I’ve been blogging for almost five years now, and I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks, especially within the last year.
This website was originally an online portfolio where I could share my writing, photography, and artwork. As I geared up to release my first novel in 2018, the blog took on a new aspect. I wrote about my self-publishing adventures, and to my surprise, I started connecting with more and more writers and indie authors.
I began working in ecommerce in early 2019 and started to understand more about SEO and how web optimization can drastically increase traffic to a website. In the summer of 2020, I really started educating myself. I joined an online program that taught lessons about the importance of SEO and micro niches, as well as how to start leveraging affiliate marketing to monetize a website. And in February 2021, I was hired as a content creator writing SEO articles.
In this post, I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned in regards to pairing SEO with a micro niche to help your content rank in search engines. I’ll talk about affiliate marketing later in a future post.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which means optimizing your content to rank well in search engines. That used to mean cramming as many keywords onto web pages as possible, but now, Google and other search engines actually penalize websites that try to shove tons of keywords into poorly written content and cheat their way to the top results.
For bloggers who are serious about the quality of their content, that’s great news! Good content is what search engines are looking for.
High-quality SEO writing needs three main components:
- Relevant, well-written content
- Keywords that have decent traffic and low QSR
- A target audience within a micro niche
What is a Micro Niche?
A micro niche is a specific target audience. The micro part is key when it comes to ranking on search engines because it reduces your competition. For example, instead of targeting sports, which is a massive audience, narrow it down to a single sport, and then you can narrow it down even further:
Sports > Basketball > Basketball Drills for Beginners
For the first four years of this website’s life, I had low but somewhat consistent traffic. The problem was, I wasn’t writing for a targeted audience; I was just sharing my personal writing and occasionally musing about different aspects of being a writer. But when I started documenting my journey as an independently published author, I noticed my numbers were going up.
Why? Because I’d accidentally stumbled into the micro niche of self-publishing.
Once I examined the analytical data, I realized that my top two posts, which were reviews of B&N Press and IngramSpark, were a clear indicator of my micro niche. These posts were so popular in comparison to my other articles because prospective authors were searching online to learn more about independent publishing, and my posts were coming up in their searches.
As the pieces started to click together, I revisited those old posts that were performing so well and added extra keywords and backlinks to help give the SEO a boost.
How to Search for Keywords
Quality content is great, and keywords are a must, but you can’t rely on one or the other; you need to use them both effectively in order to achieve prime search engine optimization.
Keyword research is a critical component of SEO writing. Once you’ve narrowed down the micro niche your blog is going to focus on and then brainstormed content ideas, you need to know how to search a keyword. Luckily, there are online resources to help you do that.
One of the best keyword research tools that I like to use is Jaaxy, which helps you determine if the keyword you’ve chosen is strong. It also recommends similar keywords and phrases so you can scope out the best options.
QSR is an important factor. It stands for quoted search results, and it’s the number of competing websites ranked in Google for that particular keyword. Your best bet is to target keywords that have normal-to-high traffic and low QSR, aka low competition for high-performing keywords. The KQI, or keyword quality indicator, ranks the keyword or phrase based on the traffic-to-competition ratio.
There is no perfect keyword density formula. Some experts recommend placing your primary keyword(s) in:
- The post URL
- The post title
- The first paragraph (or first 100 words)
- One or more subheadings
In most cases, as long as you’re writing naturally but focusing on the specific topic and slipping a handful of your top keywords into your post, you’ll be in good shape. Just remember not to force keywords into the content in an awkward way that breaks up the flow and doesn’t sound quite right.
Best SEO Writing Practices
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already got a pretty good grasp on ways to optimize your content and start ranking in search engines. Some additional tips to maximize your website’s SEO:
- Break up long text with subheadings.
- Add both internal and external links into the content.
- Utilize images, videos, charts, and infographics.
- Try to avoid long paragraphs.
- Use bulleted and/or numbered lists.
- Use bold text to highlight important points.
- Use numbers in your title to catch people’s attention. Popular ranked posts often use this technique:
- 7 Guaranteed Ways to Boost Your SEO
- How to Write Good Content: 10 Steps for Successful Marketing
- 15 Common Practices to Increase Website Traffic
Implementing these tips, in addition to focusing on a targeted micro niche and writing awesome, keyword-rich content, is going to have a major impact on your SEO, which will translate into increased web traffic.