What Is Niche Driven SEO?
Niche driven SEO is a marketing strategy that helps niche sites with smaller audiences get more visibility in search engines.
It involves choosing specific SEO niches and optimizing each site and content based on keywords and phrases relevant to a specific market segment.
Unlike general search engine optimization, niche SEO targets a smaller audience—a select group of people interested in a specific product or service (i.e., a niche).
There’s less competition for these lesser-known subjects. But because there’s a smaller market, niche businesses must work harder to stand out.
For example, there are plenty of regular coffee companies out there. But let’s say there’s one that specializes in a particular type of java, such as organic cold brew coffee.
Whenever users search for “organic cold brew,” this niche brand appears at the top of the organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here’s what this looks like:
How did this brand get there? It used niche driven SEO tactics to rank higher and drive traffic.
What Are the Benefits of Niche Driven SEO?
Niche SEO can be a low-cost way of getting in front of the people that matter: your target audience.
Here are some of the main benefits of this approach.
Low-Cost, Long-Term Strategy
Niche driven SEO is a long-term strategy that can be inexpensive (or even free) compared to other digital marketing campaigns like paid ads.
Here’s how SEO compares to PPC (pay-per-click) advertising:
Unlike PPC (where big-budget companies thrive), everyone starts on a level playing field with SEO. You can’t buy organic traffic.
Because niche SEO is an ongoing process, it may take longer for your audience to find you. But when they do, you’ll be more likely to get the sale since you have exactly what they’re looking for, and there’s less competition.
Let’s look at an example of someone searching for “best organic cold brew brands.”
In this case, the user’s search intent (the goal of their search) suggests they’re looking to research top brands before making a purchase.
To meet this intent, you write an article comparing the best organic cold brew brands. You’d start by researching niche keywords using a tool like Semrush’s Keyword Magic (you can run up to 10 free keyword searches per day on the free plan).
Once you have your keywords, you’ll craft an outline for the article. In addition to including other brands, you objectively discuss your own brand on the list, with a clear link to buy your product.
If your content is high quality, your article may rank well on search engines.
When users read your niche content, they’ll find exactly what they’re looking for and see your brand as a solution to their problem.
This can lead to a sale that costs little to nothing to acquire—especially if you research keywords and write the content yourself.
Increases Visibility and Conversions
Users who see your name frequently when they search for niche products are more likely to explore what you offer.
And the more awareness and site visitors you get, the more potential there is for them to convert and become customers.
Our State of Content Marketing Report illustrates how many marketers focus on these outcomes. The top key content marketing goals for 2023 are “attracting more traffic” and “increasing brand awareness.”
The report also states that content agency Marketing Insider Group found paid ads and social media make up less than 10% of B2B website traffic, leads, or sales. Even for ecommerce, it’s still under 20 percent.
Additionally, Michael Brenner from Marketing Insider Group says that organic search and referral traffic generated by content marketing is the largest and most effective source of marketing ROI for brands.
That’s why content and websites that use niche driven SEO tactics tend to attract and convert more of the market.
Builds Trust and Loyalty
If a site ranks highly in the SERPs, it could be because search engines view its content as trustworthy. And while that is just one factor of many that can influence rankings, it’s an important one.
High-quality content that inspires trust will boost the credibility of your business with your audience, too.
To ensure the most accurate and helpful information is featured in search results, Google assesses content based on the acronym E-E-A-T. That stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness:
If your website and articles demonstrate these qualities, Google may rank you higher.
And when you rank highly for specific keywords, your audience is more likely to see you as a leader in your industry.
As users see your content more often when they search within their niche, they’ll start to consider you an authority in your market and engage with your brand.
Customers who engage regularly with a brand are more likely to connect emotionally with it, which can lead to advocacy and loyalty—and long-term revenue.
How to Create a Niche SEO Strategy
A niche driven SEO strategy involves optimizing your site, creating high-value content based on your audience’s needs, and tracking the results.
But it also includes more indirect tactics, like building relationships with publications and influencers in your industry.
Follow these steps to create a strong niche SEO strategy for your business.
Understand Your Audience
Customers make purchasing decisions based on their needs, challenges, and goals. If you can understand and relate to them, you’re more likely to connect with people and make a sale.
According to our State of Content Marketing Report, the top factor leading to content marketers’ success was audience research.
The goal of your site and content should be to help your audience understand what you offer and why you’re different.
This gives potential customers enough information to choose you over competitors. But first, research your target market to understand their wants, needs, pain points, and more.
