How to Crack Google Search Optimization for Your Unique Niche

Search engine optimization sounds great on paper, but when put into practice, it’s a bit tougher. Marketing in your specific niche can be slow and painful, especially if you’re just starting from scratch with a new website.

Although it may feel like every keyword already has hundreds of thousands of competitive results, you can still push through the crowd and rise to the top if you understand how to apply SEO fundamentals to your unique niche.

Search is all about supply and demand, and as long as you meet a user’s needs (especially in local marketing), you’ll gain the search traffic.


Local and niche searches make up the large majority of Internet searches (which I’ll cover in more detail later), and you can make a killing if you set up your niche site correctly.

Here’s what you need to know to get started in pushing your website up the search engine ranking pages for your specific niche.

1. Research your niche

According to recent research, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75% of users never scroll to page 2.


This is a huge user base that leads to 1.2 trillion (and rising) Google searches every year. Grabbing a piece of that market is going to take some in-depth research.

Researching your niche is a step toward improving your domain and page authority. The more you understand a topic, the more likely you are to be seen as a trusted resource, which helps your SEO efforts.

You should always be keeping an eye on industry trends to know what people are buzzing about these days and cater to those searches. The longer you blog, the more important this will become as eventually you’ll run out of ideas.

When you know your industry inside and out, you have a leg up on the competition because you understand the context within which people are typically searching.

You’ll also understand that while not every search and click lead to a sale, the value you bring as an authoritative voice is a branding opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

2. Broaden your keywords

As mentioned previously on Quick Sprout, long-tail keywords are the key to succeeding with a niche website. While you may not be able to rank well with your new vaping website for the keyword “vaping,” you can rank well for “mango flavored vape juice” or “what oils can be used in vape pens,” or even “what’s the best temperature to vape vegetable glycerin.”

While people looking for general vape information or products may not see you, people specifically looking for the best mango VG-based ejuice will see you.

Long-tail keywords have much smaller search volumes than generic ones, but ranking well on them builds your overall web profile and search rankings for other related terms. It’s also important to know that long-tail keywords make up about 70% of all searches anyway.


Using long-tail keywords lets you really shine in areas where people are actually searching.

For example, if you have a black 10-speed beach cruiser, you may draw interest from people looking for bicycles, but you’ll draw much higher interest from people looking specifically for beach cruisers, black bicycles, and a black 10-speed beach cruiser.


Targeting long-tail keywords makes your site visible in the “minor league” search terms that can make all the difference in your site’s brand recognition, traffic, and ultimate ROI.

3. Place strategic links

Quality backlinks with descriptive anchor text placed on authoritative sites is the easiest and most efficient way to raise your website’s search engine rankings.

Here’s a breakdown of the top search signals so you can see how links fit into the equation:


The more links you can get placed in a non-spammy way on popular sites in your industry (or the mainstream media, academic, and government web pages), the higher your page will rank on search engines.

It’s a two-fold benefit: these links drive search traffic as well as direct referral traffic from those who click the links.

Blogging on your website and guest-posting on others are the best ways to get these backlinks, although commenting on forums and blog articles, doing social media promotion, and simply creating great material with sourced statistics and images helps as well.

Some businesses find success hiring an external PR agency to help promote their brand and business on external sites. These agencies often work with social media influencers, bloggers, journalists, and industry professionals to get your business in front of the right people and build a buzz.

Don’t be afraid to contact local outlets, organizations, and businesses in your surrounding area to have your business featured with a possible link on their web properties.

4. Get listed on local sites

Search engines aren’t the only places driving traffic online, especially in today’s age of mobile devices.

Mapping sites such as Mapquest and Google/Apple Maps, business rating sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, and Angie’s List, and social media platforms such as Foursquare and Facebook are all important places to list your business on.


Registering on these sites gives your business credibility and presents you to users who may prefer using niche searching techniques over search engines, which is especially true of travelers.

If you have a business with a web presence, these sites help you show off great reviews, great products, and information about your business and its offerings. It also allows you to be visible in searches even if your search ranking is low otherwise.

Your domain authority on a new site is probably non-existent, but Yelp is an authoritative site, so your Yelp profile may outrank your website for certain keywords. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you have links to your website on all your business listings.

Here’s how to claim your business on Google.

Here’s how to claim your business on Yahoo.

