I mixed up my flights. So I have a few extra days at the desk I just hadn’t accounted for and (forgetting the pile of other projects and case studies I have going on) I wanted to try something different.
Authority sites take up most of the SERPs these days.
No, SEO is not dead. Yes, niche sites still work. But there is a reason half the questions on SEO forums and subreddits are ‘Can I compete with insert authority here?’.
When I started in SEO it was way back in the days of exact match domains and targeting 1-3 keywords with an entire site being maybe 5 pages. These days that would be a site I haven’t even started yet. Even smaller sites in my portfolio tend to start in the 50-100 pages range.
Big authority sites can gloss over broad topics and still rank for longtails. This tends to still match the user’s query close enough but sometimes you can beat them by being more specific, getting a little authority and some topical relevance.
That’s a little tougher for small sites that can only cover a few hyper-focused topics. And maybe that’s just how it is now. I have no reason to think this will work but I’ve sprained my finger and I’m stuck with winter for the week and, apparently, that’s all the justification I need to try this out.
The Niche and the Competition
So I found this niche the other day.
This is a very small niche. The first couple of keywords are all the same and we get maybe 15 articles and even then we’re already in the zero search volume range.
The competition is, as expected, most authority sites who have one or two articles glazing over everything and below that we have some smaller sites with some even thinner content who all tend to disagree with each other, the authority sites and (in one case) their own content.
TL;DR: This niche is small and nobody is covering the content in-depth. Nobody covers all the topics and it’ll not be hard to do a better job.
So my question is simple.
If we cover all of these topics and we go in-depth in this micro-niche can a small site like this still work, or do we get run over by the big authorities still?
Can David still beat Goliath just by doing a better job?
We can cover all of the topics within this sub-niche (which nobody else is doing), we can interlink everything tightly and we can create better content because everyone else is glossing over this small niche.
While others are relying on general niche products and display ads – we can also offer something more specific to the niche and (hopefully) get better engagement for it.
On the flip side, we can’t have a ton of topical relevance because we’re so hyper-focused on a small niche and that also limits our opportunity for backlinks. The authority sites obviously get a lot more backlink opportunities and much higher domain authority for it.
I have no idea how it’s going to go. My expectation is we can do the whole thing in 2-3 days including the design, content, sales funnel and some links to get things started (maybe a small YouTube channel) and then… I don’t actually expect it to work.
But maybe there’s still room for small quality sites.
This part is pretty straightforward.
We’ll throw together a clean design and an image aesthetic that’ll suit the niche. 12-15 articles which we should be able to do within a day or so as long as I get my hands on some coffee and for a sales funnel we’ll do a quick landing page with an eBook and a couple of day’s worth of emails in a sequence.
The whole thing should be 2-3 days tops. It won’t be a 7-figure exit on Empire Flippers but if it works it should be another small site to add to the portfolio.
If it doesn’t… well at least I’ll get to say hey, you know that thing that we all realized didn’t work years ago? Yeah… it doesn’t work.
I’m putting it together now, the site should (hopefully) be up and indexed by the end of the week and I’ll update when there are some results. Or when it’s clear that Google has no interest in sites like this anymore and it can’t crack the top 5 pages.