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SEO Tips for Niche Marketers

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Recent Post, SEO Tips Tools

seo tips and advice

So, you’ve figured out your niche market and have a website, and now you’ve arguably reached the toughest part – how do I get traffic to my site? Paying for traffic via banners and PPC does not always make sense and may not be feasible for your business. Or maybe you just want to supplement your current traffic sources. After all, SEO traffic is typically the best you can get – targeted, high-converting, and best of all, free (nothings actually free, but we often have more time than resources).

A general rules to follow is to make things descriptive and useful to your users. And just be natural! Over-optimizing wastes time and energy and can often hurt more than help.

Doing a little search engine optimization is usually a no-brainer, as you can often do 80% of the work with little time and effort. Here’s my list of 10 quick seo tips and advice to help get you started and improve your rankings.

  1. Determine a couple keyword phrases for each page on your site. Don’t just guess what users will be search for – use Google’s and Wordtracker’s keyword tools to make the final descision. You can spend all your time optimizing for “green foosball tables”, but if only 10 people search that in a month, it’s obviously a complete waste of time. Before deciding on a keyword phrase, check how competitive it is. Search for your phrase and take note of the top 10 results in Google. Could you see your site ahead of some of the current results? Do you think you offer something more relevant? Last thing you want to do is to start an endless uphill battle with little chance of success.
  2. Optimize all of your page titles. Your title has the most ranking weight for keywords, so you should at least make sure every page has a title containing the keyword phrase(s) it’s targeting. Make sure your title is 70 characters or less (here’s a great tool for optimizing site titles and descriptions. Unless your brand name is extremely important and will be searched by users, put your keywords first and and your brand name last (e.g. Regulation Foosball Tables | Foosball City).
  3. Make use of the heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc). Make sure each page has an <h1> tag containing the main keyword phrase for the page. You can line up your h1 tag with your page title if you want, although I would consider changing it up a bit to be a little more natural (e.g. “Regulation Foosball Tables for Sale”). Use <h2> tags for secondary keyword phrases, if any.
  4. Make sure your images have descriptive alt tags containing your keywords. Make it natural, and don’t make everything word-for-word the same (e.g. “professional foosball table”).
  5. Make use of META descriptions, and write a unique one for each page. If you do not have time to add a unique one per page, then don’t bother adding one (identical descriptions may signal duplicate content to Google and the other search engines). Keep in mind that your page description will not provide any actual ranking power, so don’t bother keyword stuffing them – make them helpful to users to improve click-thru rates.
  6. Link out to high quality, related sites. Some people speculate you can improve ranking by linking out to relevant sites. Even if that’s not the case, it still provides valuable resouces to your users, and may encourage sites to link back to you. If you’re linking to a spammy, shady, or otherwise non-trusted site (maybe from user-generated content) make sure you include the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
  7. Make sure every page has unique content. It shouldn’t be too hard to have at least 200 words per page. Your content should of course contain your keywords, but don’t worry how often it shows up – use slightly different phrases in different contexts, keeping with the “be natural” theme (e.g. “foosball tables”, “regulation foosball table”, etc.).
  8. Link to your own pages from within your content. This is especially important for blogs, as older posts get shoved into the archives or moved to page 3+ of your category pages. Look for terms that relate to other pages on your site and make them links. Ideally every page on your site will be within 2 clicks from your home page. You can also accomplish this by creating a sitemap page, linked to from your home page, that links to every page on your site (with appropriate anchor text for each page).
  9. Sign up with Google Webmaster Tools. It’s completely free, and is a great resource for SEO. You can find out which of your pages are having issues, what pages are missing, what search terms your site is ranking for, and many other great things. You can also manually submit an xml sitemap, which can help Google index your pages faster and find new content. If you run a WordPress blog, there are several great plugins for automatically generating the sitemap.
  10. Build backlinks, but make sure they look natural. If possible, have links to your site contain your keywords, although make sure to change them up a little bit. And have links pointing to pages other than your home page. You can do a few reciprocal links between sites, but try not to go overboard. Don’t waste too much time with link directories besides Yahoo! and DMOZ. If you really are a quality resource, you should be able to get at least a few relevant sites to link to you. And experiment with social networking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon to promote your site.

