How to Compete in any Niche With A New Site

On October 13, 2009, in Expert Advice, by Adelard

SEO-ninjaFiguring out whether a particular niche is prime for taking over is key for anyone trying to play the search engine optimization game. Some marketers are simply bottom-feeder, and go after all the niches no one else is targeting. Others attempt to shoot for the sky and become hyper-focused on nothing but this. What I attempt to do is a little of both.

First you have become strong, search engine ranking wise and as well as TrustRank. The stronger your ranking power and trust are, the easier it is for you to get rankings. So in the phase we will bottom-feed. There are so many factors in search engine rankings I am going to skip most of then and go for the 1, 2, punch knockout: freshness factor (content) and link factor (backlinks).

Let’s look at getting rankings for New York Event Planning for my example. Here are the top 10 competing website for New York Event Planning and New York Party Planning along with their backlinks in parentheses (as of today, Oct 13, 2009):

Backlinks for top 10 (New York event planning):

#1 www.emrgmedia.com (2,909)
#2 www.gatheringguide.com (133,728)
#3 www.bizbash.com (44,202)
#4 www.eventique.com (1,147)
#5 www.davidtutera.com (3,215)
#6 www.yelp.com (12,208,011)
#7 newyork.citysearch.com (186,451)
#8 www.eventective.com (70,081)
#9 www.newyork411.com (1,272,799)
#10 www.nyc.com (40,730)

Backlinks for top 10 (New York Party Planning):

#1 www.davidtutera.com (3,215)
#2 www.gatheringguide.com (133,728)
#3 www.emrgmedia.com (2,909)
#4 & #5 www.partypop.com (375,140)
#6 & #7 www.alltimefavorites.com (4,224) (Ridiculous design)
#8 & #9 www.mypartyplanner.com (35,317)
#10 & #11 www.newyork.citysearch.com (186,451)

What I see is the #1 spots are going to websites that are more targeted for the keywords but have generally less backlinks that the other top 10, meaning the total search results is somewhat fragile.

A person with an aggressive marketing campaign is going to be able to skyrocket through these. A key indicator is the freshness factor, most of top sites all have fresh content on the their website, which is allowing them to outrank everyone else, but they are not totally focused on “New York Party Planning” as the top #1 positions for both keywords.

In this case I would recommend posting 4 to 5 articles weekly for about 2 months straight. Do keyword research and talk about topics that involve your business and keywords. It is very very very important that you post 4 to 5 ORIGINAL articles a week consistently, that either you wrote or hired a copywriter to write. Don’t copy and paste, please. WordPress is going to be your friend in this situation. Your freshness factor will become very strong, and we give you a significantly large advantage.

    2 Key Steps to increasing your freshness factor fast:

    1. A key to posting your articles is to have a Google sitemap.xml file, make sure it is submitted to Google and the other search engines, and it is visible in your robots.txt file (So search engines you don’t know can find it as well). I use WordPress, which has an XML-Sitemap plug-in that automatically re-created the sitemap after a new article, AND submits it to the major search engines.

    2. Make sure that once you post an article, you automatically ping as many ping services as possible. Again, WordPress has an updating/pinging service included, in which I include a huge list of ping services (Click Here to get my list of ping sites).

The down side to this is the link age; the new links you will be getting from the marketing campaign are all going to be relatively new. Google and the other major search engines take age of links into account as well.

This is where social media comes in. Having a viral marketing campaign along side is critical. Using several other social media websites pushing links, distributing your content, and generally talking about your company, it allows you to also be seen by search engines as a viral website, this is you creating your own “buzz”. Since the amount of backlinks we are gather are on several different major social sites, this combats the link age down factor that a new link faces such as in this case, with authority factor.

Exactly 4 days after you post each article, you will go to all your social media profile and send a backlink to each one, and a little snippet/intro to the article won’t hurt. During this process, post your article to the major article directories, and to avoid duplicate content penalty simply backlink to your original article in the resource box. The search engines will recognize this and will make sure your article on your main site is the one that shows up before others. It many take a couple of weeks or so of processing but in the end your original article will outrank your other ones, as long as you make sure to backlink to the original article.

Simple 1, 2 punch. This approach is targeted focused backlinks, and freshness factor. With this process the freshness factor is being ramped up significantly doing with constant articles.

There are several signs that are going to start arise to show the significant increase in ranking power, the most important one I measure is the Google Alerts. I setup Google alerts for my name, Adelard Gasana, and my website AdelardGasana.com, or KarmaSnack.com before doing anything.

When I post/schedule an article, the amount of time it takes Google to send me an alert tells me how high the trust factor is. If Google is sending me an alert, that means it has visited the website, has indexed the website, and is cached in Google’s database. So when I post an article on a Wednesday for example and it takes about 2 to 3 days until a Google alert shows up, that tells me that the freshness factor is growing.

As you know, there are some sites/pages that don’t get indexed for months. But the unique way of post lots of original articles and send rankings have allowed my clients and me to see sub-24 hours of getting index, cached, and traffic. My personal Blog AdelardGasana.com has got a freshness factor under 20 minutes. So as soon as I post an article there, within 10-20 minutes I am receiving an alert that Google indexes it. The freshness and trust factor is so high I am able to rank for almost anything I want by writing an article. KarmaSnack.com is at that level too, as well as all of our other clients.

