How to find a business niche?
How many of us have an entrepreneurial spirit but lack THE brilliant idea to launch a successful business? Finding a good business niche isn’t easy, but once you have one, it’s a good way of affirming your brand’s positioning.
Why find a niche market?
A niche is a specialised segment of the market you are targeting. Finding a niche to focus on is a way to target a small audience interested in your offering and likely to become customers.
Building a niche business implies being a specialist in that niche, a reference website that everyone will go to for information, thus generating traffic and revenue.
Examples of business niche:
- LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations
- Athletic wear for children
- Plus-size footwear
- Vegan baking
Follow the steps below to find your business niche.
Steps to find your niche
1. Determine where your interests lie
Think about your personal interests: what fascinates you, what do you enjoy doing or learning? Are you considered by your family, friends, or colleagues an expert on anything?
List all your topics of interest, things that resonate with you and your skillset. Once you understand what you are passionate about, you can consider making it your business.
Not only will you find it easier to invest time and energy in a business about something you are passionate about, but you will also come across as more authentic to your readers.
Niche audiences are particularly knowledgeable, so don’t expect to fool anyone. They will pick up on your enthusiasm and your drive to become the reference for your niche.
2. Consider your potential customers
The point of any business is to answer customers' needs or problems. Before pushing your business idea further, it’s a good start to ask yourself which issues your potential business could solve. Can it be the answer to a problem? Can you turn it into a product or service to meet customer needs?
In other words, you need to ask yourself who your audience is going to be, and what are their motivations, frustrations and expectations.
Research about potential customers and their challenges, know your customer demographics, location and interests to get an idea of your niche’s potential.
3. Search for niche keywords
The second step in finding your niche is to find specific niche keywords to build a website around. We recommend you focus on long-tail keywords, counting 3 to 5 words.
Say you decide to make the vegan shoe market your niche business. Here are a few examples of relevant keywords:
- Vegan sustainable shoes
- Women’s vegan shoes
- Men’s vegan fashion
Make a list of all the keywords you can think about, the more specific, the better.
It’s also a good idea to look at more than one language, especially if you target the audience in a country or region with more than one official or used language.
Say your business is going to be based in Belgium. While establishing a list of French keywords is important, you shouldn’t forget about Flemish, as Flanders-based customers could be a non-negligible part of your audience.
4. Check the traffic potential for your keywords
Now that you’ve defined your keywords, you want to check what is the search traffic and the competition for that keyword.
For this, you can use tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, a free tool. Choose the option“Find new keywords …” and paste your list of keywords. Then click on “Get started”.
The results will give you information about search volume and the pattern of traffic throughout the year.
The competition and top of page bids are used for AdWords advertising, but a high competition in AdWords generally means that there are many advertisers for the keyword.
In other words, high competition is an indicator that organic search traffic has a lot of competition, so a sign that you should brainstorm further and find keywords with lower competition.
When it comes to the volume, it’s better to have keywords with as much traffic as possible. But keep in mind that the more traffic, the more competition to rank well.
Do not neglect possible combinations and variations of your keywords, for example, “women’s sustainable shoes”. While this isn’t the exact keyword, it will also bring traffic.
5. Research your competitors
Before diving deeper into your business idea, it’s essential that you research competitors. Understand what kind of competition you will be facing if you launch your business, what are their best-selling products, their prices, etc.
If you find that there is a lot of competition in your niche, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing and shouldn’t scare you off. Take the opportunity to find out what your competitors are doing well and what they could do better.
Some tools to support your competitor research are Amazon’s websites: the best-seller list can give you a useful insight into which products sell better, what people like about them, what they wish could be improved, etc.
Another good idea is to use affiliate marketplaces such as CJ Affiliates to check for products related to your niche. You’ll get a precise idea of how popular and profitable your products are.
A simple Google search can help you get to know your competition. Enter your keyword phrase in the search box and take note of the first 10 URLs in the search results.
To explore further, you can use a tool such as Moz to get more information about the ranking URLs. Moz allows you to check important data such as domain authority, page authority, backlinks, etc.
Such data can help you understand how strong your competition is. Websites with a higher domain authority than yours and lots of backlinks will be difficult or impossible to compete against, but pages with a low page authority can be a good target.
6. Get a matching domain name
We’ll never say it enough, registering a matching domain name for your business website is key. It will help with ranking higher in search engines and will help your potential customers identify your business straight away.
If the domain name matching your keyword isn’t available for registration, consider registering it under a different domain extension. Remember that there are a lot of generic domain extensions available that might match your niche better than a traditional .COM.
For example, if your niche business is going to be vegan fashion items, you could register a domain name in .FASHION or .SHOES.
7. Test your idea
Start slowly by creating a simple website with a basic landing page to show your products or services. Make sure your content is well written, engaging, contains your keywords and is in line with SEO recommendations.
Don’t hesitate to leverage the power of social media to link to your landing page and promote your new activity. If you do, don’t forget to set up social media tracking in Google Analytics and follow up on how many clicks you got through social media.
Depending on what you’re selling, consider sharing some promo code or free trial for your first customers and drive conversions.
If your niche allows it, you can even set up pre-orders of your product to see how much interest your idea generates.
Don’t hesitate to run your idea by a small group of people as soon as your first product or service is ready, and then ask for feedback.
Finding a niche business can be a fun process, as long as you figure out what it is you’re really passionate about and how to turn it into added value for others. There is no need to necessarily be an SEO expert to be successful, but some basic skills in keyword research can prove useful.