To make money with BANS Build a Niche Store you need traffic. Why Pay Per Click (PPC) when content BRINGS YOU traffic?
This is installment #2 of Watch me build a BANS niche site from scratch! Today we’re going to start to get this BANS site ready for some traffic and research some keywords before editing store pages.
To all of you that have been patiently waiting for the next installment of my series Watch me Build a Niche Site from Scratch, I’m sorry it took about 10 days to get this out. Sometimes life (and accidents) intrude a bit into the business of blogging.
The potential of my new BANS niche site
I am very excited about this BANS niche store because I think that it has great potential. Since “Build a Niche Store” populates itself with all the pages it needs based on the eBay category ID you fed it, you could already have buches of pages pre-populated in your store right after setup. When I went in to my admin panel today the first thing on my mind was writing some content to populate the site. I knew I didn’t have any content pages except for the home page (yet), so I decided to check out “store pages”. Boy was I shocked!
First of all, BANS has pre-populated for me every single sub-category under “Cell Phones & PDA’s” – so to my amazement there are already over 3,000 “store pages”. Each one of these pages is pre-populated with the latest eBay auctions, but there is no content or text on any of the pages. That would probably explain why after 10 days there are only 2 pages indexed by google out of those 3,000.
So, if I want to drive traffic to my site I need good content and keyword to bring in organic search results. Otherwise the only way to make money with this site would be to pay for clicks in an Adwords campaign, and (my) goal is to bring in traffic for free without spending any advertising dollars. I realize that I need many more store pages indexed (but not all 3,000). Taking the highest level category pages and writing better descriptions and titles would fix this problem. I also want to highlight some products on the home page, and I need to write some regular content pages with tips, tricks, reviews – I have to decide what kind of content might work best in this site.
Like I talk about in my Keyword Research Cheat Sheet – you need to know what your best keywords are before you even write your first shred of content. I could used some of the best paid tools for this, but I think that for this project I’m going to show you (first) how to do free keyword research in case you absolutely have no money to work with.
Basic Keyword Discovery Research
I’m going to start with the Trellian free Keyword Discovery tool, which helps you find not only search terms – but how many people are searching for them. I typed in the keyword phrase “used cell phone”, and these were the results.
I’m pretty pleased with the results, and this image shows most of the results I got back that get more than 100 searches per month. Nearly all these have some kind of variation on “used cell phone”, which is of course the name of my domain (w00t!), and the additional keywords all seem to coincide with many of the store pages pre-populated with eBay auctions. Right away I now know that I need to key in on getting content on those pages. I copy and paste all these keyword into a text file so I can use them later on. Now, I’m going to put some more variations of this through the keyword tool to see if I get any more great keyword suggestions. I try things like cell auctions (138), new cell phone (2,555), cell phone no contract (810), cell phone eBay (432), cell phone charger (2,133), cell phone battery (6,503), cell phone ringtone (6,930), cell phone skin (174), cell phone help (101), cell phone repair (2,332), cell phone bling (867), cell phone rebate (474), cell phone discount (453), cell phone signal (1,167), cell phone antenna (2,444).
I could have stopped after that very first search and just stuck with those used cell phone phrases. But by spending an additional 20 minutes brainstorming other things people might search for related to cell phones I dug out some even better keywords to use throughout the site. Not only do I have great keywords for the home and category store pages, I have some ideas for tips, reviews, and articles now as well. I had no idea that many people searched for batteries, antennas, or chargers (good news for me!!).
Other Keyword Suggestions
Now moving on, I used the goRank ontology tool to get some fresh related words to see if I’ve missed something obvious. The words I’m going to write down (after I searched on ‘used cell phone’) are sale, surplus, pre-owned, wireless, cellular, and mobile. All great suggestions.
How to find the competition for my BANS site
Now I use the google Adwords external Keyword tool for the same search. Why? Because they show little bar graphs of your “competition” for each suggest keyword. Competition looks pretty fierce for “used cell phone”, “used cell phones”, and “used cellular phones”. It’s funny though – with this free tool you can detect areas that would be good concentrate on, like where you have some search volume but almost no competition. The ones that stick out for me that are like this are “used cell phone sale”, “used cell phone nextel”, “unlocked used cell phone” – and there are tons of others. I am very pleased with the results of the Adwords tool since I have specific keyword phrases I want to work on right away. I write them all down in my keyword text file under the heading “low and no competition adwords keyword phrases”.
This is the list I saved:
buy used cell phone
second hand cell phone
used cell phone gsm
samsung used cell phone
used cell phone sale
used cell phone nextel
unlocked used cell phone
used sell phone
used cell phone t mobile
used cell phone wholesale
alltell used cell phone
used cell phone tmobile
used cell phone price
used cell phone lg
used cell phone pda
used cell phone stores
used cell phone contract
used cell phone batteries
used cell phone charger
cell phone resale
preowned cell phone
used cel phone
cell phone forsale
used alltell phone
used unlocked phone
pre owned cell phone
used tmobile phone
polyphonic cell phone
computer cell phone
99 cell phone
cases cell phone
I’m going to compete head to head in the keyword areas that have very high competition, but why not take as much as the “low hanging fruit” as possible? All this keywords seem to have no competition, so I’m going to key in on them as well to try and get first page google results.
