Waikiki Site – Is There Demand for my Niche?

Waikiki Beach Lagoon

by Ryan

This post is part of the Waikiki Site Series, in which I’ll show you how to build a successful travel niche website from concept to reality.

I have a pretty strong feeling that people look online before coming to Waikiki for their vacation or move, but we’re going to check for sure today, and I’m going to show you how. I need to make sure there are enough tourists and people moving to Waikiki to support my website otherwise it’s pointless.

Where do I go About Researching for Demand?

There are two tools that I use when researching for SEO (search engine optimization) keyword phrases. I’ve included links to both below. One will require a download.

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
  2. Wordtracker Firefox Plugin (you must have firefox browser for this!)

As you can see from the screenshot below both searches are on the screen. The wordtracker plugin is on the left as a toolbar and the adwords keyword tool is simply the page loaded in my browser.  Once you’ve downloaded the wordtracker plugin you’ll be able to find it under the tools menu in the firefox browser.

The screenshot below shows results from both SEO tools when I searched for the term “Waikiki.” The image below is a bit small so click on it and it’ll load in a larger view on your screen so that you may see the results.

waikiki-seo

Is There Demand for my Niche?
We can see there is a significant demand for the term Waikiki. Wordtracker counts by searches per day and google does so by month. However, the Wordtracker results would only mean that 18.000 people a month search for Waikiki, while Google is telling us that 1,000,000 people do. That’s a HUGE difference of about 982,000 searches!

So how do we interpret this data? Well obviously there’s a huge difference here and I’ve read about it before on several webmaster sites. Basically take the wordtracker as the minimum amount of people possible coming to the site. If that’s the case we could still build a significant site with 500 people searching for a term. The thing to think about is the conversion rate and how you monetize the site. You can have a very high traffic website that doesn’t make any money or the opposite with a low traffic high income site. I’ll discuss monetiation in the near future.

Realize also that I’ve only used “Waikiki” in the example, not additional terms like “Waikiki Hotels” or “Waikiki Restaurants.” For those of you who aren’t web savvy, words added onto the original keyword like I did with “Hotels” or “Restaurants” are called longtail searches.

So we know that we probably have enough demand here to build a site that has enough traffic. This is the first step in determining if it’s even feasible to build the site.

So go ahead and download the plugin I linked to above and play around with search phrases. If you’re really interested in learning SEO I recommend you check out Aaron Wall’s SEO Book website.

Remember, we’re building this site using Thesis theme for WordPress, but if you were using Site Build it, which is how I built my first sites, they would also include more comprehensive tools included with their package. Realize that I’m trying to build this site for low cost so we’re getting what we’ve paid for… Free SEO tools.

When you build websites how do you track possible demand?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

David @ MBA briefs January 28, 2010 at 6:16 am

Great job Ryan, you’re off to a flying start. Being able to demonstrate keyword demand will also be useful when you’re getting local businesses to come on board.

I think the key to your success is to be able to list EVERYTHING there is to do in the area, all the usual tourist traps and the places only the locals know about. The big travel sites won’t have that kind of information so that will be your competitive edge. You might also be able to help give some of the smaller businesses a web presence which is another source of cash flow.

Keep up the good work!
.-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..The definition of FAILURE =-.

Evan January 28, 2010 at 6:18 am

If you are trying to build it for low cost I would recomment the theme I use – it is amazing, and I have been told it rivals Thesis in options…OH AND IT IS FREE!
.-= Evan´s last blog ..Is there Anything More Important than Money when it comes to a Job? =-.

Ryan January 28, 2010 at 11:07 am

@ David – I completely agree that it should encompass anything. That’s the power of niches since big companies don’t have the time or energy to go into as much detail. They also can’t give opinions and share the website like a story.

I did consider offer websites to businesses and may even advertise that on this site eventually, but I’m not sure I want direct clients, much prefer the affiliate model. Thank for the compliment.

@ Evan – I’m using Thesis because that’s what I’m familiar with and because as people review this guide in the future I’ll offer it and get an affiliate kickback. I’m wondering what theme you use?
.-= Ryan´s last blog ..The Part Time Job Search =-.

david @ MBA briefs January 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I was thinking in order to populate your site with content you may need to create pages for some of those businesses, in which case you could give them the option of upgrading to a premium page ad or a standard listing. Either way you win.

I think Evan is using Atalhuapa theme, same as LeanLifeCoach.
.-= david @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Do positions of power corrupt people or attract people who are already corrupt? =-.

LeanLifeCoach January 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I’ve only recently begun playing with FF. Gotta say, I love it so far. Thanks for another plug-in. Evan is using Atahualpa. I’m using the same thing for each of my sites. My rule for my web hobby is that I spend zero $ unless I generate $. This theme provided a huge amount of flexibility and opportunity to customize without having to be versed in html, php etc…

My biggest concern with traffic data is the discrepancies that I find in the various sources. I’m not referring to just your data but WP-Stats says one thing, google another, FF has something different than Alexa or Compete or Quantcast. No two mechanisms agree.

There are lots of reasons to doubt the validity of the total number provided. i.e. how many are school kids working on their geography reports? How many are dreaming about how to spend the lottery they know they are going to win?

However, cut the 1 mill in half and it’s still worth additional analysis and shows potential. Is the competitive survey coming soon?
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..We Canceled My Wife’s Life Insurance =-.

Ryan January 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

@ David – There are a ton of ways to go about monetizing, but I don’t want my site to feel corporate or feel like there are listings. From that angle, I will write a full review of each business or service I use with pictures of me doing so. The key at first is to win with overall content to help everyone without worrying about advertising. Once the site is proven with traffic and the best content, then I can threaten to pull their page (mafia style protection, haha) or simply create some pages in front of others in a naturally flowing kind of way.

@ Coach – I’ll discuss competition pretty soon, This series will have one post a week so it should be coming up within the next two weeks. If you spend $0 on your site how do you pay for hosting and your domain?

Tracy January 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

Hey Ryan! Thanks for the heads up on the wordtracker tool. I am still such a newby at this, I need all the help I can get! What a find.
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..Another Measure of Wealth =-.

Ryan January 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

@ Tracy – No worries, I absolutely love this tool and use it a lot, even for posts on this site. I’ll have more tools in future posts as well, should be a fun ongoing series.

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