The Beginner's Guide to Niche SEO

Filed in SEO, Ultimate Guides & Resources by on June 17, 2015

Niche SEOAre you thinking about creating a niche website, or have one that isn't performing well in organic search but want to do niche SEO?

If so, then you may need to get back to the basics. The basics of search engine optimization, that is.

In this post, we're going to look at four ingredients that make up the perfect SEO strategy, and how your SEO strategy can help shape everything you do for your niche website.

Just like any great recipe, remember that you can't leave out an ingredient and expect the same delicious results!

The four ingredients to follow are essential, so no skipping around!

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)

 

 

What You'll Learn In This Niche SEO Guide

  • How to take your keyword research and turn it into an overall plan for your niche website's content strategy, lead generation strategy, and revenue generation strategy.
  • How to optimize every post and page on your niche website for SEO.

 

 

Find the Best Keywords to Dominate Your Niche

Let's start with keyword research.

Keyword research can help you at any stage of niche website ownership. Because who doesn't want a potential list of 800+ keywords related to their niche?

First, you should start with the leader of free keyword research tools: Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

You will need a Google account to use it, and you will need to have signed up for Google AdWords.

Even if you never create an ad using their platform, you need that account to access this tool.

 

Brian Clark"At the deepest level, keyword optimization has nothing to do with SEO. It’s about knowing your audience so well that you learn which words will grab their attention, earn their trust, and persuade them to buy your products or services in the future. " - Brian Clark (Keyword Research: It's Not What You Think)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

If you're not a fan of GAKP, you can check out this post to see other keyword research tools in action for you to take advantage of for full niche SEO optimization.

Once you're in, you will enter the niche you are interested in search for new keyword and ad group ideas.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

On the next screen, click on the Keyword Ideas tab.

Look for the Download button and click on it to get all 800 ideas exported to a spreadsheet of your choosing.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

In the resulting spreadsheet, I like to keep the Keyword, Avg. Monthly Searches, and Suggested Big columns and delete the rest.

Then I label a new column called Plan and sort the spreadsheet to show the most searched keywords first.

(Watch over our shoulder as we collect 375 survival keywords for you to use)

From here, I like to do a quick assessment of what I can do with each keyword closely related to my niche. In my mind, there are a few options.

 

  • Create specific content types including blog post, resource page, video, podcast, lead magnet, ebook, etc.
  • Create a physical, digital, or info product.
  • Find affiliate products.

 

So in the Plan column, I go through and see what I can do with each keyword.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

What do you learn from this exercise if you are creating a new niche website?

You will either get a ton of great inspiration into how you will create and monetize your niche website.

Or, you will find out that you aren't as interested in the topic as you thought, and you move along to another niche topic.

If you already have a niche website on this topic but have been stuck on what to do with it next, you should get some new inspiration from this exercise.

You should have more ideas on what content to create, products to create, or affiliate products to promote.

For those that haven't bought a domain yet, you can utilize your new keyword list to find a great domain name for your new niche website.

You can use tools like Long Tail Pro to find domains that match your niche keyword, or try different queries on sites like DomainsBot.

 

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The difference between the two is that Long Tail Pro will find available domains for you, saving you time and guesswork.

 

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On the other hand, DomainsBot can help you find some premium domains to invest.

 

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If you choose the latter option, be sure to do a quick search on Archive.org  to see what content has been on the site before.

Also do a quick search on Link Explorer  to see what backlinks the site has.

You don't want to spend thousands on a domain that has a bad history.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)

 

 

Develop Content That Gets Your Website Ranked for Top Keywords in Your Niche

While filling out the Plan column of your keyword research spreadsheet, you should have come up with lots of content ideas that you can use for your niche SEO.

Why is content so important?

Because you are probably sitting there with a list of 800 keywords. You're not going to rank your homepage for hundreds of keywords.

 

Lee Odden"Content is the reason search began in the first place." - Lee Odden (30 Excellent Quotes from Content Marketing Experts)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

But you can create a piece of content for each of the top keywords and optimize those pieces of content to rank in search.

Then, your website as a whole can rank for hundreds of keywords.

