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March 21, 2011

Niche Marketing – Narrowing Your Path to Success – A SPN Exclusive Article

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Almost every single client that contacts me for help with their website laments the lack of traffic and buying customers. Aside from SEO issues, 99% of the time their main problem is they are tackling an enormous market that is way beyond their experience or marketing budget.

For some, the idea of digging deep within their market and targeting specific smaller pockets of traffic is a concept that they do not understand. They assume that they need to have a very large audience to get the most traffic and make the most sales. This might be the case when choosing a location for an offline store, but the world of internet marketing is far different. In this article, I will explain why your chances for success depend on narrowing the field and finding micro-niches within that large audience.

For the purpose of explanation, I am going to choose the digital camera market to demonstrate how to effectively grab search engine traffic using micro-niches. For the record, the numbers I will use as examples are purely fictional. I have not researched this market but am throwing numbers out there as an example. The purpose of this lesson is to explain why niche marketing works and not to help you find your niche. You will need to do that research yourself.

That being said, let’s look at the numbers.

* “Digital cameras” is a very broad keyword. Because it is very broad there will be a huge amount of competition. There might be 750,000,000+ other pages competing for this keyword. It is pretty safe to say you will never be able to crack that market no matter how much SEO you do. It would take thousands and thousands of dollars and a large staff to get anywhere near page one in the search engines for such a broad search term. Your research tells you that this keyword gets 34,000 search queries per day, but if you can’t get near the first page you will never see any of that traffic to your website.

* Now let’s dig a little deeper within that market and look at “Nikon digital cameras”. The competition may be 3,000,000 for this term. That is a bit better, but still pretty stiff competition. You may be able to get on page 10 of the search engines for this term, but since buyers rarely go past page one or two, again, you will never see any buying traffic to your site if you base your SEO and marketing campaigns on this keyword. It would take a hefty advertising budget to bring any traffic to your website if you make this the main keyword for SEO and ad campaigns.

* You have done your market research, and with your experience as an electronics store owner, you know that the “Nikon Snappy Dappy Doo SLR 360″ model is the most popular selling camera. (Can you tell I made that model up?) Your research also tells you that there are only 150,000 pages competing for this keyword and that the search engines get 150 search queries per day for that specific term. The numbers all indicate that this is a micro-niche that is not only doable but can bring buying customers to your website. With some focused
SEO and a bit of work, you can realistically expect to be on page one of the search engines without too much difficulty.

Another great benefit of using this method of developing your marketing and SEO strategies is the fact that the majority of the visitors to your website will be buyers. You don’t want to waste your valuable resources on browsers or researchers. If you focus on too broad a term you may get visitors who are looking for information but are not necessarily looking to buy. They may be looking for tips on using a digital camera, troubleshooting a problem they have with their camera or they may just be in the beginning stages of researching the best digital camera for their needs.

Since your website’s main goal is to sell cameras, you want your visitors to already be in the buying mood when they land on your page. Let’s look at the stages that your customers go through when shopping for a camera. You can do this by thinking like a typical online shopper.

* When researching a product, the typical shopper will first type in the broad keyword of digital camera. This is just their starting point; they are not ready to buy yet. They are looking for reviews and features to find the one that best suits their needs and budget.

* Next, they may type in SLR digital cameras. Now they are comparing the different models available to narrow down which camera they like best. They are still not quite ready to make the leap.

* Once they have decided what they want, they will type in “Nikon Snappy Dappy Doo SLR 360″ because they are ready to make their purchase. This is exactly the time you want them to arrive at your website. They have their credit card in hand and are simply looking for the website they want to make their purchase from. Assuming you have competitive pricing, excellent customer service, a well designed site to instill their trust, and compelling ad copy, they will buy from you.

Now you should understand why it makes more sense to focus your efforts on that small pocket of buying customers within a very large market. You get targeted buying traffic to your website and you convert them into more sales. A smaller field increases your chances of a home run.


Cathy Henry is an expert in SEO and organic traffic. Her SEO Services Company focuses on helping website owners achieve success online. Visit www.cathyhenryseocompany.com to read more of Cathy’s articles.

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