The first step is building a niche site. Once you have the basics set up and start creating content you will need those articles to rank on Google. You could be writing the most amazing content but if people aren’t finding it on Google then it’s pointless. SEO for niche websites is incredibly important and is one of the main reasons new online marketers give up. You create the perfect website with amazing content but lack of traffic will mean very little commissions, if any. This is what causes people new to the game to give up and settle for an average life of 9-5 for 48 weeks of the year.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the “art” of ranking websites higher for their specific keywords. Google has a very intelligent algorithm that was created to give the searcher the “best” results for whatever they are searching for. So in theory websites should do nothing else but create the best content that they can and Google will decide which are the best. This is obviously a problem as it means your new niche website won’t have much chance of ever seeing traffic.
The solution is to use SEO methods to boost your sites rankings. There are lots of different methods and some are more important than others. Essentially you are communicating to Google that your site is important and should be ranked higher than it currently is. By optimizing your website for search engines you will increase your chances of receiving Google traffic on a daily basis and thus earning higher commissions on affiliate sales. Organic traffic is the best as it is free, relevant and requires no effort on your side other than cashing the cheques.
There is also paid traffic sources which I would recommend using too. But optimizing your niche site for search engines should be your main priority when starting out. There are two main aspects of SEO.
This relates to everything on your website. It starts out with keyword research and ends with an article that is optimized for the search engines. The first thing you need to do is choose a keyword that are you wanting to rank for. If your niche site is dog training your main keyworad could be “How to train my dog to sit”. You would first check to see what the volume of traffic is for that particular phrase. If no one is searching for it then it would be a waste of time to create content for it. On the other hand if thousands of people are searching for it then it is probably too competitive and you would struggle to rank for it.
Google Keyword Planner has recently changed and now only gives us ranges of search volume instead of exact numbers. This is quite a problem as you have no idea of knowing if a phrase has 101 searches or 999 in a month. You can cheat the system (this might have changed when you read this) by pretending to create an Adwords campaign. This will show you the exact number and is very important.
As you can see the search gets 110 matches per month whereas with Google Planner we have no idea what the exact amount is.
At this point you need to decide if there is enough volume for that keyword. My main advice is not to be put off by low volume. 50 Articles with search volumes of 50 is 2,500 visitors and if you are ranking highly for them you can be guaranteed highly relevant traffic on a monthly basis. The more profitable a niche is the lower the search volume needs to be. If you are targeting leads for a divorce lawyer all you need is one conversion per month and you could collect possibly $1k in referral fees. But if you are promoting $50 products on Amazon where you only receive $3 commission then you will need thousands of visitors.
Once you have decided if there are enough searches you will then need to assess the competition. By entering the keyword into Google you will see the pages that are ranking. You then need to determine if they are beatable or not. There are many metrics which measures a website such as Page Authority (PA), Domain Authority (DA) and Trust Flow (TF). The higher these numbers are the better the website is and the harder it will be to out-rank them.
You can use www.semrush.com and ww.majestic.com to analyse the scores of the websites on the first page of Google. I personally use LongTail Pro Keyword Research Tool as it makes my life a bit easier. The problem with the above ones is that you manually need to type in each url. It also only allows a limited number of searches a day. Long tail gives you the list of top 10 pages on Google along with all the scores and averages. You essentially want to see pages with a PA of below 30 and also not too many juice links. Site age is also important because if you only see old sites then Google probably doesn’t allow new websites to rank highly for that keyword.
High DA sites mean that it is a page from a domain with lots of authority. As we can see below the results include AKC, YouTube, Nyalbone, WikiHow etc which are are well established sites with lots of authority. At the same time this is not always an issue as the individual pages can be outranked.
As we can see there is are a few high PA’s but most of them are below 30. They also don’t have much juice links which is good as we can beat them there. The DA is higher than we would have liked indicating that there are no small niche websites ranking for this term which is quite worrying. The site ages are all very mature which is another problem. Combining all the metrics I would not target this keyword. For more detailed look choosing keywords read my guide on keyword research.
Creating SEO content for your niche
Once you have chosen a keyword that has sufficient search volume and is not too competitive you will create an article. You need to let Google know what keyword you are ranking for but at the same time not over-optimize it. The exact keyword should be used in the page title and then throughout the article in different phrases and synonyms.
The title would be “how to make your dog sit” and then you would use other variations to make it sound natural. “teaching your dog how to sit”, “get your dog to sit on command”, “getting your dog sitting quickly” etc would be other ways you could use the keyword.
