If you are just starting out with building niche websites or you have already started but want to max out your on page SEO then this post is for you. After Selecting a good niche, researching the competition, and then (hopefully) finding an exact match domain, it is time to set up your website so you can start making some money online. I go through a process that is quick and effective, I will also share some of my favorite plug-ins.
If you register your domains on Godaddy and many other popular hosting companies installing WordPress is easy (most of the big hosting companies have one click install). If you are not sure how to install WordPress check with your hosting company (try google or YouTube for a tutorial). Setting up WordPress should take about 5 minutes, once you have it installed you will want to optimize it before adding any content.
Optimizing a WordPress Niche Site for SEO
Step One – Install a theme:
You don’t want the boring old theme that comes stock with wordpress, you want something suited for your niche. If you are selling a product and want to monetize your niche site with Amazon I recommend a nice clean theme with a sidebar. You want the reader to read your articles so you can pursuade them to buy the products. I find having a sidebar is nice to highlight deals, top 5 lists, popular products and more. I found this theme originally on https://www.thesmartconsumer.com and thought it would be perfect for my site as well.
If you want to monetize your site with adsense I recommend a theme that does not have any sidebars. I find that if you really want to crank up the click through rate (CTR) of your ads eliminating distractions is important. Any time the visitor looks at something in the sidebar is precious seconds where they are not looking at your ads (and not clicking on them). Also ads in the sidebar have low CTR compared to ads in other locations (more on that in another post)
Step two – Settings:
Under the settings tab is where you want to make most of your tweaks, there are not a lot to do, but they are very important if you want to increase your chances of ranking in the search engines.
Under general settings there are two fields you will want to optimize, Site Title and Tagline. The title is used in the search engines and is very important, you want your top keyword to be in your title, and you want your lower search volume keywords to be in the tagline. Make it sound natural. My site title would be something like : Used Socks – Find used socks for sale. My Tagline would be something like: Find the best price on used cotton socks, and used wool socks
There is only one field to fill out here, scroll down to where it says update services and there is a box that says http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ When you add a new post a ping is sent to this URL to let the service know you added a new post. I’m not too sure how important this next step is, but I do it every time just to make sure my posts are being indexed. Open this txt file, copy every url and then paste it into the Update services box. This will notify a tonne of services every time you add a post
Under this tab you can configure the settings to your personal preference. Usually I keep the front page displaying my most recent posts (sometimes I change this after the site is receiving a lot of traffic and I want to really maximize the traffic going to the homepage). Also you can select the number of posts that the front page shows, I usually set it to two or three, if you keep it at 10 and your front page shows full posts there will be A LOT of content on your front page after you add a few articles
The only thing I normally mess with here is the box that says “allow people to post comments on new articles” if you want comments leave that checked, otherwise uncheck it (and avoid a tonne of spam comments)
This is the most important tab. This is the tab that will change how your posts display, and you can choose keywords for your categories and tag pages. If you leave this at the default your posts will display like this example.com/?p=125 or something ugly like that. If you change this your post will look like this example.com/smelly-used-socks. Much better for SEO
To change your permalinks just select the custom structure and then paste this /%postname%/ in the field. Now when you write a new blog post the title will be used as the URL.
You can also set the category and tag base, I like to toss some relevant keywords in there. In this case I might put USED in the category field and SOCKS in the tags field.
That’s it for the settings, now lets add some plugins
Two Must Have FREE Plugins for Niche Sites
The two plugins I always install are “Advertisement management” and “all in one seo pack”
Advertisement management – This is a very simple plugin, what it does is add a placeholder in all the best spots for ads, if you want to put adsense, or an affiliate link in EVERY page or EVERY post you can choose exactly where you want it. Here are the locations you can put an ad
Adspot 1: Below posts title on the front page.
Adspot 2: Below the title when post is open.
Adspot 3: Below post content when post is open.
Adspot 4: Below title when a page is open.
Adspot 5: Below page content when a page is open
PRO TIP: If I am putting a large square ad below the title I usually want to wrap the text around it, just put the adsense code inside this div and then put all the code in your box to have the text wrap around your adsense ad.
Last step – Get rid of default junk
All in one SEO pack – This is a great plugin to have if you want more control over your title tags and descriptions. I use it to control what the search engines see for posts, pages and other areas of the site. It is a great way to toss in more keywords and get more search engine traffic. Once you have it installed there will be a lot of things to play with, I usually just add a home title and description, and then change the post, page and category titles to just display the post title
When you install wordpress there is a default post, comment and page, go to the post page and delete the post, then go to the pages tab and delete the sample page. I have forgotten to do this before and it looks bad if you are building links to a site that has a sample page, or a Hello Word post on it 😉
That’s pretty much all I do to set my site up. It took a lot longer to write this post then it takes for me to set a site up, once you are good it shouldn’t take long at all.
- Finding keywords to write about on your niche site
- Adding content to the niche site
- Link building for Niche sites