Clearly identifying your target market prior to planning your internet business strategy can save you money and disappointment!

Before you choose a product, you should know who will be your customers, what they want and if you can compete in that niche with a reasonable chance of success.Finding the answers to these questions will take a bit of time. Occasionally, it becomes downright tedious.

To avoid becoming discouraged, find a niche that you truly love. Brainstorm and write down everything that comes to mind as you think about what defines “fun” in your life.Ask yourself, “What would I want with me, if marooned on an island for a few weeks?”

Don’t worry about food and water, the island supplies these. It’s imaginary! Concentrate on things that will relieve the boredom and loneliness.Put your list aside for at least 24 hours…Choose the 5 things on your list, you would most want! Now the research begins.

As an example, I decided my cat, Patches, would provide companionship in such a situation. Opening Ad Word Analyzer, I ran an analysis for “cat”. Wow! It reported 834,177 searches in the last 30 days with 57.4 million results.

The ratio or Results/Searches = 65.

This is well below 200, my upper limit.

You can also use the Adwords Keyword Tool for free. It will show the number of searches in the past 30 days. Then visit Google and search the same keyword, look at the number of results and calculate the R/S yourself.

This seems promising, if you own a Pet Smart!

Unfortunately, these numbers don’t tell you enough. You need more specific information about what folks want for their cats. Looking through the remaining 99 most frequently searched phrases containing “cat”, I find a few of interest. And a couple that get a laugh, like “cat house”!

Looking at the number of Google Ads, it becomes clear, that I have not identified a truly “hot” niche. If you plan to drive traffic to your site using PPC this is probably not going to be wildly profitable.However, if you plan to provide lots of good information, with some entertaining writing and offer unique, in-demand products for cats, you can establish a great relationship with potential customers through a newsletter, ezine or blog. Just be sure you get them on your “cat lovers” list.Over time your subscribers will view you as a knowledgeable friend and be very receptive to your offers.For now, move on to the next item on your list.

Remember, start with the general search term, then look at more specific search phrases. The most precise phrases will find the bull’s-eye. Those “hot” markets do exist and with persistent research you will find your target market.