A few days ago, after the recent Google Penguin Update on 23 September, 2016, someone asked me how to go about SEO for niche sites now and in future? Normally, in these situations I would refer them to somewhere like NichePursuits or Backlinko. I can explain them the basics of Niche Website SEO, but it becomes exhausting when you have to repeatedly answer the same questions over and over again.
So, today while thinking what to write for the second post of my new blog which I launched last month (read my intro post to know more about me), I decided to cover the most important aspect of Niche Website Building process i.e., SEO.
I mean let’s face it, with a little training, everyone can do Keyword Research, Website Setup, Customization and Content Writing etc. But what is not easy for everyone is SEO. Even people who have been active for years can’t be sure that, what they are doing is right when it comes to SEO. Because Google hates to be gamed, so they are continuously taking measures to stay ahead of the game.
I had to almost quite Internet Marketing when Google announced their Exact Match Domains (EMD) update back in 2012. I was caught completely off guard on this one and wasn’t prepared to tackle this because I didn’t see it coming. My primary source of Income at that time were Niche Websites built on Exact Match Domains. I had many of those. And I suddenly went from making $$$ to 000 overnight. My traffic and income took a huge hit, more than 90% of my traffic and income was eradicated in one single blow.
That coupled with few personal and family related issues, I was never able to completely recover from it. Things are getting back on track now and I am almost where I was a few years ago.
But the point is that no one can claim that what they are suggesting is the right strategy. Nowadays, people just read the flashy advertising material of the SEO Companies and straight away go buy their services.
But there is one thing that is always overlooked by people when hiring SEO Services Providers. SEO is not what it used to be. There has been so many Google Algorithm updates happening, that as of now, no one really knows what actually is working. Everyone is just speculating; “Maybe” this will work.
Maybe, some of them are speaking from personal experience. But in today’s rapidly changing Google Algos, nothing is sure to work in long term. What is relevant today, may become Spam tomorrow and BAM! You just received yourself a penalty.
I mean let’s just look at it, Directory Submission: DEAD, Social Bookmarking: DEAD, Article Marketing: DEAD, Blog Comments: DEAD, Blog Networks: DEAD, Forum Links: DEAD, Link Pyramids: DEAD, Link Wheels: DEAD, Wiki Backlinks: DEAD. In simple words, every single link building strategy that we knew were the secret recipe for SEO Success a while ago is well, “DEAD“.
In fact DEAD will be a poor choice of word here, Dead would simply mean its not working. It is working, BUT, NEGATIVELY. Yes you read it right. Instead of just simply not working, it gets you a penalty. Hence, eradicating any slightest of the chance of achieving SEO Success that you were aiming for.
Here is what Google says, more or less, “There is no White Hat Link Building or Black Hat Link Building, Link Building itself is Black Hat”. Meaning, any link that you build purposefully is NOT recommended.
Now, that’s a lot of bad news about SEO, you must be asking is there anything which works?
Top 10 Niche Website SEO Strategies
Well, the good news is that there are still some things that you can do, which will improve you Niche Website SEO. The best part about these essentials that I mention below is that they are evergreen and no matter how many changes Google makes to their Algorithm, these will stay relevant:
1) Quality Content – Google says “Forget generating links, instead generate quality content and links will eventually follow”. So, focus on generating content that adds value, content that solves a problem. If you your content adds value, well, Google will value it too.
2) Connect With People in Your Niche – Be active at Social Media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Connect with people in your niche and talk to them. Ask for help when you need, help people when you can, discuss topics of interest etc. Let them know of your brand and business and what you are doing with it. Once people know you, it becomes easier for them to trust you. This can help your brand in a lot of positive ways, earning you shares, mentions, guest posting opportunities and followers etc.
3) Learn to Adapt: Dump an SEO Strategy when you see even the slightest hint of it generating red flags. Adapt with the changes and keep your campaign up to date.
4) Speed is of importance: Your website speed and user experience matters a lot nowadays. So, optimize your website to be the fastest possible.
5) Optimize for mobile: Google is nowadays heavily focusing on mobile. So, make your website responsive and mobile friendly.
6) Take care of on-page SEO: In my opinion, no one knows your brand better than you. Hence, you are the best person to market it. So, it is best if you can train yourself to handle On-Page SEO yourself. Learn keyword research and competitor analysis so that you can stay one step ahead.
7) Be very careful of Off-Page SEO: This is the most tricky part. No matter how good your content is, if your off-page SEO is weak, you are going to find it hard to rank. People often overdo it, do it wrong or don’t do it at all. In all of these cases, they are killing their website. Link building is the most important aspect of Off-Page SEO, so do it carefully. Follow the recommendations of Authority SEO Bloggers such as Brian Dean of Backlinko or people who share their techniques such as Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.com
8) Don’t fall for the easy way: Every now and then you will come across advertisements and people claiming to have finally found the formula to overnight success. Well, as good as it sounds it is never true. Everyone who says otherwise, in Musketeer’s words, is either a fool or trying to sell you something.
9) You can’t outsmart Google: There are a lot of people who, despite knowing the right way, take the shady routes and hope that Google doesn’t catches them, which is never going to happen. They are running a Multi-Billion dollar company doing what they do. And your $100 smart spam is not enough to trick them. If it were, they would have been out of business long ago. It’s just a matter of time before the spammer gets buried deep beneath the unreachable depth of Internet.
10) Read and Follow Authority Blogs: SEOMoz Blog, Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land are some of the best blogs on SEO out there. Follow them, learn from them and plan your campaign accordingly.
Well these were some basic tips you should follow while running your Niche Website SEO Campaign.
Spencer Haws post linked above lists specific link building techniques that you should follow for your Niche Website, do check that out.
Also, let me know of any suggestions or questions through the comments section below. I would love to have a discussion with you.
Thanks for reading,