Become A Niche Authority With This SEO Hack
Want a shortcut to rise above the competition? Position yourself as an authority in your field.
When you think of search engines, Google is probably the first word that pops into your mind. Facebook immediately comes to mind when you think of online social networks, and Apple is top of the list when smart phones and tablets are mentioned.
All of those companies have been around for a while. They’ve worked very hard to develop customer loyalty. Longevity is often important in helping a company build a reputation as the leader in a particular marketplace. But that’s not always the case. Thanks to world wide internet access, even a small, brand-new company or entrepreneur can quickly develop an authoritative presence in just about any field…
…provided they follow a proven path to success.
In a moment, I’ll reveal how a simple hack can help you leverage search engine rankings to grab even more authority. After all, if people are looking for an expert in your field, one of the first places they’ll probably go in Google. And But first, let’s talk about getting things set up properly.
It starts with taking a few actionable steps to help you start building your reputation as a leading influencer in your field.
“Niche Down” and Focus
No matter what business you’re in, you can learn a lot about becoming an authority figure in your field from NFL Draft Expert Mel Kiper, Jr. Even if, like me, you don’t care about football, or sports in general, the following story illustrates how anyone can go from a “nobody” to the global leader in a targeted market in a very short period of time.
In the late 1970s in Baltimore, Maryland, Mel Kiper, Jr. was a football loving teenager. Kiper wrote player evaluation charts, showing what college football players he thought would be a good fit for the NFL.
The problem was, he was a total unknown, and no one took him seriously.
While attending school at Essex Community College in Baltimore in 1981, the young entrepreneur started Kiper Enterprises, calling it an “NFL Talent Evaluation Business.” When anyone asked him his name, he would say, “Mel Kiper, NFL draft expert.” The NFL draft is the process where professional teams select college football athletes to play for them.
At that time, there was no such thing as an NFL draft expert. Very few people paid attention to the draft, except if you were personally associated with college football or NFL teams. Not to be swayed, Kiper continued releasing a yearly draft report, and talking up the importance of his evaluations for the annual draft to anyone and everyone who would listen.
The ESPN network, just starting out at the time, hired the self-professed draft expert in 1984. He tirelessly suggested to the growing 24-hour sports network that they needed to start covering the NFL draft before anyone else did. Today, thanks to Kiper’s efforts in establishing himself as the preeminent authority in his field, the NFL draft is a multi-million-dollar event, which draws year-round attention from football fans and media channels.
And guess who is viewed as the top global expert?
That’s right: Mel Kiper, Jr.
Kiper could have called himself a college football expert. However, that was a huge field, with thousands of individuals who were extremely knowledgeable about college football. His knowledge of the NFL meant he could have sold himself as a National Football League expert. The same situation existed there, with too much intelligent competition.
So he did what you should do.
He dug down deeper than anyone else, and found a niche which no one else was serving. He also ensured that he focused on an evergreen business.
Evergreen markets are viable year after year, providing a lifetime of revenue and profits to the authority figures in those markets. While you can’t foresee huge changes in technology, at least try to focus on markets that don’t change from year to year. As an extreme example, centering your business around this year’s iPhone model will limit your authority to the period of about a year. However, becoming an expert on all things related to iPhones and iPads would at least keep you evergreen while iPhones/iPads are still being sold. You just have to stay on top of all the changes.
Fans of both college and pro football, NCAA and NFL executives, coaches, managers and owners, as well as prominent college and even high school athletes were Kiper’s target market. By placing a laser focus on a small niche market (the NFL draft), rather than a large market (the NFL or college football), Kiper became the #1 NFL draft expert “overnight.”
Don’t sell yourself as just another dog trainer. Begin calling yourself the world’s greatest trainer of Appenzeller Sennenhundes. Don’t open a hot dog stand. Sell vegan hot dogs, served on almond flour buns, with a wide variety of natural, organic condiments and toppings.
Niche down far enough in your market or area of expertise and you will find a group of rabidly enthusiastic prospects which are being under-served. This is possible in any and every market, and can dramatically shorten your path to being viewed as an authoritative influence in your field.
Communicate with Stories
The above example about Mel Kiper, Jr. and niche marketing was relayed through a story. Storytelling has been used to record human history long before writing was even developed. Stories are still very powerful today. You can connect with people on an emotional, mental, and even spiritual level if you learn the art of storytelling.
