There are an ever-growing number of case studies online from people who have built so-called “niche sites”. These are typically content sites or blogs, monetized with Adsense, the Amazon affiliate program, or CPA ads that aim to draw traffic from the search engines before turning these visitors into profit.
It’s nothing new. Many of us have been building sites like these for years.
However, what has changed is competition in the market. And by competition I mean not just the ever-growing community of online marketers building niche sites but also the way Google is getting ever better at sorting the “good” websites from the bad. The days of “easy profits” are getting ever scarcer.
These days your niche websites need to stand out from the crowd. They need to offer exceptional value. They need to be unique. Because in doing so you’ll not only increase your chances of ranking in Google but link building becomes so much simpler when you’ve created a genuinely useful website.
So the question is: how do we take the standard “write articles, publish them on your site and build links” formula and “upgrade” it for 2023 – or beyond? How can we continue to create niche websites but make them so exceptional that out-competing others targeting the same keywords becomes child’s play?
Today I’ve got seven separate suggestions for you. All of them will take a little more work than just outsourcing a few articles on Fiverr. But all of them have the potential to produce a healthy return on investment. If you’ve got other suggestions, please leave them in the comments at the end – I’d love to hear from you!
A comparison table adds value to your site because it allows visitors to compare and contrast different possible product selections. It gives them a quick and simple way to differentiate between different products they’re considering buying by comparing the various features of competing models.
This can even be taken one step further. Once you’ve built your “master table” using a plugin like TablePress you can then include a smaller table with every product you review – giving a “quick hits” guide to help visitors who are in a hurry to gain an instant idea of the main benefits of the product you’re featuring.
Using comparison tables helps you earn structured snippets for data-driven queries. These a hard to miss, so it is a great way to improve your organic click-through!
Genuine Customer Reviews
There’s one reason why Amazon allows customers to leave reviews on their site – even negative ones. And of course, the answer is that genuine reviews sell.
By adding a review plugin like Starfish to your niche site you can allow visitors to leave genuine feedback on the products or services that you feature which can be a powerful way to not only add value but also increase your conversions.
This is one strategy that I’ve been experimenting with over the last few months and the results have been excellent, though this is arguably the most time-intensive and complicated way to add value. The reason I’m doing it is that the value you add is significant – and natural links, therefore, become easy to come by as a result.
In essence, our database is a comparison table on speed. Rather than visitors having to come through our table looking for the perfect product, I’ve been using Formidable to build custom databases and search forms. In this way my visitors can specify all manner of requirements – size, price, color etc – and the database then offers up only those products which actually meet their criteria.
Learning how to set these databases up can take a little while initially, but once you’ve done it once they become easier and easier to produce. And the value is exceptional.
Rich Media Tutorials
Text is everywhere. As a result, the text struggles to stand out. But rich media like videos and images? Now *these* stand out – and they potentially benefit from additional traffic via YouTube, Pinterest, Google Images, and so on. They’re also perfect for other people on forums, Facebook, and so on to link to or embed to help others in your niche.
So don’t just write an article about “how to install a new power shower” – actually show us. Create a Slidedeck. Film a short video. Or create photos of the process and combine them into a single sharable image. The results will surprise you.
Product-Based Questionnaire or Flowchart
Last year I bought my first ever car. Yeah, I know. But when I started searching for the perfect car I actually had no idea what I wanted. What features should I consider? What separates a good car from a bad one? What should I look for when visiting a dealership? How do you negotiate a better deal? And what about the paperwork – what were the legal requirements for buying a car?
I knew none of these things. And I had to figure them all out. So some sort of tool here would have been helpful. How about a questionnaire that asks specific questions and then suggests a number of possible options?
Or a flowchart that discusses what the key steps to buying a car would be and what decisions I should make in what order?
These would have both been very valuable tools. Yet all I could find were boring, badly-written articles. If you want to add value, and convert more visitors into buying customers, figure out a way to *help* them make a decision. This is how you add value. You provide a “framework” for people considering a purchase so they can feel informed and educated about exactly what they need – even if they don’t know when they land on your site.
Many people have questions about a topic so why not capitalize on that? Let them ask you the questions by adding an FAQ or a small forum to your site.
Not only will your visitors feel good about connecting to a real person, but they’ll also have a reason to come back later to see the answer. And of course, all those questions and answers are a brilliant way to easily suck in plenty of longtail traffic with minimal effort.
One final way to add value to your niche site is to allow your visitors to find the best possible price on a product. Let’s be honest – it’s likely to be on Amazon. But it won’t always be. And even if it is on Amazon, your reviews will be a lot more persuasive if your visitors can see just how much cheaper Amazon is than Target or Sears.
There is a range of plugins that will allow you to automatically add price comparisons to your niche site so there’s no need to make the process any more complicated than it needs to be. Just download the plugin, install it on your site, and enjoy the value you just added.
Simply writing content may not be enough for your site to attract links and stand out. Add value to your site by using authentic data, comparisons, or original research. Good luck!