browse through the results. When you find a keyword that piques your interest, you can add it to a keyword list right inside the tool. 

Adding a keyword to a keyword list

Use cases, segments, and features 

This filter allows you to find keywords that focus on use cases, segments, and features within your seed keyword. 

For this, add modifying words such as “for,” “alternative,” or “substitute.” You can also use the Terms tab or just add your own modifiers if you know what you’re looking for. 

Sourcing modifier keywords in Terms tab
  • Set the Include filter to “Any word,” type your modifier keywords, and click “Apply”
  • Click “Show results” 
Adding modifier keywords

Next, browse through the results and add interesting keywords to your list. 

Selecting keywords to add to list

PRO TIP

You may spot some additional ideas for modifier keywords as you look through the results. You can use them in the Include filter to show only keywords matching that criteria.

Questions 

This filter can be a good way to find opportunities for informational content with the possibility of featuring your product. 

  • Switch the Matching terms report to “Questions”
Switching to Questions tab in Matching terms report

Next, browse through the results. 

Niche keyword posed as question

Feel free to combine the filters shown above. For example, you may want to look for keywords with specific features and low Keyword Difficulty (KD). 

Combining different keyword filters

And here’s one example of a niche keyword matching those filters. 

Keyword example from mixed niche filtering

Stumbling across keywords out of your wheelhouse too much? Just use the Exclude filter. 

Excluding unwanted keywords

Now, let’s go to the final step of the process. 

Step 3. Analyze the SERPs

Before you start creating content for selected keywords, it’s highly recommended to understand what searchers are specifically looking for. To do this, analyze the top-ranking pages in three aspects: 

  1. Is there a more popular search query that points to the same thing? 
  2. What is the search intent? 
  3. How hard would it be to rank? 

The first aspect is specific to niche keywords. Remember, you’re looking through rare search queries. Some of those queries can have more popular counterparts (yet still niche), and others can be just wrong (i.e., misspellings). 

To illustrate, a better word to target than “diy soap sheets” may be “how to make soap paper”—the latter has more search volume. Keywords Explorer signalizes that through the Parent Topic column found on the right of any given keyword. 

Parent Topic feature suggests a different keyword

And it won’t make sense to target something like “nivia soap.” Obviously, it’s a misspelling. 

Not a niche keyword, just a misspelling

The second aspect, search intent, is about learning what Google recognizes as the dominating reason behind the search. In simple terms, it’s typically one of the three:

  • Learn – If most pages focus on explaining things: guides, tutorials, reviews, comparisons, etc.
  • Buy – If most pages directly offer products: product pages, product category pages, landing pages, etc. 
  • Go to a website or place – More often than not, keywords will contain the name of the product, brand, or place.

If you can match search intent and it makes sense for your website, then the keyword is probably a good choice. But make sure to also optimize your content for search intent.

If you can’t match the search intent or it doesn’t make sense for your website, it’s probably best not to target the keyword for now. 

To illustrate, the keyword “cupcake soap” has a clear transactional intent, with only product pages in the top 10. So your best bet to rank for this keyword is likely with a page that offers soap bars in the shape of a cupcake. 

SERP indicates the search intent

PRO TIP

Sometimes, identifying dominating search intent is not that simple. Google may show mixed intent with different types of content or no dominant content format. This video guide will help you make a more informed decision in such situations.

The third aspect, estimating keyword difficulty, comes from the fact that multiple factors can constitute ranking difficulty. 

You can filter out keywords where competitors have a strong backlink profile using the KD filter (as shown in step #2). For example, we estimate that in order to rank in the top 10 for “why is antibacterial soap banned,” you’ll need backlinks from ~123 websites. That’s a hard keyword to rank for, especially for new websites. 

Keyword with low volume, high difficulty

Judging keyword difficulty through KD is enough in most cases. But if you want a more thorough assessment, look for these things: 

  • Popular brands on the SERP – Results from popular, trusted brands are something that users expect in search results. Google is aware of that. 
  • YMYL topics – Topics like health, finance, and safety will be tough, if not impossible, to rank for a website with no topical authority and content written by people with no real expertise
  • Quality of content – If you can’t add anything useful and original to the information that Google already “recommends” on the SERPs, you may have a harder time ranking. Make sure you can create helpful, reliable, and people-first content
  • See if top-ranking pages target the keyword – If no one is covering the topic directly, Google may show pages that it thinks are relevant. Those pages can come from high-authority websites, and you may have leverage against them by covering the keyword directly. 
Popular brands on SERP ranking for a keyword with low KD
Although the keyword has 0 KD, it may be hard to outrank Amazon and Etsy because they are popular (and therefore expected) brands.