Here’s how to claim your business on Yelp.

Here’s how to claim your business on Foursquare.

Here’s how to claim your business on Bing.

5. Start a blog

Once you have everything set up on your account, you’ll still need a separate landing page for each long-tail keyword you researched. The same page is unlikely to rank highly for every keyword, so you’ll need to have a blog to have pages with a variety of keywords.

I say it constantly, but I’m a huge advocate of blogging, and I’m not the only one. Sixty-four percent of PR and marketing pros are looking for ways to increase content marketing and blogging efforts this year alone.


With a 1500- to 2000-word blog posts on each specific search term, you are creating a relevant landing page for that term. In the vaping example above, “how to make your own mango ejuice,” “vape juice ingredients,” and “the optimal vape voltage and temperature settings” would make excellent blog posts to capture the long-tail keywords.

These blog posts are much more likely to rank well on Google for nearly every permutation of the searches than an e-commerce page would unless, of course, you’re searching for “cheap ejuice for sale.”

Yoast SEO is a great WordPress plugin that can scan your pages and posts for readability, keyword richness, and other SEO signals to determine how optimized each page is.

6. Research the competition

Competition is the driving force for entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed in our society. You can’t know how well you’re doing unless you understand how well the competition is doing. Here’s a quick breakdown of a basic competitive analysis tool.


With online tools, such as SEMRush, you can also check a competitor’s page ranking for various keywords and learn which domains they got backlinks on. What you learn may either surprise you or provide data to back up what you already assumed.

That type of data lets you know where you need backlinks and which terms you may be able to undercut the competition on.

This graphic illustration of Porter’s 5 Forces model demonstrates how competition influences every industry and market. Search engine rankings are no different.


The more competition, the more an industry grows, so it’s overall a good thing. In fact, it’s inevitable. No matter what you create, there will be competition.

Knowing your enemy is the first step to defeating it, according to Sun Tzu’s Art of War. For the same reason, wireless providers always reference the size of each other’s LTE networks and coverage areas in their ads.


Successfully reaching the top of search engine results for your particular niche may seem like an impossible dream in this day and age. The Internet has been around for several decades, and you’d be hard pressed to find a search term with only one result (try Googlewhacking if you don’t believe me).

However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for a newcomer to dominate a niche. In fact, it happens all the time.

By properly registering your business with all online platforms, optimizing your website’s design, and creating detailed content focused on specific, long-tail keywords, you can rank high on Google search as well.

What search engine optimization tactics do you use to rank your page for specific keywords?


  1. Renee groskreutz :

    So if you are just a blog and not a business with physical products, would you still sign up for places and Yelp and all of that?

    • Or better yet, what if you only have an online presence? I know I’ve registered my business with Google and Bing. I’ll look into Yelp…

      I’m doing everything I can. The one thing I’m kind of stumped on is getting good backlinks.

      • Agree, backlinks feel entirely overwhelming!

        • Jeff,

          This is what I’m trying to do to get some backlinks to my site.

          I googled “Chinook helicopter and comments” and found an article that allowed comments related to Chinook Helicopters. I posted a short comment with a link back to a relative product on my website.

          I figure I can do this for a bunch of my products over time. I don’t think backlinks from comments have much ‘juice’, but it’s better than nothing.

          I just checked and my comment is still up… you can see it in action here:

    • I am just an individual with a wordpress hosted blog. I do not have places account. I do, however, have a public address on my About page and my domain’s WHOIS matches that address. I also have links to my social media accounts from my blog with rel=”me” and those accounts link back to my blog. In bing webmaster tools, you can attach your social profiles to your blog. Beyond backlinks, I think that is the most third party website validation you can do if you’re just an individual.

    • It depends on your business really but most cases I would.

    • Hi Renee,

      Creating an account on sites like Yelp, even if you’re just a blog will not have an immediate effect on your rankings, but it still adds.

      I would however, recommend you to build relevant backlinks and creating accounts on websites like Yelp is better than nothing.


  2. Neil! It is a useful post. You have mentioned optimizing and writing on long tail keywords. I have read that too much focus on long-tail can invite a penalty from Google.

    • you’d have to do something really silly with long tail keywords to get a penalty. What would be the transgression?