The next step is learn how to create content for niches you are not familiar with.

Then organize your ideas and get them developed.

 

Grow Your Email List with a Lead Magnet

If you plan to build an email list and sell to it, you will want to create your lead magnet first.

Most people start blogging and driving traffic to their website, but all of that traffic isn't going to amount to anything in the long run if you aren't capturing their email addresses.

What does this have to do with niche SEO?

(Use this checklist to make sure your getting the best SEO for your niche site)

If you have lead magnet on your website from the very beginning, you can build lots of great internal links to their squeeze pages while building your list.

And if it is a great lead magnet, others will start linking to it too.

For our origami website, the first lead magnet maybe a guide to selecting the best origami paper for your projects.

Remember how we marked origami paper as affiliate products in the Plan column of the keyword research spreadsheet?

We're going to take a keyword that gets an estimated 18,100 searches per month and create a lead magnet optimized for that keyword that links people to origami paper sold on Amazon and by other vendors with affiliate programs.

What does this have to do with niche SEO? SEO + lead generation + revenue generation = niche website win.

 

Build Niche Authority with Pillar Pages

Pillar pages are the pages on your website that lead visitors to specific pieces of themed content.

For example, if you plan to create a lot of content about how to make origami animals, you would want a Pillar Page to list out all of those articles.

For some niches, an FAQ page can also make for a great pillar page. You can see how different pieces of content are linked throughout the FAQ page here.

What does this have to do with SEO? Pillar pages make great link bait. Plus, they offer great internal links to your posts.

Just look at this personal trainer who got 3,723 visitors in one day from one pillar article. 

 

Rank All Your Niche Keywords with Blog Posts

Once you have your lead magnet and pillar page concepts fleshed out, you will be able to decide which content to create first.

You can start out with your how to articles or videos on how to create specific origami animals based on the keyword phrases that had the most average searches per month.

You can use the tools suggested in this post to come up with great post titles around each of your main keyword phrases.

Each of those pieces of content will have an opt-in for your guide to buying origami paper, which is something everything an aspiring origami enthusiast needs to buy.

Each how-to piece will be linked to on your pillar page.

And each how-to piece will link back to your pillar page.

What does this have to do with SEO? You're building great pieces of content to rank well for specific keywords, and you're building great internal links to and from each.

 

Generate Revenue with Affiliate-Rich Resource Pages

Somewhere in your keyword list, there should be a great keyword phrase that can be used for your resource page.

Your resource page is the one that you link to all of the affiliate products that fit your niche.

For example, you might look at the keyword you designated as an ebook, how to make origami, and decide that now, you want to also make that a How to Make Origami Resources page instead.

What does this have to do with SEO?

(See 9 powerful ways to build backlinks for whitehat SEO)

You're using a keyword phrase that, if you rank well, will give you a ton of traffic to a page with lots of affiliate earning potential. Again, SEO + revenue generation = niche website win.

If you need some help with your content, you might want to look at using some of these great content marketing tools to get your content development moving.

 

Optimize Your Content For Your Top Keywords so Search Engines Know What Your Pages Are About

Every post or page on your website will need to be optimized for search engines. Fortunately, it's not as difficult as you think it is.

Start by having your keyword research spreadsheet handy.

 

Ryan Woolley"On-site optimization has long been a cornerstone in any organic search effort." - Ryan Woolley (Successful SEO Tactics)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

If you have a WordPress (self-hosted) website, download and install the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.

Once you do this, go to the Titles & Meta item under the SEO menu in your dashboard.

 

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Click on the homepage tab and set your SEO title and meta description for your website's homepage.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Then, on every post or page you create, find the WordPress SEO settings.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Use this to analyze your content and pages for the specific keywords you are targeting and to configure your SEO settings.

The goal is to have your main keyword phrase in your SEO title and meta description.

The keyword phrase should be in the opening paragraph, last paragraph, and naturally throughout your content in every post or page.

You should also have a minimum of one image on each post or page, and that image should have your keyword phrase in the filename and the ALT text.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

For those that are not using the WordPress software on your own domain, you will need to find ways to optimize your pages for SEO.