Learn more: Keyword Difficulty: How to Estimate Your Chances to Rank 

Final thoughts 

If you know a website that targets a specific niche, you can use that site for keyword research too. 

To do this, paste the website’s URL in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and adjust the filters to find what you need. 

For instance, a website like mechanicalkeyboards.com can be a gold mine for keywords in the mechanical keyboard niche—almost 5,000 keywords with a volume of 100–1000 and KD up to 10. 

Niche keyword research in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Want to learn more? Check out our other resources:

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SEO

How to Achieve 7-Figures with Your Law Firm Website

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How to Achieve 7-Figures with Your Law Firm Website

Many law firms are simply leasing space when it comes to their online marketing.

Whether it’s Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads, Facebook Ads, or social media, these channels often yield only temporary wins. Once you pull the investment, your results go away entirely.

Your website, on the other hand, can be a 24/7 selling tool for your law firm practice. It can effectively become your greatest asset, getting leads and cases while you sleep.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how to turn your website into the ultimate marketing tool for your law firm practice and generate seven figures in revenue for your business.

A Well-Optimized Law Firm Website Can Yield Huge Results

With your law firm’s website, you can use content marketing to your advantage to generate lucrative results for your business. Content and SEO allow you to attract users organically and convert traffic passively into new cases for your law firm.

As an example, a high-ranking webpage in a competitive market getting 1,000 users per month can get huge results:

  • Convert visitors at 2-5% = 20-50 leads.
  • Convert even 10-20% of leads = 2-10 cases.
  • Average $8000 revenue per case = $16,000-$80,000 monthly revenue from one page.

Over the course of a year, this could lead to high six-figures to seven-figures in revenue!

The Foundations Of A Revenue-Generating Law Firm Website

At its core, your law firm website should serve to speak to the needs, struggles, and interests of your target audience. It should be laser-focused on your practice area, who you serve, and what you have to offer.

With this in mind, a well-crafted website content strategy should define:

  • Your business goals (the cases you want).
  • What competitors are doing.
  • What pages to write and keywords to target.
  • How to use your content budget.
  • Your editorial calendar.
  • The purpose/intent of each page.
  • PR and backlink strategy.

Below, we’ll dive deeper into how to develop this strategy, build out amazing content, and achieve your seven-figure revenue goals.

1. Define The Cases You Want

The first step to developing a successful website marketing strategy is to define the types of legal cases you want.

This activity will help you determine the types of people you want to reach, the type of content you should create, and the types of SEO keywords you need to target.

That way, you end up marketing to a more specific subset of potential clients, rather than a broad range of users.

Not sure where to set your focus? Here are a few questions that might help:

  • Which of your cases are the most profitable?
  • What types of cases are you not getting enough of?
  • In what markets are you strongest?
  • In which markets do you want to improve?
  • Are there any practice areas you want to explore?

At the end of this activity, you might decide that you want to attract more family law cases, foreclosure law cases, or DUI cases – whatever it is, getting hyper-focused on the types of cases you want to attract will only make your website marketing even stronger.

2. Identify Your Top Competitors

One of the best ways to “hack” your website marketing strategy is to figure out what’s working for your competitors.

By “competitors” we mean law firms that are working to attract the types of cases you’re trying to attract, at the same level at which your law firm is currently operating.

I say this because I see many law firms trying to out beat and outrank the “big” fish and this can feel like a losing battle. You want to set your sights on your closest competitors, rise above them, and then get more competitive with your strategy.

Here are a few ways to identify your closest competitors:

  • Conduct a Google search of your legal practice area + your service area (e.g., “family law Kirkland”, “DUI lawyer LA”, “Denver probate attorney” etc.). Take note of the top-ranking domains (i.e., websites).
  • Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to search your domain name. These tools will often surface close competitors to your domain.
  • Using the same tools above, conduct organic research on your domain to see what keywords you are already ranking for. Search these keywords in Google and see what other domains come up.
  • Use these tools to determine the domain authority (DA) of your domain. Compare this to the other top-ranking domains to see which domains have an authority score that’s similar to your own.

