Niche markets are some of the most difficult –– yet most lucrative –– areas small businesses can exploit if they properly understand SEO. Often, companies will overlook small markets in their SEO strategy either because they think they’re insignificant and won’t make an impact, or they plain and simple don’t know one exists. Fortunately, we’re here to clue you in on niche markets regardless of whether you run a sporting goods store, or produce Bio-Science tech products. Here are four things every business owner should know about SEO and niche marketing:
Your Rivals are Your Resources
While every company is unique, few exist within a complete vacuum devoid of other competitors. As such, businesses similar to yours are probably already implementing niche-marketing strategies with their own advertisements and content. That’s the bad news. The good news is, no one’s stopping you from clicking on their links and learning a thing or two from them. Many times, savvy entrepreneurs will be able to tell what strategy a competitor is deploying just by looking at the way they craft their ads and articles. Long-tail keywords stick out like a sore thumb to the trained eye, and you can use them to your advantage as well.
How to Avoid Specificity Problems
Many inexperienced business owners will shy away from long-tail keywords because they feel they’re isn’t much value to them; that because fewer people search for “left-handed baseball gloves,” than simply “baseball gloves,” for instance, there isn’t much reason to pursue the niche of left-handed gloves when there’s more money to be made going after the “bigger” keyword. After all, why not optimize for the larger market, they reason. The truth is though, someone searching for a left-handed glove is a more qualified lead than someone merely looking up baseball gloves, and as such, is more likely looking to purchase one. In short, the more specific you can be, the better. And this practice holds true for B2B companies as well. In fact, it may be even more important. Consider a biochemistry lab studying microscopic particles; not only will such an institution likely have a specific microscope model in mind, they won’t just purchase one. Rather, they’ll buy a niche product in bulk –– and you’ll get a big payoff for sweating the small stuff.
Understanding Your Customer Base is Critical
If you’re going to form apt long-tail keywords and create content that’s compelling to your customers, you have to first understand the type of people you market to. After all, you wouldn’t use the same methods to market products to biologists as you would to rock guitarists. However, many of the principles remain the same. Though there are many scientists and musicians, for example, there are fewer guitarists who specifically play Michael Schenker style flying-V guitars; just as there are fewer scientists who implement industrial grade culture vessels in their work. The point is, the deeper the understanding you have of your customer base, the more you can cater your products and services to their needs. The prevalent myth about large markets is that people search Google for broad, general terms and that unless you can get your website ranking on the top page for a generic keyword, you won’t get any web traffic. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Online customers are more sophisticated now than ever before –– and the closer you can approximate their search queries, the better chance you have of identifying ready buyers.
Benefits and Implementation of Sound SEO Strategy
The major advantage to securing niche markets is that you will avoid the unqualified lead –– the person who clicks on your ad thinking you offer a certain service or product, when in reality, you don’t. (To continue the analogy: these are the kind of people who will click on an ad about baseball gloves, and then not buy anything because they’re looking for autographed memorabilia that you don’t sell.) These leads will cost you time, money, and resources. On the other hand, if you take the trouble to publish quality content, tailor your advertisements around particular products, and determine what your customers value most about your company –– you can instead funnel qualified leads and interested buyers to your website. And that’s the ultimate goal for online marketing – sales conversion. Clicks, likes, tweets, and other web-based indications of popularity are fine within context; but if they’re not backed with steady sales, they won’t get you very far.