Here at Niche Laboratory I’m always encouraging you guys to check out other keyword tools. The more different tools you test, the more different micro-niches you will discover, simple as that.
So here’s a review of Authority Snooper. I like this tool because it’s actually a really good match with Niche Laboratory. They really complement each other. Use Niche Laboratory to research a high level topic (e.g. weight loss). Then use Authority Snooper to find easier to rank for keywords in one or two of the micro-niches you find (e.g. weight loss teas).
I should just say at this point that Authority Snooper’s creator Ed would never advise you to go into the weight loss niche! Why bother when there’s just so many other good niches to go into!
The tl;dr version of this review is as follows:
Authority Sniper basically allows you to see how easy it might be to rank for a particular keywords. It colour codes them green (easy), yellow (so-so) and red (ultra-difficult). As you can see I’ve researched the keyword tools niche and most keywords in this niche are red, except for one or two lower value ones:
The beauty of this system is that at least we have a system that can very quickly tell us if it’s worth us even attempting to enter a specific niche. The other day a Niche Laboratory user showed me his really nice drones niche site. He’d done a good job on everything except for niche research! I’m willing to bet that the drones niche is really tough and at the end of the day you’re still touting for nickels and dimes in this niche. See below for a niche I found which has $1000+ order values and pretty much all of the keywords are green!
To help you search for easier niches, there are some bonuses in the shape of a list of pre-researched list of “cheap” widgets. Of course a lot of these niches are fairly hard to rank for. But I was surprised at how many have apparently little competition. Remember of course that “cheap” is a buyer keyword so if you rank for cheap widgets then you almost certainly will make money.
If you want to learn more about Authority Snooper then here’s Ed talking about how his tool is a completely modern way of researching keywords:
There Are Still Plenty of Low Competition Niches
I see lots of posts like this one bemoaning the death of micro-niche sites.
Are they right?
Not at all! I’ve got a few micro-niche sites that have been sitting online since 2012 collecting coin month after month.
I am backed up on this by the fact that Authority Snooper says there are plenty of low competition niches around. It wouldn’t be too hard to get an authority micro-niche site established in these niches. You’d only really need a handful of backlinks. To prove it here’s an entire niche that is pretty much low competition:
By the way this is a high value niche with average order sizes ranging from $100 to several million $’s.
How to find these niches? Well you can use the bonus niche lists that Ed supplies you when you buy Authority Sniper. Or you can get creative and look for your own niches. My top tip here is to think about niches you might have encountered from your own career. Ed and I disagree somewhat on whether you should enter such niches. I’ll say that they can be lucrative if you have insider knowledge. I once made $100,000 from the software niche and it all came about due to a tool I saw somebody use in one of my day jobs.
What’s the Tool Like?
To research niches you have to input a list of keywords into it. You can easily export keyword lists from tools like Niche Laboratory. Alternative you can click on Add Keyword, enter a seed keyword (e.g. dog training) and sit back and let it find a whole load of keywords for you.
After that you can set it to work. It will check each keyword, giving it a green (easy), yellow (meh) or red (yikes) colour. If you’re just starting out then definitely look for the green keywords and don’t go anywhere near the red ones. However, if your site is at least a couple of years old and has some good Domain Authority then you’ll stand a chance of ranking for the yellow keywords.
I’d say that Authority Snooper is very much like a Sports Utility Vehicle. It has a basic UI and is a bit clunky at times. However, like an SUV it does get you to where you want to go. See my results below.
One thing I’ll mention is that the tool is a little slow. So start the job then go away and have a cup of coffee or something. Or you could run it overnight.
The speed issue is mostly down to it needing to use free Moz accounts and these are severely limited in how often they will return data.
Other than that it kind of reminded me of The Keyword Academy’s Niche Refinery Tool. That one took a while to trundle away researching niches but it DID work.
Spy on the Competition!
One tip Ed gave me in my coaching session was to click on the Competitive Intelligence tab and look at which websites are ranking for keywords in the niche you’re researching.
And lo, a pattern emerges…
I have seen time and time again that the same websites rank for keyword after keyword in their niches.
In other words, these are the Authority Sites.
There are four ways you can use this information:
- Get backlinks from them! Authority Snooper shows you which of the ranking sites are blogs. If they’re blogs, then there’s a good chance that you can add comments on them.
- Find out what they’re doing to get good rankings. Are they writing long skyscraper articles? Do they themselves have good backlinks?
- Reach out to them and make sure they know about your site. For example if they were in the niche websites niche then I would definitely make sure they had done a review of Niche Laboratory or Find A Forum.
- Do a little grey hatting and replicate their most popular articles. Of course you’ll have to make yours better than theirs are!
Sorry I don’t have any actual traffic results to show just yet. The week I talked to Ed about Authority Sniper I had to rush to start this crazy popular forum replacement experiment.
However I did do a bit of research into a number of different niches, just to see what the tool thought about them. I got these results:
- Wow, the make money online niche is of course pretty much a nightmare of red keywords. Why so many of you guys start in this niche, I’ll never know! However, if you already have some success in a niche then you can definitely tackle the yellow keywords. For example, Niche Laboratory and Find A Forum now have Moz Domain Authority scores of around 4. This means they’ll pretty much rank for any keyword in this niche (although they’re unlikely to go to the #1 spot). One really interesting thing Ed showed me to do… I checked the Competitive Intelligence links report and noticed a couple of fairly weak blogs had so many good rankings for keywords in this niche. You know what I’m gonna do? Make sure I’m also covering their keywords… with better content… then outrank them!
- I started a wholesale clothing niche site a couple of years ago. What do you know? This niche is WIDE OPEN with minimal competition! I might do some more to my site because order sizes can be as much as $6000 which would be some really tasty commission for me. Oh – if your ears have pricked up all I will say is stay away from the customised t-shirts niche which is ultra-saturated. But the other related niches – as I said, they’re wide open.
- A few months ago I started a TEFL blog. I’ve not got any pages ranked by Google and it sends me no visitors at all! Well I checked the “Teach English” niche in Authority Snooper and sure enough it was quite a tough niche. Not impossible, just full of yellow ranked keywords. In other words nobody’s gonna get overnight success with this niche.
- I spotted an interesting niche with $1000 products for sale on Amazon and AliExpress. I wrote a couple of articles about them on a couple of niche sites I own. I got no traffic. Well Authority Snooper shows this niche is fairly saturated. In particular there are a lot of bloggers in this niche, and that means a lot of people are probably doing SEO. Thanks Authority Snooper – you’ve shown me in just 2 hours that this niche is best avoided.
So that’s my review of Authority Snooper. If you have any questions about it then post your queries below. I should also add that Ed is full of ideas and a coaching session with him is well worth having. He will *really* show you how you can get the most out of his brilliant research tool.