You may be thinking your products and services don’t have any heart-pounding, eyebrow-raising, dramatic stories surrounding them. In most cases, you would be wrong. Consider the case of the advertisement which has made more than 2 billion dollars for the Wall Street Journal. (Yes, that is billion, with a “B”.) It begins like this …
“On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years
ago, two young men graduated from the same college.
They were very much alike, these two young men. Both
had been better than average students, both were
personable and both — as young college graduates are –
were filled with ambitious dreams for the future.
Recently, these men returned to their college for their
They were very much alike. Both were happily married.
Both had three children. And both, it turned out, had
gone to work for the same Midwestern manufacturing
company, and were still there.
But there was a difference. One of the men was manager
of a small department of that company. The other was its president.”
The ad goes on to show that the only difference between these 2 young men was that the company president read the Wall Street Journal, and the other man did not.
What can be more boring, less sexy, and further down your list of priorities than a newspaper subscription? However, because a compelling story was used to connect with its target audience, this short, 2 page advertisement was used for decades because it was so effective in showing the Wall Street Journal as the leading market influence for business and financial news.
In short, use stories to communicate your personal or business message whenever possible.
Create Helpful Content
Have you ever sought help from someone who was very knowledgeable in a particular area? Of course you have. We do it all the time. When someone answers a question, or solves a problem that has been bothering you, you instantly look at that person as an influential figure. After all, they provided you with a solution you could not obtain on your own.
So you view that person with a sense of respect and admiration.
That should be your job if you want to build your range of influence. Join forums relative to your market. Join, or start your own, groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks where you can share your market expertise with others in your field.
Put your mind in a place of selflessness.
Don’t worry about sales and profits for a little while, and try not to have a sales-oriented mindset. Just offer advice and valuable content that either relieves a pain or delivers a pleasure.
Every important decision a human being makes is hinged on one of these two things. So focus on publishing helpful content online and offline that solves a big problem, or creates a pleasurable experience for your market. Your market influence will grow, as will your reputation as someone who truly cares about others. That is certain to set you apart from other industry influencers.
Get Covered By The Press
Press coverage is always good for increasing recognition for your business, and for underscoring your niche authority. But did you know that you could also use effectively positioned press coverage to benefit your own search engine authority?
Why would press coverage help your SEO? It all has to do with getting links from other sites back to your own site. Links are an indicator to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! that your site is worth knowing about. But link need to be of decent quality. And recognized news sites are among the highest quality sites out there.
But there’s a catch. Getting sites like The New York Times or CNN to cover you and your business is not all that simple. And getting them to build links to your site is even less likely. That said, there are ways to get backlinks from high authority news sites.
Doing so yourself can take some discipline and dedication, but here are a few ways to start building up those news backlinks. First, make use of your storytelling and helpful content discussed earlier to get noticed.
A great tool for getting noticed is Google News Publisher. If you’re able to get a story onto Google News, then you may get the attention of news sites looking for content to publish (they are always looking), and possibly get your stories picked up. have a much higher chance of getting your link picked up by a major news outlet.
Another option is to use press releases to circulate news of developments in your business. And, if you want to go directly to the news publishers (or as close as you can go), try the site Help A Reporter Out (aka HARO) where you can subscribe to alerts from reporters looking to interview experts on various topics. But, then again, there’s no guarantee of getting backlinks to you or your business.
But what if there was a way to guarantee those back links? What if it were possible to create helpful, authoritative content on your website, and then have professional news writers site you and the facts you’ve published as part of their news stories? As it turns out, it’s not only possible, but we’re doing it right now for our SEO clients. Through a network of high authority news sites, we’re able to help leverage the “expertise” of our “expert” clients into high ranking search results. And, if you want to chat about, we might be able to do it for you too!
The Bottom Line
Building authority takes a little bit of work, but when you focus on a tight niche, use stories to deliver compelling content, and focus on helping your audience, you can’t help but become the go-to expert with the most relevant and actionable knowledge in your field.
Of course leveraging our little SEO hack can hasten the process and set you up for maintaining considerable long-term authority too. Whatever way you slice, becoming an authoritative market influence in your field can only lead to more business and increased revenue… and how could that possibly be a bad thing?
Originally published at baeronmarketing.com.