Be sure to look at your known business competitors as well.

These may or may not be ranking well in Google Search, but it’s still worth a peek to see if they are targeting any high-priority keywords that your website should be targeting.

3. Conduct A Content Audit Of Your Website

Your next step is to conduct an audit of your current website. This will allow you to take stock of what content is performing well, and what content requires improvement.

First, start with your main service pages.

Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs again to review the rank (position), performance, and keywords of each page. Identify any pages that are ranking low, or not at all.

Then, find “low-hanging fruit” pages. These are the pages that are ranking around position 5-10. They require less effort to optimize to reach those higher rank positions – compared to pages ranking at, say, position 59.

Next, use the same tools to conduct a “gap analysis” (most SEO tools have this feature).

This compares your website’s performance to that of your closest competitors. It will show you a list of keywords that your competitors are ranking for that your website is not ranking for at all.

Finally, create an inventory of what pages you already have, which need to be revised, and which you need to create. Doing so will help you stay organized and stay on task when developing your content strategy.

4. Plan Your Content Silos

By this step, you will have a pretty good idea of what pages you already have, and which pages are “missing” from your strategy (based on the list of keywords you are not yet targeting).

From here, you will plan what’s called “content silos”.

Here is the basic process:

  • Review an existing service page (if you have one) and optimize it as best you can. Ideally, this is a page that’s already performing well and is otherwise a “low-hanging fruit” page.
  • If you don’t have any existing service pages, create one based on one of your high-priority keywords. Again, these should be a keyword that is meant to attract your preferred type of cases.
  • Next, build a “silo” of content around your main page. In other words, create new pages that are topically related to your main service page, but that target slightly different keywords (ideally, “long-tail”, lower competition keywords).
  • Add internal links between these pages and your primary service page.
  • Over time, build backlinks to these pages (through guest posting, PR, content marketing, etc.)

Below is an example of a content silo approach for “personal injury:”

Image from author, November 2022

5. Identify Supporting Topics

As part of your website content strategy, you’ll then want to create other supporting content pieces. This should be content that provides value to your potential clients.

FAQs, blogs, and other service pages can support your main pages.

For example, if you are a DUI lawyer, you might want to publish an FAQ page that addresses the main questions clients have about DUI law, or a blog post titled “What to Do When You Get a DUI.”

There are a few tools you can use to research supporting topics:

  • Semrush – Use this tool to identify untapped keywords, content topics, and more.
  • AlsoAsked – Identify other questions people have searched for relevant to your primary topic.
  • Answer the Public – Use this search listening tool to identify topics and questions related to your practice area.

Below is an example of how the full content silo can come together for “Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer:”

Accident lawyer content siloImage from author, November 2022

6. Build An Editorial Calendar

Once you have all of your content ideas down on paper, it’s time to develop your editorial calendar.

This is essentially a plan of what content you need to create when you want to publish it, and what keywords you plan to target.

This can be as simple as a Google Sheet or as fancy as a project management tool (like Monday.com or Asana).

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always prioritize main pages. These should be the first content pieces you create on your website.
  • Create or revise your main pages and monitor their performance. Use Google Analytics and other SEO tools to keep your eye on how your content is performing.
  • Depending on budget and urgency, you might start with all main pages, or go silo by silo. Determine which service pages are most important to you. You can create all of your main pages at once, or develop the entire silo as you go.
  • Keep a record of your target keywords. Just because you “optimize” for them doesn’t mean your content will automatically rank for your target keywords. In your editorial calendar, keep track of the keywords you wish to target – by page – so you have a record of your original SEO strategy.

What Makes A Winning Law Firm Website Strategy?

The key to achieving seven figures with your law firm website is content.

Content allows you to target your ideal clients, attract your preferred cases, engage your audience, and so much more.

A well-thought-out content strategy will empower your website to achieve more for your business than any other marketing channel could!

Above, I outline a few steps to developing this type of winning strategy. But, achieving excellence takes time.

I recommend keeping your eye on the prize, monitoring performance, and making updates as you go along.

This will help you reach your desired result.

More resources: 


Featured Image: PanuShot/Shutterstock



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