Fortunately, even the simplest platforms allow you to enter a title for your website and each of your pages.

These will be your SEO titles for your homepage and individual posts or pages.

You can then use your main keyword phrase as mentioned throughout your content and in the file names of images you upload.

Of course, I always suggest going to for WordPress software on your own domain, combined with an SEO optimized and responsive theme for the best SEO possible.

 

Promote Your Niche Website for Increased Traffic and Quality Backlinks

Once you have built your niche website and optimized your existing, you are ready to start promoting your niche website.

I know you were expecting link building to be the next logical step after optimization, but the beauty is that if you focus on promoting your niche website, you will build links in the process. The right way to do niche SEO!

 

Build Social Profiles for Visibility

You can start with the simplest form of promotion - social networks. KnowEm offers a free search that allows you to find out if your niche website name is available on the top social networks.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Anywhere you see an available means you can get the exact name you search as your username, such as twitter.com/yourusername.

Anywhere you see available crossed out just means you'll have to modify your username a bit.

Most of these social networks will allow you to create a profile with a link back to your main site.

 

Rand Fishkin"Social is the way our work gets discovered." - Rand Fishkin (SEO Experts Reveal the Truth About Marketing)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

You'll probably only have time to build up the main social profiles for your site, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

But you can still build those profiles and links to get your website visibility going. KnowEm can point you to hundreds of them by category.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Or, if you don't have the time, KnowEm offers packages to do it for you.

 

 

Get Traffic from Social Media Groups

There's a big difference between creating lots of profiles on social networks for backlinks and actually networking on social media.

The former will help you build links.

The latter will help you build authority and traffic, leading to a larger list and more affiliate sales.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ all offer something that allows you to promote your niche website, even if you have 0 followers. That something is groups.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Depending on your niche, you should find some groups on each of these networks that you can join and ultimately find ways to promote your niche website.

Check the group rules first to see if they allow you to share links, and make sure that the people sharing links in the group are getting engagement.

A group that is just a big spamfest isn't going to get you any traffic.

Once you find the group is link-friendly and that people actually engage with the links, find ways to naturally promote your niche website's content.

Do this by sharing new content to the group or answering questions in the group with your content.

Note that the SEO value in the links you build within groups is 0.

What you're going for is traffic that will hopefully lead to more social shares of your content and more links to your content by others with similar niche websites.

 

Get Traffic (and Links) by Providing Easy Answers

Want some immediate traffic boosters?

Set up Google Alerts for questions asked about your niche that you can answer with content from your website following the steps in this post.

These alerts will deliver questions to your inbox that you can answer with links back to your content.

Again, the niche SEO value in many of the links you build on Q&A networks and forums are minimal.

It's the opportunity to drive traffic back to your niche website that is the key goal here.

That traffic will hopefully lead to more social shares and more links.

 

Find Your Competitor's Best Backlinks and Steal Their Rankings With Niche SEO

Using any popular SEO tool (Moz, Ahrefs, SEO PowerSuite, CognitiveSEO, etc.), research the backlinks of your search competitors.

These are the websites that rank on the first page of search results for the main keywords you are targeting with your niche website.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Use your niche SEO tool to sort the backlinks by strongest authority, or highest quality.

(You can use this guide to find your niches most important keywords in 1 hour or less)

This research will reveal how your competitors got to the first page of search results.

You may find they have lots of links from social profiles, highly relevant forums, guest posts, resource pages, or other types of sites, as Link Assistant shows in the example below.

 

Niche Website SEO

 

Familiarize yourself with what you shouldn't do when it comes to link building.

Then find the best links your competitors have and figure out how you can obtain them as they most likely do niche SEO.

It might be through submitting content, creating a great resource on your website, or a simple link request.

Whatever you do, you have to make sure it is better than your search competitor.

You need to find better (yet still relevant) sites to contribute guest posts.

You need to create better guest post content.

You need to create better resources on your website.

You need to have a reason to link to your website that is better than your competitors to use in your link request.

Or (for those that are resisting the creating content part of it all) you need to know how to build links without content.

