By now, most companies know that they need to have a good website and a blog to look attractive to digital leads. What’s less ubiquitous is an understanding of how to leverage a website and blog to occupy a content niche.
A content niche is all of the pieces of content – blogs, e-books, white papers, books, videos, etc. – that are about a particular niche topic. To occupy a content niche, a company needs to generate or aggregate the best quality and most optimized content about that topic. The value of doing this is that if done successfully, a company will be able to attract leads through online searches who are interested in the niche the company is occupying. The lead, then, is generally promising because they are interested in the same thing the company is an expert in.
This post is a general overview of how you can begin to occupy your content niche. For illustrative purposes, we are going to use a real life example to walk you through the steps needed to occupy a content niche. We are going to be working with Parkview Sports Group, a sports facility consulting company, run by experienced entrepreneur, Tim Ziakas. Tim’s company works well as an example because its expertise is a very specific.
Step 1: Find out what people are searching for
The first step to occupying a content niche is to determine what words and phrases are already being searched for that relate to the content niche. We use two tools to do this: Keyword Planner and Google Trends. Keyword planner is generally more useful in determining what average search volume is for a phrase while Google Trends is better at identifying the change of a phrase’s searches over time.
There are many different ways to isolate the keywords that may work for a content niche, but the easiest is as follows:
1. Go to Keyword Planner and select the first section, "search for new keyword and ad group ideas." 2. Then, type in your specialty and your website and then hit enter. 3. Keyword planner will then generate the most searched words related to your content niche. 4. When we did this for Tim's company we found this:
Trying to compete for the best content around the phrase, “indoor soccer field,” doesn’t really help Tim, and there is probably already a lot of content about indoor soccer fields. But, “sports facilities advisory,” “sports facility management,” and “sports complex business plan” may not have as much content already published about them and they directly relate to what Tim does.
As you get more entrenched in a content strategy, you will begin to research keywords that are being searched that don’t have great content and then produce content to occupy the vacancy. Even a phrase that has 10 searches a month can be valuable if you rank number one for it. That’s 120 digital leads a year.
To begin, though, Tim can start to create content around the key terms above.
Step 2: Create Great Content
Now that we know the keywords that are in Tim’s content niche, he can begin to create great content to occupy that space. Great content is content that is well written, easy to read, keyword-focused, seo optimized, over 800 words and valuable. By valuable, we mean that a reader should feel like they learned something from the post.
When concentrating on a content niche, you should be able to create insightful content that goes beyond obvious suggestions. So, Tim isn’t go to write a blog post telling sports facility owners and operators that a cleanly building is better for business. Instead, Tim is going to create a specific post about how to calculate an individual batting cage’s maintenance and operation cost and how this number should be used to determine a cage’s rental fee. He would fill out the blog with other specific information and concentrate on the keyword: how to start a baseball training facility, which gets 10 searches a month on Google.
Then, Tim is going to make sure that he has an SEO plugin for WordPress to optimize the blog post itself. We use yoast, which is free, but there are others out there. Yoast is going to tell Tim to make sure that he uses his keyword in his title, URL and throughout his blog post, as well as creating a short meta description that will appear under the link.
As Tim continues the process of occupying his content niche, he will continue to generate more blogs and other forms of content around the necessary keywords.
Step 3: Become a Publisher
Now that Tim has his content created, he wants to make sure people see it. There are three ways that people are going to see that blog you just published:
1. You send it to them via a newsletter of social media, 2. They searched the keyword in Google or 3. An associate shares it with them.
Essentially, creating the content is only about 20% of the work. The other 80% is making sure people see it. One great way to do this is to enter conversations online that would be furthered by the blog post, and sharing it there. For instance, if Tim comes across the Yahoo question, “What do I need to consider to start a baseball training facility?” he may post the link to this blog with a short synopsis of it. This action does three things, it furthers the online conversations by offering a good citation, it creates another location where leads can find the content, and it helps the overall ranking of his website by having a citation on another site.
Over time, Tim’s site’s NetAura (digital scorecard) will rise, causing Google to rank his content higher, making it easier to generate digital leads.