Niche marketers face many issues, but one of them often rises above all else to consume the affiliate marketers attention; often to their detriment. For those suffering from something often termed as ‘niche attachment syndrome’, determining the competition for a rich niche can become all-consuming.
The questions are fairly simple : is this high-traffic niche worth trying to exploit? Can the marketer be assured of a sufficiently high search engine ranking to make the effort worthwhile? Is the niche attachment justified by the analysis of the competition?
In short – answering these questions ought to help the marketer decide whether to continue with the niche marketing plan, or drop it entirely.
Determining the Niche Content Competition
Having narrowed down the field to one three or four word niche search term, preferably containing one or two brand or model names, the next step is to try and ascertain the competition profile:
- The number of competing sites;
- The quality of competing sites.
The first of these attributes is easily served by a quick Google search for keywords identified in the step above. This will yield a figure that could be in the 1,000s or 10,000s. If it is in the 100,000s or 1,000,000s then the niche may be too broad for search marketing, or it may be already saturated.
To determine whether the sub-niche is worth exploiting, it is necessary to look at the sites on the first page of results. Things to check are the quality of the content, and where the page comes from.
A high density of worthless blogs might point to a niche than can be successfully targeted, while a high density of corporate pages may well indicate that the affiliate marketer will have a tough time getting on the all-important first page.
The Market Samurai Revisited
Again, the Market Samurai can be used to rank them using the built-in tools. Crucially, it also measures backlinks, domain age, and several other criteria that search engines use in their ranking systems. This will largely affects how to conduct your link building campaign.
If a collection of pages are in the red (showing low quality) then all the marketer has to do is make sure their own page can excel in the defective areas to have a good chance of ranking above them in the SERPs.
The ranking algorithms at work will tend to place sites with high quality backlinks, a trusted domain, and fresh content (including visitor comments, RSS feeds and the like) above others.
Knowing the competition is half the battle to succeeding in internet niche marketing circles. Those that carry out the research will (usually) reap the rewards, and those that try to merely spam the search engine indexes with worthless, badly targeted, content will usually be disappointed.