Good market research can save your tail
Market research doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot of money, but it’s one of the most important parts of business. Here, we take the mystery out of it, and I share some secrets with you.
You wouldn’t open a brick-and-mortar business without doing your research. Before you invest a lot of time and money in something, you’d want to know that there are buyers for what you’re selling, right? You’d want to have an idea of how many people want it, and how much they’re willing to spend on it. You want to know the lay of the land, so to speak. That’s what market research is, in a nutshell.
While online businesses don’t cost as much to start as traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, and while it’s possible to fail at one and try another without breaking the bank, it’s still a good idea to do some market research first. It will save you time and money, and some frustration, too. It gives you a picture of the market, including your potential competition, and what need(s) you can meet. That’s why you need to do it.
Market research can cost thousands of dollars if you let it. It certainly doesn’t have to cost anywhere near that much, though. In fact, you can do it without spending a dime. All it takes is the know-how and the time.
Keyword research is affordable market research
What is “keyword research?” It’s finding out what people are entering into search engines to find what they want. Sounds simple, right? It is, and it’s also complex. It’s one of those things that you can get the gist of in a moment, but it can take years to master.
I spent several years learning about keyword research, which is one of the most effective and affordable means of conducting market research. Thank God someone decided to track what searches were entered into search engines. I learned through experience with Adwords ads and Google’s keyword research tool (now called “keyword planner”), for a now-defunct website we owned (sometimes we learn by failing forward). Then I learned more while writing for an online magazine, where the editors shared a large amount of valuable information with the writers. Our success was their success, so they were motivated to teach us all about keyword research through multiple learning modules and examples.
During those years, I found paid tools to use, also. I took all of that knowledge and I experimented and researched for thousands of hours. Now I can find viable niches and keywords in far less time. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend learning how to analyze keyword research, it’s best to buy a report from someone who already knows how to do it.
Keyword research reports
The fastest and most affordable way to conduct market research is to create or purchase a keyword research report. A keyword research report is a spreadsheet of information about what people are searching for online. A good report will include what people want, what words they use to search for it, how many people are looking for it, and whether other companies are making a profit related to those search terms.
An excellent report will segment that information and tell you which keywords and key phrases would be best for your website’s name, tabs, page titles, and headings, or, if you’re writing a book, which ones would be best for the title, chapter headings, and content. Considering that more than 80% of consumers use the internet to make purchasing decisions and purchases (and that figure is increasing all the time), that information can be a goldmine. It can be all you need to know which online business ideas are commercially viable.
If you create a keyword research report yourself, which you can do with either paid or free tools, prepare to invest up to 100 hours in the process for your first time looking for a business or book idea. It might take less time than that, of course, depending on how quickly you get a feel for the tool(s) and interpreting the data and what amount of analysis you’re comfortable with before making a decision. It does take time, however.
Keyword research involves gathering data and extensive time sorting and analyzing that data. It’s worth doing, though, make no mistake about that. Having a keyword research report done for you will save you a lot of time and effort learning how to do it yourself, but it does cost money. If you purchase one, please make sure it’s going to contain what you need.
How much does a keyword research report cost?
Most reports cost from $100 to $300 and have from 10 to 100 keywords, which is not enough information to base a business on. I recommend asking them how many keywords you can expect, to be sure you’re going to get enough information in that report. We offer up-to-the-minute custom reports that usually contain around 1,000 keywords (our largest report to date contained over 10,000 keywords), for $300.
For people who are very cost-conscious or can’t afford to spend $300 yet, we offer reports that were done recently on a variety of topics. They’re not custom-made for you, but they do cost less and they contain valuable information you can use. Some people find them to be perfect for their needs. Those reports are $100. So, for less than other report providers, you get far more, including help understanding where and how to use the information.
If you want to avoid spending any money on keyword research, and would rather invest your time instead of money, I understand, and I recommend Google Keyword Planner. Once you have a list of viable options for your business, you can begin to narrow it down. Then you can look into the legalities of business, what platform to use, and how to market your new business.
What do you search for online? It may be a clue to what kind of online business you should start. Share below.