Sometimes, not all traffic is created equal. If you’ve been spending hours upon hours trying to rank for those highly contested terms with tons of searches each month – you might be wasting your time (and money).
There’s actually a better way.
More isn’t always better.
We’re going to look at how targeting niche search terms with fewer monthly searches could actually be better for your business. That’s right – you could make more money by ranking for keywords with fewer searches. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? We’re going to look at how thinking outside the box could be what your business needs.
There’s nothing wrong with ranking for a term with hundreds of thousands of monthly searches – but that’s only if you can actually do it. If something gets that many searches, there’s a good chance that some big players will already be prominently placed in the search results.
Sometimes you’ve got to look at simple cost-benefit analysis. The amount of time, money and effort you’ve got to put in to ranking for such a heavily-contested term might make it more worthwhile doing something else. Even if you do achieve first-page rankings – you’ll always be under threat.
Research shows that if you don’t get on the first page of results – you’re nowhere. In fact, ranking 11th on Google could net you only around 1% of the total searches for that term. Even if you do get on the first page – there’s a huge difference between placing 1st or 10th (34% or 2.7% respectively).
You might think getting a small piece of a big pie is a good idea – but sometimes it’s better having a huge slice of a small one. Especially when you consider the next point…
Some of those broad search terms deliver too many visitors who simply aren’t ready to spend money. They’re looking for a free ride. There’s actually a way to try and filter out all these freebie-hunters so that you’re getting the right sort of traffic – people who are ready to spend money.
Yes, you’ll be getting fewer visitors, but by targeting longer-tail, active keywords – you should make more sales.
Instead of just using “keyword” – long-tails add something before or after to make a longer, more niche term. Let’s look at an example: smart phones. A longer-tail variant could include the manufacturer: “Sony smart phones”.
This gets you more of the type of visitor you want – especially if you can present yourself as an authority on the matter and show them that you really know about this specific type of phone.
You can take the example even further and add more to the term to make it even more targeted: “red Sony smart phones”, or “refurbished red Sony Smart phones”. These are even more niche – and if you’ve got the right offer for someone who makes this search, it’ll mean a lot more to them.
You want to try and fine-tune your audience so that you get “active” visitors who are ready to spend money. Thankfully, there are a few specific keyword additions that help do this for you. For example: “[keyword] review”, or “best [keyword]”. People make these searches when they’re quite close to thinking about spending some money.
An even better one is “[keyword] discount” or “coupon” or “promo code”. These people REALLY want to make a purchase, but are just trying to see if they can save a bit of money. They know they’re going to be spending some money – they just want to find a better offer. If you can be right there offering them that discount on the niche item they searched for – you should be on to a winner.
Another good keyword suffix is the current year. Search results are so often filled with older, irrelevant results – that many people like to add the current year to the end so they know they’re getting something relevant and up-to-date.
There are also keyword additions you should try and avoid – so you don’t get people who aren’t looking to spend money. These include “free” or “torrent download”. These people are looking for a freebie and would consider breaking the law to get it – they aren’t looking to make a legitimate purchase – so you’d rather they wasted someone else’s hosting bandwidth.
That’s the great thing about using the right keyword additions to make the best possible long-tail for your niche – you’re only getting the right kind of visitors and aren’t wasting resources bringing in people who are less likely to spend money. And the terms are easier to rank for than their broad alternative.
The amount of time you could save my making mini-sites for these long-tail keywords really is considerable when you compare it to how much you’d have to spend ranking for a highly competitive term. Yes – it is a small pie, but you could make loads of small pies to give yourself a mini pie empire.
The good thing about spreading your efforts and making multiple niche sites is that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket. If you’re relying on one Google ranking for all your business – you could suffer if the rankings change or a rival bumps you down. And this is even more likely if you’re relying on a popular search term, as they’re highly competitive.
Hopefully you’ve now seen why shunning broad terms and targeting the right niche keywords could be for your business. It’s a good way to offer people exactly what they’re looking – this makes them feel loyal to you. It also saves your time trying to compete for highly competitive terms that actually send you tons of people who don’t actually want to spend money.
Get the right sort of traffic for your product or offer by fine tuning your SEO approach.
Peter Ellington has years of experience in advising people on a number of SEO related issues. He also writes for a private tuition agency based in Singapore.