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In this week's episode, Jack Chambers-Ward is joined by Kevin Gichane, freelance SEO and content writer. Jack & Kevin discuss how to create effective niche content including:
Jack: Coming up on this episode of Search With Candour, I talk with Kevin Gichane AKA Getcha SEO. We were talking all about how to create effective niche content for your site and for your clients, coming up very, very soon. Welcome to episode 61 of season two of the Search With Candour podcast. I am your host, Jack Chambers Ward, and my guest this week is Nairobi based freelance SEO and content writer, Kevin Gichane AKA Getcha SEO. But before I get to my interview with Kevin, of course, I'd like to say a fantastic shout-out to our sponsor, the one and only SISTRIX, the SEO's toolbox. And you can go to sistrix.com/swc if you want to check out some of their brilliant free tools, such as their SERP Snippet generator, the hreflang validated, which I used for a client site the other day, and was very, very handy. The Google update radar, which is relevant because we've just had a Google update, funnily enough. The March core update has just started rolling out, so keep an eye on the Google update radar for that. And of course, checking your site's visibility index.
Let's dive into some SectorWatch as well, because I love some SectorWatch. The fantastic Charlie Williams, one of the data journalists over at SISTRIX, is talking all about garden tools this month. So if you have a client, or if you have a site that is in this niche, this is a perfect glimpse, a brilliant little piece of competitive insights for what is performing, and the top domains essentially, across all of garden tools here in the UK. This is especially relevant because apparently a lot of gardeners like to start new projects around this time, the March-April kind of time. So yeah, if you're thinking about getting some green fingers this time of year, now is a good time to go and research some garden tools. And Charlie over at SISTRIX can tell you what the best domains are for topics all around garden tools.
Of course, when you're buying garden tools, we're thinking about Amazon, eBay and Screwfix as well, they are the top three transactional intent domains. When it comes round to the informational side of things, Gardeners' World, Garden Toolbox and gardensillustrated.com are the top three informational domains in the UK for garden tools. As always, and I've mentioned this a few times on the show before, because Charlie does a fantastic job of diving around and having a look at what really matters and what is really driving this site's performance, so identifying that high performing content, why it works, how it works, often how it was created, as well as what kind of keywords it's ranking for. So having a look, in a bit more detail into Gardeners' World, for example, their product reviews do very, very well. They have a whole different section all about their product reviews. That is the reviews/tools sub folder that they have.
And speaking of Google updates, like I said, since we've recently had the March 2023 core update, they have actually been rewarded for the product review updates that have happened over the last 12 months or so. And they get a little boost in visibility each time one of those updates comes around. So they are doing something very, very right when it comes to product review. So even if you're not working garden tools, you can still learn a lot of useful information from this high performing content from places like Gardeners' World.
So I highly recommend you go to sistrix.com/blog, and check out the latest addition of SectorWatch, written by the fantastic Charlie Williams, and all about garden tools and the highest performing content and domains for that topic, for this month.
Without any further ado, here is my conversation all about niche content with Kevin Gichane. And welcome to the show, Kevin Gichane, how are you, sir?
Kevin: Yeah. I'm doing good, Jack. How are you?
Jack: I'm good thank you, yeah. To let the listeners in, we tried to record this yesterday, we had some technical issues. But today, it's running smooth, everything's going to go well. So I'm looking forward to having a chat with you. Basically, we're going to start off talking a little bit about your career, your journey in SEO and content writing and things like that. And then we'll dive into this week's topic a little bit later on. We're going to talk about how to create niche content for your site and for your clients. So let's start things off with your career, shall we, Kevin? Let's kick things off with how did you first journey into working on website?
Kevin: Yeah, Jack. Thank you, actually I'm very happy that I'm here today. Especially with what just happened yesterday, so today we are good. I'm looking forward to have some conversation. So to start me off, I'd say the interest, where it started, I think it started back in 2018 so this is when I was so fascinated about websites, everything about the internet and discovering how it works and stuff, that was amazing for me. Then 2018, I was still at campus in my second year, and I launched my first website using the free resources on the internet. That is website like hosting the meta domain, hosting the XYZ extension through just free stuff on the internet. And I launched my first website, and it was really, really amazing to see my first website already published. And I was on the internet for the first time. It was amazing because I was a new website owner.
Jack: That's a good feeling, that's a really good feeling.