    • Ha ha! That can’t be true. A long tail key word would rather be encouraged by Google. Here are the reasons :

      The internet is already bombarded with a whole lot of content that it becomes pretty much a challenging task for search crawlers to sort out the mix-ups.

      Now, imagine if each piece of content on the internet is well niched, defined and specific. Won’t it be easy the search robot to locate each piece and render it for the related search.

      Here’s an analogy. Now, how easy would it be for you locate a your hair comb in a cluttered and well disorganized room ?

      Now, imagine that every item in your room is well defined in terms of where you place it. It would be really really easy to locate each piece of item.

      That’s just the way a search engine robots work. Remember robots are designed to reason and “think” like human.

      So, using long tail key word is not only to your advantage but also to the search engine’s advantage — Just the same way what we call on-page seo is strictly mean’t to assist search engine robot to fetch the contents of your HTML tags.

    • Depends if you mean overuse of the word but focus is good if done right.

  3. Matthew Woodard :

    Always providing great information. Thanks Neil!

  4. We are about to launch a new website in an unexplored niche. These tips are very handy as the client does not have much of an idea how to go about winning the search engines.

  5. Hi Neil,

    Another masterpiece.

    Your blog titles force me to click on it. Whenever I receive an email from you notifying about the new article, I can not resist myself clicking on it.


  6. Hi Neil. First I have to say this is awesome blog post, but most of your posts are awesome and you know that 🙂 I just started my website 3 months ago and I’m learning about everything. Just started to explore backlinks and how to get them. Also i learned about embeding long tail keywords into titles and on page seo so things ars slowly improving..but there is so much things to learn and your posts are big help. Thank you and happy holidays.

  7. That’s awesome.

    I got to learn a lot from your posts here. I started up my blog around four months ago and I managed to get the ball rolling (SEO wise) thanks to you.

    One question: how many words as maximum could the long term keyword be ? Out of curiosity..

    Thanks for the awesome content..

  8. Can you answer me Neil one question. How to look for long trail keyword with enough search volume in google keyword external

    • I have done a few posts on this Kuntal. Best to work through the guides or visit Brian Dean’s post on keyword research.

  9. Hey Neil,

    So getting local business citations for my online blog is a smart route to go?



  10. Thank you Neil for sharing this post with us. I am one beneficiary of your awesome posts and I honestly attribute my social media marketing and digital marketing skills growth from your generous tips and articles you share here and your other websites. I had a light moment when you cited Sun Tzu’s Art of War. I feel good and elated to know that you read as the same books I do.

    I am wishing you a great happy new year ahead with good health and God’s blessings and may your wisdom and knowledge increase as you prosper in your endeavors.

    Many thanks for the year that has been and the wealth of information you have equipped us with. I am so grateful and happy to have grown my online businesses with the advice and ideas you have shared here. Thanks a bunch.

  11. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    70-80% users ignore the paid ads? Wow! Is true?
    After frequent optimization of paid search made by Google especially lately?
    I think that this is true for the international market (in English language).
    I’ll investigate to see what are the percentages my contry, Romania (

    • Let me know ow you get on.

      • Farcas Gelu Danut :

        I use Google translate for this, is OK?
        My problem with Google AdWords is invalid clicks. I know the tow truck companies that have people employed to clicks competition ad, those companies using many mobile phones and computers that change IP and that they use for it. Uses Internet network from major suppliers in Romania and is no way to filter your.
        It seems that neither Google can not remove invalid clicks, because it mimics an interested visitor.

  12. Steve Hardaway :


    Something I’ve been wondering about is local/business listings for e-commerce stores on sites like Yahoo and Bing. The business has a PO Box and a home address, neither of which confers credibility if searched. I know the business can benefit from HAVING these links, so what do you recommend here?

    Thanks for all the great content!

  13. jaskaran sanghara :

    So is there no point of even paying for ads on google if they get ignored?

  14. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for your post. You mentioned about the unique niche and also the importance of long tail keywords. Can you provide information regarding how keywords can be successfully used in a blog article. I mean regarding the LSI keywords, how it can be sprinkled effectively etc. Anchor text of external links is a search engine ranking factor right? How it can be used effectively? I hope we stopped using the exact keyword as anchor text in external links.

  15. Vipul Baldaniya :

    Really Great article…

    1st and 3rd number topic are really good and informative..

    Thanks Neil Patel Keep it Up!!!

