Hot damn we are flying through this case study and so far the feedback has been ah-maze-ing! We're incredibly stoked to have so many of you joining us on this challenge.
And remember, if you are joining the challenge, to keep us updated on your progress in the comment section below the posts. We love hearing how much you are hustling to make shit happen, so speak up!
Alright, let's get to biznass…
Last week I outlined our overall strategy for not just building a niche site, but our entire step-by-step process for choosing keywords, as well as our content model, our internal linking strategy, and our SEO plan.
It was a full-on information overload!
Annnnnd today is no different! Because this week we're talking about the sexy business of on-site strategy, or more specifically, what we do to keep a reader on our page once they get there.
How To Make Money with Niche Sites: Our On-Site Strategy
Locating Our Primary Keywords
For us it all begins with keyword research, meaning once we have found a potential niche the first thing we do is hit up Long Tail Pro and start running our seed keywords.
As I mentioned in last week's post, LTP (or Long Tail Pro) allows you to enter in up to 10 seed keywords at a time. Once we get our results back we (or should I say Josh…or should I say our outsourcers) cull the list of keywords down to only the most appropriate and relevant keywords.
From there we comb through the keywords and analyze the Google Title Competition, as well as the Keyword Competition.
Once we have located 4 primary keywords with a KC (keyword competition) of less than 35, we start looking for supplementary keywords—typically 3-5—that we can use to pair up with each primary keyword. We then group them together and look for keywords that could flow well together.
So, if you were to look at our list of primary and sub-keywords from week 1 you would see that each keyword group all ties into each other, making it easier to incorporate each phrase into that particular post.
Now, I mentioned last week that we typically stick to writing content in a friendly conversational manner, or as we like to call it, using the “friend filter”.
But what kind of content do we typically write and which do we find to be the best converting?
We tend to stick to these 3 basics styles of content:
- Product reviews
- How To posts
- List posts
Generally your product reviews will be your highest converting page on your site, because it's where the most information on your product exists.
It's also a post you can use to answer a potential customer's most common questions and sway their decision to click your affiliate link and purchase the product.
So how do we structure our product reviews to make sure we have a fighting chance?
Our product reviews are structured as follows:
- Quick introduction with a mention of a personal story, if applicable
- What is [product]?
- Does [product] work?
- What I liked about [product]
- What I didn't like about [product]
- The best place to buy [product]
- Call to action
Each of those sections are used as sub-headings within our reviews. We like that structure because not only does it help to break up the content into easy-to-skim paragraphs (remember: web surfers love to skim!), but it allows us to incorporate some of our sub-keywords into the post without having to jam them into the content itself.
Now I can imagine some of you wondering why the hell we would include a section on what we DIDN'T like about the product, but the reason is simple…
If you write a perfectly glowing review on a product you are promoting, it will reek of desperation. A customer, who might already be wary of buying online, will see that glowing review as a scam and most likely click off your page.
However, if they see that you are not only highlighting the positives but also calling out the negative aspects they tend to trust the review more—resulting in more sales for you!
I know it might sound a tad backwards, but trust me it works. In fact, we have a post on our skincare site reviewing an acne product (that we tested personally and hated) that is 90% negative, yet it still brings in sales.
Because it's honest.
Moral of the story? Don't sell your product, talk about it like you would to a friend.
As for the other posts we write—lists and how to posts—we try to keep those posts as entertaining, yet informative as possible.
We also make use of internal links within these posts to keep pushing the reader onto new information; gradually gaining their trust, and eventually siloing them through to either our product review page, or the merchant's website.
Remember: You want to keep your reader engaged, so the more you can “talk” to them and relate to the problem they are trying to solve, the better off your time on site and overall conversions will be.
In-Content Affiliate Links
Our process for including our affiliate links is simple: We prefer a few contextual links sprinkled throughout our content, as well as one big and obvious call to action at the bottom of each post.
With that being said, we still have one clean, square sidebar banner we use, but I'll touch on that a little further down.
So do we have a secret ratio of aff links to word count? Fuck no. We include 2-3 affiliate links within one post, with one of those being our big click-me-now CTA link at the bottom of the post and that's it. It doesn't matter how short or long our content is, we just find a way to include a couple links within the body and one below it.
Oh, and we no-follow each and every one of our affiliate links. We do this by installing a plugin called “no-follow link” which allows you to add the no-follow attribution to any link you wish.
After all, there's no point in passing pagerank to a merchant's site…they've got enough it! So keep that link juice for yourself!
Meta Tags and Description
Apart from including our keywords in our page title, URL, and a few times within our posts, the only other on-site SEO we do is filling out our SEO plugin for each and every post.
We use a plugin called “WordPress SEO by Yoast” and absolutely love it because it essentially grades your SEO efforts.
The cool thing about it is once you complete it, it gives you a full page analysis that you can then use to tweak your efforts and make sure the post is as fully optimized as you can make it.
Here's how we fill out our meta information:
- Enter in our keyword into the “focus keyword” section, so if our post was about “how to treat cellulite” we would enter that exact keyword in
- We create a custom title in the “SEO title” area, using our keyword as the main headline, for example: How To Treat Cellulite: 3 Simple Tricks
- We fill out the description in the “meta description” area and typically use this structure: Question, answer, description
This is how we typically structure our meta description:
Want to know how to treat cellulite at home? Check out these 3 simple tricks you can use right now to reduce your cellulite.
As I mentioned above, we personally prefer in-text links for our sites, but have recently started incorporating one simple sidebar banner that we create ourselves.
Because for the most part, the affiliate banners you get through each affiliate program are quite tacky and tend to really junk up a site.
The approach we take with our sidebar banner is to mimic the merchant's branding, including the style of their order button, that way the customer isn't jolted by a completely different look once they get to the merchant site.
We also find mimicking the merchant's design helps make the customer feel more comfortable making a purchase, resulting in more conversions for us.
Finally, we use the plugin “Q2W3 Fixed Widget” to enable the sidebar widget to follow the reader as they scroll down the page.
We dig this plugin because it allows us to keep the offer (and the image of the product) on top of the reader's mind, so if they do want to make a purchase they can click right then and there and get started.
And that right there is everything we do right there to keep a reader on our page once they land on the site.
Remember, this wasn't something we discovered right away. It's been a work in progress for close to 2 years, so don't get discouraged if you have to play around with your site a little before you find what works.
The key is to just keep testing and trying new strategies.
Finally, if you are joining in on this challenge with us, but would rather skip the tedious work of finding keywords or writing your content, click here to see how you can fast-track your way through the onslaught of tasks and get started on the right foot.