There is no magic to doing this, just getting relevant backlinks, constantly posting articles, and knowing which ping websites to ping. Once you are receiving sub-24 hour Google indexing alerts, you can shift from bottom feeding to skyrocketing into the air. By this time, you will notice in your stats that most of your traffic is indeed targeted, and very focused. It’s prime for some good old newsletter list building, marketing, and promotion additional products/services or whatever you want to talk about.

Back in February when I launched adelardgasana.com, I was posting articles about 1 to 2 a day for about 2 weeks or so. Then I slowed it down to about 1 every other day. What this did was fill up the search engines with a lot of content, then I start limiting the content, this created a situation where search engines crawling my site constantly looking for new content, so when I publish something is gets almost instantly indexed.

This is why content is a very important part of the SEO process; backlinks are the next important step. Once you have a great combination of articles and content, and individual pages are getting sub 24 hour indexing you will be in a position to take over almost any targeted keywords.

That’s an overview of my trick to getting rankings. Of course I can’t divulge all the really big techniques I use to make sure I get extra boosts in the search engines, ridiculously increasing traffic techniques, and customized programs I can, maybe another day, stay tuned.

Let me know if you have any questions, this post was written of the top of my head, and not organized and outlined like I usually do.

How To Catch Up To The Online Competition If you want to successfully target ANY keywords or keyphrases, then you all you have to do is implement it into your titles, your content, and your anchor text backlinking to your website, and simply have more quality backlinks to your site than your competition AND continuously gain backlinks at an increasing rate higher than your competition.

Example. If your competition has 1000 quality backlinks, and gains 100 new quality backlinks a month, then you have to have more than 1200 quality backlinks and gain 120 new quality backlinks a month.

The first step is to find catch up to their back link level. Here is the guide. (This is not for the faint of heart, only serious people that want serious results)

1. Find out what keywords you are targeting, Get at least 10 of them.

2. Make sure they are 3 word keyphrases or shorter ex. “Red Tennis Shoes”

3. Google each keyphrase using regular or exact matches depending on what you want to rank for.

4 Get a list of ONLY the top 10 websites ranking organically for that keyphrase. Why only the 10, because they are the top 10, you don’t need to focus on the slums that are below that, you’re trying to dominate your industry.

5. Once you have a list of the top 10 website for top 10 keywords you want to rank for, (about 100 sites, unless some overlap, which will happen). Go to Yahoo!

6. Type in “link:www.competition.com”, to get the Site Explorer for that particular website.

7. Find the option to “Show Inlinks”, and select “Except from this domain”, to “Entire Site”. This will get rid of all internal links for the website, and get you a nice usually PageRank organized list of the top 1000 backlinks to the particular domain.

8. Export this Information using the “Export first 1000 results to TSV” (TSV is a tab separated CSV file, so you can open it in Excel).

9. Now do this for ALL the 100 domains you have listed. I never said this was going to be easy, or for the faint of heart, but you want to be #1 right.

10. Mash all the results into a huge list of domains that are backlinking to your competition. Since you have 100 domains, and 1000 results, you will have 100,000 potential pages.

11. Eliminate duplicates, by sorting it in Excel, and manually or writing a script to delete duplicated.

12. Next step, get to work getting backlinks from those list of competition’s backlinks. Sometimes you will find that the competition is being linked to because it’s one of their clients, move on. Don’t spend more that 2 minutes trying to figure out how to get a backlink from 1 particular site, you have nearly 100,000 pages to go through. Get the backlink, and use your keyword whenever possible as anchor text.

Obviously, this could be considered beyond overkill, but you if successfully commit to doing this about 2 to 4 hours a day, you will start seeing great results in the search engines. Not only are you catching up to your competition, but also out running them, since you are going after 100 domain’s backlinks.

Blog Commenting is also another place you can drop links to your website. The trick here it to make sure you give an insight full blog comment and mention parts of the article that your liked, and bam, drop that link in. It helps if you do this on “do follow” blogs, which there is a special search engine to do this, located here -> http://www.digeratimarketing.co.uk/tools/do-follow-search-engine/

Conclusion

Remember, it’s an algorithm that the search engines use (most of the time), and I’ve figured out this method through trial and error, and of course actually reading when Google hands outs a PDF about search engine optimization also helps. Having designed website since 1995 and before Google existed, and have experience climbing the rankings on the major search engines, this continues to always works.

There are other equations that factor into SEO and getting rankings like age of your domain, etc, but to keep it simply, today I pretended everything else is equal. The way you will see results is, first yahoo or msn will start sending you more traffic for the targeted keywords, and then Google will start flooding you with traffic.

Done correctly, and depending on your industry, you can see results in as quickly as 2 weeks to 2 months. You should start seeing significant traffic within 3 months to 6, and Great results after that period. This of course is also assuming you are constantly updating your website, and doing other marketing methods for your website. Remember this method is a small method of an overall of dominating your industry in the search engine rankings and your online presences. If you want, you can contact me for more details on how I can help you achieve better results online.