  16. I never knew of a search that has only one result. I will be in rush to try googlewhacking as you’ve just said. Thanks for this.

  17. Teddy Tech - SEO & Digital marketing in Kerala Alleppey :

    Hai neil,

    Thanks for such a nice blog about search engine optimization. I am sure that this will be help full for all. Thanks.

  18. nice resource. I think you have shared everything about SEO tricks and tips at one place. I would focus on long tail keywords.

  19. Thank you quicksprout. Finding an unexplored niche is great but growing is still difficult. Thanks for your tips

  20. Thanks for another awesome post Neil,

    I am implementing all your suggestions and it really works, Thanks for all your help this year and i look forward to learn a lot in the advance marketing program during the new year. Wish you and you family a very happy new year 🙂

  21. I have a number of sites I need to improve in the new year. This breakdown you posted on how to target the long tail will help me greatly, thanks!

  22. Thir is no mentioning of Social Signals here… no one wants to believe it, but real social signals helps a lot for SEO.

  23. you have a great resource but there are many factors that are working on seo. I’m bit confuse about keyword research as now google mention 10-100 or 10k-100k not exact figures.

  24. Hello Neil,

    Nice article as always. Mine is a travel blog (highly competitive domain)and is the focused on India. It’s one year old, for driving quality traffic through SEO methodology. It’s no doubt requires time and effort but pays off in the long run. Currently, my 80 % traffic is from Google, which makes my day! Thank you for great tips.

  25. Thanks for the tip

  26. Great article, as always.

    Yes, SEMrush is a very powerful tool. Not so many people know how powerful it is, surprisingly.

    Many thanks for the article.

    Always on top.

    Cheers from Paris


  27. property portal in kolkata :

    Thanks For Sharing this useful information.

  28. Ritesh Agrawal :

    Thanks for the informative peice of content. I always find your articles useful and practical.
    Wish you have great new year time. Best wishes

  29. John Richardson :

    Doctor Neil, another very helpful post! SEMRush is a great tool and gives you a different viewport than you get with Google. I really like to see competitor’s keywords and competing sites. I have found a lot of great websites this way and as a blogger have found great places to start new conversations.

  30. Thanks for this Amazing post.Worth it.
    Neil Where can u found your webinar or pdf resource for
    “How To Generate 195,013 Visitors a Month Without Spending a Dollar”

  31. Hey Neil,

    It all starts with your research.

    Every time you jump in the market, the metrics would be different. People should try to broaden their niche.

    Everyone is writing about blogging and SEO, people need to make it wide enough to grab the necessary topics.

    Long keywords always work.

    Thanks for sharing the guide.

  32. SEO Rank My Business :

    I appreciate your valuable post. thanks,

  33. Cheryl Hennessy :

    Dear Neil
    Thanks for such a revealing post – in the right ways ?
    Your posts aimed at beginners are super helpful & I really appreciate the value you deliver in all your posts.


  34. Great Post Neil. We are implementing all your suggestions and have started seeing the results

  35. Dentist Manager :

    Great explanation!! Read your post really can improve my knowledge.. Thanks

  36. Great Post Neil,

    Beautiful explaination and so detailed.

    Thanks and best regards.

  37. This really helps! Awesome tips their Neil, thanks

  38. Hey Neil Patel,
    Nice guide I have started a new niche website but I am not using long tail keywords…..

    I will start using them right away : )

    Thank you for sharing

  39. Thanks for the great info, Neil

  40. Hi Neil, am happy to be here Andrew made it as quick as possible.
    Am a complete newbie in blogging and IM.
    I have by myself designed a blogger blog a make money blog . please see the blog url in comment url field provided I know what to write about fully.
    I have not started posting, am here to learn the right way.
    Concerning Keywords, I have few questions.
    1) How many times can I use a long tail keyword phrase in my single post to avoid been penalised by google ?
    2) How many related long tail keyword can I use in a particular post? For instance consider the keyword phrase as primary keyword (HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE FROM HOME IN MUTUAL FUND DINATION) , can I also use other related keyword phrase like (HOW TO GENERATE QUICK INCOME ONLINE FROM GLOBAL MUTUAL HELP INVESTMENT, MAKE EXTRA INCOME FROM HOME BY INVESTING IN MUTUAL FUND INVESTMENT, BEST MUTUAL FUND COMMUNITIES TO INVEST INTO )
    IF YES,
    A) how many in maximum of such related secondary long tail keywords can I use in a single post?
    B)To what frequency can I use/repeat each of the related secondary long tail keywords in a single post?