To beat your competitor in search, you will need to beat your competitor in every way possible.

Will it take time? Yes. Is niche SEO worth it? Absolutely!

To learn more, be sure to check out this definitive guide to link building for affiliates!

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)

 

That's All There is To Niche SEO

I hope you've enjoyed this introductory guide to niche SEO!

If you follow these steps, from keyword research to solid promotion, you should be well on your way to dominating your niche in search results.

(See this post for 375 survival niche keywords and how it's done)

Got questions? Please ask them in the comments below!

How do you do your niche SEO?

Kristi Hines

Comments (19)

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  1. hamza zoubir says:

    I just start my own blog I will begin my SEO journey with this post
    thanks Kristi

  2. Theo says:

    A very amazing post Kristy,
    I enjoyed every bit of it and it has opened up my eyes to so many things i never knew nor thought of before.

    SEO is a very wide subject and one can easily get confused and overwhelmed while trying to follow most of the tips out there on how best to do it. But this post is so different and actionable.

    I'm going to check out some of the tools you mentioned here immediately.

    Thanks for sharing and you both have a fabulous weekend.

  3. Joydeep Dam says:

    Hi Kristi,
    Indeed a nice in-depth post. I have to admit, I am not a even any closer to understand a bit of SEO, but what I have in my mind, is, to concentrate creating quality contents for my readers. By doing this I hope to be ranked by Google.

    I am going to bookmark, btw, this post.

    Cheers,
    Joydeep

    • NicheHacks says:

      To me that's the best way to approach it. Don't focus on Google. Focus on your readers and making a great site for them. As long as you're not doing anything blackhat or building dodgy links to your site you have very little to worry about from Google.

      • Joydeep Dam says:

        Thanks NH! Very much appreciated the quick reply.

        For last few weeks I am reading through various topics in your site, came to know about your site through a post in Entrepreneur(dot)com. I would like to put this site into my blogroll page (under preparation). In case of objection, let me know.

        Cheers,
        Joydeep

    • Kristi Hines says:

      SEO really boils down to finding the right keywords and making sure you use them in the right places. If you're creating great content, just make sure it's optimized with one keyword phrase in the title and you're part of the way there. 🙂 Then think about the rest of SEO as simply promoting your content in relevant places.

  4. Munir Nathoo says:

    Hi Kristi,

    Thanks for this great post! Have previously read great content from you and know that you are an authority in the IM space. First time I heard of Knowem, Thanks! Will definitely be using this tool. I have lots of problems with Keyword research and Content generation in Niches that I know nothing about but see lots of social sharing so I obviously think they are good niches to go for but when I try keyword research and try and look for content for the niches I get stuck. Would you by any chance have or know of a comprehensive guide to keyword research? Thanks again for the great post...

  5. Imra says:

    Really Helpful and "Value", I am big fan of you Stuart.. did u know why, cause u always delivered "VALUE' no BS..

  6. This blog is a rare gift to many upcommin and veteran bloggers. I'm going to apply every bit of these resources and hope for a magnificent improvement in my blogs ranking. My blog is pretty new and it needs something like this to facilitate its weening process. Thanks again

  7. Great post Kristi,
    Your ideas on page/post organisation for SEO really opened my eyes to the best structure
    of a website.
    The page promotion section using KnowEm will be very useful to me in the future,

    Thanks,Scott

  8. Oge says:

    Wow! Amazing - What a straight forward guide to create a profitable and lasting niche blog.

  9. Awesome post Kristi! I particularly liked the fact that you put a focus on content. Making individual blog posts for keywords/phrases related to your main keyword is one of the easiest ways to start getting your niche site ranked even without backlinks.

    One thing I wanted to point out was that with image optimization, there's a lot of additional things you can do. The file name and alt tag are both important, but file size and image size also play a part. I actually wrote a post on this exact topic. Feel free to check it out.
    http://dominiquej.com/blog-images-ultimate-guide/

  10. Sameer Sahil says:

    Hey Kristine, This is a great article.

    I recently found a good entertainment niche and already setup the website,What Link building techniques do you recommend for this niche ?