Kevin: Yeah. It was amazing. I was a new website owner free stuff. And actually, what I really appreciate about that moment and all of that time, do you know what I mean, it was because I first got my hands dirty. I always did it myself, everything learning on YouTube, free resource blogs and there. And I did it. And the website was up and running. So I was then very happy for the first time, that I had something I can call my own. so that was 2018. Now moving forward, I don't know maybe 2019 there, after being on the website for a couple of years, I discovered also, because I mentioned I was in uni, I discovered you could also make money. Yeah, exactly, the money part. The curiosity grew. And I now discovered there are new opportunities and people were make money online and do a lot of stuff, literally on your own home, or maybe at your own dormitory, whatever you're staying, if you're a student or a grownup, you're just at your own place, you can do this at your own home and get paid. So I discovered Upwork around 2019 there. And I discovered, it's a global marketplace for freelance. I discovered the place, realized, wow, so this is actually a good place for people to make money, any skill you have. And the good thing is actually, you can learn any skill. That's the best part. You can learn any skill. So whichever skill I had, I realized on Upwork, I could make money. Now, since I had a website already, now the part of creating content for the website now came in. And the good part now is that it was running and earning at the same time. So I tried to make the jobs on Upwork, that was around 2019, when I got accepted on Upwork. I started reading on jobs, getting clients. Now making mistakes as a rookie, it was definitely worth the journey. You have to start from somewhere. But the good thing is you have to start. So I started with whatever I had. My English I think was terrible. It's not really perfect now, but I'm improving every day. I'm learning. Every day, I'm learning.
So I started content creation, working for clients in Europe and the UK, US, Asia, everywhere. Any client I could get, I was involved. On the go, I could take any job, just that I write and get paid and learn how this tool works, and improve as well. So you have to have that as well when you're doing all this stuff. Because in order to have a goal, you have to go somewhere. I think if you start that way, you'll get better. Now I think most of 2019 I did a lot of that, content writing, doing blogs, write and all that. And then now in 2020, things got worse. I don't know if they got worse or they got better but either way, COVID happened. And now online boomed. I don't know, especially where I'm from, Nairobi, internet blew up like never before, 2020. Because now people were at at home. Yeah, exactly.
Because people were at home, and no jobs, lockdowns, everything. It's chaotic. Now, the only time you had, either you had your fun laptop whatever. And the internet boom, all those stuff. Now, that propelled me even farther in my learning and all that. Because during this time, I discovered that I could take courses now online. After a whole year just concentrating doing these things, relating clients, learning all those. Now in 2020 I got a chance, because now I could not go to school. As I was freelancing, I was trying to balance between schoolwork and doing the Upwork thing, because it was on site. Now in 2020, now it worked, I was free the entire time. The lockdown no schools, no... Actually, here in Nairobi, Kenya, where we stay, we didn't have much of online learning stuff, like it happens everywhere.
But what happened in our case, we tried to squeeze in some ideas and see what can work, students who are at home and all that, but no serious learning tool. So I could get more time to learn more things and discover more courses and discover new things that I could do. So I discovered digital marking at that point. Because I was doing content writing, I was seeing on Upwork, you need a content writer who is building SEOs, and who can do those other things. I didn't have those at that time, so I was curious and wanted to know, what's this SEO? What's-
Jack: I think we all have that moment in our career, that first moment of like, SEO, what does that stand for, what does that mean?
Kevin: What's that?
Jack: That's that initial little spark that then sends you off on that journey. I think pretty much everyone who gets into SEO has that moment of like, "Huh." That little curiosity, that little influence, that little inspiration.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly. It happens. And I'm no different. Because now I was seeing the rates on Upwork, a content writer who know SEO get a better rate than someone who is just doing the content writing. Because I want to earn more and I want to grow as well in this career. So I was very interested in SEO and learning all about how do you do it and how does it work, what's SEO? Now, I discovered Google Digital Garage and went on there. I discovered them, and they had discussed the fundamentals of the digital marketing, and I learned the cost. And then throw in the cost and got to learn about content, SEO, PPC. You see all this digital marketing stuff, I got now to understand it better. And there was no better place for that than Google Digital Garage. I think they’re a good place to start alternative. Yeah.
Jack: Yeah. I had a similar thing. I discovered Digital Garage as well. I remember when I transitioned away from more office administration stuff, and I was doing a little bit of SEO and a little bit of website building. Thinking about that as a career, was my first step as well, thinking about what online training is there, what online courses can I do? Going to the source, going to Google and seeing what they recommend. Going and reading their documentation for developers and going to read all that kind of stuff, really starting from ground zero, square one and say, "Okay, the source of the information. Let's not worry about influencers and blogger articles and all that kind of stuff, where do you go to get that first-party information? When you go straight to the source of Google, I had the exact same experience. Yeah. I think it's a really thing that a lot of people don't appreciate enough I think, and underestimate. Going straight to that Digital Garage and having that free training is such a key resource early on in your career.
Kevin: Yeah. Exactly. I totally agree with you. Because the funny thing is, you'll find these resources are just there for you. They are out there. And very good if you just... Whatever it's demanded of you, it's just having that trust and that to not go over them, if you trust enough. And that's what happened. Because I was really looking forward to learning a lot] and be the best as content writer. Because I had dreams as well, to have my own professional website, to do everything. So I wanted to learn, and that's what drove me. And then now, I discovered things from maybe Digital Garage, I came across Skillshare and I discovered some tools for SEO, was still starting at the time. And yeah, many resources are out there. So I took every opportunity I had, and no passion more] than learning, I think, that's what drove me. Now in terms of 2020, now I was more dedicated to learning, doing all those things and still working with clients on Upwork because I was still doing that. And winning more clients. So in 2021, I held new skills, I got new work, I have all this well packaged, maybe a portfolio now, I can work with clients and present something to them, with knowledge about SEO, the clients I've worked with at the time. Because I remember I got a client from the Netherlands back when he was in the, I don't know what would be the industry, but I worked with him, it was about four months. And I got to learn so much about keyword research, on-page optimization. And really do whatever I've learned, and apply them in real situations and learn in the process. So the year 2021, I did more freelancing as well. So working with remote clients, especially focusing on on-page. Because transitioning from a content writer, the best way to handle SEO was starting out as an on-page expert, because you get to learn about on-page optimization, as well on the content side of it.
