August 19, 2008
Niche marketing with SEO isn’t quite self explanatory – so here’s a simple overview. A niche is simply a product category that people are looking for and that doesn’t have overwhelming competition on the supply side of the demand/supply equation.
The ideal niche is one that has great demand and little or no supply available. Such niches are rare. You could spend a lifetime looking for one and never find it – so don’t count on this if you are planning to do niche marketing.
Fortunately, niche marketing with SEO doesn’t require that one’s niche be ideal to be good from our perspective – just good enough. Most people who set up marketing websites don’t research the competition very thoroughly while picking the market in which they are going to operate. This is a good thing for those of us in the know about online market research.
By picking a niche with relatively high demand and low supply, and by “optimizing” our website to attract the notice of the search engines, we can compete successfully in the marketplace.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It consists of two parts: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page optimization is mostly a matter of picking a keyword for your page that matches the informational theme of the page. A web page with the theme “niche marketing” would have “niche marketing” in the keywords meta-tag in the Page Source” view of your browser.
Off-page optimization is effected by the recognition accorded your web page by other webmasters – primarily expressed as links from their websites to yours. Search engines are able to track both optimization factors – and they give more weight to the latter than to the former.
A page will have matured when other websites, known to be authorities on niche marketing, bear links pointing to the page. SEO is a big subject and you will see it referred to repeatedly throughout many websites concerned with niche marketing. The first question that should occur to you at this point is – What Am I Going to Sell?
Rather than pick a product that is familiar to you – or one that you can create yourself – both of which are very tempting choices – I strongly suggest that you decide at the outset to pick one that you know people want. In other words do the market research first – find out what people are actually looking for and that can be sold profitably – and then decide what to sell.
If your research leads you to a subject that is not the most familiar, so be it. Learn the subject and then sell it. It is likely that you will find a niche in an area with which you already have some familiarity, because you are likely to start with something familiar as you begin doing the research. It is best if this is so, because you can write most capably about a subject about which you care passionately.
What Do I need to Know to Do Niche Marketing with SEO?
In simplest terms you need to know:
- How to set up a website properly
- How to select the search engine keywords that will bring traffic to your website
- How to structure your website to be ranked highly by the search engines – so it appears on the first page of “results” that a search engine displays when a visitor searches for your keywords,
* How to “monetize” your web traffic to create multiple streams of income, and
* How to lead your sites visitors to a decision to buy what you are selling – without using a heavy-handed sales pitch. This is called “pre-selling”.
The first of these questions is answered very thoroughly by sources that I will reference in subsequent articles. It is a big subject – beyond the scope of this article.
The choice of keywords has also been covered by many writers on the subject. Each has his own angle on doing the research, and some make useful tools available to you either free or at modest cost.
How To “Monetize” Your Website
To monetize your website is simply to connect your site’s readers with an opportunity to buy something in such a way that you make money in the process. There are a number of good choices in this regard, and you can use more than one of them.
For starters, you can directly sell something via your website using your own merchant account or PayPal account. Your product might be a tangible item that you are prepared to ship or drop-ship to your customer – or it might be an e-book, a piece of software, or an information product that you will deliver immediately as an electronic download.
Then again, you might sell a product produced by a company of whom you are an affiliate. There are many good affiliate programs available. In this case you simply include on your website a link that takes the reader to a website provided by the product supplier. The link identifies you to the supplier, so if the reader becomes a customer, you get a commission on the sale. Such commissions can run as high as 75% and be very profitable to you.
And/or you might contract with a product or service provider to be paid a fixed fee for each referral that you send their way via your website.
And/or you might sell advertising space on your website, either via Google’s Adsense program, which will pay you on a per-click basis, or through one of several other programs. Some of these pay you on a weekly or monthly basis and can be more lucrative than Adsense ads.
A Note On Monetizing
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make when setting up a commercial website is to monetize the site too soon. Until the site contains enough useful content, its readers should not be expected to trust its author enough to buy anything on the site. Why should they? The traffic to the site will tell you when that trust has been established – then you will have “earned” the right to monetize it.
If you monetize too soon, before you have at least thirty highly informative pages and twenty unique visitors per day, then you run the risk that both search engines and human visitors will just see the site as a sales pitch – and accord it little value or rank.
The Value Of “Pre-Selling”
As I said earlier, most Internet surfers are not looking for advertising when they use the search engines. They are looking for useful information – authoritative information that informs them about the subject of interest to them. When you provide such information, you gain a level of credibility in your readers’ eyes that you can never achieve by presenting them with a sales pitch.
Niche marketing is all about credibility. As your readers recognize the value of the information content that you provide, they become more open to the idea of buying something from you. As this occurs, the likelihood that they will buy from you rises, the percentage of visitors who are “converted” into customers rises accordingly – and the ease with which you make money online soars.
If you are serious about making money with niche marketing, the next thing you need to study is the choices you will need to address in deciding how you will go about doing so.
A retired scientist, former psychotherapist, and author of five books on ethics, Bob Podolsky has been involved in Internet marketing since 1994. To learn about more important choices relevant to online marketing, visit http://www.create-easy-money.com/ways-to-make-money-online.html