In a previous post about sports fans were already mentioned they were a great market to target online because of their higher propensity to consume online. Imagine you have picked up this great idea and now you are thinking of a new idea for a sports website. Soon you will figure out how hard it is to compete with the established sports sites with a long history and an even longer list of inbound links. How to compete with ESPN or the NBA website with your newly launched website?
No battle is lost before it has begun though and with the right munition no attack on established values is a lost cause. Rather than trying to compete face to face, more sneaky ways to approach your enemy, in this case, are advisable.
A renowned site will always rank good for a number of qualitative keywords because years of link building and loads of published content have been boosting the Pagerank and overall authority of the site. Initially, you could start looking for ‘holes’ in the keywords and try out possibilities with slight variations of popular keywords. An old technique is to rank for misspellings of a popular keyword, but these days I would advise to look for better and qualitative variations.
In our sports example this could mean you don’t try to rank for ‘NBA’ or ‘basketbal’, but try to go for NBA stars, Foreign NBA players, best NBA players etc. Interested surfers will often not search for a single keyword anyway. Chances are big that if one is an NBA fan, the renowned basketball sites have already been bookmarked long before and search contributes to filling up the gaps where no information is readily available. Your task is to fill up that gap.
Let’s say in our NBA example you have decided to focus on a European view on NBA. This means you will focus your attention on non-american players, provide information in different European languages, maybe even use national domains. You can then start to think of NBA related keywords that describe your content best.
To rank for the selected keywords it’s necessary to insert them in your text. Again use variations otherwise the text will look boring or too artificial. Use the keyword phrase in your title and variations of it in paragraph titles or add bold tags. European NBA players, NBA players from abroad, outside view on NBA, NBA in Europe etc all indicate where your content is going and the Googlebot will most probably understand as well.
Additionally you can launch an Adword campaign and bid on the niche keywords you have previously researched. Avoid the commercial keywords. Niche keywords will be cheaper to bid on and bring visitors to your site for less money per click. This doesn’t necessarily influences the quality of your traffic if your ppc campaign is well thought off and structured around a specific theme. In our NBA example, geo-targeting your ads on European countries and offering them in different languages could surely attract a wider audience.
Of course it takes a lot of dedication and courage to battle the online Goliaths, but with the right tactics and more your flexibility, you can eventually succeed as the little conquering David.