As the old saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In the world of SEO, no axiom could be more true than indoctrinating yourself in the customs and ways of your target audience and skewing your content towards them.
For many content creators, the journey ends once the content is created, the requisite links are inserted, and the content is promoted via social media. However, unless they’ve spent some time within those target communities and/or had the chance to build one of their own, even their best promotion efforts can fall on deaf ears.
Even worse, and unbeknownst to them, is that they are missing out on a veritable treasure trove of choice keywords only their target audience would ever use!
So what’s the point of picking up a few terms only a small subsection of the Internet would use?
They Can Be Used Interchangeably with More General Keywords to Great Effect
As I had mentioned in the September webinar with Colin, I alternated keywords throughout my article on Sony Playstation 2 LAN gaming for Castleroid. The result? As of this writing, my article is 2nd place in the SERPs for “ps2 lan,” a search term that currently generates 230 monthly visitors and is sharply trending upwards.
For many users, the term “ps2” is nonsensical, even though many of them would likely know what a Sony Playstation 2 is. If only they knew that both of those terms are referring to the exact same console and that “ps2” received a whopping 60,500 visitors last month!
In short, I sprinkled the terms “playstation 2” and “ps2” throughout the article, where I could capitalize on monthly volume from both terms, while appealing to both casual and hardcore fans, and making my article the one they’ll likely see and click on during their queries.
Write Something They’ll Want to Read
Nobody likes reading word salad or something that comes off as pandering, condescending, nonsensical, or “sales-y”. That’s what makes those niche, highly relatable keywords so much more valuable!
Using interchangeable language is one part, the next is structuring your piece in an attractive manner that users (and Google) will love. This includes:
Use h2 tags for subsections, and keeping said subsections short and sweet (2-3 paragraphs, each one containing 1-2 sentences).
Make use of bullet/numbered lists where appropriate to break up walls of text.
Include a Featured Image and more throughout (recommend one per subsection).
Images should contain img alt text and/or subtext <figcapture> that includes a target keyword.
Build Authority Through Interaction
Becoming an authority in anything isn’t easy. Whether it’s becoming a doctor or top bratwurst proprietor, the first step is finding your target audience; the next step is effectively interacting with them.
Remember earlier when I said it was important to know the lingo of those you’d like to market to in order to unearth niche keywords that speak directly to them? The same applies when interacting on social media.
Hashtags, when used responsibly and effectively, can and have propelled certain social posts into the stratosphere. However, those who wish to be more than just a flash in the pan need to forge online relationships with influencers and community members of all sizes.
Whether they have 50 followers or 50 million followers, if you and them speak the same lingo and have shared interests, you are well on your way to becoming a trusted authority that shares/creates top-quality content.
You’re More Likely to Gain Natural Backlinks
With authority, structure, and a solid stable of niche keywords to draw from, there’s also the strong possibility of gaining the one thing any SEO covets more than anything else: authoritative backlinks.
The natural progression of this is that once your piece is ranking at the top of the SERPs, it becomes more likely to be linked to by an authoritative site that reaches a larger subsection of target community.
For example, as owner of Lumpz Media and SEO Manager of Castleroid, nothing would thrill me more than to find out that a site like NintendoLife or IGN linked to one of our posts. Where we pick up a smaller subsection of niche traffic on both sites, both NintendoLife and IGN have visitors numbering in the hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions!
Bottom Line: The more attractive, informative, and relatable your piece is, the more likely it will be shared and linked to by influencers.
Author: Conrad Crisman.