And that was another benefit now on Upwork, because I could charge more and ask for higher rates compared to before we would just write a column. Now, traditionally that work, in the sense, as SEOs. Yeah. So 2021, now came, I need all those other courses. I think I took another course on HubSpot and now as I started growing out and branching out from on-page. On HubSpot, I focused on technical aspects of SEO, the off-page, Semrush also helped with that, especially marketing, management and doing the outreach, all those off-page techniques that are involved in this strategy. Then, now last year, 2022, I was still freelancing as well. But something really interesting happened across the year, I got to discover... Because as I've told you the story, you come to realize that I'm always trying to look out for that opportunity to grow, that opportunity to network with other people, that opportunity to discover more about the industry.
Now, I came to Twitter and discovered there are many SEOs there, and I could get a ton of knowledge from these people. And I came to these spaces and interact with these people who are in this community, I can learn more. Especially I get to interact with them and discover people who are really doing this thing, not just things on YouTube. And you can interact with them in real time. So last year was that moment for me. I got really all-in on social media. I got myself into Twitter especially, and got to discover about now FCDC. And I started following this SEO expert on the space. I came across Chima Mmeje, she's very, very amazing. And if there's any moment I can appreciate of the entire of last year, it was that moment when I came across Chima Mmeje. This lady, I discovered not only is she a content guru, she had another initiative, she's looking out for other people. She wants to bring people together. She wants to showcase light to other people. She's so selfless. She amazed me, and I was really inspired by her. And I've told you of this process as well, about being self-taught also. Now, I came across people who can walk me the path, who can guide me and really walk the journey with me. And this was the group, FCDC. And the initiatives that I realized Chima had was really amazing. Because I'd got into FCDC, and I got to interact now with a million... I don't know on that figure, but I got enough people to talk with and interact with, and share the problems I'm facing.
If I have a client and their website has this issue and I don't know where I can run, as a freelancer, I'm only working alone. But with a community like that, I get to share these problems with people and they can help me. Now, really FCDC came through and, I think it was very helpful and I was really glad that I came across that. I'm very grateful for Chima Mmeje and whatever she has started, it's a really great initiative, and I would maybe love it if more people can join FCDC, and get to learn, and get to share their knowledge between them.
Jack: Yeah, for sure.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly. Now, that was last year. It was around October, August, somewhere there, I came across the group. And within a month being in the group, I think there is a new company in the industry, they call their firms SE Ranking, I don't know if you have heard about them. So they give a six-month launch for subscription for people in their community. And lucky me, I got to be among a bunch of people who were selected for that. So you can see the community has really impact, things like tools you'll compete for, they're being offered to people for free. It's given to them, no cost, you don't have to pay. Which can be help for people to, especially if you're doing all of this by yourself. Coming from developing countries all over but through the community, you get an opportunity to interact with experts, you get opportunities to use these tools, get more resources. Such a blessing. Yeah. So now-
Jack: So the FCDC has been an amazing thing for so many people. I know I've talked about it a couple of times, when I had Sodiq on the show and I had Goodness on the show, even coming from the other side, from when I talked to Lily Ugbaja about being a mentor as well, it gives so many people new opportunities. And I think community is something again, that so many people underestimate the power of when it comes so much digital marketing stuff. Just having somebody else to bounce an idea off of, and say, "Hey, I'm thinking I should do this. Do you think this a good idea?" Or, "Oh, God, I think I've broken this thing, how can I fix it?" Or just having, like you said, that group of people to come up with ideas together, to feel less alone. From a simple human standpoint of like, "Oh, there are other people like me who I can talk to who are ein similar situations who represent different parts of my country, my culture." All this kind of stuff. There's such a key part of growth and develop professionally that a lot of people underestimate. And places like FCDC, Women in Tech SEO is another fantastic community. I know a lot of my guests has shouted out before that they're just doing amazing, amazing work. So yeah, really, really cool to give a shout to Chima and the FCDC.
Kevin: Actually, there's more community, actually. The community has started replacing learning by yourself. You can't underestimate the power of a community. Especially when working remote and you're a freelancer, the way I'm doing my career right now, a freelancer, you really, really need that community to be with you, especially in the certain things that you're doing. Because they'll help you, they'll work with it. And you'll have an opportunity to share your problem, you get to learn from the problems as well, as they learn from yours. You grow all together. Okay, another interesting thing that happened, I got a mentor through this. I was looking for a mentor who could walk this journey, really. And come do what I'm doing already, and shine on this path. So I got introduced to, she's called Jessica Pearce, she's my mentor, a very wonderful and lovely lady. She's really amazing. She's taught me a lot. Because actually, as I've told you, I'm all self-taught, so there's some aspects of doing business as a freelancer which I didn't have, and I didn't know how to operate. And she really came along on that side because now I get to share my problems directly with a mentor who's an expert in this area. Especially her career and where she is at the moment, she's in a very good position to aid other people, and to get them to really such places. So I don't know, maybe reach out to Jessica Pearce as well, Chima Mmeje, and Aleyda Solis, these women are so powerful, and they really impacted people's lives and help them. So actually last year was that year for me, discovering new avenues, discovering new communities and meeting new people. So I'm really, really happy to come this far. But yeah, maybe in the next year, that could me. Now, I can just aspire.
