SEO Keyword Research
Total Read Time: 7 Minutes
The Ultimate Guide to Picking Profitable Local Lead Gen Niches
In this article, I’m going to show you the best way to pick niches that have the best potential to pay you tens of thousands of dollars for years to come.
Why is Niche Picking so Important?
“We’ve got it down to a science…”
Picking the right niche has the potential to literally MAKE or BREAK your business – especially early on but don’t let that scare you because never getting started (because of picking a niche) will literally cost you your whole business.
Picking the wrong niche can cost you money and months of time you won’t get back BUT at some point you just have to pick one, stick with it (learn the process) and accept the fact that you will probably make a few mistakes along the way. That’s all part of the process, learn to love the process (or at least appreciate it) and you will crush it at this. That’s why we suggest you build at LEAST 3-5 websites at a time, especially to begin with.
Picking the right niche off the get-go will give you the highest probability of success and the highest earning potential.
Too often I see people picking up $100 – $250 / month residual clients on local lead gen sites when they SHOULD be picking up at least $750 – $2,000 / month+ residual in the right niches.
You can either guess at it OR take a scientific approach engineered for maximum success and profitability.
Outline of The Process here:
1) Choosing a Location
2) Choosing 5 Niches in Your New Location
3) How to Find More Niches
Tools Used: Ahrefs, Yellow Pages, Wikipedia, Google Search
Article Highlights: KPI’s – Key Performance Indicators
1) Population Size ~ 100k
2) Weak Competitors in ‘Preferred’ Niches (we’ll explain that in a moment)
3) Enough business owners to send leads to (and gain potential client)
1) Choose Annual Niches – Non Seasonal are preferred
2) High Volume / Low Difficulty (meaning competitors don’t have a lot of SEO or backlinks (Low keyword difficulty in Ahrefs)
These KPI’s are big when it comes to picking your niche website. When it comes to choosing a location, you don’t want to overthink things. Choosing a location goes hand in hand with niche picking. That being said, we’re still only looking at a few main factors here:
1) Choosing a Location
1) Population Size ~ 100k+
2) Look for Weak Competitors in ‘Preferred’ Niches
3) Enough business owners in the area to send leads to
Preferred Niches are pre-vetted niches that our team has used in the past that have given us successful results. IE: Niches that paid us lots of money, were generally easier to rank for, and those that more often have competent business owners.
Some of these include:
Personally, I like starting around my location and branching out from there. That being said, we’ve ranked many locations all over the USA and the world for that matter, and the rules apply almost always the same. For this example, we’ll be focusing on niches in the USA.
Wikipedia has a list of those cities:
Following the search term above will show there are more than 311 cities to choose from with a population of 100k or greater.
This population size is important because it allows for there to be enough lead flow for our local lead gen properties we intend to set up and monetize.
As we can see from the end of the list, there are many populations that are over 100k and increasing in size as documented by the “Change” column.
If you’re going through the effort of building out a lead gen property, you may as well maximize profitability and work to minimize your probability for failure while creating less work for yourself.
Taking a scientific approach like this has an exponentiating effect in growing the success of your business, especially when you do so in all areas of your business.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When choosing your location, you want to be cognizant of the annual weather patterns, laws, regulations, and any other factors that may cause failure or hinder a project’s success.
For instance, in certain areas of Illinois, the auto insurance companies cover payment for ‘windshield repairs’ making it difficult to compete for that niche in that area.
Another example, some states don’t require ‘behind the wheel’ or ‘dmv permit testing’ ruling out the driving school niche in those areas.
This shouldn’t hold you up, it’s motivation to get it right as quickly and as often as possible creating lead gen properties with maximum efficiency in success determining factors (as documented by the KPI’s in this article) to stack the odds in your favor.
Create your own luck: where opportunity meets preparation
Some of your sites WILL fail. So we may as well account for that by building more of them.
This is why it’s important to consider building 5 lead gen/niche sites at a time. It’s generally also important to stay away from seasonal niches like pest control, pool cleaners, and snow plowing.
Seasonal niches like these will most likely not pay you year round, depending on the city you choose. I stay away from seasonal niches like these altogether.
And while we’re on the subject, I can tell you firsthand from experience that GMB’s (Google My Businesses) do not work well in the locksmith or towing niche. I’d stay away from those as well.
1) Annual Niches – Non-Seasonal / Preferred
2) High Volume / Low Competition / High-Profit Margin Niches
3) No Local Regulation, No ‘Surprises’
4) Competent Business Owners
Now that we have a vast amount of cities to choose from, we can take a look at several different niches in a given city.
Personally, I like to find 5 low hanging fruit niches in any given city and drop 5 lead generation websites on them at a time. This takes into account the natural defection rate in market cycles.
Not all of them may win, but we are massively maximizing our probability of success.
