When Internet markets become competitive, marketers end up focusing more on niches that are less competitive. On a broad scale, this trend is how the Internet has the effect of replacing big markets with lots of small markets. For the affiliate marketer utilizing search engine optimization, this makes the imperative to focus on keywords that are increasingly niche — increasingly long tail. In other words, keywords that are lower in volume but more specific in what they mean. Moreover, such keywords can often be very high conversion if they reveal specifically what the buyer is looking for.
Those in the forex industry are getting a first hand look at this cycle playing out. There’s no denying the growth of the online forex industry; research group LeapRate estimates that the retail forex industry grew a whopping 2,000% during the first decade of this century. This growth has fueled a very competitive online marketing environment within the niche — something that constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity for affiliate marketers choosing to focus on this sector. As interest in trading grows, marketers are finding ways to segment customer groups based on their location, level of sophistication, preferred market strategies, and more. As such, search marketers increasingly find themselves focusing more on niche jargon terms — i.e. “MT4 trading” — rather broader, more generic terms (“forex trading”) that may be more competitive and less specific — and thus more difficult to monetize.
This environment sets the stage for longtail SEO strategies, which can be described as strategies that involve getting on ranking for a wide variety of terms with low volume rather than a few high volume terms.
Once we understand what longtail SEO is and how it is compatible with the larger trends in the Internet, the next step is simply to define how we can create a web property that is best suited for a such a strategy. Namely, there are three key concepts that must be remembered:
1. Focus on a specific niche. The challenge with longtail SEO — with trying to rank for an abundance of low-volume terms — is that it requires a lot of content on a specialized subject. One immediate way of helping to overcome this challenge is by focusing on a niche; for instance, creating one property that is specifically for forex, or technical analysis, or some type of clearly defined subject matter.
The more your site is a broad composite of many topics, the harder it will be for you to continue drilling down into new and emerging keywords and efficiently monetize highly specific, low volume keywords.
2. Focus on user-generated content. In addition to having a niche focus, making user-generated content a priority is vital for building a viable, sustainable property that can make the most of longtail SEO strategies. Acquiring a user base of active niche users that are contributing content can help marketers naturally overcome the burden of imagining and targeting new niche keywords, and can help them generate the massive amount of web pages and content needed to make
longtail SEO a scalable strategy for success.
3. Incorporate game play mechanics. Because getting content from contributing members is the name of the game, it ‘s worthwhile to do what it takes to build a core network of engaged users. The top 1% of your community will produce the bulk of the user-generated content and so rewarding them via game play can be a worthwhile way of moderating the community, refining data and keyword focus, and rewarding your best members so that they remain engaged and happy to contribute. At the end of the day, longtail SEO requires user-generated content — and user-generated content is most economical when you pay members with the enjoyment of playing the game rather than with actual currency.
All of this means that niche communities using game play mechanics to achieve quality user-generated content for longtail SEO purposes is something we’ll see more and more of in the coming years. As this trend is still early and developing, affiliates who step in ahead of the crowd are positioned especially well.
Simit Patel is a forex trader and Internet marketer. He runs InformedTrades.com, home of the largest collection of free forex courses on the web.