Jack: Awesome. Maybe in the future, you'll be a mentor as well, and you can then, like you said, bring that community and help other people learn and grow in that way. And yeah, it's an awesome way of doing things, for sure.
Kevin: Exactly. I'm really looking forward to walk other people this journey as well, because the same has been done for me. So I should pass the baton on.
Jack: Cool. Right. Shall we dive into this week's topic and talk about some niche content? And basically how to create effective niche content. And I'm sure people listening are there. As we said, if you're on SEO Twitter, or you're on LinkedIn or whatever, you hear this phrase, "Niche content." Said all the time by everyone. Saying like, "Oh, it's a great way to make money, it's an easy thing. You just decide your niche and then off you go, it's nice and easy." But I don't think it's as easy as that. And that's kind of what we want to talk about, how to actually do this effectively and professionally, and make sure you're doing it correctly. So I guess let's start off with the definition of what is niche content, Kevin? How are we going to define that for the listeners?
Kevin: Yeah, thank you, Jack. This is really interesting because as an SEO, one thing you'll come to discover in SEO as an industry, you come to realize they're talking about niche, niche, niche. So you can get lost if you don't understand this inside and out. And maybe to put it in a gentler way, you can say a niche can be an audience, a niche can be content as well, can be a particular... Maybe to put it in the simplest way, you have to put it in the context that we are talking today, niche content, you can say it's content which you can say is focused on a particular topic, an audience or an industry. And most of the time it's usually, when you're focused on a niche content, it should be more specific. It should be full-blown. There's no second guesses or trying to... It's something so precise, it's so direct and so targeted. Maybe targeted is a better word because niche is a targeted audience you get. So your niche content should be very, very targeted and focused on a particular people, on a particular audience or a particular topic. And that's how you get niche content. And in contrast, people will talk about now an industry or maybe a vertical. Or you can say, in marketing terms, it's a broader aspect of it. You can talk about the general stuff. I like this example which I use, you can have maybe a unit or a subject on a particular thing, but you can have topics under those topics that you have. And even those topics, you have maybe the subtopics beneath them. So a niche is a category. In a stem, problems maybe, in a stem, ideas in a stem. They share so many things in common, but not the broad aspect of it, which can be the important thing.
I love this example, where I had this client maybe a while back, when I was doing SEO work on Upwork, I had this client come ask me to help them with their processor, whatever because the contract that you started. Now, the client, he was in the pet industry, pet toys. So you can see, pet toys, actually it's a category under pets, or can be broader than that. Now, since you have helped with that client already, I can pet toys. Now ‘pet toys’, you can see ‘pet’ is a whole subject on its own. And toys, as well, it's a whole subject on its own. But when you bring pet toys together, you'll get something which is categorical.
But the client actually went farther and never settled there. In pet toys, you can talk about maybe dogs, you can talk about cats, you can talk about pigeons, whatever pet you can keep goes under there. But now you have to niche down a bit. Especially when you're starting out, it's really, really important for you to focus on one thing, so that you can attract specific people in that industry. So this pet now was in the dogs toys, it becomes easier. Even when you're doing your content writing, it becomes easier. Because you're not talking about all the pets in general, which can be very hard to convert to, especially if they're starting out. But when you talk about dogs toys in specific, now you have a niche audience. Besides them having, you can have cats as pets, you can have birds as pets, you can have aquatic animals as pets, but now this client had dogs as their main focus. This is getting their niche down.
Jack: That nicely leads me onto my next I guess, is thinking about how far you want to go down that niche. You don't necessarily want to have a pet toys thing, because like you said, that's a bit too broad, you're competing with a lot of big international companies. But focusing down into dog toys, is another layer down, that's another focused layer down. How far do you go, I guess? When trying to decide your niche. Say, listeners now, they're thinking about starting to create their first niche website and go into niche content creation and all kind of stuff, how far do you go? Do you want to go for a specific type of dog toy, or is dog toys enough? Or should you focus on rat toys, which is maybe a smaller thing, rather than cat toys or dog toys?
