Getting Started In A Competitive Niche Online

The world at the moment is still getting through a global pandemic that has seen many businesses take to the online world in an effort to continue trading and prevent collapse. With a huge amount of websites going up every month, it can seem overwhelming to try and get noticed amongst a sea of competitors. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight or spend huge amounts to get noticed, you just need resource available to prove to your potential customers, you are the business they want to deal with.

Identify Where Your Audience Are

The best way to get started online is to do research into the platforms your audience is using, do they prefer to engage through social media platforms or do they use search engines to find the answers to their queries? If you are just getting started, you won’t have your own data to base answers on, but your competitors probably do so call up 3-5 of your biggest competitors and check out their presence online. Do they have a one-page website that doesn’t get updated or a large resource of information available? Are they regularly posting on social media and engaging with their followers or has it been set up and left?

These questions which can be answered with publicly available data can help you find where your audience is and also show where your competitors are lacking.

Using Keywords to Drive Traffic

Getting found online is made easier when your online presence includes the terms your audience are searching, known around the web as ‘keywords’. These keywords and keyphrases help identify what your website is about to search engines so they can serve it up as a relevant answer to a user’s search query. For instance, a charity looking to support communities in Yemen would use relevant keywords such as ‘Yemen Charity’, ‘Donate to Yemen’ and ‘Yemen Emergency Appeal’. These keywords aren’t just thrown on the page and left, instead it’s important and necessary to create informative and engaging content. This might include articles that talk about the situation in areas that require support and round-ups that focus on the hard numbers of those living in poverty or affected by conflict. Or videos and infographics that provide an engaging visual summary of the situation.

Using Your Competitors to Build a Strategy

Your competitors can be a great source of information when it comes to building an online strategy, they can help you identify which keywords they rank for and what content they have used to rank for it. This allows you to ‘skyscraper’ their content, improving and adding onto what they have already created in a unique and engaging piece of content you create yourself. This can also show you what types of content are ranking for specific keywords, it might include blog pages, product pages, specific landing pages or in some cases, category pages. It’s important to stick to the type of content that search engines are favouring for certain keywords as search engines believe that these types of pages are the most relevant for the user’s query and a different type of page will be difficult, if not impossible, to rank higher.

Care for the User Experience

Launching a website is exciting but some things need to be taken into consideration before you can call it done. Your user experience is one of the most important factors of a website in the eyes of search engines and almost any question regarding what goes into your online presence can be answered by “What is best for the user?”. For instance, if you are putting lots of effort into your online content, make sure it links to places that your audience are likely to go next. For example, if you’ve written a solid, engaging piece on homelessness in the UK, make sure there is a clear, visually striking call to action that takes readers straight through to the donate page so they can support these people in need with just a click or two.

This is particularly key when working on websites that need to be responsive (hint: all of them) across all devices. There are designated ‘good tap zones’ that should be taken into consideration, if your user needs to search for a link or stretch to tap a button, they are less likely to go for it naturally and instead will hit back and look elsewhere.

There are many things that need to go into your website to break into a competitive sector online but the above points are a great starting point and will help you get established quickly online, allowing you to focus on the other areas of your business such as staff and customer service.

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