Today we're going to take a deep-dive into this article from Search Engine Journal about SEO tactics for small niches. If you feel like your niche is too small to reach effectively, don't give up! Narrow niche markets have unique SEO benefits. Once you crawl to the top of the SERPs, you essentially own the niche.
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
SERP = Search Engine Results Page
These 6 steps from @krisjonescom and @sejournal will help get you to the top, but we're going to beef them up with our own actionable advice.
STEP 1: Analyze Your Industry’s General Search Volume
Step 1a - Finding Keywords
Google Keyword Planner is a good free tool for this, but it's not the only one. Ubersuggest by @neilpatel is another great free tool for discovering new keywords and keywords you already rank for. There's an Ubersuggest chrome extension to make finding keywords easier, too.
🔗 neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ 🔗 neilpatel.com/blog/ubersuggest...
Step 1b - Snoop on Your Competition
See what your competitors rank for and study what you can do to outrank them. The @semrush Keyword Gap tool is a great way to compare your domain against your competitors.
Step 1c - Mine the SERPs
👉Manually look at the frontpage results for your keyword until you know the searcher's intent
👉Look at snippets
👉Click through the top 10 results and see what type of content they have
Take notes and include similar content in your articles.
STEP 2: Keyword Research
Step 2a - Match Search Intent
Focus on keywords that match user intent. If you're selling a product, include keywords with transactional intent, but don't forget long-tail keywords. @answerthepublic is a unique tool for finding long-tail Q&A queries:
Step 2b - Intro to Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer search phrases with fewer (but more than zero) monthly queries. They generally have lower search competition.
@Moz has a very thorough guide on keyword research and long-tail keywords:
Step 2c - Find Long-tail Keywords
The keyword generator from @ahrefs is probably the best tool for identifying long-tail keywords around a central theme. Enter a word or two, then look for long-tail results.
Step 2d - Advanced Google Searches
Using inanchor and intitle searches in @Google is an underused way to truly gauge keyword competition. It goes something like this. Go to Google and type:
Fewer results = better chance of ranking.
The more monthly queries, the better.
STEP 3: Incorporate Keywords on Your Website
Step 3a - Prepare Your Site
Once you've settled on a keyword list, start creating optimized content on your site centered around these keywords. How do you optimize your content?
Step 3b - Optimize Site for Keywords
Place your keywords in your
➡️Graphics (image alt and title text)
Keyword placements should be natural and not stuffed. Keyword stuffing is a bad idea. Your use of keywords should flow naturally as if you're speaking to someone.
STEP 4: Create Great Content
Step 4a - Model Content Around Successful Pages
Remember when you mined the SERP results in Step 1c?☝️You did that for a reason. Model your content around existing successful pages, but do yours better. Be informative and write to your audience the way they were intending (match search intent).
Step 4b - Focus on Grammar and Readability
Put a strong focus on readability and properly format your content. Digital marketing becomes a lot easier once you build authority with an error-free site. @Grammarly will help ensure your content remains clear and error-free:
Step 4c - Make Content Visually Appealing
Don't make walls of text. Incorporate visual elements and other mediums, like video, into your posts. If you don't have graphic design skills, use @canva. They have free graphic design tools and free courses to help develop your eye for visual design:
Step 4d - Apply Long-tail Keywords to Content
Remember to apply the long-tail keyword tricks you learned in Step 3 to each of your articles. Your keyword optimized content is how you'll pass your competition in the SERPs.
Keyword-optimized content with good branding for your business is a bonus. Think infographics.
Step 4e - Try to Land Featured Snippets
Jump to the top of the SERPs with featured snippets. Google's featured snippets frequently come from pages outside the top 3 in the SERPs. Including lists and tables can help.
@michalpecanek and @ahrefs describe how to optimize for featured snippets:
STEP 5: Perform Technical SEO
Step 5a - Technical SEO Topics
There are 3 main areas to focus on for technical SEO:
- Site Audit
- Website Security
Step 5b - Perform an SEO Site Audit
The SEO Spider Tool from @screamingfrog is one of the best tools for performing site audits. It gives you data on things like broken pages, mixed protocols and meta data issues on your site. Run it and fix any problems. Page speed is also important, so your pages through Google's Page Speed Insights tool.
Step 5c - Check for Mobile Friendliness
Since Google crawls with mobile-first indexing in mind, you MUST make sure your site is mobile-friendly. @getbootstrap by @fat and @mdo is a responsive, beautiful and flexible theme that's perfect for SEO.
Step 5d - SSL Certificates and Site Security
Sites that are SSL secure receive an SEO boost from Google. Google has made it clear they favor secure https sites over unsecure sites. If you don't have an SSL certificate, install one at once. @letsencrypt has free SSL certificates:
STEP 6: Build Your Link Profile
Step 6a - Monitor Backlink Profile
For this step, make sure your existing backlink profile is clean. Backlinks are simply links leading back to your site from other sites. Check your profile with backlink-checkers like @ahref or @Linkody. If your profile is spammy, disavow links with @googlewmc Search Console.
Step 6b - Backlink Profile Options
@craigcampbell03 compares a bunch of these tools in the link below so take a look at it if you're not sure which one is best for you.
Step 6c - Building Backlinks
Link building is hard, but you don't need to (and shouldn't) beg for backlinks. @brianclark from @copyblogger offers better strategies for natural link-building, including:
- Guest Posting
- Podcast Interviews
- Tribal Content
You can open the original Search Engine Journal article with the link below:
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If you feel like your niche is too small to reach effectively, don't give up! Narrow niche markets have unique #SEO benefits. Once you crawl to the top, you essentially own the niche.— Cohoist (@cohoist) May 22, 2020
These 6 steps from @krisjonescom and @sejournal will help get you to the top.