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Keyword Niches Generate High Returns for SEO

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SEO keywords
© 2018 Scott Bateman

Keyword niches deliver great results for search engine optimization if an article targets the smallest number of search engine results for the maximum return on investment.

It is tempting to produce content that target important keywords that attract tens of thousands or even thousands of searches a month in Google, Bing and Yahoo!

But that content will likely compete with a massive number of similar articles from other website. As a result, the article may rank low enough that it never gets any clicks.

It is much better to get in the top five spots on the first page of Bing, Google or Yahoo! for a highly targeted keyword with a small audience than getting ranked 30th for a keyword with a large audience.

The first scenario will lead to clicks and conversions. The second scenario will result in dead silence.

Major players with the ability to go after large audiences have the staff, the budget and the brand recognition to pull it off. Even then, it requires a major investment of resources to get those results. Even more so, they are not guaranteed because of competition.

How to Target Keyword Niches

One way to identify niche keywords is by using the Google Ads “Keyword Planner” tool. Enter the keyword in the search box at the top and see not only that keyword phrase but dozens or even hundreds more in the output below.

Note the number of global monthly searches to the right of each keyword. Also note that these are “broad” numbers and not exact.

The output will show numbers all over the place, ranging from the low dozens to many thousands. The default ranking is by relevance.

Again, it may be tempting to go after a keyword with broad searches in the thousands. But let’s consider going after one with just 500 searches a month.

Why would anyone care to go after 500 searches a month when many of them won’t even result in a click?

The effort is similar to investing in the stock market. Anyone with $100,000 who puts all of it in one stock is taking an extraordinary risk. The person who spreads that money among 10 stocks is making a wiser and safer bet.

Small Audience + High Rank = Great Results

According to prevailing wisdom and personal experience, which is backed up by Google’s Webmaster Central, an article that reaches the No. 1 position in Google search results can see a click rate of 40 percent or even higher.

A little number crunching shows the following results.

  1. A 40 percent click rate on 500 searches a month delivers 200 visits.
  2. If an average visit is worth just 5 cents, the total value is $10 a month or $120 a year.
  3. If the article cost $15 an hour and four hours of labor, the total cost is $60.
  4. The return on investment is 100 percent after one year.

The risk is whether the article won’t make it to the No. 1 ranking and stay there. In that case, can it reach the No. 2 or No. 3 positions? Can the article be enhanced to improve its ranking?

The answers are yes and yes. An article in the second or third ranks is better than nothing. Enhancements and extra promotion can improve the position.

Articles that barely make the first page do get clicks. But if the article doesn’t make it to the first page, the click rate will be close to zero, in which case the ROI is terrible.

The risk of developing keyword niches is far lower than going after a keyword with a lot of searches — and the competition from other sites to go with it — because the major keywords cost a great deal of money and time to reach them.

Experienced SEO people won’t hesitate to leap on a keyword opportunity even if it produces a small number of clicks each month. Do it 10, 20 or 50 times, and the audience numbers begin to stack up quickly.

Pursuing keyword niches is an SEO marketing strategy that takes patience and a long-term view of audience development.

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