- Use the exact keyword in the page title
- Make sure permalinks show page name and not numbers e.g. www.dogs.com/how-to-make-your-dog-sit
- Use re-phrases in an H2 heading
- Use re-phrases in the content naturally
- Have at least two images and use re-phrases in the alt tags
- Include a YouTube video that relates to your content
- Include two links to external authoritative sites in your niche (Wikipedia is always a good option)
The reason for the above is that Google values user experience. If a page has images, external links to trusted websites and YouTube videos it assumes it will provide a richer experience than a page of just words. Also having pages that are more than a thousand words is good for main articles. Most of the websites I visit will have 2k-3k word articles as they are trying to offer as much value and information as possible.
Google also likes to see freshness. You can’t build a niche website, throw in 5 articles and sit back. You need to be posting content continuously so that Google knows your not just a one hit wonder. Think of all the top websites you know or visit regularly. They sometimes post a few articles a day and they are always coming up with new content. A general guide for new content is as follows:
- 2-3 posts per week for the first month
- 1-2 posts per week for the second month
- 1-2 posts every two weeks from the third month
Typically these don’t need to be high quality 1k plus words masterpieces. They can be 500 words or more and you can even outsource them if you are not interested in writing them yourself.
I would recommend adding the Yoast plugin as well as Google Analytics by MonsterInsights. Yoast gives you a breakdown of how your article is looking in terms of keyword optimization as seen below. Do NOT try get it all green as you will end up over-optimizing your keyword and probably get penalized by Google. You can also edit the meta data which is the piece of text that displays in the search results. You could even get more clicks than the pages ranked above yours if your meta data is clear and attracts their attention.
Setting up a Google analytics account and Webmaster Console is also needed. This allows you to give Google your sitemap location so they know exactly how to index your niche website. You can get much better analytics and can determine where your traffic is coming from. You will need to track traffic on a continual basis to see what improvements need to be done especially if you are getting high bounce rates. Bounce rates are when people come to your site and then leave meaning they are not interested. Google knows this and assumes your site is not offering user experience which will lower your rankings.
Once you have optimized your niche site as per the above you could effectively sit back and wait for traffic to come in. You have written great content targeting keywords that are not too competitive so why isn’t traffic pouring in? Google values trust as one of, if not the most important aspect when ranking websites. Trust means that other websites are referring to your page by backlinking too it.
So if you wrote an amazing article on how to train your dog to sit then other websites in that niche might refer to your article on their page. This counts as a backlink and it is how Google determines how trustworthy you are. If lots of high authority websites are referring to yours then your must be exceptional too. Think of it like you going for a job interview and the top guru’s in that field all recommend you for the job. Of course you are going it get it!
This is the most difficult part of SEO and many websites never get it right. Certain backlinking is very easy and people enjoying doing it because of that but it offers very little benefit. Commenting on other niche websites articles. Most of the time these links are nofollow which means you don’t even receive any credit for them.
The best backlinks are those from high authority blogs in your niche. But to get those is not easy and often involves a lot of hustling. You need to connect with the webmasters of those sites, build relationships and subsequently write guest posts. This is a long process but one that needs to be done if you want to succeed in online marketing.
An easier option, and thus more expensive, is to buy link packages. There are companies that build these links for you as they have the connections and this can make life easier if you have the money. Think of SEO linkbuilding as a triangle. The base is where you have lots of backlinks from easy sites such as blog comments, press releases, social pages, forum profile signatures etc.
You would create a Facebook page, a YouTube page, Instagram, Twitter etc and include your url in your profiles. Creating a Youtube video that addresses a problem in your niche and including your website link in the description. Use a service at The Hoth which is a press release including your website url that gets distributed to dozens of other pages. Answer relevant questions on Quora intelligently and include a link to your website that will give them more information.
You then need a few backlinks from much higher power websites. One option for this it to create your own Private Blog Network (PBN) that you can use for these backlinks. This might be a bit pricey in the beginning but you can buy these links from companies too. The Hoth also has packages where you pay for links from very high PA/DA websites in your niche.
Your backlink profile is very important and can get you penalised if you over-optimize. The profile is the wording used in the backlink such as “click here”, “teach your dog to sit” etc. You need to make sure that you use near exact keyword matches only once as backlinks and only on high authority sites. Try stick to the below guide:
- 15% brand name e.g. live life with passive income
- 15% naked url e.g. www.lifelifewithpassiveincome.com
- 15% long tail e.g. How can I earn a passive income through online marketing
- 15% synonyms e.g. Creating wealth on the internet through residual means
- 15% generic e.g. click here
- 20% actual keyword but only once per keyword e.g. earn passive income online
So you need roughly 100 lower value backlinks to use your exact keyword once or twice. It can also take 2-3 months before your niche site’s SEO gets you higher rankings. If you are still not ranking by then a few more high authoritative PBN backlinks will be needed.
Any questions just ask.
The video below is some details about what SEO is so feel free to watch it.