A Good Choice for Some
What is Niche Marketing? What is SEO?
Niche marketing with SEO isn't quite self explanatory - so here's a simple
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. For this page the theme is niche marketing. You can see it 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. This page will have matured when other websites, known to be authorities on niche
marketing, bear links pointing here.
SEO is a big subject and you will see it referred to repeatedly throughout this website.
The first question that should occur to you at this point
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.
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, and
- 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 later on in our niche marketing discussion.
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 cos
Among these authors I am particularly impressed with the work of Brad Callen. His websites always rank very highly and he is clearly in command of the market research methodology that you need if you choose to do niche marketing with SEO. He also has excellent software available to assist your efforts thus saving you a great deal of otherwise laborious effort.
His keyword research (market research) software is called Keyword Elite, and you can read about it for free in his ninety page booklet, SEO Made Easy by downloading it here. I have used this software myself and it is very effective. Before reading this booklet you might want to read the section below on "monetization". It will prepare you to better understand Callen's book.
He has a companion volume called Google Adwords Made Easy that explains the best strategies for using Google Adwords to bring customers to your website on a pay-per-click basis and you can download it for free here. If you opt for using pay-per-click advertising via Google, it's a must read.
How To "Monetize" Your Website
A Note On MonetizingAs you may have noticed, this website has not yet been fully monetized - as of this writing (August 2008) there are no ads, only a couple of sales links, hardly anything to buy. This doesn't mean that it's not a business website - it is. What it does mean is that until the site contains enough useful content, my readers are not expected to trust me enough to buy anything on the site. Why should they? The traffic to this site will tell me when that trust has been established - then I will monetize the site substantially, as I will have earned the right to do so.
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 and 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. Don't be surprised when you find a few such links on this website - after all I'm in business too.
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, which I will reference later. Some of these pay you on a weekly or monthly basis and can be more lucrative than Adsense ads. Jon Cohen has written a book on how to do this, and I highly recommend it. You can access it here.
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 they 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, and the percentage of visitors who are "converted" into customers rises accordingly and the ease with which you make money online soars.
For a deeper discussion of this strategy, we need to look at the marketing approach that some refer to as "
Marketing the Way of the Tortoise".