LNIM058 – How To Do Niche Keyword Research (Part 2 — Keyword Competition)

Keyword competition

This is the much-awaited second part of 2-part series on how to do niche keyword research.  In this episode, we talk about how to judge competition, and apply the 80/20 rule to our keyword analysis.  But before we get into that, I talk a little bit about where I’ve been in the last few weeks, and where the show is headed.  Finally, I have a tool tip for you.  It’s a mind mapping too that I have been using to plan the show.

This Week Around Late Night IM

It’s been a while since my last podcast.  I’ve been working on some day job projects as lot’s of changes around work have been demanding most of my attention.  I’ve also been a little lazy this summer.  Special thanks to all of those that have come looking for me.  Good news — this may be my last “big break” from podcasting ever.  More on that is this episode as I discuss my plans for the future of Late Night Internet Marketing.

One cool things is my new main list (Auto Responder) content — launching soon.  Check it out today by signing up in the sidebar to the right.  New content launches July 20th, 2013 (so sign up now).

Internet Marketing News

Of course some big news since the last time we talked is the closure of Google Reader.  We discuss that, what a feed reader is good for, why Google Reader closed, that my favorite alternative — Feedly.

How To Do Niche Keyword Research (Part 2)

Our main topic for this episode is How To Do Niche Keyword Research.  This is part two of a two part series.  In the first part (episode 057) we discussed how to find potential keywords, and how to determine their popularity.  In this episode, we’ll talk about how to judge the competition.  In other words, will we be able to rank for the keywords that we found in part one.

When analyzing competition, I usually apply the 80/20 rule.  Where SEO is concerned, the 80/20 rule means that you really need to look at back links when judging competition.  We discuss that (and how to determine the number of back links) in some detail in the episode.

Internet Marketing Tools

We also talk about this week’s internet marketing tool — iThoughtsHD.  It’s the tool that I am using to outline the show.  Mind maps are a a great way to organize your thoughts, and also make great speaking notes for podcasting.

You can see the mind map for this episode here:


 An Outline Of The Episode



  • I’m back
    • On the road in a undisclosed location with Dick Cheney
    • Thanks to all came looking for me
    • Big job changes and a summer break
    • Might be my last big break ever
    • Server attack
    • Big plans for LNIM
      • Ultimate resource on the Internet for content based affiliate marketing
      • Best (most loved) Internet marketing podcast
      • Most valuable AutoReponder in Internet marketing.
      • Lead by example – working sites that make money
    • New methodology for time management
      • Considering releasing an entire product on how to run an internet business part time.
    • FA update to follow – slow progress
    • New AutoReponder. Sign up


  • Closure of Googole Reader
    • Why use a feed reader?
    • Why Google reader closed
    • Best choice is Feedly
  • Asiana
    • I have landed on that runway many times

Main segment-keyword research part deux

  • When we last met….
  • How NOT to judge competition
    • Advertiser competition is NOT keyword competition, but….
      • It can be related on a gross level. More useful for commercial intent
    • Number competing pages is NOT, but
      • It’s like saying that the number of joggers in the US is a good way to judge if you can win the Boston marathon.
    • Number of in title URLs is not
  • What we know is that the foundation of the google algorithm is backlinks
    • Page rank named for Larry Page
    • Patents on file and Stanford papers explain the basic idea
    • Problem is, page rank has issues
      • People can game the system
      • It ignores the face that most people don’t have a website
      • It does not automatically comprehend innovations like social media
    • So Google makes updates
    • Still, the 80/20 rule applies
    • There are no hard and fast rules for SEO
  • Quick SEO lesson
    • On page factors. What is the page about
    • Off page factors. Is the page important?
    • This means we need to look at backlinks

Tool tips

  • IThoughts HD for the iPad
    • Podcast show notes
    • Export to every possible format
    • Great way to visualize things
    • This mind map attached to show noteshttp://lnim.co/058


  • Next episode – interview with Dan Miller
  • Want to do more interviews. Let me know whom you would like to see.