Kevin: Yeah. I totally get you. So now you'll see, it's really interesting because when you try to niche down, I think most people have the tendency of thinking they should be so precise, maybe just using the example again, so precise that you have this niche which is not the thing that should be happening. Because you want to go down a niche which already has traffic. You can't go to zero-volume keywords and go totally down, down, down that niche. You should at least balance and be somewhere where maybe, what we say, there's really no specific way of which way one should go down into their niche. But as a rule of thumb, you can say you should at least have an idea of the industry, at least on starting out. Now, this actually be really clear, because once you're doing your content, but once you're settling for a domain, you should not go so deep into the vertical so that you're either bottom of them, or... No, that should not be the case. You should at least have an idea of the industry. Maybe in our case, we were talking about, the client who were working with dogs. But still, when you talk about dogs, you can talk about maybe dog food, you can talk about their toys, there so much you can talk about dogs. You can talk about their leashes, and their accessories. There's so much you can talk. But at least have an idea of what... Let's say, when you're trying to niche down, you should address an audience who have similar problem. Now, these pet owners or these dog owners are having problems because their dogs are staying alone, or their dogs are malnourished. You have different problems. Now when you try and cover these problems into one specific area, you'll get a niche.
So having an idea is very important. Because I guess now we're dealing with toys. Not their foods, not their leashes, accessories, just focusing on toys. And it really worked, because you realize when you're trying to compete with everyone in your industry, you have to go far, especially when you're starting out. So as a rule of thumb, I'd say you should at least have an idea of the industry you're entering. And so your niche should be a point that will be easy to scale or branch out in the future, in the same industry. But not make it hard for you.
Jack: I think a lot of people starting off and thinking about that sort of thing, I feel like a lot of people go either way, and you don't get specific enough, or you got too specific and you focus on one tiny little piece of information. And finding that balance is key there. Like you said, finding dog toys is that level where you can understand where your competitors are. You're not necessarily doing leads and coats and all kinds of other stuff, but you understand. And I guess that comes onto my next question, is that competitor research and that keyword research is such a key part of that as well. How do we go about researching competitors in our niche, keyword research, all that stuff? I feel that, for me, I've never built a niche content website, but thinking about it from an outsider's perspective, that's got to be a really, really important part of that planning and creation process, right?
Kevin: Yeah. So that's another thing when it comes to on focusing on the niche you are in. Because let's say that we have our niche, and we have already going and we are about to publish content, or you want more content because you want the audience to come for this website. You want to attract people to come. Now, getting content can be another thing when it comes to it. But if you really went through finding your niche, find a domain and purchasing it and before, but if you give that correctly, it will be easier now going forward. Because you already said to be in your given niche. Now, how they approach that is you have to do some research. The first way, we call it the manual way, you can go the hard way, which involves you going through maybe seed keyword. Now the seed keyword in the industry, which maybe in our case we go back, we had dog toys. You can start with dog toys, the seed keyword we have for this domain. And remember this seed keyword will help you now to branch out to more and more keywords that are involved will be in the niche. So the first step can be that. Whether you just punch it in Google search, the best place you can go to, because you're trying to run it on Google. Google is the biggest search engine in the world, unless Bing does something that you don't expect.
Jack: Bing have been doing some crazy things recently, that's for sure.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly.
Jack: I don't think they're overtaking Google any time soon, but they're definitely doing interesting things with ChatGPT and plenty of other stuff.
Kevin: Yeah. They have some cards in their sleeve.
Jack: They're trying. They're fighting.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly. So maybe let's focus on Google for now, but you can do this on either search engine. You can do it on Bing, you can do it on Google, you can do it on on other search engine. You just punch our seed keyword there and now get more ideas from there. Because once you punch the keywords, you get the autosuggest from Google, you get the autocomplete, you get the people also ask, you get the related questions. It's endless. Use Google to your advantage. It's where you want to run, why not utilize it? And actually it's free. The funny thing about this is, it's free. I can do it absolutely for free using Google. You punch your seed keyword, get more related terms, they're usually down there on the page, on the first page. You scroll down to the page, you get more related keywords. You can click on those keywords from a different tab on your computer and explore even more keywords.
Now, you get a huge list of keywords, because Google have a billion index pages on their website so you’re ranking for totally different keywords most of the time, compared to how would you expect. You would expect many pages to rank for the same keywords, which is the case. But every page, you'll find even on SERPs if you analyze this more, you'll come to realize every page has unique keywords compared to another page. But the ranking for maybe a similar keyword, you'll get. So use Google to your advantage, to explore more keywords. For real, it's free. You can do this for free. Just punch your seed keyword, get related terms, it will give you autocomplete, you can use modifiers, try to search words, and then maybe see the seed keyword you can do. Maybe words, it was dog toys, and then you'll get a list of all this that you can do. Dog toys, why? Try to use modifiers, you'll get different ideas.
