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.

Let me be blunt for a moment. The reason I succeed is because most of my competitors are simply failures. In the online search engine world, I am fighting for the top 10 positions for my keywords. My competition sucks, badly. For my clients their competition is even worst.

Seriously how weak is your marketing efforts? Are you at like less than 5% conversion rate, or even less than 1%? Hell, are you even tracking conversions? Do you know what a conversion is? (Amount of traffic that converts into a leads or sale)

Failure I believe derives from Fear. Most people are simply scared to get a website and put their hard earned money into their sites. The Internet is still to magically of a place. That’s why when a client of mine spends 30K to 60K with me a year, they not only receive great results, but get usually an 4 to 8 month return on investment. Then next year I double their budget, since by then they have more than tripled their online revenue.

There have been times, which I live for by the way, where I have gone up against, head to head, with another online marketing that knew what they were doing. They are smart enough to understand the techniques like dynamic SEO. I see their titles, header, and Meta tags changing at a rate that would make most people dizzy and throw up. Those are the rare challenges that I live for, but for the most part my daily journey through the Internet is a joke when looking at it from an online marketing perspective.

There are website still keyword stuffing, and relying on Meta keywords to increase traffic… and guess what they are getting the traffic!! Cause there is almost no competition in their industry! None!

I am going to be more brutal with the next paragraphs, so for the squeamish exit stage left.

Content
Fact is people have read everywhere in the online world, in order to success you need content. Content is King; Traffic is Supreme, as a version of the saying goes. So what do most website owners do, they put up weak duplicated content and hope for the best. They don’t take the time to work with a copywriter to create new daily or weekly content. Then they wonder why they are still not ranking high for their targeted keywords. Give me a break. When I see thing in an industry I am entering, forget about it, it’s over. 2 to 3 articles a week of writing and syndication, without doing nothing else to a client’s website results in a complete take over of the top 10 positions of the website within 3 months. But Adelard, how can you take over 6 or more positions, when the search engines allow only a max of 2 positions rankings for each site… Elementary, Syndication. I get my articles on authority websites as well as my own, AND here is tip #1, ALWAYS link back to your original article on your website. There you have it, duplicate content problem solved, and by the way, you just took over more than several top positions for targeted keywords.

A/B Split testing
People have also heard o something called TESTING… Yes that’s right, A/B Split testing, multi-variant test, test, test, and always be testing. I mean for goodness sakes, how can any web developer get it right the first time out of the gate? Impossible, even if they know that niche inside and out. Every website and domain is different. Test the colors, test the buttons, test the layout, and continue testing. Google even has a Website Optimizer that allows you to test; they make it so simply. Why aren’t you testing everything? How else are you going to increase your conversion rate? How else are you going to know that this version is the best possible version of the web page? I test everything, down to the damn font type.

Analyze Stats
Analyze and understand your stats. Do you know how to improve the bounce rate? Do you know what a bounce rate is? Bounce rate is the amount of people going to your website and immediately leaving without visiting another page. How high is yours? How do you reduce a bounce rate? Easy, test for it. Remove garbage that is not working, and focus on bettering user experience. Honestly if have a website with an overall bounce rate over 40%, your website sucks! View your stats and find out which individual web pages have the highest bounce rates, and improve them. Add better content, here’s a great tip, ADD PHOTOS. Simply adding an interesting photo to a page will increase the time on page for that page, and help reduce your bounce rate. Add a freaking video if necessary. Hell if you simple don’t know why people think your website sucks, ASK THEM! There are customer surveys and feedback solutions that will allow you to directly communicate with your website visitors and get ideas on why your website sucks!

W3 Validation
Here is another tips, W3 validate your website. W3 validating your site makes sure that no matter what browser or operating system a visitor is using, your website will appear exactly right on it! Look at the numbers, you gain more ground with being w3 compliant than if your website was made for a weak browser such as Internet Explorer. And seriously why are you still using Internet Explorer? Do you like viruses? And please, testing your website in other browsers when designing and adding new code, you will be surprised at the glitches that can occur and can be easily fixed by simply testing them. Jeez!

Expand Your Presence
I know I shouldn’t let this one out of the bag, but you have to also be everywhere. I mean jump on Facebook and link back to your site, get a Myspace, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Youtube channel, Merchant Circle, be freaking everywhere. If you are not, when one of your competitors hires me, trust me, I will be everywhere you are and especially where you are NOT! Join forums, networking websites, and industry portals, not only is this going to increase your presences, but will allow you to increase traffic to your website, AND increase leads and sales since more customers will be able to find you!!! Drop links everywhere you can. Getting exposure is easy, I once created a robot to login to random chat rooms where people where talking about my niche, and had the robot say my url every 30 seconds or minute or so. I got traffic, I got leads, I got sales, and sometimes I got booted or banned. But I got mine! Also, by expanding your presence, you rely less on one source of traffic, let’s say a particular big search engine, and can afford to take a hit now and then as the major search engine adjust their algorithms, or you test out a particular layout that might temporarily drop you.

