Over the holiday period, I took time away from my business to reflect on the progress I’ve made with ShaeBaxter.com in 2014.
I also got to reflect on the work of my amazing clients whose businesses are changing the world while they get to indulge in what they love every day.
And I also delivered a webinar to over 400 skin care businesses around the world.
As I was going through this period of reflection and preparing for the webinar, something hit me almost like a freight train.
I especially notice this when I’m reading the online forms my clients complete and submit after they purchase a keyword report so I can deliver them a kick-ass report.
But there’s one thing that can make my job of delivering a kick-ass report quite difficult.
And that’s when it hit me…
Too many people are NOT clear enough on what their niche or point of difference is!
When you’re not clear on what your niche is, it makes doing SEO or any type of marketing much more difficult.
Let me explain.
Any time I work with a new client I ask them what their niche is.
Telling me that they’re a business or health coach or that they sell organic skincare is NOT a niche.
They are markets, even industries. But not niches.
And marketing to a broad market or industry means you’re going to have your work cut out for you if you don’t narrow down and get specific.
Then people are shocked and surprised when Google doesn’t rank their web pages and noone is finding their content, no matter how great and wonderful it is.
It’s because you’re diving head first into extremely competitive markets.
If you’re a business coach, think about how many other business coaches are also trying to get Google’s attention.
If you’re a health coach, what type of health coach are you? There are literally millions of unique problems that health coaches could solve.
It’s the same if you sell skin care.
Make your job easier from the start because you end up competing against every person, institution or organisation that sells, blogs or just mentions organic or natural skin care on the web.
But when your niche is:
> Skin care for cancer survivors
> Skin care for outdoor men
> Herbal skin care for over 50 women
> Skin care for mature oily skin
> Skin care for teens
> Skin care for guinea pigs (apparently!)
You reduce the amount of competition you’re up against from the outset and it will be a lot easier for you to get traffic from the search engines.
Remember, there’s only 10 listings per page that Google can reward in the search results. If you leave yourself too open, you’ll never make it past page 500 on Google.
So here’s what you need to do.
1. Get clear on what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is
What is it that sets you apart from your competitors? How exactly do you define your USP?
This doesn’t just apply to SEO – being clear on your USP is an essential aspect of your marketing strategy. But it’s so much harder to do SEO without having a clear understanding of your USP.
Your tagline or your vision statement is not a USP. It’s not enough. You need to consider how unique your offering is. Are you competing in a niche that offers pretty much the same thing? How do you stand out? What’s so different about you?
For example, Google’s real selling point is that it gives answers, Amazon sells the widest range of books online and Coke sells happiness.
The problem we have today is that niches and markets are crowded.
People are searching for information online and much of that are specific problems that people currently have.
For example, if you’re a health coach, what type of health coach are you? What are your areas of focus? What specific problems do you solve for people? If you want to stand out as a health coach, then you need to make it clear to people exactly how you can help them.
These days, people aren’t just typing in one or two words into Google… …they’re typing in questions.
If a person doesn’t find what they want on their first search, then they’re likely to type a more specific search into Google.
This is a great opportunity for you.
A person will rephrase their search to be more specific.
For example, “chronic fatigue syndrome treatment” may become “chronic fatigue syndrome treatment homeopathy.”
So this provides the health coach dealing with the treatment of chronic fatigue using homeopathy without the use of drugs a greater opportunity to stand out over a generic health coach that hasn’t defined their USP.
Not only that, the homeopathy health coach will attract more quality traffic to their website, which means the right clients to work with.
Can you see now how defining your USP is critical to the success of your SEO strategy?
2. Know exactly who your ideal client is
This is another big mistake I see people make. They’re still not clear on who their ideal client is.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you don’t know who your ideal client is then you’re not ready for SEO. It’s as simple as that.
You need to know who you’re marketing to so you can figure out what type of content to create that will best meet their needs and provide the answers they’re searching for.
Figuring out who your ideal client is has to be your first step. (I wrote a detailed post about this here). To do this, you literally need to think like your ideal client. It’s sets the foundation for all your marketing activities. You simply cannot build a business without doing this fundamental research and SEO is no exception.
Let’s go back to our homeopathy health coach.
Let’s say she also specializes in helping people treat adrenal fatigue. She could get hundreds even thousands of visitors to her website after they perform a search query for “adrenal fatigue recovery,” but they don’t want to be cured naturally – they want stimulants or drugs. This health coach would not want to attract these people.
The type of people our health coach does want to attract are interested in being cured naturally. So to deliver an amazing search experience, you need to make sure you identify exactly who you’re targeting and then figure out the exact words that they type and why.
There’s no point attracting the wrong people to your website. You’re only wasting your time and theirs and you’ll get a super high bounce rate.
Before you start doing keyword research, pay attention to the conversations you have with people in real life. Make an Evernote or swipe file of the exact words and phrases people are telling you at networking events, blog comments, on emails, questions and discussions in Facebook groups etc.
Here’s the truth?
- No amount of SEO or marketing can save you if you don’t have a:
- big problem people will pay to fix
- specific solution that solves that problem
Now if you’re business is new you may be thinking that you haven’t yet discovered your niche or you’re not clear on who your ideal client is.
I get that. I really do.
It’s taken me two good years to get the clarity and focus in my business (heck I’m in SEO – can’t get more saturated than that!) and to be honest, this is an evolution. You don’t suddenly discover who your ideal client is and then stop. It will be ongoing process throughout your business journey.
And if you’re not yet clear, then simply choosing some keywords and writing blog posts is a good way to see what will stick and how people will respond.
The point I’m trying to make is that your job will be much easier and there will be much less effort required on your part to get discovered, found and more visible online when you’re clear on your niche.
When I first started ShaeBaxter.com I knew full well that I was jumping headfirst into one of the most competitive industries online (SEO and online marketing).
I had to be very clear and precise on who exactly I was marketing to. I would be naive to think I can just expect to land on page one for “SEO” and other competitive keywords.
Just last week I had an awesome SEO coaching session with a client that is about to launch herself as a health coach. 🙂
But she’s not just any health coach… she’s an ayurvedic health coach.
Super clear, super niched.
Instead of the need to try and rank for so many competitive and generic keywords (which would be near impossible right now) like:
– health coach
– health tips
– how to increase energy
– emotional blocks
– anxiety and depression etc
She can go after keywords like:
– ayurvedic health coach
– ayurvedic herbs
– ayurveda treatment
– ayurvedic health tips etc
….because there are people already searching for something much more
It will be much easier for her to market to those people already searching for
ayurvedic health and similar terms because these people are already aware of what it is and they’re looking for something specific.
Hence they’ll be easier to convert into leads and sales than the people that have no idea what ayurvedic health is (like me up until a week ago).
It’s all about understanding the mindset of your potential customer.
Stay tuned for next week’s email where you’ll have the opportunity for me to review your blog for free…
….and the chance to rank for some of the most competitive keywords in your niche.
To your SEO & blogging success,
About the Author: As the creator of Get Your Blog Read by Millions, Shae Baxter teaches bloggers and entrepreneurs how to use the power of SEO – Search Engine Optimization – to make it easier for clients, customers and fans to discover your work.