If you’re still hungry for more SEO tips and discussion, be sure to check out SEOmoz! Great resource, even if you just read the blog.


12 Responses to “SEO Tips for Niche Marketers”

  1. Chaunna Brooke on March 18th, 2009 10:00 pm

    These are great basic tips that every webmaster should watch out for. Accomplishing all these, expect to see your website soar high in search engine result pages.

  2. Peter Marino on April 9th, 2009 9:51 am

    Excellent tips! Another good tip would be to have links toward your website from comment areas like this one. It increases your websites link popularity which is critical for Google rankings.

  3. bryce on April 15th, 2009 10:13 pm

    Really cool information that should help me in increasing my sites exposure. Thanks for the step by step details!

  4. Daniel on May 3rd, 2009 11:48 am

    Thanks for that info…
    you blog really helps out developing designer and developers like me….
    thanks a lo t sir…
    keep up the good work


  5. Internet Strategist @GrowMap on July 19th, 2009 1:25 pm

    I agree with all you have written and just added a link from my post Select Keywords First to Make Your Content Easy to Find. I do disagree, though, with point ten about other directories.

    There are many major search directories that provide free powerful incoming links for anyone with a physical address they can use. These include Yahoo! Local, Google Maps, Yelp, Merchant Circle, SuperPages, YellowPages and many more. See the Local tab on my site for links to these and the others.

    Making sure you include all you major keywords in these free listings can improve organic search position as well as bring in real visitors.

  6. Jessica Guerro on July 20th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Wow great info I plan on using this to improve my blog, because I definitely need some help in optimizing it. Thanks the info is much appreciated.

  7. George on July 21st, 2009 9:00 am

    These are great tips, especially 8 & 9. I haven’t built a sitemap yet but if I do then I can simply include all of my pages on the sitemap which means I don’t have to link to every single page from my home page.

    I think that building backlinks is the trickiest one, but ultimately very rewarding if you can find authority sites or sites in your niche to link to you.

    I also liked tip 2 about page titles as I wasn’t aware of the character limit. I have already implemented this and now I can get my site ranking for two separate keyword terms, which is fantastic!

  8. Thomas Dark on September 19th, 2009 4:58 am

    Great tips. I have recently discovered your site, and would like to thank you for all the useful content.

    This will help me with my new site.


  9. Uintah Basin Business on November 30th, 2009 8:13 am

    There are many major search directories that provide free powerful incoming links for anyone with a physical address they can use. These include Yahoo! Local, Google Maps, Yelp, Merchant Circle, SuperPages, YellowPages and many more. See the Local tab on my site for links to these and the others.

  10. Darren on December 12th, 2009 10:58 am

    Yes, I agree you have excellent points.
    But my one and only real question that I find constantly creeping up on me is this:
    Everyone knows how important backlinks are. Enough theory is out there about what kind of backlinks to get, the most authoritative links, blackhat farming methods etc etc. What I would like to see is someone who can actually walk you through HOW you build these links.
    I appreciate you talking about making it look natural, linking to other site pages, and generating reciprocal links, but can anyone actually provide basic step-by-step instructions on how this can be accomplished?
    Link building is tricky. Its one of the arenas of industry that you wish you could control completely.
    Thanks for your very informative article. Very clear and concise!

  11. Rita NM on February 8th, 2010 11:57 pm

    Good information you supply. The backlink part many people refuse to do that because they think it waste the time. But for me build backlink with manual way give benefit to the future.

  12. Nicholas Kemp on February 18th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Great looking site and some great tips here. Writing quality articles with backlinks to your site is another way to help with SEO.