Google is always optimizing its algorithm to improve user experience and help searchers find answers to their queries. New updates to its algorithm can change your pages’ rankings in organic search results. These algorithm changes can have a significant impact on your website traffic and conversions. A sound search engine optimization campaign is necessary to foolproof your site from dramatic drops that happen to many sites after each algorithm update. Tightening up your SEO may save your site and business.
Almost every business needs professional SEO services, since it is one of the few free ways to generate traffic to your site. Niche markets often need to up their SEO game because they are smaller in scale and they target a specific audience. This makes it critical to capture as much of the market’s attention as possible in order to sustain growth. Strong organic presence in search results for numerous related keywords for the niche helps tremendously with establishing trust and authority with the target audience.
What exactly are niche sites and how do they work? They are websites that target a very specific group of people or businesses. The audience for a niche market can be located all around the world and the best way to reach them all is through a strong online presence, including search results and social media.
Regardless of how unique a niche site’s products are, it’s important to understand that it is likely not the only site selling these products. Your competition already likely has at least a somewhat established presence, and in the long run you will likely encounter competition that’s vying to steal your potential customers. A strong SEO campaign helps ensure your content reaches your target audience by being highly visible in organic search results that drives traffic to your website and increases your sales.
Below are the top 10 SEO tips for growing your niche website.
Understand Your Niche Audience
As a niche business, your business is specifically crafted to serve your audience special needs. The first step to a successful SEO campaign is getting a solid understanding of your target audience. You can learning about your audience by performing in-depth research on them like researching their habits, frequently asked questions, and looking at how they interact with existing competitors’ sites & social media profiles.
You should also learn how they search for and make buying decisions on products like yours. Sometimes they do a lot of research first, other times they are swayed by uniqueness of products. You need to understand their shopping decisions in order to make sure your niche site caters to this in its presentation (on-page SEO) and content promotion (off-page SEO).
Know the Competition In Your Niche
It is important to perform competitor analysis to help you understand your competitors and their strategy. Existing competition can provide great insights into what works and what doesn’t.
Some of the things to look at includes competition’s social media involvement, blog content, and media coverage. You can even sign up for their newsletters to see if they actively use it and how they frame their messaging. You may never know which digital channel is their primary revenue driver, but you can get a good idea for where their efforts are concentrated, which is a great start for your strategy.
Research the Keywords Your Buyers Use
Keyword research is key to making sure your SEO campaign properly targets how your customers shop online. Researching this helps to answer questions like:
- What is your targeted audience searching for?
- How many people are searching for it?
- Are there specific options they are interested in?
This helps you see and understand the potential of every keyword and capture relevant traffic people use to find products like yours. Keyword research is essential for a successful online business.
There are many tools available in the market to help your niche keyword research. Most tools will allow you to enter seed keywords and they will provide other similar and/or related keywords. It may be a good idea to choose keywords based on their search volume, but that will vary from keyword to keyword. Buying keywords are usually more important than information-gathering keywords, so you will need to be the judge what to pick and pursue.
Long-tail keywords can be one of the most important keywords in your niche SEO campaign. They tend to be closer to actual purchase decisions, so ranking for those can be more lucrative. Companies tend to foolishly pursue keywords that get higher search volume and ignore long tail keywords. Large volume of search traffic is mostly useless if it leads to zero conversions.
The other benefit of long-tail keywords is less competition. It’s often times easier to rank for a keyword that gets less volume because many sites focus on bigger keywords. But as we mentioned above, chances are that your audience will find exactly what they are they looking for, resulting in more sales from the low-volume keywords.
Broad Keyword Targeting
This is not to say keywords with a lot of search volume are a total lost cause. Choosing keywords with higher search volume that your competitors are not focusing on can be an extremely valuable exercise. Their loss is your opportunity.
You can choose seasonal keywords that trend on a seasonal basis and help drive traffic in that particular season. Keywords can also be chosen based on a specific region, allowing you to capture highly relevant traffic for geo-specific queries.
Good Content Isn’t Good Enough
No matter how much you optimize a page, that alone won’t rank it. The quality of your content must be absolutely top notch. User behavior metrics are a confirmed factor for rankings, so if your audience is leaving from the landing page, it causes a high bounce rate that in turn leads to poor rankings.
Concentrate on producing content that is extremely helpful and provides a solution to your audience’s problems. Longer content always ranks better than shorter content. But don’t include irrelevant information or fluff copy just to make your articles longer as that will again cause visitors to leave. Make sure that your ideas are original and you bring something new to the table.
Offer useful information and always focus on the reader’s intent. While writing, take your time, perform in-depth research on the topic and cover all the relevant related questions. It helps to create a solid outline before you start writing. Remember that you should never write for search engines – always keep your audience in mind first and be determined to serve them the best information that no one else can provide in the industry. The ideal length for long-form of articles is around 2000 words but that’s not set in stone.
Optimize Your Content
Basic on-page optimization is a basic building block for any content. Make sure that your title, meta description, and heading tags contain your keyword. You should use your keyword in the first 150 words of your body copy.
You should also always use optimized images, as they help users digest your content. Studies show that more than 67% of buyers say images are extremely important when making a buying decision. Often times you can convey your message with a simple image rather than words. Images also help make your point and break up long form text. Images like infographics help make a point as a visual aid, as well as become shareable pieces for social media and link building.
Promote Your Site & Content
Links from other websites are essential for an SEO campaign. This is what Google still views as a top factor for rankings. Both external or internal links can help your site’s & pages’ rankings.
External links are links from other websites pointing to pages on your sites. To acquire these, there are hundreds of methods available, but some work better than others depending on your general marketing strategy and brand.
Internal links are links from one page on your site to another page on your site. These help sculpt Google’s understanding of which content & pages are most important on your site, as well as provide strong clues (via anchor text) what each page is about.
Your link acquisition should be organic and real. It takes time and effort but it pays off in the end. Google has released algorithm updates that specifically target unnatural or manipulative link building behavior, so it’s counterproductive to use “black hat” methods.
Be Social In Your Niche
Not all of your audience will be searching for information on Google. Many of your future buyers may use help from search on social media platforms. This makes it important for you to be present on at least one or two social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.
Social shares are known to have correlation with high rankings, so if you build an active social media following, you can help your content rank by promoting it on your social feeds. Social channels can also have a viral effect, leading to your articles being share beyond just your immediate network of followers.
Even if you lack your own content, sharing other publications’ content to your followers can carry value as well. Remember that you are building a relationship with your brand loyalists on multiple fronts, so being helpful in any way is a good thing.
Organic SEO Will Take Time
It’s important to remember that organic SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush or force things. Taking small incremental steps in the right direction will bring bring great results for your site.
Before you start implementing your SEO strategy, produce content and use it for experimental purposes. Target a few keywords and see how your strategy is working. This experiment provides you with a chance to discover any flaws in your strategy and rectify them.
Slowly implement your full plan as you start to see what works. This creates room for refining your strategy, which is important given that not every marketing initiative pays off the way you want it to. Pivot your strategy based on both success and failure.
Following these tips should help you reach your goal and help your site’s pages rank well for relevant queries. SEO will not bring results immediately but rushing is not an option. Organic is the key thing to remember when growing your niche business.