A Proven Niche Marketing Strategy That’s Simple To Follow
Long-tail search engine optimization is alive and well, despite what many of the SEO nay-sayers post anonymously on forums and nameless blogs. It’s easy to believe the crowd shouting “SEO is dead!” because they make so much noise.
Take it from one guy that continues to succeed with niche marketing that it is nowhere near dead — it’s just changed a bit. In fact, it’s gotten easier because so much of the competition has disappeared from believing the nay-sayers and Google’s PR campaigns that make you think it can’t be done.
It can be done. Here’s an easy, step-by-step methodology that works great.
Step 1: Choose Your Keywords Wisely
In order to succeed in long-tail niche marketing, you need to pick the right keywords. Fortunately there’s a very simple formula for finding keywords that can be easily ranked for.
Using a tool like Majestic.com, AHrefs.com or (my tool of choice) KeywordCanine.com, look at how many different domains are linking to the top ranking sites for the keywords you’re thinking about targeting. Not just how many domains are linking to the ranking page, but to the entire site.
To be clear, you don’t care how many links are aimed at the site, you care about how many unique domains are linking to the site. That’s the number that shows the real ranking power of the site these days.
Find the site from the top 5 with the lowest number of domains linking to the entire site (or top 3 if you need to break into the top 3 to get enough traffic). That’s the estimate of how many different domains you need to get to link to your own site in order for it to rank for the keywords.
Notice that I said that’s an estimate, not a solid number. Not all links are created equal. If you want to really dig into the details, pull a report of the domains linking to that one site and see how well-linked each of the linking domains are (again, Majestic, AHrefs and Keyword Canine all let you do this).
If the linking sites are weak, you may need less links than that. If they are strong, you may need more. If the linking domains are unrelated to the keywords you want to rank for, that’s great news for you because Google counts links from contextually-related domains and pages far more than links from unrelated content — and you’re going to get links related to your content.
Step 2: Get An Exact Match Domain For The Keywords
If you want to rank for “blue widgets”, then you need to register either bluewidgets.com (or .net or .org) or blue-widgets.com (or .net or .org). If you can get the one without the dash, that’s a little better because Google will give you a small “exact match” boost. But if you can’t, don’t sweat it. One with dashes is fine.
The reason why you want an exact match domain (EMD) is that Google will let you get as many links as you want with your domain name as the anchor text without penalizing your site. You see, if your site is SomethingUnrelated.com and you get a bunch of links with “blue widgets” in the anchor text, Google will penalize you with what’s called the “anchor text over-optimization penalty” and your site won’t rank at all.
If your domain name is bluewidgets.com, you can get as many links as you want with “BlueWidgets.com” as the anchor text and Google will never penalize you. Even better, Google will break your domain name into its words (“Blue Widgets”) and count that just like a link with the anchor text “blue widgets”.
This is the power of EMDs today. The ability to get as many links as possible is far more valuable than the slight boost Google will give you if you have the exact match domain without the dash in it. That’s why you should register the domain name even with dashes if that’s all that’s available. Google still lets you link as much as you want with dashed domain names.
Step 3: Put Stellar Content On The Site
You cannot overestimate the value of having stellar content on your niche site. You don’t need a lot of pages on the site (I recommend five to ten great articles), but every page must contain top quality content. If you can’t write that kind of content yourself, you need to hire somebody who can. Mediocre content will not work.
By “top quality” I mean content that people are going to want to link to and share. I also mean that you have high quality images in the content. I personally recommend a service like BigStockPhoto.com, which is what I use because it has millions of images.
The content needs to be long (800-1,000 words or more), in-depth and entertaining. Remember, this content must be so good that it compels people to want to link to it or share it via social media. I cannot state this enough.
When it comes to the SEO of the pages, just be sure that the page title starts with the keywords you’re targeting and that you break up the content into subheadings that make sense. Also use bulleted lists where possible (that’s more for the visitor than for SEO).
Don’t stress about every little on-page SEO detail here. Google cares far more about the links and the reaction of searchers to the page content than about all of those other little things.
Step 4: Start Building Links
Steps one and two are fairly easy and don’t take very long. Step three takes some time but is still pretty simple to accomplish. This step, building links, is where most of your time and energy are going to go.
In order to get links built to your site, you need to reach out to website owners in your market and give them a reason to want to link to you. What has worked best for me is offering to give them a high quality article at no cost to them. How this helps you is that you get a single link in the About the Author section. That link, of course, goes to your new niche site.
Finding out how to contact these site owners takes time. You can look up their contact information using WHOIS data, or by looking for the Contact Us page on the site. You can also reach out to them via Social Media if they have profiles posted to their sites.
At first it may take some convincing to get a few people to take you up on it. The great thing is that once you have a few under your belt you can use that when trying to get additional work. Show people the other sites that have posted your content. Let them see how good it is. At first you can use the content on your niche site to prove that you know your stuff and can do good work for them.
Then it’s just a matter of continuing to reach out, write articles and get links until your site is ranked where you want it to be in Google. Once you’ve achieved the ranking, move on to the next niche site (though there’s no reason you can’t be working on multiple sites all the time).
One huge advantage here is that you’re getting links from sites and pages related to the keywords you’re working to rank for. Most sites don’t do that, and so it takes them hundreds of linking sites to rank.
Google quite literally counts a link from a contextually similar domain as being ten to twenty times more valuable as a link from an unrelated domain (all other things being equal). You will be surprised at how fast your sites start to rank following this methodology. I’ve got sites ranking with less than two dozen linking domains when the other sites in the top ten have two hundred linking domains.
If this methodology sounds simple, it is — and it’s meant to be. So many SEO practitioners make it sound complex and difficult. They talk up dozens of little details that only matter for super competitive keywords. For niche marketing those things simply aren’t necessary.
What’s necessary is proper keyword analysis, getting a good exact match domain, having stellar content on that domain and building links from sites related to the keywords you want to rank for.
Is it simple? Yes! Is it easy? Yes! Does it take time and effort? Absolutely. But not as much time or as much effort as you may think.
About the Author
Jonathan Leger has been practicing SEO since the web was born. He has a number of very well known tools in the SEO niche, including the most popular article spinner on the planet, TheBestSpinner.com.