Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

The Off-Center Approach to Choosing a Niche

By now, most SEO professionals understand the basic guidelines for choosing a niche for their website:

  • Assess your experience with the topic.
  • Assess the popularity of the topic.
  • Assess the existing competition.
  • Assess the profitability of the topic.
  • If you’re not passionate about it, don’t cover it.

But in order to make a strong impression (or even survive!) in today’s highly competitive online content environment, you’ll need to get a little more creative and specific. Specificity is one of the most important keys to building a highly useful and accessible blog or website, and subsequently receiving the traffic levels you’re after. Blind specificity alone won’t suffice, however, and for this reason, we need to use all of the tools available – namely, Google Analytics.

Develop Your Existing Site Based on Interest

By using Google Analytics, you can easily determine which areas of your site are receiving the most traffic, and which have turned out to be duds. From here, you can continue to develop your most popular sub-niches while placing less emphasis on the ones that aren’t working as well. This is easier and more efficient than creating a whole new site, and benefits from the fact that your audience will already be familiar with (and trusting of) your brand.

Don’t do it quietly. Make a direct announcement on your homepage, letting your users know that you understand what they’re looking for more of, and that you’re about to deliver in a big way.

Develop a Brand New Site Based on Interest

In some cases, you may find that one section of your site is so popular that it warrants a new, dedicated site of its own. Of course, this isn’t a decision that you should take lightly, since we all know how much work it can be to create a brand new site. If you do create a whole new site, you’d better ensure that the niche is sustainable in its own right. Looking at long-term traffic numbers will let you know whether the sub-niche is a fad or something that could continue to grow in the months and years ahead.

Fortunately, the process of marketing the new site will be a lot easier if you’ve already established a solid base of interest on your original site. You can easily create some hype by announcing your new site and discussing the purpose it will serve on your home site, weeks before you actually plan to launch.

The bonus here is that creating an “empire” of various related sites may prove more valuable in terms of traffic and activity than pooling all of your eggs into one basket and focusing on a single, massive site. It also allows you to target related but unique audiences without forcing them to dig through content that might not pique their interest.

Analyze Your Keyword Rankings

Google Analytics allows you to check the rankings of your targeted keyword phrases in order to see how they’re performing. Using this information in combination with just a little effort can work wonders when it comes to boosting interest in your chosen niche. Examples include:

  • Bolding keywords.
  • Adding new content related to your most popular keywords.
  • Improving on-page SEO.
  • Link building with sites prioritizing the same keyword phrases.

Let’s say that your niche is broadband wireless internet reviews, but you notice from keyword analysis that your audience is most interested in how that topic applies to small business online connectivity. Instead of targeting a relatively vague keyword phrase like CLEAR 4g review, add specificity and cater to your audience’s needs with something more targeted like “CLEAR 4g review for small businesses.”

Explore Other Forms of Content

In your quest for increased specificity and better connectivity with your audience, you may find that on-site, text-based content has its limitations. If the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, then a video is worth at least a million.

You’ll score big points with your audience if you choose a niche that’s conducive to video content, as well as other media-rich formats such as PDFs. For example, you might create a product review site and produce videos featuring hands-on reviews rather than simply writing about your experiences. As a bonus, this makes it obvious to your audience that you actually have some real experience with the products you’re discussing.

Explore Other Forms of Online Content Delivery

At this point, viewing a web page on a laptop or desktop computer is becoming old-school. According to recent studies, around 65% of Americans will have a tablet PC, a smartphone or both by 2015. More immediate estimates put this figure at 50% by the end of 2011.

The take-away? If you want people to regularly visit your site, it had better be optimized for smartphones, tablet PCs, and the smaller screen sizes and shorter, more sporadic browsing sessions that go along with them. This only enhances the already-strong case for short, punchy boxes of content with strategic keyword bolding and appropriate, eye-candy-like pictures to catch the interest of even the shortest attention spans. Again, some niches are more conducive to this than others.

Make Your Best Content Even Better

Just because certain sections of your site are wildly popular doesn’t mean that they have no room for improvement. In fact, you should be looking at these areas as a golden opportunity rather than a goal that’s already been accomplished. Do whatever you can to make the existing content even better, including various SEO techniques (bolding, mixing up important keywords) and adding new similar content to complement the existing material.

Written by Mitch O’Conner exclusively for the Content is Currency blog

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