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To leave a review, just go to latenightim.com/itunes and follow the instructions. Thanks!

Send us your feedback

As always, I’d love to hear what you think about the podcast. Better yet, I’d love to answer your question about Internet marketing on the show. Just drop me a line here on the blog or on the digital recorder at 214-444-8655. Don’t worry, there are no stupid questions. Unless you tell me not to, when you ask a question or leave a comment might even use it on the show.

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Episode 058 Transcript

Hey everybody. It’s Mark Mason. You may remember me, I used to have a podcast on internet marketing. Okay, I’m back. A lot of people have been saying, “Hey Mark, where have you been?” Of course, the answer is I’ve been in an undisclosed location with Dick Cheney. If you’re old enough to understand that reference then you’re probably too old to be listening to this podcast.

It’s really great to be back. Thanks to everybody who came looking for me, I really appreciate it. I got some nice messages on Facebook and other places saying, “Hey, where’s the podcast?” I really appreciate that. I got some testy messages. Chris, you know who you are. I’m just kidding. I really appreciate those messages, they encourage me and they’re the reason that I do the podcast. I say this all the time; there’s no show without you guys. For those of you that came looking for me, I really appreciate that.

Lots of stuff going on outside of Late Night Internet Marketing. Some of you know from following me on Facebook that there have been a lot of big changes in my day job over the last six months. I think I finally have a lot of that wrestled to the ground. I’m still working in the semiconductor industry for the same company, but my job responsibility has changed massively.

I’m doing something completely different, something that I’ve never done before. It’s technically very challenging and literally it was the kind of job where on day one you don’t even know what all the words mean. In fact, you don’t know what most of the words mean and when someone says something you ask a question and you have to ask two more questions to understand the answer. That’s sort of what I’ve been working on and dealing with in that regard. And that’s a good thing. It’s opened up a lot of new areas for me to grow my career, but I find it very challenging. So that has been distracting me.

Also, it’s summertime. You know how that goes. Kids are out of school, we’ve been spending time going to the pool and going on vacations. In fact, I’ve been doing some traveling with work. It’s just been a little crazy. I’m on the road right now recording on my Edirol mobile voice recorder.

So that’s what’s going on right now. I’ve done a lot of thinking about where the show is going to go from here and I’m ready to make a bold prediction that may make some of you happy. This long break of six weeks, or however long it has been since the last show, will probably be my last big break in content for a long time, maybe ever, because I’ve made some decisions about where I’m going to go with Late Night Internet Marketing and the show. We’re going big or we’re going home.

I was thinking about this over the last couple of days. I’ve been dealing with another server attack, a second one. This one out of Russia. The last one was out of China, the Chinese Syndicate or some 13 year old with a script, I’m not sure. This last attack was a Russian bot net, hard attack directly at WordPress.

This wasn’t really a traditional denial of service attack from what we can tell. It was somebody attacking my websites – 30 or 40 of them, many of which were on the same server as Late Night Internet Marketing – and it just took the server down. They were basically hacking the WordPress login. Of course I have things in place to keep them from being successful, but that doesn’t stop the traffic. Once the traffic overwhelms the server, you’re just basically hosed.

Transcript continued from the Episode 058 Show notes



Hi Mark - I left a comment earlier but I forgot to click notify me on comments - so just adding that in now as I'd love to hear the reply to my earlier message. Great content on your site and I just signed up for the emails. Looking forward to more info. I didn't even know what Wordpress was 2 months ago and now I'm hooked and bursting with ideas!!


Hi Mark,

Just found your podcast! Very informative so far. Thank you for creating it! I'm listening to them daily to catch up. I have a question about keyword competition. How should we evaluate sites such as YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, etc. that are ranking in the top 5 of the keywords I'm targeting? Thanks for the feedback. On to episode 59 for me.


Al Williamson
Al Williamson

Hi Mark,

You nailed this podcast. I can no longer simply lurk about. I want to take you up on your offer to talk SEO. I've noticed when I comment on someone's blog that ranks higher than my own that I'm able to leap frog them. I want to continue on with this strategy.