Now, that's the first step. Also you can use industry tools like Ahrefs, you can use SEMRush. There's so many tools out there you can use for you as well. You have also the Google AdWords. It works also amazing product. So there's a lot of means for you, actually for free, to access these keywords when doing your search. Now, that's the first way for doing it now manually. The second way, a bit easier and usually prefer doing because it gives you maybe an idea of what's working and what's being searched for in real-time firstly, compared to maybe a data they have comprised date of many people over maybe a period of time. But when you do this the second way, which I'm going to explain to you, the second way is maybe utilizing your competitors in your niche. You can also utilize your competitors to create opportunities for new keywords. And this is really interesting, because when you go to your competitor, but this now will need you to have access to these paid tools, or maybe some specific tools in the industry, to get this information. Because when you punch your competitor, maybe a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush, or I have talked about Zapper, Moz, there's so many tools out there you can use. You punch your competitor in, and see what keywords they rank on. Now, what you want to do here is you want to go to the keywords which are lower difficulty, which they call lower difficulty. And this means that it's easier for your website from an SEO. But most of the time you can get these low keyword bit category. You call it low-volume or low KD, maybe keyword difficulty. Easier that way, yeah? So you want to go for these keywords. And it's very easy. You just punch the domain of your competitor, see what keywords they rank on. Don't go with keywords maybe which are ranked above 50, that can be difficult especially if you're starting out on a new website now. So you want to go for the keywords which are low-volume and as well are low KD, which is keyword difficulty, because these will be easier for you. Now, you realize when you launch any website, Google has this Google will do some analysis on your website, where they understand your content. They have to assess you and they try to see what you're talking about, see how serious you're talking about this thing, how relevant are you in this industry that you are in. Or in this industry, how relevant are you in it? How experienced are you with this industry? What's your expertise? These are signals that Google is going to check in the period before getting you Indexed. So when starting out, it will be easier to get this expertise, it will be easier for you to get this relevance, it will be easier for you to get this experience when you start with these low-volume keywords because they're easy for you. And they're easy to research as well. And because if they have no keyword difficulty and they have no site version, it means most of the big competitors are not actually focused on them, they're there for you. In the SEO, obviously “low hanging fruit” as well. Because take advantage of them. You can easily keep these truths, because they are low hanging. You don't need you to be up there, as we said. We just need you to be working out and be focused on the niche and write content based on them. And this will be easy. And another thing maybe I can highlight on that, is that when doing this keyword research, I feel, a bit of the time, you get tons of keywords, especially the past method I mentioned, the manual way, you'll get tons of keywords from Google. Or maybe the Google AdWords, you're using it. Or maybe Semrush, or whichever tool you're using, you get a bunch of keywords. Now, the trick here for you is to cluster these keywords, so that you can build that authority, you can build up the relevance, especially in the industry. You need to do keyword clusters, and this really, really important.
Jack: Yeah. Clustering really helps that... Not only does it help users find their information, because you can then start building those pages that then link out to other pages, so you can find a hub of information, about everything you need to know about, I don't know, balls for dogs and different types of balls for dogs. We're sticking with the dog toy theme here, stick with that example. And then having something, also from a search perspective, from a Google perspective, you're totally right. That helps build that topical authority, you clearly establish yourself. And I found this with a client sometimes last year. A competitor appeared out of nowhere in the search. And they were like, "Where has this company come from? We've never heard of them before, they've showed up out of nowhere." And this company was focusing on a really specific niche that happened to crossover with my client. And while we were on this call together I was like, "I don't know. I've never heard of them before, let me have a look." And I searched, what pages are bringing in traffic? And funny enough, it was also toys. All of this particular type of toy brought in all of this traffic. And basically none of their pages, none of their category pages, their home page, nothing else did anything interesting. It was just this niche that they really drilled down into and they suddenly started bringing in traffic. It was full of internal links to their product pages, so then they're bringing in sales as well. And I was like, "This is how you do a niche content creation." And it was this perfect example of a literal demonstration to my client, live on a video call of, they've gone to a niche, they've dived down into this information.
Kevin: Exactly. Because you come to realize, especially maybe people in the E-commerce area who are doing especially online businesses, E-commerce websites, you can come to realize the big players like the Amazon, maybe Alibaba, and you can get these big brands which have many categories of different things. And the back leads on these websites, you can't imagine. So crazy, you can't compete with them. Even if you tried to create backlinks from everywhere you can't compete with them. And this can be really super hard for new websites to out run. Now, what do you do? Because you come to realize in a case like the one I was telling you, the client I was working with as well. Actually even our tracking, some of the big sites like Alibaba, and this is because they niche down. We are not just talking about pet toys, we're not talking about dog toys. When we're going down to content, we're drilling it down maybe. We're talking about teething dog toys, you can go even further and be very specific. And it's very beneficial for you, because even the conversion rate will be better. And it's really good for you when you're starting out, because you will start attracting backlinks, people trust you. They come to your domain and what they see, first thing you think, dog toys. This guy is for dog toys. You go down, it's dog toys for puppies, dog toys for a Labrador, dog toys for Huskies. You're so specific you're just doing dog toys, so even an audience or maybe a user in this case will find it easier to trust you and do business with you, because you're so specific with what you're doing. And now, this gives you a good chance when in future you want to scale out, it could be easier now for you. More than trying to be someone who is doing all the pet toys at the same go. And either you start with cats, or you start with maybe, I don't know. There are many pets, you get cats, you get dogs, you get pigeons, there's so many. So it can be hard for you to scale that amount of content in a short while and see results, compared to someone who's just focused on dog toys and is really putting out content on dog toys alone, compared to you who's doing all of these things. Now, that's really interesting, because as you were you were saying now, when you're doing your glossary, it will be very easier for you to build the relevance, it will be easier for you to be an authority. Because when they come to your website, the Googlebot, when it comes, or whichever bot comes to your website, it really finds these entities and they start adding up, and you're really focused and your content is really niche to this area. Now, they start trusting you. Remember, we also talked about that, now you start getting off the leash and they start allowing you to fight for it. This small website which came, and you have no idea how this website overnight just appeared there. No, Google realized that these people are saying whatever they are meaning. And yeah. So they're off the leash, overnight they can come to maybe top 10. And now when they do more optimization, they can even outrank most of them. That's really, really important.
