There exists a massive opportunity for anyone. Mostly those outside America, but anyone can do this. That’s local niche sites. I wrote about it before sometime during the Niche Site Challenge, and here’s the link.
Anyway, dedicated readers will know that I’ve started experimenting with new SEO tools recently. Jury is still out on all of them, because they all have different quirks and different strengths. One I’m trying has a great competition module but its ranking tracker is basically unusable and another is vice versa.
One problem with internet marketing stuff seems to be that you have to use multiple tools and hack together your own solutions. It’s fun but taxing.
Anyway, my point for bringing that up is this: when we think of search engine rankings and performance, we’re all using an outdated idea of what the search engine rankings pages actually are.
Nowadays, they’re dynamic and designed to appeal to a specific user in a specific locale at a specific point in time.
There’s not so much “where are your pages in the search engine rankings” but a multitude of different results based on factors not only related to your site but also the person making the search.
I found with the tools I was using that I perform a lot better in the UK search results than I do in the US results. This is unsurprising because I’m UK based, my servers are located here and so on and so forth.
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The Big Mistake People Make
“But Jamie, if I search for “protein powder review uk” I get tons of results!”
There’s more to geo-targeting than just putting the location in the keyword. The more complicated the subject is, the worse the material is if you try a simple “USA” to “UK” substitution. The money is in being correct.
Here are some examples I’ve come across as a UK guy looking at niche sites –both for research purposes and purely to find solutions to my problems. After that, I’ll talk about a couple of niches that you could work in where this effect will be strong.
Example One: Diet
I was looking for protein-heavy recipes due to wanting to get healthier. Now, for my American readers, there are some big differences between fitness culture in the UK and the USA. I can’t talk to other countries like European nations or Australia – and that’s the point.
Anyway, cheap protein is not a thing in the UK. Looking for cheap protein recipes only to have an American writer note that you can get whole chickens for a dollar or whatever is annoying.
If the average niche site builder tried to write the same article for US and UK audiences and just switch the location description, it wouldn’t work.
Example Two: Survival
This is going to be one of the niches I talk about below, because it’s one I have a lot of experience in writing for affiliates and it’s the place where the difference in location-specific material is apparent.
Once, I was doing research for a survival project. I made the foolish mistake of asking about home security on a forum. Whilst a lot of guys were well-meaning in their advice, a lot of the advice centred around guns.
Even though that had nothing to do with the question I asked.
One guy was less well-meaning than the others, and told me I had two choices: Continue living in a police surveillance state and ultimately get raped by a gang of [Redacted] and die, or move to a country where I was allowed to own automatic weapons.
Now, I found that bizarre seeing as the question was about fencing and cameras, but whatever.
Here’s my point: to a US audience, the concept of gun ownership and it being a core part of identity – let alone home security – is so engrained in their psyche, that even on a question about a fence, guns are relevant.
To a UK audience who don’t have guns, you’ll get a completely different paradigm and set of issues.
That’s not to judge; the world’s more complicated than “nobody in the UK has guns!” or “the US is full of ‘Merica gun-toting nutjobs” but I’ve seen plenty of survival sites that are supposedly “for the UK” but contain absurd and sometimes illegal advice.
Don’t do that, because sales will suffer and in addition you can get sued, which isn’t worth it for a $200 a month site.
I’ll wrap this up quickly with some obvious niche ideas. I won’t go into huge detail so you’ll have to do the research and footwork yourself (deal with it) but here are some ideas:
- Sports: There are sports that are popular in your country or area that aren’t heard of elsewhere. This can even be global if you like, but think with a local perspective in mind. One of my friends goes kitesurfing all over the world. He travels specifically to go to certain windy beaches. Local info about this is scarce.
- Don’t give legal advice (unless you’re a lawyer) but a lot of legal topics are long-tail friendly and they’re local to your area. If you live in the US, then laws are very niche and local and so competition will be weaker despite law firms spending a hell of a lot on PPC. (Rent your web-space out to them when you have traffic.)
- Survival: Aforementioned gun-nuts and right-wing American conspiracy dominate the niche but the things they talk about are only vaguely relevant elsewhere. If you live in Central Europe your needs are very different to those of someone living in Ohio and this fundamentally changes every aspect of what you write.
- Finance: this is the big one and especially good if you’re from the USA because your general understanding of finance and education regarding investment is ahead of the curve. You can throw a metaphorical stick at the internet and it’ll hit a finance blog for US guys, but that same information – retirement planning, stocks and shares, crypto (new kid on the block) is not widespread elsewhere.
There are some ideas for you to niche down on, but so long as you geo-target the niche, you’ll find a lot less competition even in competitive spaces.