“A website built on the foundation of solid Online Market Analysis will always out rank and out perform a website that has not.”
The sole purpose of market analysis is to evaluate your business opportunities in that market. If you want to start an online business the process is a bit different from an offline business. Online you have to do everything in terms of keywords because that’s how people find your offer.
Here’s a market analysis example:
Let’s say I’m interested in perfumes for women. First I have to find out whether there is a market for that online.
To get a market overview I go to Google and type in “perfumes for women”. Google returns 694’000 exact matches. Next I look at some of the sites returned. They all offer perfumes, none of them is pure informational.
I go to Google Trends and look there. From this I learn that this business is cyclic which is logical. In December there are peaks, of course because of Christmas.
What I can also see is that there was an upwards trend during 2009 and now it’s sort of static. Then I see other hot keywords which I can explore further. “Perfume for women” seems to be the hottest one.
I go back to Google and do a search for “forum perfume for women”. I’d check as many forums as I need to get an idea of the market. What are the preferred fragrances, what age are the people discussing, what is their aim for wearing those etc. I didn’t actually do this step for this example because it’s really interesting but very time consuming as well.
I’d do the same on Yahoo Answers.
Now I’m going to narrow my target market. So I go to google keyword tool and do a search for my seed keyword to get more suggestions. On the first glance I see that adwords competition is medium to high but also that perfumes are searched for a lot.
I sort out all keywords with less than about 3600 searches a month. So I end up with 88 keywords from the 717 originally found. This is still a lot and has to be narrowed down further. Considering my forum and Yahoo Answers research I sort out all irrelevant keywords. I end up with 26 keywords.
Now I do a comparison between global monthly searches and exact phrase matches. I do this in Excel and divide the exact phrase match figure by the total global monthly searches. Then I’d go for the lowest figures.
But before I do that using the paid versions of Market Samurai and Micro Niche Finder I can refine my keyword selection even further for title, URL, anchor text and domain competition. There is also a Free Version of Market Samurai. Using Micro Niche Finder I refine for measure of back links and strength of competition.
By the way all former steps can be automated using these two tools.
Having done all this I end up with three keywords: “cheap perfumes online”, “popular perfumes for women” and “top 10 perfumes for women”. Now I go back to Google Search, Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends, Forums and Yahoo Answers and analyse my keywords to find the one that really hits.
After all you can now decide whether you really consider entering this market. If yes I highly recommend studying your competitor’s sites especially those on the first page of Google, the forum discussions and Yahoo Answers. Try to find out what your competitors do to rank on page one. And then find a way to do these things better.
Ok. This was a market research example for an online business. Now it’s your turn.