Jack: Definitely. Definitely. So we talked about a lot of positives, and why we should think about how to approach it, how we can start off our websites and drill down into our niches. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges we face if we're looking to create niche content? Because like I said earlier, you see a lot of people talking about it on Twitter, making it sound very easy. "I turned this site into making $1 million in six weeks." All the big boasting lies that I don't believe on Twitter. How do we approach that? There's going to be challenges along the way. From your experience, from your knowledge, what do you think are some of the biggest challenges you face? If we're going to be realistic about niche content.
Kevin: Well, yeah. It's pretty easy to talk about all these things. But doing them can be quite hard, and maybe trying to get the results, as you're saying, compared to what people are talking about as well. But in my case, even when I was starting out, things change and this is definite. Even Google does its updates. On every year, they can do their updates several times in a year. Things change, that's what it is. Even when you do things, everything is changing. So what I think most people tend to do, and even the mistake I think we did in our case, was thinking now, because you have this content and already on top 10 and they're doing good, they're getting traffic from it, getting good compression, let's leave it as it is and don't touch it. It will go on generating whatever it's generating. That's where we go wrong, that's the first mistake I think. Because you realize things change even in the industry. You will get more news happening on the daily. You'll get new products being launched too. But if you're just focusing on things that happened a year ago, maybe three months ago, six months ago, that's really bad for you. Because once you publish this content and it has been given impressions by Google, you're appearing on SERPs and you're getting traffic on it, what you should do is update this content on a regular. Maybe you can do it on a monthly, weekly. Depending on the industry you're in, and depending on how things are changing within your niche, you can do these updates periodically so that your content remains relevant. Because relevance is key. When it comes to ranking and Google, relevance is key. You need to be relevant all through. Not you were relevant a year ago, now... No, no, no. Update that content, refresh it, make it new. Add new details. Change the links, this actually helps you. Update the content, do your best to have the content fresh. That's the first thing.
Jack: Funnily enough, I was having this conversation with a client yesterday. They had an example of a lot of the data they had from some of the clients they'd worked with was like, "Oh, here's our roundup for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020." And we were thinking, this is really good information that people would be interested in linking to. It's really good content that is just being lost. And you're totally right, going through and updating something, having that as a hub page of, here is all of the data, and linking back to those old posts. But having it as a 2022, 2023, and then continuing to 2024 edition, but having it as one key URL that then links out to these other historical URLs. So you're not deleting the old content. You're not getting rid of it necessarily. But having it and creating it and making sure, like you said, it's up-to-date as possible, that's another cluster. You're building that authority, you're building that topic cluster. You're creating a way for people and crawlers to easily access those old posts. So they don't get lost in paginated blogs or getting lost in the site structure they're not linked to anymore, because they're three, four, five, six years old at this point. Having that modern, up-to-date content, then linking to those pages is the perfect way of bringing it all together. Like you said, building that and making sure your content is up-to-date. And just going through and saying, "Oh yeah, we talked about the best dog toys for large dogs in 2022, maybe with should do another addition in 2023." Keep that URL. Quick tip, don't put your dates in your URLs, so you can keep that same URL, and update it every time.
Jack: I've seen that before, and that's a mistake.
Kevin: People do this. I had this client, I just took over their site, and the first thing I see, guess what, dates everywhere in the URLs. I'm like, "God." When you try now starting by directing those clients and maybe updating them, it can be a niche. Because also your page has been indexed, you’re ranking on Google, it's very, very good thing. But when you're trying to change that, you are trying things, it becomes a difficulty. And picking up these changes can really cost them. So I think the best way of approaching that, never use a date in your URL. Please, please, please don't do that. Maybe have it in the heading, and you can update the heading, that's easy. You can have it in the contnt maybe whatever, that's easier to change. But in the URL, it’s quite a mess. Because you will come to realize even the statistics or some parts, they keep on changing, so you will need to update your content. And the best way to do the update is through the content itself. And this will in part because now the entire cluster will be fresh already. When users come to your website, they realize, "Oh, last year, we had rope toys can do this to a dog and this, this." Now there's this scientific research and we have discovered a rope toy is actually more beneficial, or they some other things there. Updating that content is useful for your user. And this is what you want to do, you want your user never to be disappointed whenever they come to your website. Because users are everything, it's what Google focuses on, so you need that. And maybe if I touch on another challenge, which I came across also when doing this niche content is especially at this point of the year, we have the ChatGPT3, we have so many AI tools, we have writers. Actually, I was using some of them as well in the past. I was a very big fan of, I still am, of Jasper through the integration with Zapper it was really quite something working on those tools already. So that's very helpful. Now you come to find, either way, people can misuse these tools. As much as people can misuse these tools, while a lot of people can use it. Now, another problem that's really hard is balancing quality over quantity. Because with the tools you get the opportunity to release a huge amount of content at once. You can release even 100 articles in less than three hours, it's very possible.
