As an avid lover of SEO and niche marketing I often purchase tools to try and optimize or improve the way I work from day to day. When you look around the market at tools for niche marketers, you really can’t ignore Micro Niche Finder so I had to get my hands on it and take it out for a spin!
Primarily when looking at new tools I am doing so for one of a few reasons and they all surround traffic:
- Getting EASY traffic to my money sites
- Getting traffic to my adsense sites
- Getting traffic to my CPA offer sites
- Getting traffic to my niche product sites
Apart from that, I also want a tool which is going to help me identify niches I can quickly be competitive in so let’s talk about how Micro Niche Finder does at meeting my needs as a niche marketer.
Micro Niche Finder has a lot of bells a whistles to it. Unfortunately for me many of these bells as whistles add more complexity to the overall tool than help me get to my ultimate end goal which is quick traffic from untapped keywords.
Take this example. If I do a search in Micro Niche Finder for a keyword, I get the following data.
Let’s talk about what matters here. I want terms that can generate me traffic for not a lot of work so I care a lot about the traffic they can generate and the competition level in search.
Most of what I get in Micro Niche Finder is a direct pull from 3rd party services like Google Adwords Keyword tool and Microsoft’s Online Commercial Intent indicator. First let me say that OCI has turned out to be a pretty weak indicator of purchase intent over the years. There is a ton of evidence to support that and remember we aren’t always marketing physical products here. So that piece of data gets me no closer to my answer of if the keyword will work or not. I would never use it.
In addition to that, I have to run the OCI analysis on the keywords AFTER MNF has pulled down the Adwords keyword data.
So what’s left here:
- Search volume
- Search trends (well the little green bars from Adwords)
- Ad cost estimated from Adwords
- SOC (strength of competition)
As stated above, most of the information I can get here is free from Adwords and Microsoft so far so lets talk about the strength of competition (SOC) factor next. Hopefully I get my moneys worth here.
So the success of MNF hinges on being able to source a good/non-competitive keyword. This is the basis for everything else the tool is able to do relative to finding affiliate programs and finding domain names for said niche. If I can’t use this tool to find a good keyword(s) they I wouldn’t want to use the related tools it has packaged with it. If the SOC factor is a true competitive indicator than THAT ALONE makes this tool worth while.
So what is SOC? Its a little circle that turns green, yellow or red based on SEO competition. As they say on their website:
If the SOC is green, it means GO! You can do this!
If the SOC is yellow, it means CAUTION!
If the SOC is red, it means STOP!
Here is a screenshot POST run:
Seems easy enough right! Well the problem I ran into when looking at SOC was that it just wasn’t that accurate. SOC looks at a few factors which they highlight, the number of Google results for a term when searched, the number of intitle results, the number of inanchor results and the number of inurl results.
So here is why this doesn’t work:
- Number of Google search results for a term is meaningless…a keyword with 2 million results may be just as hard as a keyword with 500,000 results when it comes to SEO ranking.
- NUMBER of intitle results is fairly weak as an indicator of SEO competition. Many have shown that while the title matters in the ranking algorithm, its not a primary driver so having more or less people with the keyword in their page title doesn’t suggest stronger SEO competition.
- Same for NUMBER of inurl results. It’s just a number.
- Now inanchor is a hugely important factor when looking at SEO competition but again the NUMBER of pages showing up for an inanchor search doesn’t indicate its more or less competitive.
To be honest, I was more frustrated with having to manually check the SOC for every keyword after the tool pulled the Adwords data in, it wasn’t automatically available and became a time consuming effort to check each keyword.
This is why Niche Finder is still my FAVORITE keyword tool. It pulls a competitive indicator benchmarked off the things that really matter in search such as:
- The number of inbound links to the sites in the top 10
- The number of links to the ranking pages for that keyword in the top 10
- It checks how allinanchor POSITION matches with rank
- It evaluates on page optimization factors such as title, H1, density and more
A green in Niche Finder means go and don’t look back. Moreover, I don’t have to individually get these results keyword by keyword so it saves me a lot of time researching when I could be making more money! It automatically populates all the important fields I need to make a decision in one screen.
A green in Micro Niche Finder honestly doesn’t mean much of anything to me at this point.
Rather than waste my time trying to verify the actual SEO competition of a keyword with Micro Niche Finder, I think I will stick with Niche Finder.