Start the audience research process by looking at your own data to build your audience profile.
Consider sources like:
Let’s look at Google Analytics 4 and where you’d find information about your audience.
Head to your GA4 account and navigate to “Reports” > “User” > “User Attributes” > “Overview.”
Here, you’ll see a breakdown of your site’s audience by country, city, gender, interests, age, and language.
You can use this data to start building a picture of the people who visit your site.
Take all these details and use them to segment your audience. Then, build different profiles for each type of person with an interest in your niche product or service.
Another way of gathering information about your audience is simply by asking them.
Surveys and interviews are two of the most efficient ways to discover what your audience cares about.
Some social media platforms (like Twitter and Instagram) have built-in survey tools. For instance, take a look at this simple poll conducted by Semrush on LinkedIn below:
If you choose to organize interviews, these can be free-flowing conversations or based on set questions. They can also be face-to-face or written.
Talking directly to your audience gives you more insight into their specific interests, goals, and issues.
Comparing the answers shows where particular wants and challenges overlap, helping you offer solutions through your content or service.
Finally, you can look at your competition.
Use Semrush’s Traffic Analytics tool to compare your competitors’ website traffic statistics to your own. This will help you identify areas of improvement to help your niche site outrank competitors.
Audience research can help niche business owners and marketers understand what drives customers.
With this data, you can tailor your niche driven SEO strategy to align with your audience’s ever-changing needs.
Optimize Your Niche Site
Optimizing the performance of your site, from speed to internal linking, can improve your ranking and help potential customers find you.
It also reduces the chance of people getting to your site and leaving quickly because of a poor user experience (UX).
For instance, a site that loads in one second has a 3x higher conversion rate than one that takes five seconds. And a 5x higher rate than a site that takes 10 seconds to load.
Here’s how conversion rate drops as load speed slows:
Image Source: Portent
However, improving page speed is just one way of optimizing your site.
Other tactics include the following:
Semrush’s Site Audit tool can help you conduct a technical SEO audit of your niche site to reveal the highest-priority issues. It covers factors like page speed, HTTPS guidelines, and internal linking.
Here’s how to do it:
Navigate to Semrush and open the Site Audit tool.
Create a project to scan your site for the first time. Giving it a name is optional but will help you keep track of audits if you have multiple sites.
Once you’ve picked a name, enter your domain and click “Create project.”
After that, “Site Audit Settings” will pop up, and you can configure the basics.
The amount of pages you can audit depends on your subscription. If your subscription allows, increase the page limit so the tool can check your whole site at once.
(Here’s a more detailed setup guide for these settings.)
Finally, click “Start Site Audit” at the bottom of the screen.
After the tool scans your site, you’ll see an overview of its health. The report will look like this:
From this report, you can click “Errors,” “Warnings,” and “Notices” to see site issues and how to fix them.
Here’s the breakdown of how errors, warnings, and notices differ:
- Errors are highest priority (e.g., broken internal links that make it difficult for search engine bots to crawl your site)
- Warnings are medium priority (e.g., pages without meta descriptions that won’t stand out on the SERPs)
- Notices are lowest priority (e.g., non-descriptive anchor text which makes it hard for users and search engines to understand what the linked resource is about)
Conducting regular site audits helps you stay on top of technical and performance issues that could prevent Google from crawling your site.
Identify Target Keywords
Keyword research is a process that helps you find and analyze the keywords your audience is searching for.
Keyword Magic Tool can make it easy to find these relevant terms.
Head to Keyword Magic Tool in Semrush, enter your keyword, choose your audience location, and click “Search.”
You’ll notice that “All Keywords” returns the largest amount of suggestions. This is because it shows all keyword ideas without having to match your original input exactly.
For example, here are the suggested keywords related to “surfboard” for a U.S. audience:
The results show search intent (informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional). And the number of searches and interest over the last 12 months.
This is called keyword search volume. And you can use it to guide your content strategy by targeting the more niche keywords first.
The tool also has a metric that represents how difficult a keyword is to rank for in Google organic search—keyword difficulty (KD).
For instance, in the above results, “channel islands surfboards” and “lost surfboards” have the same search volume. But their KDs are 29% and 38%, respectively.
This means it may be easier to rank an article targeting “channel islands surfboards.”
As a niche site, you’re also likely to benefit from long-tail keywords. These are highly specific search queries you can target to help increase niche traffic.
Instead of “surfboards,” a long-tail keyword would be “surfboards for tall beginners.”