Jack: When you have that client that's like, "How much should we publish in content? Do we need to do it once a week, twice a week? Five times a week? 10 times a month? What's the answer here?" That's that understanding, you've got to know when to balance quality and quantity.
Kevin: Exactly. Okay, publishing more is good on your website, it's helpful because it means you're giving Google something new, you're giving Bing something new. You're giving your users something new. But at the same time, you don't want to compromise the quality, whatever you're giving them. You just don't want to go over and reproduce everything that's on the internet and just publish it. Because another thing, publishing 100 of them at one go, that's insane. And it really upsets you. Because once, as user, I'm coming to your website, I'm already starting to realize youhave some relevant product, you are not so specific, I'm getting disappointed. Your pulse rate will shoot up, because people will be clicking your website and going out. And this is another signal that Google is using to rank them. Now, when it comes and it realizes, oh, all your content, okay, it's everything that I have in the index so there'll be no point to reach to the end. What's the point? Because I already have the content. Exactly, exactly. But if I come and discover, okay so this is the SERPs already, it's existing, but you have this and this and this more. now I should consider you and put you way above these other people that do the same thing, I'll introduce this new information to these new users and the same users who are coming to your website. Because Google wants more users to come to this website, and use it such. So whenever you have something valuable to offer, and Google is seeing whatever your offering is better, so much quality, better compared to the rest, surely and definitely, you're going to be there.
Jack: Awesome. I think that's some really good tips and really good advice. I think hopefully a lot of the listeners will be inspired to explore creating some niche content. Like you said, at the very, very beginning, be inspired to maybe create your own website. Have a think about exploring some stuff, testing some new stuff. I know my co-host Mark always talks about how having your own website to test stuff is such an important part of the learning process. And so you're not testing stuff on clients' websites, because that's not the best way to keep a client happy. Having your own space to create your own website, test out stuff. Again, like you said, start off with a small niche that you can have a chance of ranking with. That way, you can compete, even if you're coming out of nowhere as this brand new person in this industry.
Kevin: Yeah, definitely. Because this is really important. Especially when you're practicing SEO or doing it for your clients, you should really have tested whatever you're thinking to do. You should have at least some data to know the way. And this is very important, for you have your own website to do this testing, to do all this experimentation, A/B testing, whatever you want to do. And test these strategies you have, because it's very important for you to do it on your own before doing it on a client's website. Because when you do it on your own, you have a personal responsibility to your people. But when you're doing it on a client, you don't know the result can hurt their business. And this is not what you want for your client. And maybe another thing, I really, really second this, always go for the fewer difficulty and lowest volume. Because this is something that big players in the industry always neglect. I'll bet you $100, well maybe not that much! But I can bet you, most of these big players don't focus on those long-tail keywords. Which you come to realize most long tail keywords are the low search volume and the low keyword difficulty. So when you focus on them and you create better content on those keywords, definitely you'll get whatever bigger players in the industry are not getting. And this way you start building your brand, this will bring more awareness of your brand. This will propel you to engage more people, to come and interact with your business. Which is what you want, especially when you're doing business online.
Jack: 100%. Awesome. Well, that is some fantastic advice, thank you for sharing it, Kevin. If the listeners would like to follow you on social media and keep the conversation going about niche content, about learning SEO together, and keep that community growing, how could people find you across social media and the internet?
Kevin: Oh. Well, it's great. Actually, I'm always available on Twitter, you can hit me up on Twitter. Yeah, we can do that. And you can also check me out on LinkedIn at Kevin Gichane. Yeah. And on Twitter, you can check me at GetchaSEO. So Getcha is my AKA, you can check me out there. Yeah.
Jack: Awesome. Listeners, links for those will always be in the show notes, at search.withcandour.co.uk, so you can easily follow Kevin and keep the conversation going after we finish the podcast. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me, Kevin. It's been an absolute pleasure. I'm glad we finally had this conversation. We'd been planning it for a little while, so I'm excited to finally have the conversation with you. It's been really, really cool, really, really interesting.
Kevin: Yeah. Actually, I'm super happy, actually, Jack. I was really looking forward to having this chat with you and share a bit on what I know and interact with more people as well. So thank you very much for inviting me and having me. Yeah.
Jack: Been my pleasure.
Kevin: Thank you.
Jack: And that's all we have time for this week. Thank you once again for Kevin for joining me. Absolute pleasure to talk about niche content and learn a bit more about him and his journey. Like I said, links to all of his social stuff will be in the show notes at search.withcandour.co.uk. So if you want to go and follow Kevin on LinkedIn or Twitter or anywhere else, please do check out the links in the show notes. I will be back next week with more SEO news and SEO interviews, and until then, thank you so much for listening, and have a lovely week.