My linkback on the comment was for my home page. Should I start leaving links for the page I wish to rank? Thanks

Jason Jones
Jason Jones


Good to see you back. Hey I have a couple of questions for you related to the podcast.

1) What are the quickest, most ethical and reliable ways to get backlinks for your website? I find this difficult as I don't want to use a service that provides weak backlinks and eventually get me downgraded by google.

2) After 18 months of blogging, I only have a Page Rank of 1. What would you suggest as the best way to upgrade my ranking.

As an aside, I don't know what Google did about 6 weeks ago, but I went from having 30-40 unique visitors each day to averaging only 15-20. My visitors via organic search have fallen from 60% of my traffic to 40%. I haven't done anything differently so I'm wondering what might have changed.

My website is www.DrJasonJones.com.

Thanks for all your work and willingness to share!


Gillian Gaston
Gillian Gaston

Hi Mark, great episode, thank you.

I was delighted that you read my question about Micro Niche Finder and I look forward to your catch up with James Jones.

KC sounds great but it's a pity there is no free trial.

Best regards



Great to have you back Mark! Haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but got a kick out of the shout out at the beginning.

Really looking forward to where you're going to take things going forward, with the focus on being THE resource for ethical affiliate marketing. That's really been where I want to focus with my online adventures, so I'll definitely be along for the ride!

Mark Mason
Mark Mason

Thanks Al! Really appreciate the comments! You are absolutely correct that in the post-panda era, blog comments seem to be even more effective than they have been in the past. They are a great backlink strategy when done correctly because your comments add value to the internet (as opposed to some other techniques that just create spam).

As for the link in the comments -- you are asking about home page links versus "deep links". The problem with deep links is that Akismet (which most bloggers use) looks for "lots of slashes" in a URL and will mark it as spam if it has "too many slashes" or is "too long". To protect against that, you can create a short URL on your site (using pretty links lite or similar) and 301 (not 307) redirect the short link to the page you want to promote. Does that make sense?

I have not tested this extensively -- but I have done it and it seems to both help and pass link juice to the target page.

Hope that helps,


Mark Mason
Mark Mason

Hey dude. Good to be back. Sounds like we need more coffee.

Your site is beautiful, by the way.

Great questions:

1. This is a tough question, and I have a whole podcast episode planned for this. In your case, I'd be interested to look at what keywords you are targeting to understand where the competition is getting their links. You are already creating great content from what I see, so understanding what the competition is doing in your space will be key to answering this question correctly.

2. "Page Rank does not matter" is the mantra of people with high page rank -- but I think those people are right. I would not worry about page rank, except to say that low PR generally means low search traffic. And since you want search traffic, PR does indeed matter. But it only matters because it means that you don't have enough backlinks.

As for the google changes -- the timing of your impact correlates to the "Payday Loan update" on June 11 -- but your niche was not targeted by that update, so I doubt that is related. Panda is updating monthly right now -- so depending on your backlink profile, that could be what you are seeing. Or, it could just be noise. If it makes you feel better, I see changes that I cannot explain on my own sites all the time.

Looking at your backlink profile on ahrefs, there are two trends -- longterm decline and a recent spike. Neither of these explain a change in early June.



Mark Mason
Mark Mason

Hey Gillian -- there is a $7 trial to KC, by the way. Not sure if that helps or not.


Mark Mason
Mark Mason

My pleasure -- it was a great question.

I sent James Jones (owner of MNF) a message. Will let you know what he says.



Mark Mason
Mark Mason

Thanks -- I knew you would enjoy that reference. Appreciate all your support. Great things to come!

Jason Jones
Jason Jones

Thanks for the answers Mark. Think I'll put your advice to work and not worry about the Page Rank. Perhaps we can come up with some kind of link back network strategy with all the LatenightIM folks.

Looking forward to future posts on this!

Gillian Gaston
Gillian Gaston

Hi Mark

That's great - thank you. I will certainly give it a road test.


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