While there are some exceptions, these search terms generally have the following benefits:
- Lower keyword difficulty makes long-tail queries easier to rank for
- Lower search volume means fewer competitors vying for the top spots
- Higher chance of a resulting purchase because the searcher knows what they’re looking for (you can analyze search intent with the Keyword Magic Tool)
Here’s a sample chart showing the correlation between search volume and its potential conversion rate:
For example, a user who has typed “why are tomato plants turning yellow” into a search engine is looking for a solution.
If you have a high-quality guide that includes those keywords and actionable solutions, the user will not only be likelier to find it but also likelier to consider your site an authoritative source.
Then, let’s say you link to your newsletter that provides more gardening tips. Thanks to your content that’s answered a specific question, people will be more inclined to sign up.
You might also link to a gardening product you sell that helps prevent tomato plants from yellowing, leading to more sales.
This is how lower search volume keywords can lead to more conversions.
However, ranking for keywords with a higher search volume can also help your niche business reach a wider audience.
For example, clothing retailer Thompson Tee Inc. is a niche business that targets higher-volume keywords.
The company owns a patent called “Hydro-Shield sweatproof technology,” but its potential customers won’t search for that as a keyword because they haven’t heard of it yet.
Therefore, Thompson Tee needs to find related keywords and topics their niche audience is searching for. The brand could choose topics around “removing sweat stains” or “antiperspirant,” as these are relevant to the product.
You can use Semrush’s Topic Research tool to find these types of topics for your business.
For example, when you search for the keyword “antiperspirant,” the tool suggests topics like “Aluminum Free Deodorant,” “Sweat Glands,” and “Body Odor.”
The tool will also show you terms with a fire icon. These are “trending subtopics.”
Trending subtopics are the most popular topics from around the internet over the last 60 days. You can create engaging content around these topics for your audience.
You can also use the Keyword Magic Tool to identify higher-difficulty keywords for your niche driven SEO strategy.
Just remember that targeting higher-difficulty keywords for these topics will be harder for newer sites and sites with lower authority.
Create High-Value Niche Driven Content
High-value content helps engage and convert potential customers. Paired with keyword research, it can increase organic traffic by turning your small business into a helpful online resource.
According to content marketers in our State of Content Marketing report, the top three most important tactics to boost ranking are:
- Creating more content and posting more often (55%)
- Improving content quality, making it more valuable (53%)
- Creating more research-driven content (37%)
Doing all of these at once is a winning combination.
Once you’ve got the hang of writing articles, move on to more advanced types of content creation, like videos, podcasts, and interactive tools (e.g., calculators and quizzes).
Whichever format you choose, focus on your target audience and their needs when creating high-quality content.
Instead, showcase firsthand experience and offer unique insights and actionable advice to differentiate your brand.
For example, sales and pipeline management software brand Pipedrive ranks highly for the keyword “confirmation email template”:
The company understands that its niche audience is likely to use confirmation emails. So, it created an in-depth walkthrough guide of examples and why they’re effective.
Another example comes from Freetrain. This company makes vests that replace phone armbands for running and exercise.
Since many users may not know an alternative for these products exists, the brand targets keywords like “where to keep your phone at the gym”:
Instead of waiting for users to search for a “freetrain vest,” it focuses on a common issue for gym-goers.
And that’s what your content should do, too.
Figure out what your audience wants from a specific search term and position your product or service as a solution to their problem.
Use these tips to make any type of content more valuable:
- Align with search intent: If your audience is still in the consideration phase, make sure your advice is knowledgeable without being pushy
- Map out your framework and outline: Plan ahead to make the most of your time and resources
- Create something better than the rest: If you want to rank well, your content needs to be original, in-depth, and engaging to outdo your competitors
- Add visuals to written content: Graphics can help readers visualize your point and break up walls of text into more manageable chunks
- Stay up to date on industry news and trends: Include the most recent stats and figures to build your reputation as a leading industry source
- Optimize each web page: Use On-page SEO strategies like updating title tags, internal links, and meta descriptions
- Include expert insights: Incorporate quotes and data from experts in your niche to increase your chances of having them share it
Checking off each of these steps will help build your credibility and reputation as an authority in your niche.
Build Relationships with Relevant Influencers and Publications
Along with increasing visibility, mentions in related publications and from industry influencers help build backlinks.
Search engines see links as votes of confidence, so getting more can improve your ranking.
This study by Backlinko revealed that top-ranking pages tend to have more backlinks than those in lower positions:
Link-building is the process of trying to get other websites to link to your web pages. One of the most popular link-building strategies is to create linkable assets.