    3) If I have hzedya long tail secondary related keyword for a particular web page in my blog which appears in almost all posts on that particular web page or label , can I still use that same secondary long tail keyword as a related keyword in another of my web/label that has its own major long tail primary keyword? Being that the pages or label are still under the same niche but different organisation
    4) Is it wise to keep using the same major primary long tail keyword and its related secondary related keyword long tail in all future post or articles under the same BLOG LABEL/CATEGORY?
    5) Is it wise to quote any long tail keyword for purpose of proximity in articles
    Example, ” Top mutual donation communities to make money from easily ”
    Does that denotes a good proximity?
    Please do reply me, Thanks

    • It has to work for the user so if it does not read well or fit the overall aim of the page, all those numbers would change.

      Write long 3000 word plus articles which are on topic and linked to be influencers.

  41. Hey Neil,
    This data on 70-80% of users ignoring ads seems VERY far fetched.
    Who did the research?

  42. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for another helpful post!

  43. Great article, nice topical example with the vapes 🙂

  44. Hi Neil,
    Every time you come up such great article. I really wonder how do you get this.
    thanks for sharing.

  45. Rugs and Beyond :

    The tips you have given are very good to rank a new blog or business. Now i am trying to do the same. I just want to know that what is the best way to rank a keyword. What are the most important activities that i can do to rank a keyword. Please let me know because i am facing problem in this.

  46. Another great content! Thank you Neil…

  47. Christian Jørgensen :

    @Williams – you only learn by trying, failing, trying again and eventually succeeding.
    @Neil – Thanks for a great beginners guide to SEO, without all the nonsense :)! Keep up the good work!

  48. Love this article, thanks for the great content!

  49. I think that there is a better way than just researching your niche or target market. It is important to look for avenues where you can get the most exposure.

  50. Hi Neil,

    Just like always, you given us such an awesome post.

    Thanks and Best Regards

  51. One of the great content dear, thanks.

  52. Hi! Many thanks for sharing this really useful resource. I really appreciate your efforts to write it.

  53. joseph kelly levasseur :

    Thanks for the insight once again. I have a website but do not understand the long tail approach and how to get that onto the site itself. Is it as simple as writing paragraphs in the text and on each of the pages, or is it done by putting in key words when I do the SEO? it’s a godaddy site.

  54. MadHat San Diego :

    At least now I know that 70-80% ignore paid ads and focus on organic search. As always, you bring a great article for us. Simple yet comprehensive.

  55. lawrence Pryor :

    Finding quality backlinks is the issue for most of us face if you do not have access to expensive software to find relevant links quickly. I use webfire to find leads for blogs and forums, guest posting and it works well. its not cheapest software but it works for me

  56. Neil! It is a useful post thanks for sharing…waiting for next one

  57. Another great post Neil. I’m finding it very time consuming to create good images to integrate into my blog posts. Your posts always have very good infographics and many of them. I do not have a lot of time or resources to generate these images. Do you have any suggestions?

  58. SilverLining Technologies :

    For Local Business, I must go with local business directories. Its a really fast way to build authority

  59. Narinder kumar :

    Hey Neil,
    Thanks for sharing us important tips for long tail keyword its really important part for keyword research.

  60. Hi Neil,

    I will definitely use this strategy in my next blog post, and will try to get results as you have got.

  61. Abhishek Nagar :

    Hey Neil, this is Abhishek. I have read a lot of your posts and have started applying the techniques and suggestions mentioned in them. Gradually, the traffic in my blog and my website is increasing and I think over a period of time it is going to be more.

    I have got a lot of help from reading your posts regarding the formattting and layout for my blog content and also the number of images which I need to incorporate.

    The idea of long-tail keywords seems to be an awesome suggestion provided in this post by you and this has made me realize how important it is to optimize all my previous blog posts as well.

    Also, I am working on establishing quality backlinks on authoritative sites and websites like Quora and Reddit.

    Well, in case you have a minute or two free then please visit my blog and let me know how you feel after reading this post.

    • Great stuff, I’m glad the site is helping. Always consider the journey for the user and how you move them along it.

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