If you’ve been struggling to make traction with your SEO, it might have less to do with your strategies, and more with your overall business marketing plan. If there many other businesses in the same area that offer the same product or service to the same audience and are more established, it will be extremely difficult to outrank them. Great SEO hinges on a great overall business strategy. By selling niche products and choosing a targeted audience, you have a good chance of succeeding because you know whom to target rather than the “general audience.”

Merriam Webster defines a niche as “the situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people.” If you have found your niche, your overall marketing can be optimized to target that specific group’s needs and wishes.

Start by asking yourself, “who is my customer.” If your first description is something like “male or female, 18-65, lives in the US, eats at restaurants,” then you need to do some deeper digging. The more specific you can get with your audience, the easier it will be to market to them.  And the easier it is to market to them, the more effective your SEO efforts will be, including content and paid advertising.

Your customer persona could include:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Hobbies
  • Income level
  • Job title/role
  • Industry they work in
  • Relationship/Family status
  • Goals and motivations
  • Challenges
  • Social circles
  • Values
  • Behavior

Give this persona a name, and you’ll begin catering all your marketing toward this persona. Your business might have a couple of different personas, and that’s okay. But they should each be very specific and seem like a real person who would make a purchase from you.

Once you’ve thought about who your customer is, you can work on aligning your offering with what your customer needs.

First, break down your service offering into the following:
1. Gain creators – meaning what provides the gains your customers are seeking
2. Pain relievers – meaning the services/products you provide that alleviate common pains
3. Products and services – The ways you help customers complete their tasks or “jobs”

Match these elements of your offering to the pains, gains, and jobs of your ideal customer. These two lists must align. If they don’t, you need to take a look at how you’re marketing your services and make sure they communicate how you fulfill clients’ needs.

Once you’ve got that covered, you need to reconsider what audience you’re targeting. You could have the best business out there, but if you aren’t aligning what you offer with what your customer is looking for, it won’t matter. If a potential customer doesn’t see the value for them in what you have to offer, they’ll go somewhere else. That is why it’s so important that your branding and marketing is geared toward the right audience.

This brand alignment will empower you to create keywords and content that cater to your ideal customers’ needs.

When you know exactly what niche audience you are targeting, your SEO will be easier. You can create long-tail keywords more easily, create better content, and figure out where your audience hangs out on the internet and get backlinks from those sites. When you provide the exact thing that a specific person is looking for, you’ll earn their website visitors and eventual dollars spent.