Another great way to find your competition quickly is by using the free Keyword Spy tool. Just input some keywords and they show you your top 10 competitors web site URL’s. I used of course “used cell phone” for my search. The difference between just using google to do this search and using Keyword Spy is that here they tell you how many total keyword a web site has, and if you click on any one you can see what top 10 keywords they are actually using. Click on any of those keywords and you can perform a new search to see the top 10 for it. If you subscribe you can get more than the top 10 – which may be very helpful to me in the future, but for today’s purposes Keyword Spy showed me that there are a TON of keywords in my niche, but most of the competition isn’t using any of them very well (and using the hell out of Adwords).
Finding and Researching Trends for BANS
Stopping by google trends I compare new and used cell phone, and it looks like new is actually getting more search activity than used. This is good to know, because it means that I need to stress new (as well as used) throughout my BANS site.
I also did a few other comparisons in google trends like “sprint, nextel”, and “t-mobile, verizon”, to see if it gave my any additional ideas.
The Keyword Forecast Tool at adCenter labs shows that searches for “used cell phone” should only go up, and surprisingly the age group is evenly split from 18-50, BUT the demographic doing the searches is 65% Female and only 35% Male! Wow, this is very, very surprising news to me, and tells me that after I get some content in this site I need to do some real hard thinking about how to make sure my site caters to women.
I’ve done sales for years (since I first started working) and one of the things you learn is that men buy impulsively and women purchase emotionally. You can actually design a site so it caters to one type of buyer more than another – which is in fact where the reviews and content pages will make a distinct difference in this site.
Oh – and a quick cursory check of the eBay Pulse shows the iPhone as the number one most searched term. Looks like I’d better have some special pages just for that little monster.
Editing the Top 4 Most Important BANS Store Pages Right Now
It took me about an hour to do all that research and now I’m armed with some pretty good keywords, it’s time to edit some store pages. With over 3,000 store pages there’s only so much I can do each day – and even looking at my home page of Used Cell Phones out of the top 6 Store Navigation pages (on the left) The only one I care about today is “Cell Phones” and the 4 child pages directly under it.
I’d been tipped off by Alan over at Affiliate Confession when I initiall set this up that two of these pages gave a 404 error. They were “Phones w/o Service Contracts” and “Phones w/Service Contracts”. They didn’t work because they had a “/” in the name and bans made that part of the URL, and the slash makes the browser think that’s a new directory – so the page can’t be found and breaks.
All you have to do is edit that page and remove the slash from the “File Name”. That’s “how to fix BANS page with a forward flash filename”. While that fix makes the page work – the more important thing is that you can edit both the page title name and the filename (which becomes the URL) to whatever you want. Let me repeat that “your BANS filename can be ANYTHING you want regardless of what it was named when imported form an eBay category ID“! Got that? That list of keywords will come in really handy right now!
After looking back through the text file of golden keywords I created, I think that the best keyword phrase for this page is “cell phone no contract”. It gets 810 searches per month. Remember when you make these edits that you want the phrase to be exactly like you found it when you did the research if possible. Any slight changes might make a dramatic difference. While “cell phone no contract” got 810 searches, “no contract cell phone” only got 633, and “cell phone with no contract” only got 48!! You could reduce the effectiveness of this phrase to 95% just by adding in the word “with”! There are ways around this in page text (by using italics, bold, and quotes), but in a page title or filename it’s best to just stick with the exact way you found it.
Before I save this updated BANS store page I’m going to title (heading), description, and content to make it actually indexable by the google spider.
You can see I used the same title (heading) as I did filename html title name earlier. I didn’t have to, but I wanted to so that keyword combination would be even stronger. Most SEO’s would agree that keyword (meta tags) are useless nowadays – but I add a few anyway. The description (which becomes the description in your search listing in google) I crafted to not only entice someone to click, but also used my golden keywords for this page yet again. Notice I kept my description under 30 words (and my title heading under 8 words). Then I wrote 2 paragraphs or original quality content. I can come back and add more to this page in the future, but that should be enough to get it indexed right now – there’s lots more to do today elsewhere!
So this is what we have, our new page is now updated in navigation as you can see to “cell phone no contract” and when you click on it the page has our updated 2 paragraphs of text. The new description is in the HTML meta tag code – this page is now SEO’d and ready to go! The actual work took about 10 minutes, and most of that was thinking of what to write for the 2 paragraphs of original content. Now I’m going to go back through and edit the other high level pages in this category the exact same way I did this one!
What I accomplished on my BANS site today
- I did Keyword Research (for free)
- I researched Trends for my Niche (for free)
- I edited my 4 most important pages using SEO and original content for better search engine placement
In the next installment we’re going to beef up the homepage and make it look more professional, we’ll start monetizing this BANS site in other ways, and we’re start the initial stages of link and traffic building for this BANS site!
If youâ€™re reading this page to try and figure out is Build a Niche Site for you or not – please consider buying BANS through my affiliate link. I make a small commission, which would help defray some of my time and expense for putting together this BANS tutorial (and future BANS success articles) for you! I purchased my copy through an affiliate link in gratitude to the blogger who talked of his success with this niche building site script.
Now you can read Installment #3: BANS Makes Money with NO CONTENT!. Also – if BANS isn’t for you, please consider reading How to earn money using Affiliate eBay WordPress Plugin BAYRss. With BANS you build content basically around eBay auctions, but with BAYRss you place eBay auctions in your posts and pages. Check it out, I use (and make money) with both BANS and BayRSS!
As always – if you have any thing to add that would make this article better (or a question), please comment now below, or Contact Me!