If you are a business owner and are thinking of ways to increase your visibility in the search engines, you may feel that all is lost in your bid to gain a high search engine ranking. After all, it doesn’t matter whether you run an online shoe shop or an IT training company, because you’ve got hardly any hope of ranking well in Google for such hugely popular searches as ‘shoes’ or ‘IT training’ without spending an impossibly huge amount of money… right?
Well actually, there is another way of thinking. Instead of worrying about competing in all of the largest, most obvious areas straight away, consider the benefits of appealing to a smaller niche. If, for example, you have searched in the past for information on a more obscure subject area, such as how to use a certain software function or the benefits of a particular brand of shoe, but have not been able to find it, then this should strike you as an opportunity.
The job of search engines such as Google is to instantly bring users exactly what they require for their given search term, so if you perform a “how to…” or similar search and don’t quickly find exactly what you are looking for, you have an opportunity to really dominate the search rankings in that niche.
Use your keywords effectively
As you write an article or page of web copy, consider your use of keywords. You could use different forms of the same word – such as “change” and “changing” – in the title and URL respectively. Category names for blogs can also be useful keywords, allowing you to once again subtly mention a brand or product. Consider the many search terms that people who would be interested in your article may use. Many users, for example, type “how to” followed by whatever it is they want to do. Incorporate different word variations so that your article matches what a user searches for, to the word.
Genuinely useful content
Remember that even in a niche area, as ever in SEO copywriting, ‘content is king’. Ranking well in the search engines, both in a smaller niche and in general, means providing human users with genuinely useful content. It won’t do your online reputation much good – and hence, your search engine ranking for a wide range of keywords – if you merely write thousands of words about a certain brand of shoe without imparting to the reader some useful, concrete knowledge.
Now, you might be tempted to think that by definition, an obscure niche attracts too few searchers to be actually worth boring with. But if you think back to all of the times you’ve searched yourself for a topic for which there was surprisingly little information online, you’ll realise that an opportunity exists to attract users to your website quickly and easily… and from there, they’ll be in a position to discover everything else that your site has to offer.
Develop your niche!
Carefully consider the best niches to target so that your fresh, original and engaging content actually reaches those users who search for a wide variety of more obscure terms and who are therefore often forgotten. Rather than writing an article on a larger, more general subject on which there is already plenty of useful information online, such as insurance or games, consider starting with a smaller niche such as art insurance or the Gran Turismo series. Many of these niches don’t take much money to make a big impact in – just plenty of hard work.
With so many niches waiting to be claimed by savvy copywriters, arguably the best first step is to ask yourself where your company wants to be, and what it is passionate about, followed by which subject areas exist for which there is a genuine need for information among web searchers.
Even if simply excelling in a smaller niche is not your eventual goal, in order to reach that goal in the long term, it is sometimes better to find a path from one, small but specific niche to progressively larger ones.
Hit the right balance for effective SEO
There is always a balance to be struck between finding subject areas and search terms for which there is such a need for information, and ensuring that your website doesn’t become mired at the bottom of the search rankings for a term for which there is simply too much competition. Nonetheless, with high quality, relevant and useful articles, you can be of considerable use to a great number of human users, which in turn, does wonders for your search engine rankings and online reputation.