For all intensive purposes, let’s look at Las Cruces, New Mexico from our list in the image above.
A quick search in Ahrefs of one of the top ranking competitors immediately shows us there is a lot of healthy search in one of our preferred niches.
It also shows us a very low keyword difficulty score (KD) of zero likely meaning it will be very easy to rank. More on this in the next image below.
A quick look at the top 10 competitors for our niche shows the average unique traffic visitors each site is receiving per month. We can expect around 141 leads per month when we rank as well as the first competitor in the image above (you can view this information by clicking any keyword in Ahrefs under the “Organic Keywords” section).
It also shows us that the competitors have little to no backlinks and that there is a weak SEO presence in the area likely meaning it will be easy to rank.
We can even see that El Paso may be an even better city to consider with even more search volume for one main keyword.
The next thing we want to do is call a few potential clients in the area to source some information and make sure there are enough businesses to send leads to.
A quick Yellow Pages search shows us there are at least 20 auto glass companies in Las Cruces, NM. This is only the first page of the search and we can already see companies without websites.
It’s very important to call a few companies to field for information.
Be friendly, be willing to help, even telling them their website isn’t listed on Yellow Pages, and build some rapport so that these companies will trust you enough to give you some insider info on the local industry.
So far we’ve found Las Cruces makes for a great candidate to launch five niches on. However, we do still need to find four other niches in the area for it to be worthwhile.
2) Choosing 5 Niches for Your New Location
Now that we’ve found a potential location to launch a ‘5 Lead Gen Property Campaign’ on, we’re going to need our other niches.
When choosing niches, you want to stick to preferred niches that have already been tried, tested, and proven.
Don’t worry if this is your first go around, you can borrow some of ours.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When selecting your own niches, make sure they match up to the NICHE KPI’s and LOCATION KPI’s listed on this article!
Immediately we can see there is another low hanging fruit niche in our desired city that has high search volume and a low keyword difficulty. There is a problem here though.
Right away, we can see there are only 5 business owners listed on Yellow Pages to speak with.
A quick Google search to page three and four quickly backup this information showing there are not many businesses to send leads to in the area (feel free to check other sources like Angie’s list to make sure if there are enough business owners to send leads to or not).
This may become problematic in the future. In a scenario like this, it’s even more important to call these businesses upfront and see how much interest is available and ultimately determine whether the niche is worth going into or not.
Next, we can take a look at one of our third preferred niches:
This time around, we’re looking at the ‘massage’ niche.
Again, we can see the high volume to low keyword difficulty ratio that we’d expect from one of our preferred niches.
With 30 potential clients showing in the local Yellow Pages Directory, our third niche gets the green light.
From these three niches and our KPI’s we can derive the following information:
As we can see, two of our niches are pulling in strong meeting the mark, with driving school falling a bit short. However, if we can find three or more businesses willing to accept leads for driving school then it may be worth going into the niche.
This is rinsed and repeat for each city based on our KPI’s and pulling data from these preferred niches and new ones we uncover.
Next, let’s take a look at some good ways to find some more niches. You’d be amazed at some of the niches you’re able to find with a couple searches on Yellow Pages or Google Search.
3) How to Find More Niches
Finding more niches should not be challenging. There are literally thousands of industries in almost every city around the world. Sometimes it just takes a more creative effort to find obscure niches.
One method is to type a couple letters into Yellow Pages and see what suggestions pop up. You’ll find a wealth of niches by using this tactic.
Yellow Pages will give you some of the most popular industry suggestions as you begin to type in phrases. You can click any suggestion to see a full list of local businesses in the area, including phone number. Need I say more?
If you’re ever struggling to find a niche, this is a great way to get some ideas and even find some interesting businesses to call.
You never know when you’re going to find a super money niche that ends out working for your big time.
The process of vetting is the same for new niches. We want to run them against our KPI’s and search the competition just as we did with our preferred niches before.
These niches should score high against our KPI’s or they are not worth the time, energy, and funding it takes to create a lead generation property.
You now know how to pick high-value niches in low competition areas to maximize success and build a lead gen monopoly!
Picking 5 niches per location will help with any margin of error or lapse in securing a business owner to take leads for a given property.
It’s a great number of niches to maximize all five locations needed on one physical address. This way, you can choose one UPS box, craigslist residential location, your home address, or similar for all five of your Google My Business pages to each lead gen site/niche.
Building 5 projects out at a time will give you a good number of products to sell. While you are waiting for your projects to rank, you can begin building out new lead gen properties or start selling recently ranked sites to fill your time.
Being able to focus on niche picking with a bird’s eye approach like this allows you to build a streamlined system.
You can start finding golden niches that will pay you all day long for years to come with this process. You could literally just do this one task and then outsource 100% of the lead gen build and SEO work to a company like ours or you could grab an employee and show them this training and you’re off to the races!