Spy On The Competition
I mean seriously, Google makes it almost child’s play to spy on your competition. Do Google Alerts on all your competition’s websites, brand names, and your industry topics. Every time something happens, be there, if it is a blog, response on that blog in the comments and backlink your website! Drop links wherever your competition drops links. Look up all their backlinks using yahoo site explorer, download the CSV file that yahoo makes it so easy to download your competition’s backlinks, and run through that list for a certain time. Since the limit is the first 1000 backlinks that you can download, divide that up into 33 backlinks a day over the course of a month, and bam, when you move onto the next competitor, you will start rising faster and faster in the search engine rankings and will soon become an authority level!

Spying on your competition works, for example I got former employers and competitors all over my websites trying to figure out my tips and tricks and how I get the results I get. I know, cause I have all their IPs, I know exactly what areas of the website they visit, how long they stayed on, and what topics they read. To try and hide, they even use proxy.org to view my site. Losers. Since I’m a mad scientist I have created some advanced tricky programming scripts to allow me to take what Google Analytics does and multiply it by 1000%. I’ve seen examples of where the weak competition comes to my website, reads an article about Viral marketing, and bam in one day they have an article about viral marketing saying the exact same thing I said using my buzz words. I laugh, cause they got no originality. I mean, come on, coming to my site, to get ideas for your blogs and article topics, that’s weak, I talking to you o7. WEAK. But hey what can I do, except continue leading the pack.

Seriously, for anyone that wants to get top rankings and dominate their niche, hit me up, I’ll show you how to do this. For everyone else, I’ll see you on the playing field where you will be simply a pawn, like o7 IS. Jeez and stop keyword stuffing people!!!

Finding a great SEO expert is very hard to do if you don’t know what to look for. With the thousands of online marketing websites, and search engine optimization firms all saying they are #1, it can be overwhelming to find the true professionals. In order to find the best SEO experts for my clients I look at a company according to their portfolio, their results, their knowledge, their marketing strategy, and their organization & management abilities.

A quick look at their portfolios should show give you a great indication of whether they are professional or not. If they have worked with big companies and small companies that’s a good sign that they have scaling abilities.

Results are the only things that matter in the end. Can they get results? Can they show you results that they have gotten for their clients? Do they have a case study and references that you can talk to?

Is their presentation of their own website clean and efficient? Can you navigate their website and find quickly ways to contact them? Does their presentation give a custom, high quality, and at the same time a creative feel?

Do they have knowledge and understand of their industry? A good Internet marketing company will have a knowledge center that will help educate consumers and clients. Do they offer a free services like a free website analysis for customers so they can understand better their current rankings? Do they possess a willing to teach and learn at the same time? It is important to learn about a new industry and the players in the marketing in order to get a better grasp and understanding of how a successful Internet marketing campaign can be launched.

Do they provide a clear strategy and outline of how they are going to launch a successful Internet marketing campaign for you as a client? Are there clear goals set for their clients?

Are they organized and how is their management abilities? Do they have a centralized location for information and a customer login system where clients can see what is going on with their project and communicate efficiently with the team?

Karma Snack is a unique company that has risen quickly in the SEO world. Karma Snack provides clients with everything that they need in order to gain great search engine rankings, increase in traffic, and increase in sales.

Karma Snack is one company who’s staff has worked with Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Chase, Ingram Micro, Dole, Wachovia, Bank of America, Citigroup, Toshiba, Formula 1 & 2, Porsche Racing, 99 Jamz of South Florida, AOL, Quigo, Google, Yahoo, MSN, Nike, Apple, Iphone Dev Team, and more. The have also help develop from start KO Dynasty, the fastest growing MMA Sports management company, and A2z Big Loans, an international commercial loan provider.

Karma snack has proven results with over 2,000 first page search engine lists and a $5 billion case study of one of their clients. They also provide references upon request to current clients so you can talk to in order to get a feel for what it is like to work with them.

Karma Snack has web developers with over 30 years of experience combined in online web design and Internet marketing. Search Engine optimization is a specialty for Karma Snack, and it is one of the reasons it stands out amongst the competition.

Karma Snack has an in-depth and growing knowledge center that hold an expert advise in Internet marketing and search engine optimization. A newsletter signup is also available for customers who want to get updates on new information and services. Karma Snack also offers a free website analysis for visitors to get an in-depth understanding of their current rankings and how they can better their search engine marketing campaigns. Karma Snack’s goal is to teach and education consumers on how to increase rankings and gain targeted traffic to their websites.

Karma Snack provides a clear strategy and outline of all Internet marketing campaigns to clients. They also help education clients on how to better their other marketing efforts and help sync offline with online marketing campaigns. Each client is at a different level, but the goals of Karma Snack stay the same: Increase Traffic, Increase Leads/Sales, and then eliminate non-performing marketing efforts.

Karma Snack has a unique project management system that they provide their clients access to in order to view their current marketing project, see what is scheduled. The Snack Board (project management system) allows Karma Snack a centralized location for communication with their in-house staff and clients. Clients and members of the staff can be anywhere in the world and still be able to access the Snack Board and view what is going on, and what the next milestones and goals are for a project.

Karma Snack has set themselves as one of the top Internet marketing companies in the world, and has proven to my clients and me time and time again that they are #1. They focus on quality and results, that’s the only thing that matters at the end of the day.