SEO Niches: Pros, Cons & Finding Yours
Should you choose a SEO niche to build your business and career? It’s a question everyone in the field has asked themselves at some point. And you probably are too…
The riches are in the niches, according to a popular small business saying. In other words, going after a smaller market segment is a great way to grow your business.
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, aren’t you more likely to catch more by fishing in a larger pond? Surprisingly, this isn’t often the case – even in SEO.
What is an SEO Niche?
There’s a lot to SEO, so it’s not unusual for a professional search engine optimizer or SEO agency to have some level of proficiency in many, if not all aspects of it. However, there are also those who choose to specialize in an area and provide specific services, for example technical SEO, international SEO, HARO, content creation or link building.
Other SEO agencies may choose to define their niche by the type of client they work with. For example, some will work in exclusively for healthcare, another will only work with aviation clients, and others may choose to specialize in SaaS SEO.
It’s also possible to combine the two approaches and specialize in, for example, content creation for law firms. However, since the same tactics from the first two can be applied to this hybrid niche position, in this piece we’ll only look at service and industry specialization.
Is It Better to be a Jack-of-All-Trades or Find an SEO Niche?
Short answer: That depends.
Like most things in life, there’s no cut-and-dry answer about whether an SEO professional should serve a niche or not. However, we can give you a list of pros and cons to help you decide if this is a path you would like to venture down.
On the pro-niche side, having an SEO concentration can make your job a bit simpler. If you decide to specialize in dentistry as your niche, you can easily determine who is a potential client and who isn’t. You’ll also get a feel for what works in that industry and what doesn’t.
And probably most importantly, you’ll be able to use your success with one client as proof to a potential one.
Likewise, if you decide to focus solely on content creation, you don’t have to spend a lot of time keeping up with all the non-content-related SEO happenings. While you can’t complete disregard changes to the Google algorithm, you won’t have to pay close attention to things like loading speed and crawl budgets.
On the flip side, specialization, by its very definition gives you a smaller pool of clients to go after. If you specialize in link building, you may not be comfortable optimizing an ecommerce store.
You may also find yourself growing bored with performing the same tasks day after day. Niche SEO could also potential your ability to stay up with the latest changes and best practices or limit your ability to add new skills.
So, in the end, whether you should choose an SEO niche or not comes down to you, your personality and what you think is best for you.
How to Find Your Niche
If you opt in favor of choosing a niche for your SEO business, the next step is deciding what that will be. Ideally, you’ll want to specialize in an area you know a lot about. This is going to make it easier for you to communicate with client, understand their needs and correctly use any relevant industry nomenclature.
Secondly, you’ll want to find an area of SEO that interests you. If you loathe working with structured data, you’re going to hate your work if you choose that as a specialization.
You’ll also want to consider which niches you’ll be able to profit from. While optimizing blog posts for collectors of WW2-era binoculars might perfectly align with your interests and skills, it’s probably going to be difficult to find more than a handful of clients.
Specializing in binoculars in general is going to offer larger potential, and with that more work and more money in your pocket. In other words, don’t be too niche. Try to find that sweet spot where your skills and interests intersect with a decently sized market.
A Far from Exhaustive List of SEO Niches
Now that you know how to choose a niche for your SEO services, let’s take a look at a few of the different specializations you could choose, in addition to the ones we’ve already discussed:
- Small business SEO – This can be further divided into specific industries if you want to be extremely niche.
- Local SEO – You can become the person your local community looks to for anything SEO. The flipside of this is national or international SEO.
- On-page SEO – Choose to specialize in all things on-page or just one aspect like blogging, image optimization, EEAT or search intent.
- Off-page SEO – Build brands’ reputations, perform PR services, maximize social shares and find other ways to generate backlinks.
- Technical SEO – If you don’t mind coding, you could specialize in site architecture, redirects, UX/UI, site speed or redirects.
- Site monetization – Use affiliate marketing, Google AdSense or paid content to drive revenue to websites.
- Industry specialist – There’s a need for SEO specialists in healthcare, gambling, industrial supply and just about anything else you can think of. Some of these may prefer specialists because of rules and regulations.
As you can see, if there’s a market for it, you can specialize in it. Just make sure you’re choosing a niche or niches in which there’s a big enough need for your services to make it worth making it your focus.
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