After deciding which type of website to make (an authority site or niche site) determines which SEO approach you unleash on your competition.
While consistencies exist, it all depends on if you are concentrating your efforts on building an authority site or niche website, and what is the real difference or / or benefit from an SEO perspective?
The advantages can sometimes outweigh the shortcomings of each. For example, niche sites are easier to rank (due to their design) since you can focus on a smaller concentration of keywords, content and links, however, they can easily reach a keyword peak then fizzle out (unable to scale past a certain competitive threshold).
The way a website ranks is largely by its design. Two distinctly unique optimization tactics are necessary (specifically for SEO for large websites) – depending on the complexity of the marketplace, the tenure of the competition and the budget, strategy and competence of your own SEO technique.
From an organic ranking perspective, it comes down to patience, timing, dedication, methodology and execution. Any keyword is attainable, it is merely a matter of time and resources, however, are you up to the challenge is the real qualifier.
This alone is the sole reason for the creation of a niche sites vs. an authority site (which is both time consuming, expensive and takes more time) to begin with. Niche sites are often spawned from lack of patience, limited resources or limitations on time or ROI are all contingents based on expectations.
The best way to curb expectations is to create a deliberate methodology, which is both perpetual and repeatable.
To break things down into tangible tasks to create structure, the following steps (in our experience) are critical for a successful site launch that matures into an authoritative domain.
- Market and Keyword Selection
- Domain Relevance
- SEO Approach
- Timing (Link Building, Discovery Time, Trust).
The distinction between an authority site and a mini-niche site is (1) the authority site is designed to capture a broader segment of the market through stemmed keyword variations, multiple brands, makes or models or a broader array of topicality based on a market, while (2) the niche or mini site is designed to keyword snipe a specific keyword or key phrase and serve as a pre-sell page or entry point for a conversion funnel.
Both can be useful (as mini sites can rank in days to a few weeks) while an authority site depends on (a) the competitiveness of the market and (b) how structured your websites on page and off page optimization are (compared to those competitors).
Market and Keyword Selection
While the tendency to be myopic about which keywords you select within a market is normal, selecting the most effective keywords is an elusive art form for many.
If you have been involved in SEO for any length of time, one you can have the #1 position for a keyword that is supposed to have significant search volume and see zero conversions while on the contrary have a long tail (accidental keywords) driving the most conversions to your website.
The take away from this is learning to diversify keywords and modifiers and zero in on targeted groups of clusters of relevant synonyms in order to offset the law of averages that a consumer might use when searching for related content who are in fact, “ready to purchase”.
In addition, by focusing on market share and multiple stemmed keyword variations you can hedge dependency on a narrow group of keywords (putting your eggs in one basket) and can yield a higher return on investment in the long-run.
Content relevance through structured content development is critical. For example, for a quick and dirty keyword research project, you might (1) look at the top sellers in a particular market or niche using Amazon, Ebay or others as a market barometer (2) use Google related search or the wonder wheel to find pivotal keywords, then (3) put those into a tiered site architecture (cascading from the most competitive keywords to the least competitive) using the keywords as titles posts, internal links and start building deep links back to select landing pages with those keyword/anchors as well.
While each SEO has their own secret sauce, our method is far more sophisticated than simple keyword research tools, as we factor conversion elements such as the total market search volume, PPC value, daily organic searches and the barrier to entry for content and links as an ROI equation which allows our team to structure a time line, dollar amount and strategy on a keyword by keyword basis.
Keep in mind that every word you add to a page broadens or narrows the focus of that page and the site. So, depending on if you want a long-tail catch-all website that ranks randomly for multiple keywords or a very specific laser-focused / dominant keyword focus, determines which method you implement for scaling your content and on page relevance.