Irina is a Chief Marketing Officer at ITRate.co . Among her skills: In-depth keyword research, Analyzing competitors, Studying analytics, Building natural backlinks, Creating content strategies, Brand analysis, Social media campaigns, and Strong Excel.
Getting your site to rank on top in a competitive niche doesn’t have to be impracticable! With given SEO tactics, you can get remarkably powerful effects at a lower cost.
Every year, traffic production for marketers and SEO-specialists becomes more and more complicated. Obviously, every year more companies try to find a place in the sun in profitable niches like Gambling, Betting, Dating, Medic, Software, Insurance, Lawyers, etc. But over time previously uncompetitive tops have become quite expensive when using standard promotion methods. What to do about it?
1. How Things Used to Be
Just 8-10 years ago, SEO promotion was much easier. It was enough to choose an average or high-frequency request, make a landing/blog page, and get links to it. In those days, Google Search algorithms were much simpler, and those methods that are now considered spamming and have a negative effect (or worse), which will inevitably lead to sanctions by Google, worked perfectly and provided an extremely quick effect then.
Such methods include forum links, blog comments, using the SAPE exchange with a large number of anchor phrases in the links' text, and so on.
Requirements for content were also much easier than now because at that time to write 500 keywords in a list without any adequate content was pretty common. As a result, websites in the most profitable niches were easy enough to get to the top.
2. How Things are Now
Nowadays, it has become really costly to get top rankings for websites in competitive topics. It takes a lot of time, plus a team that plans to get involved should have a strong enough expertise and promotion experience. For example, in UK Google, search results in the Gambling/Casino niches are manually moderated.
Plus, there are other factors like government regulations (Denmark, Croatia, etc.). Amazon Review websites are also to consider. They are relatively easier to promote, but the profitability may often not be cost effective.
Here is the most conservative estimate: writing a good article for Amazon Review site costs from $30 for every 1000 words. Now, the average volume of articles is 2500 words, so the minimum cost of the article is $75. The average number of articles on a website, as a rule, is 40-60, so the total cost of finished content for a website will be about $4000. This is only the cost of content!
Next comes the cost of the website itself - hosting, theme, configuration, and optimization. Combine this with a cost of a person to publish those articles, as well as for a team engaged in an external promotion. And we have not touched the most expensive part yet - links.
Links eat up the largest part of a budget because even with a minimum $100 sponsored post cost, with 40 articles, you will need a minimum of 400 posts from different websites to achieve at least some result. The total cost is $40,000 only for links. Now add $4,000 for content, and don't forget a team to be involved in the project. Quite small expenses as for the site that gets 4%-5% from sales on average.
Simply put, standard methods that are known to all, used by everyone earlier, are now really expensive. As a consequence, the so-called Black Hat Promotions arise. One of the most popular Black Hat methods is these two: the purchase of an auction domain with a large number of trust links, and with the help of Private Blog Network (PBN).
3. Buying a Trusted Domain
Auction domains is a very expensive pleasure. The prices of such domains can easily get over $10,000, so to make a mistake and buy a domain with a bad history would be extremely disappointing. At the same time, this is probably the only way to save time.
The main advantage of such websites is that in addition to a large number of links, there will be those that are impossible to get. Such links, for example, may include links from pages that cover some sort of a past event.
4. How to Find the Domains
The most popular purchasing service is ExpiredDomains. It has a powerful system of filters on a very large number of parameters which makes it a very good tool for finding such sites. There are also other services that provide the possibility to purchase and they get more and more popular because of the popularization of this method.
5. Trusted Domain Costs
Depending on the number of links, age, history of the site, and many other parameters, their cost can vary from $100/200 to $20,000 and even higher. First of all, the cost is influenced by the links’ quality. For example, the cost of receiving a link from the official Disney website is $100,000, and without certain conditions, even for such money, it will be impossible to receive links.
Another type of links that are extremely difficult, and often simply impossible to get, are the ones from .gov portals. Repeatedly in my practice, I have tried to get them from such resources, but, as websites’ managers told me, even links undergo verification, so I think you understand the importance of such "donors".
