Market Samurai is a keyword research tool that lets you find and target profitable niches for your site. It makes it easy to pull tons of data on keywords that apply to your website or article and figure out where to best spend your energy. In this Market Samurai review I’m going to walk through the process of using the tool to research a portrait photography business.
How Market Samurai Works
Market Samurai lets you start off by entering a focus keyword that your site or article is about. For example if you’re site is about Portrait Photography you might enter that as your primary keyword. From there you can begin your keyword research.
In the keyword research area you can either begin entering your own keywords if you’ve got a good idea of what you’d like to target (e.g. wedding photography, children’s portrait photography, etc) or you can click the ‘generate keywords’ button on the right to have Market Samurai load in a list of potential keywords. Generating keywords will give you a good starting point, but also likely give you some keywords that don’t apply. From here you can clean up the list if you’d like and then go to the keyword analysis.
In keyword analysis you can click the analyze keywords button and Market Samurai will pull back whatever data you have selected to start comparing your keywords. I typically like to compare the SEOT (potential traffic if you were ranked #1) and the TAComp (number of other pages that are competing directly for this keyword) to see if the keyword is viable. If you’re going to be running Google Adsense on your site it’s worth looking at the SEOV which gives a general idea of how valuable the keyword is. If you apply the “Golden Rules” filter, Market Samurai will only show you the keywords it thinks are worth shooting for based on their traffic, competition and payout.
In the case of our fake photography business, I’m going to run ads on the blog so I’ll look for some high value keywords in the golden rules section that I think I can compete for. “Portrait photography” has a very high value, but as a new site it’s going to be really hard to compete for (with 2,833 other sites directly competing), so I’ll start focusing on something smaller like “wedding picture ideas” which has 91 potential traffic and only 3 sites directly competing for it.
Analyzing the Competition
Next, I’ll click the key next to “wedding picture ideas” and go to the new tab it opened to check the SEO Competition. In the competition area click on generate results and Market Samurai will pull back the top 10 google results for your keyword. I recognize here that most of these sites aren’t going to be too easy to compete with, but if they aren’t specifically targeting the keyword I might eventually be able to rank.
Since I’m also going to be selling my photography services I’m not only concerned with how much money I can make on ads, so I’ll also look back at my ‘portrait photography’ tab and remove the golden rules filter so I have no filters. Then I’ll sort by the potential traffic (SEOT) or competition (TAComp) and look for things that have low competition and decent traffic. Even if these don’t pay well, if they fit my target audience I want to try and rank for them so I can bring in some customers. Also if I find something that fits perfectly, but doesn’t have a ton of traffic I want to try and rank for it anyway. For example if I add some keywords for my specific niche and location I may find that “wedding photography Northern Ireland” is easy to rank for but has less traffic than “wedding photography UK” I’m going to want to compete for that keyword because it’s so specific that it’s going to bring in some great leads. I’m typically using WordPress to build my sites so I’ll take this keyword and put into the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin for the page or article I’m building and track from there.
All of this can be done outside Market Samurai, but the benefit of Market Samurai is that it makes it really easy to do quickly all in one place. You can also use the tool to identify ideas for a whole new business or niche to work in, but I’d suggest not diving into a business niche unless you’re either passionate for it or feel like you have something you can contribute to the community that isn’t out there yet. It often takes a long time to get a site ranking and you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle if you’re just building a site that is like all the competition.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that optimizing for search engines isn’t just about having the best keywords. It’s about having awesome content and usability and then using keyword targeting to make sure you’ve got the best chances of succeeding. If you start small and build some traffic, eventually you may be able to compete for some of the tougher keywords.
Tracking Rankings with Market Samurai
Market Samurai used to allow ranking tracking for a monthly fee. Since I originally wrote this article they have removed this feature (as have other SEO services), because I believe it was hard for them to maintain. Market Samurai is still amazing for doing keyword research and targeting and continues to be useful for those purposes. Because of this rank tracking change I’ve switched over to using SEO PowerSuite for a lot of my SEO work. You can read my SEO PowerSuite review here.
Market Samurai Review: The Competition
There are a whole bunch of tools you can use to do similar things to Market Samurai. For this Market Samurai review I’m just focusing on what Market Samurai can do for your, but in the past I’ve looked at a lot of these tools (Moz, Raven, SEMrush, etc). Ultimately, my favorite tool is Moz, and I highly recommend it if you’re making a bunch of money from your sites or have corporate dollars to spend. The reason I’ve gone with Market Samurai is it gave me the features I needed for a one-time fee of $149.00 instead of $99/mo for Moz. This is a really great deal. In the future I may switch to Moz, but for now the extra cost doesn’t make sense for me.
Market Samurai Free Trial
Market Samurai offers a free 12 day trial of their software, which I definitely recommend taking advantage of. They’ll give you some tutorials on how to get the most of it and a discount if you’re interested in buying it after that. Click the banner below to sign up and start getting smarter about your targeting.