That involves two steps:
- Creating high-quality pages (e.g., in-depth guides, infographics, or white papers) to attract backlinks naturally
- Promoting them to relevant publications and people
Using an influencer marketing tool is the easiest way to find influencers and publications for your backlink strategy.
Some of our favorites include:
Most niche publications and creators will have a presence on Instagram. So, let’s start there.
Head to Influencer Analytics, click “Influencer Discovery,” and choose “Youtube.”
On the next dashboard, click “Filters” on the far right.
Here, you can set preferences for the channel topic, number of subscribers, broadcast language, and more.
You’ll then get a list of results based on your chosen filters.
Clicking each profile will show contact information and additional data like average likes and engagement rate:
As you find influencers you’d like to contact, click “Add to lists” to review their profiles later.
While you can message these people immediately, it’s best practice to get on their radar first. The easiest way to do this is by engaging with their content and audience.
For example, get involved in discussions and answer questions in comments on their posts. Do this often and focus on being a positive, helpful resource for other followers.
When you then reach out with your content, the person or publication will have an idea of who you are.
Then, if you’ve created a resource that will genuinely help their audience, you have a better shot at getting a share or backlink.
Just like with physical sales, you need to prove you’re trustworthy so your target audience will consider buying from you.
That’s why mentions in relevant publications and from influencers in your industry help to build awareness and recognition.
You can also try the following:
- Joining relevant groups on social media and forums
- Attending events to meet those from your niche in person
- Engaging with your audience’s posts
- Doing something newsworthy and writing a shareable press release
Most of these tactics are free, but they won’t be effective overnight. Building meaningful relationships takes time and consistent effort. So, don’t give up if you don’t see instant results.
Track Important Metrics
Choosing and tracking key metrics helps you measure the progress of your niche driven SEO strategy. Comparing these with your competitors can highlight what’s working and what isn’t.
For example, a conversion happens when a prospective customer takes a desired action on your site (like buying or downloading something). A lead is a potential future conversion.
According to our recent report, the most popular way marketers calculate ROI is by measuring revenue from content-generated leads and conversions.
While these metrics are important, they aren’t the only numbers marketing experts use to determine success.
You may also wish to track metrics like:
- Organic traffic: The number of people who visit your website
- Backlinks: The number of links on other websites that point to yours
- Keyword ranking: The positions of keywords that are driving traffic
- SERP visibility: How visible your brand is in organic search results
- Click-through rate (CTR): How many people click on your SERP listing
- Time spent on page: The average amount of time users spend viewing a specific page
- Bounce rate: The percentage of users who land on your site and leave without taking any action
- Authority Score: The level of authority your domain has within search engines
The optimal goals for these metrics will be unique to your business. If you’re a new company, your goals may reflect that you’re starting from scratch. More established businesses may want to double traffic to their site.
Keep an Eye on Your Competition
While your own metrics will tell you a lot about your strategy, successful niche driven SEO doesn’t just look inward. Analyzing your competitors lets you see how hard it will be to outperform them.
A competitor analysis can reveal keywords, content ideas, and link-building opportunities you may be missing. It lets you:
- Discover your competitors’ winning strategies and replicate them
- Discover your competitors’ weaknesses and capitalize on them
- Benchmark your current SEO performance against your competitors
- Understand the overall competitive landscape of your niche
These insights can help you improve your site’s rankings and drive search traffic.
But first, you need to know who these competitors are.
You can find competitors quickly by using Google to search for your target keywords. Then, note the top five or 10 websites that come up in search for each keyword.
If you want a deeper look, use Semrush’s Organic Research tool.
Let’s take Home Depot as an example. To find its competitors, open the Organic Research tool, enter the domain, and click “Search.”
Head to the “Main Organic Competitors” section to see the websites that compete for the same keywords.
To see a complete list, click “View all competitors.”
Once you go through this process, you can repeat it with competitor domains. Then, note their results and compare them to yours.
Doing this regularly lets you see the most significant players in your niche. With these insights, you can capitalize on what works and improve what doesn’t.
Expand Your Niche Market Share with SEO
The first step to building niche market share is getting to know your audience.
Automatically import data from your GA4 account into AI Narratives to get easy-to-understand insights on your audience and traffic.
With this data, you can focus on creating content that helps your target market overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Basing your niche driven SEO efforts on your audience’s wants and needs can help build trust, brand awareness, and conversions.
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Sign up for a free trial with Semrush today.