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February 2, 2009

Search Engines and The Art of Niche Marketing

One Page, One Subject.

Building a new website and looking for a good search engine results ranking is getting to be a major challenge, now that most subjects you can possibly think of are covered by a variety of pages. All the major subjects such as travel, sport, news and sales are covered by millions of web pages. This means that getting top search ranking is really difficult to achieve, and hence the growth in SEO services as authors battle it out for top spot on those all important google results pages.

Even when your subject matter is a little off the beaten track, you’ve probably found you’re locked in a search results battle with all sorts of other sites and related topics. This is where the niche window starts to open, when you see other results coming up next to yours that are not offering quite the same service or information that you are. There’s really no need to be in competition with these sites.

As the web develops and expands, the chances are steadily increasing that a user searching and finding a site will find one where the content is an exact match with their interest. For web authors this means one thing, its no longer sufficient to produce one page covering multiple topics – you need to split up your content.

Doing this is simple enough. Read through your own content and split it up into the different topics or aspects that you cover. Now filter these sections of the information onto different pages, each keyworded to their own niche. Of course you should take care to have a home page that retains the address of your existing one, so that you don’t lose that hard won place in google’s index.

The smaller the niche, the higher the rank.

Lets imagine you had a site about shopping bags. You could cover size, strength and design of bags on different pages. This way, someone searching for shopping bag strength can find a page right on topic, and google will rank it very highly for relevance.

The more comprehensively a subject is covered on the web, the smaller niche you need to target. This provides an opportunity to create a high ranking page even on a subject as comprehensively covered as a pro sport, provided you’re covering information on a small enough niche. Maybe just the history of shirt designs for a particular football team, or the length of downhill courses at different winter Olympics locations.

Don’t contaminate your content.

A friend of mine built a web site to sell his rental apartment in Cyprus. On his front page he also included a short list of places where you can buy flights to the island. He thought that by doing this his page might come up when people searched for flights, but of course there’s no possible chance he could rank ahead of all the airlines and travel companies, so in practice all he’d achieved was to reduce the relevancy of his site to the core subject of rental apartments in Cyprus. Of course his customers may well want flight advice and he should provide that, but it must be on a separate page.

The point you need to remember is that however tempted you might be, don’t try to cover a second subject on the same page, because this will reduce the relevancy of the page when someone searches on your core content.

Let Google do their job

Remember what google’s job is – to bring the best information to the top of the results page. Of course we can spend a lot of time trying to work out what google’s definition of ‘best’ is, but you don’t need to worry about that. For a niche site the definition of best is what you and your readers think it should be. Its down to google to develop their rules to bring your site to its rightful place in their search rankings, and we all know they’re constantly changing their rules to try and achieve this. There’s one simple rule that will hold good through all the rule variations, a site dedicated to the subject a web user searches for will always be rated better than a site covering a wide range of information.

You can use this knowledge to create successful new websites. A page can cover the smallest imaginable subject width and still be a success, so if you have knowledge on a narrow subject, and one that could be of interest to other people, this could be an ideal subject for a website. Given this size of the web and the number of users, what subject could there be that isn’t of interest to anyone?

Of course the first test you should always do with a new web project is to do a trial search before you write a single word, and see how well covered the subject is already. The more coverage a subject already has, the smaller niche you’ll need to target.

My most successful websites have been created in response to failed searches for quality information, times when I can’t find what I want on the web. I’ve then gathered the information I want for myself, by researching around the web, libraries and friends for bits of information, done my own trial and error research and assembled all these results into a brand new body of knowledge. All that’s left is to write it up the article.

Your readers will help you develop your site

Website content development only really starts in earnest once you’ve got a new site moving up the rankings on a niche topic and developing a readership. Make sure your contact details are easy to find because readers tend to get in touch with additional information and questions. This helps you build the content and make sure you’re targeting the information people want.

About the author. Chris Brown has been producing niche web pages (such as and for nearly 10 years and runs local web building tuition sessions in Manchester, England.