Setting Your Niche Website Goals

Goal SettingIn the next few days/weeks I will be sharing my Niche Site Guide so that you have a blueprint of how I build websites and how you can do the same.  In the meantime, I wanted to discuss the importance of setting your niche website goals, and how to go about it.  Not having a goal is a huge mistake, and is usually the cause of failed projects.

Why Do You Need A Plan?

There are plenty of sayings about this… failing to plan is planning to fail is always the first that comes to mind.  But the thing that I always think about when it comes to goal setting is a 1979 Harvard Study.  ???  Why does that come up, you might ask?  Well, the study asked new graduates of their MBA program about their goal setting habits.  They were broken into 3 groups:

  • 84% had no specific goals at all (like most people)
  • 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them

10 years later, the study interviewers caught up with the same 3 groups and measured their income levels.  I’m sure you can already guess who made the most money, but I’m sure you will be shocked by how much!  The 3 groups income:

  • The 84% was essentially the baseline they used.
  • The 13% of the class who had set goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. (WOW)
  • Now here is the real stunner – the 3% of graduates who had clear, written goals earned, on average, 10 TIMES as much as the other 97 percent put together(10x!!! Unbelievable)

I can’t even begin to comprehend how much these people were making.  Harvard MBA grads make a great amount of money usually “starting” in the six figure range.  So 10x the other 97% combined… wow.  Just unbelievable.

Setting Goals For Niche Sites

You most likely aren’t a Harvard MBA graduate, and of course, neither am I.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from them.  If 3% had clear, written goals and made that much money, it really shows that not only having a goal, but actually putting it on paper (the first step in action) is critical. So what I want you to do right now, is think about what your life and business goals are and write them down.  Next, I want you to apply the same model to your niche site plan.  If you haven’t ever built a site before, GREAT!!  This is the perfect time to create your plan.  Some of the things that you need to write down are:

  • Research Goals (Overall Niche, Keyword, Competition, etc.)
  • Revenue Goals (Daily, Monthly, Yearly)
  • Monetization strategy (adsense, amazon, affiliate marketing, info product, lead generation, etc.)
  • Content Strategy (number of articles, types of content)
  • Expenses (This is important, these can often be forgotten and cause loss of profits)
  • Exit Plan (Sell the site? Keep it forever?)

Next Steps

Now that you have some goals written down, then lets put them into action.  You now have the blueprint for whether or not you should move forward with building a niche site or not.  The research goals are meant to figure out what the site will be about.  What your goals should include, but not be limited to are keyword traffic details, the number of links you need to bump the competition etc.  Are these goals achievable?

Next, you want to think about Monetization and Revenue Goals.  These go together, as one directly affects the other.  How much do you want to make?  $500 a month? $5 a day? $100k a year?  Does the research you did support that revenue goal?  Will your monetization strategy support it?  How many visitors will it take to get a click on your call to action?  How many clicks does it take to make money?  How many conversions to reach your goal?  Once again, are these numbers achievable?  Don’t be too aggressive here and assume you will have 50% conversion rates and that each click will be worth $10… it is better to have low goals and blow them out of the water.

Now that you know how much money you want to make… lets get to actually making it.  What kind of content are you going to put on the site?  Will you write it yourself?  Outsource it?  Quality goals are extremely important in order to make sure your site gets the traffic you are looking for.  How much money are you willing to pay to make this site the best?  Site design? Content Writers? SEO? Pay Per Click?  All of these cost will eat away at your profits, so keep in mind that you must be profitable at the end of each day.  $10 in costs to make $5 in revenue is not a good goal… so make sure that your expense goals are written out and you plan accordingly.

Finally, I always like to have an exit strategy in place.  What is your goal for this site in the long term?  Do you plan on keeping it until it stops producing money?  Do you want to sell it after 1 year?  Do you want to sell it as soon as you reach a certain revenue or profit goal?  Having this thought out before you take action will make this whole process more effective.

Don’t Let Goals Keep You From Action!!

No matter what you do, whether you prefer to be part of the 84%, the 13% or hopefully the 3%, you must take action or you will never achieve any of your goals.

3 Reasons Why Small Local Businesses Need Niche Sites

3 Reasons Why Small Local Businesses Need Niche Sites

After writing my post about getting your boss to fund your niche site project, I got a few emails from small business owners asking about why they should have a niche site when only working in a local market.  I wanted to answer those questions, and share my philosophy with 3 simple reasons why they need them.  I don’t want you to stop reading if you don’t own a local business.  There is still good information for your niche sites, you can benefit from the same principles being applied to taking a niche site to an authority site.

#1. Niche Sites Improve SEO

The first and most important reason that a local business should build niche sites is for SEO purposes.  Just like a niche site builder, the goal of the niche site is to make money.  For a business to make money, they need to get customers.  One of the best ways for a local business to get customers these days, is to rank well in the search engines.  While a site builder uses multiple niche topics to grow their business, the local biz should build all their niche sites around the same topic… their business.  They should build a niche site for each and every one of their services, and they should build one for each of the geographic areas that they target.  Having all these sites not only gives them more opportunities to rank for their type of business, but all of those niche sites should also link back to their main website to provide more information about their business.  Building all of these links is obviously helpful for the main website, but the main goal is that you can now potentially rank well for each of the services and each of the geographies.  These can all still be monetized, but likely they should be used as lead generators.  Not every business can operate like Walmart, so they usually specialize their services/product.  Building more sites will help them to rank better in each of those topic keywords.

#2. Niche Sites Can Provide More Specifics On Your Services

I mentioned earlier that the content of the sites should be built around specific services and geographies.  Well, the purpose of building out a specific niche on your services is to make sure people know about all your capabilities, have pictures of your work, testimonials, etc.  For example, a car dealer could build a niche for each model they have.  A landscaper could focus niches on lawnmowing, mulching, or commercial versus residential.  A dentist could build niches for veneers, implants, crowns, family plans, etc.  Hopefully you get the point about niche topic options.  But the reason you want to have these be more specific is because having too much detail about a specific service or product on your main site might keep the buyer from seeing all of the services you offer. This way, you drill down on a specific service and hopefully you rank well too!

#3. Niche Sites Increase Conversions

The third reason is my personal favorite.  The only difference between me and a local biz, is that I want people clicking on my ads, submitting leads, or buying products.  The small business owner wants to get online prospects offline through either a call, form submission, or a visit.  Either way, the goal is getting people to convert.  When I build websites, my goal is to not make people think about what I want them to do.  If I want them to click an ad, I try to avoid putting up a banner in the header or the footer… studies show that putting your ad in your content increases click throughs immensely.  So, dont make them think!  Make your call to action stand out.  For the local owner, the goal for him/her is to get people offline…  Their main website might not be able to use up as much screen real estate with an offer, or phone number or form submission, as they need to make sure that each visitor captures their full range of capabilities.  But with a niche site, you can focus solely on the conversion on your home page if you choose… as that is what this site is for.  Get people to visit your main site, or engage you immediately with a phone call or whatever.  Make it crystal clear what you want, and don’t worry about saving screen real estate… its just a niche site!

So those are just 3 of the many reasons that a small local business should invest in building niche sites.  Improving SEO, providing more specific information about products and services, and increasing conversions are fundamental goals for all businesses, especially those on in a local market.

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