6. Using Such Websites. Results
One of the brightest examples that can be observed is CarBibles.com. Here's what was on the website in 2008:
And here's the same website in 2018:
The culmination is the image below, where you can see the number of website’s visitors by April 2019. The Ahrefs tool was used for analysis:
7. Building a PBN
PBN websites have their advantages. The most important "trump card" of this promotion method is its links management. You control what kind of content is displayed, the frequency of content updates, and even the type of a website: a company's website, blog, or a website dedicated to some event in the past - these are just a few examples of how they can look.
8. Promotion Disadvantages
Websites in such a grid should be of different types - on different CMS, have different designs and a different direction (a company's website, blog, etc.) Making a grid of websites is costly (domain/hosting), also, the administration of such websites is quite a time-consuming task.
9. Can you Save Money?
The above methods help save money but still are quite expensive. If you have decided to promote your website in Casino niche, get ready for the promotion cost of $100,000 or higher.
If you want to get traffic in the desired niche the cheapest way, there is only one method left - the pages on low-frequency requests. Such requests are much faster and easier to bring out.
Using the example of Amazon Review, an article that was created under the keyword with a frequency of 500, has received the top-6 position within a week, and that's without a single link. Given that, the average cost of an article is $800, the article quickly recouped the cost of writing. In terms of actual numbers, a single article these days makes about $600 per month, with 10-20 visitors a day.
10. Why Does it Work?
Alas, the more detailed the answer to the question, the better this article is ranked by Google. You can say it's better for a potential visitor, but in the near future, it will definitely be a big problem, especially for large sites, because it's harder to keep traffic together. For example, the output for “portable electric grill” and “electric grill requests” is very different, although the requests themselves are similar, and there's quite possible to make portable electric grill subsection in the electric grill article.
11. How Does it Work?
I suggest you look at an absolutely real case on the example of no less competitive Software Development niche. What are the advantages here? Now, this method has only advantages, as it is the cheapest, and quite easily allows you to get the top-1 on desired requests:
1.A detailed answer to a visitor's request: “java programmer salary” and “C# programmer salary” depend on different factors, applications of these programming languages differ, and the stack of technologies in both cases is different. Let's agree that it makes more sense to make 2 unique pages than describe everything on the Programmer Salary page.
2. Two articles on “Java Programmer Salary” and “C# Programmer Salary” have much more chances to get to the top-1 position than one “Programmer Salary” on both key requests.
The images below show examples of the output where the differences can be seen with the naked eye:
Java Programmer Salary Example
C# Developer Salary Example
3. Latent Semantic Indexing: more than 80% of all requests are low-frequency. They cannot be previewed or analyzed, and even Google Webmaster doesn't provide you with the whole list of phrases your site was shown by. Voice search, where requests can be literally singular, is also gaining popularity.
For a company that deals with Software Development, 150 blog articles/landings are not something bad or strange. On the contrary, it shows in great detail the areas of expertise. A statement that such a number of articles is expensive is erroneous because even by comparing the cost of 500 articles with the minimum number of links, it will still be cheaper than getting a page on “software development company” which may require at least 50 links, if not more.
12. What Can Be Achieved?
For a website of the company engaged in custom software development, you can get a fairly impressive amount of target visitors this way:
Less than 20 blog links were provided in 16 months. All traffic that comes in is the result of blog articles only.
13. How to Choose Topics for Your Blog?
When selecting topics for blog/landing pages, there are 2 recommendations:
The first one is to choose topics and write about what already gets you leads. What kind of software is most often developed for your customers? Where do your customers most often come from? If they are most interested in custom insurance software and it generates the main client flow for your company, it is logical to write new articles on these topics:
"Insurance Agency Management Software";
"Insurance Claims Management Software";
"Insurance Broker Software";
"Insurance Compliance Software."
The second is if you work in a clearly defined niche. For example, you only develop CRM systems. Then the best solution is to create articles/landing on topics like:
"Custom CRM Software”
"Custom CRM Developers"
"CRM Software for Sales and Marketing."
The cost of traffic attracted by creating a blog of articles/landing pages is noticeably lower than link promotion.
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