Monday, September 29, 2008

Nine Hot Online Niche Market Research Sites

Nine Hot Online Niche Market Research Sites
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Here are nine online niche market research sites that will take you from brainstorming possible target market groups to in-depth niche keyword research. Most are free services or have a free component; one is a software program you can purchase. All these sites can be reached by typing the words in 'italics' into your search browser.

For brainstorming, generating content ideas, and clarifying what niche you want to focus on:

1. '' lists their top 10 magazine titles in the upper left-hand corner of their homepage. This site will give you a broad indication of what topics are hot right now.

2. 'eBay' is the largest online marketplace making it a great place to get ideas about what people are searching for and ready to buy. Click on "Sell" at the top of the home page and then on "What's Hot" to see which products and services are in high demand and making money.

3. 'PayPal Shops' is useful for generating niche ideas. Click on one of the Shops Categories on the left-hand side of the page to see what other shops are selling. The number in parentheses after the shop name reveals the number of PayPal members who have paid this merchant.

4. 'Amazon', with its extensive, searchable database of books, is a great place to generate ideas for information products. Type in your broad topic, such as "Information Broker," and examine the books that have been written about your subject, looking for niche subcategories.

For more detailed research and determining consumer trends once you have a good idea of who your niche market is:

1. 'Google Zeitgeist' is the aggregation of millions of search queries Google receives each day. As such, Google offers the following four tools to give you insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. 'Google Trends' can give you a broad look at search query data as well as relative popularity over time. 'Trends for Websites' provides Google trends for website traffic data. Type in a website address to see visitors by region and related sites visited. 'Insights for Search' allows for a deeper dive into search query data for marketers and power users. Create your own lists of "most popular" and "fastest rising" queries for different geographic regions over time and by topic. 'Hot Trends' lists the top 100 fastest-rising search queries right now (U.S. only).

2. 'Google Keyword Metrics' is a tool that tells you what keywords people are paying for on Google Adwords (Google's pay-per-click ad service). It shows you what keywords people are bidding on, the estimated daily and monthly search volumes, and the market value of that keyword phrase.

3. 'WordTracker' shows you what people are searching for online by showing you exactly which keywords and phrases they're using. This is useful when optimizing your website. It helps ensure that the keywords in your title tags, meta tags, and front page are the ones actually being used when people are looking for a product or service you provide.

4. 'comScore' maintains massive proprietary databases that provide insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. The information is based on a global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing.

5. 'Niche Inspector' is a software program ($127) that helps you perform effective and comprehensive niche market and niche keyword research quickly. The software does in-depth analysis of different markets to uncover niches that are in high demand but have low supply.

Niche market research is the key to your online business success. By making use of a variety of research site options—some traditional, some new—you now have all the tools you need to do effective niche market research online.

Dr. Susan L. Reid helps home-based entrepreneurs figure out who their niche market is, where to find them, and how to figure out your unique selling position. Get a jump on figuring out what the best product or service is for you to offer to your niche by downloading "Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion" free PDF at

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