Niche-based Search Engine Optimization

The internet is a very competitive marketplace in which you business competitors number to hundreds or thousands. This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important aspect of web development and online marketing. The company whose website is located on top of search engine result page (SERP) obtains more visitors. However, high number of visitors does not necessarily transform to increase of revenue. Hence, a well-planned search engine optimization technique is essential. The plan may not necessarily aim for high traffic, but it should contribute to achieve the goals of your business.

In planning for SEO, search engine optimizers (or SEO experts) would normally use tools like Google Keyword and try to incorporate to their site the most frequently searched keywords related to their business. While this step is very important, going after the keyword combinations that are searched more often is not always a good idea. Others would go around posting backlinks on forums and blogs to increase Google pagerank. While this is also a good strategy, it is very labor intensive. Personally, I prefer to use this as a last resort, or if the website that I build really aimed for a high traffic, like a blog intended to earn through pay-per-click or affiliate programs.

Before optimizing the website for search engines (and even before developing the website), the following must be considered first with regards to the business of your client:

  • What is the goal of the client? Is it to increase sales? Is it to look for investors?
  • Who are the target audience of the website? Are they potential customers? potential investors? Are they located in a specific country? specific city?

These two considerations shall help us narrow down the traffic of the website. Did I say narrow down the traffic? Well yes, we will narrow down the traffic, but the few visitors that the website can get would definitely help to achieve the goals of the client. The idea here is to use the concept of niche marketing in search engine optimization. We want less traffic, but those few visitors are more likely to avail the product, invest in the business, or do whatever it is that the clients are hoping them to do.

The concept of niche market is a well-known strategy in the business world. Small bookstores can attain success by not directly competing with larger bookstores, by selling only certain types of books for certain types of book enthusiasts. The restaurant with the widest selection of food is not necessarily the one with highest income. Hence most restaurants appeal to niche market by specializing with certain types of food (chicken, pasta, steak, etc) and by targeting certain people (students, office employees, etc). With niche marketing, competitors are not really competitors. People can easily find what they really want, and companies can easily find people that can help them achieve their goals.

Here is an example of how we can apply niche-marketing strategy to SEO. A company is selling scented candles on wholesale or bulk order. It is located in the Philippines and while they intend to export in the future, they are not confident with the idea of selling outside the country as of now. The website of that company can be optimized for keywords “wholesale scented candles in the Philippines” or any rearrangement of those words. While keywords like “scented candles” or “wholesale products in the Philippines” will necessarily gain more traffic, they would not necessarily get the people who want to buy scented candles in bulk that are based in the Philippines. If we optimized for just “scented candles”, the client will be competing in SERP with companies that are not really competitors. The client's company will be competing with those companies that sell scented candles per piece, those that provide livelihood programs teaching how make scented candles (but do not sell them), and as well as those who sell scented candles in Canada, in Kazakhstan or in Eritrea. If we optimized for “wholesale products in the Philippines”, we will get people who are thinking of setting-up businesses, but most of them might not want to sell scented candles.

Gaining quality visitors is much better that gaining more visitors. Search engine optimization should not be the goal in itself. Rather, search engine optimization should be planned based on the goals of the client and the target market the client would like to do business with.

Posted under category: Search Engine Optimization

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