by Kayleigh Alexandra on September 15, 2018
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Today’s ecommerce world is rife with both opportunity and heated competition. You can get out ahead through nothing but PPC advertising for some time, but you won’t build up any equity — the moment you stop, your sales will dry up — and you’ll steadily see your ROI decrease as new contenders fight over the same bids. That’s why SEO is such a vital consideration.
If you can find a way to earn a store some solid and relevant SERP positions, you can attract a steady stream of valuable traffic without any further investment. That will free you from the burden of pouring money into advertising and give you a chance to build a real brand that will keep customers coming back for years to come.
So if you’re thinking about moving into the ecommerce world, or you’re already a part of it and simply looking to diversify your efforts, you need to be giving a lot of thought to which ecommerce niches are going to be support your quest for rankings (particularly through allowing you to generate excellent content).
To that end, I’m going to set out 5 online store niches that are primed for great SEO results if you approach them in the right way. It’s a lot easier said than done, yes, but at least your fate will be in your hands — you won’t be left feeling constrained by your field. Let’s begin!
Buoyed by the advent of the subscription-based ecommerce model, grooming has become a hugely lucrative business in recent years. You’ll likely have seen an advertisement for Dollar Shave Club at some point in some format, and there are numerous more businesses in the field that offer customers convenient ways to take the inconvenience out of the personal grooming process (whether you want beard gel or leg waxing, there’s a store out there for you).
But why does this bode well for SEO? Doesn’t this suggest market saturation? Well, to start with the latter question: no, it doesn’t. People like having options, and there’s more than enough revenue to go around — just look at the makeup industry for an example, as that manages to sustain countless thriving businesses.
And to answer the former, it’s because of the creative scope inherent to the topic. As you’ll see, this is going to form the core of every niche we look at, because there’s only so much that can be done to get a product page to rank through creative content — much of it is going to rely on sheer traffic and backlink profiles. To rank for grooming, you just need to find a way to answer a question that’s being asked but hasn’t been answered well (“Which beard trimmer works best in a moving car?”), or take a different direction in answering a familiar question (“How should I style my hair?”).
The younger generations have grown up with internet access and a level of insight into global issues that their forebears couldn’t have imagined. This is just one of the reasons why society is becoming significantly more aware of environmental and ethical issues, particularly in the world of capitalism, and we’re seeing the effects of this in the ecommerce world.
Before ecommerce came along, ethical objections to products and brands didn’t necessarily have grand practical consequences, because consumers were relatively limited in their options. If they wanted a certain type of item and the only provider failed to meet their ethical standards, they had two choices: give up on it, or look past their objection.
Now, because there are very few products that can’t be obtained for numerous different retailers, they have enough options to be very discerning — and if you’re looking to run a store, you can benefit hugely from targeting specific requirements. Is there an existing item that you can tweak slightly to make it fit an ethical lifestyle? Do it, and market the item accordingly. You’ll be able to capture a lot of goodwill and gather productive buzz.
Many Western societies are heavier and more sedate than ever before. Ecommerce may be a wonderful thing, but it also furthers the ease of a lazy lifestyle, making it possible to handle a task that used to require some movement (shopping) without leaving your chair. But because we’re aware of our unhealthiness, and don’t want to be unhealthy, we continually look for ways to combat this.
Fitness foods, whether in the form of packaged meals, protein bars, or even basic ingredients with balanced recipes, are extremely popular at the moment. People who are short on time (due to their lives being incredibly hectic) can try to keep their dietary habits in check by using online fitness food stores to stock up in the essentials.
Whether you use existing products or try to create your own, there’s a lot of potential with this model. By providing advice on fitness methods, recipe ideas, mood management, and pretty much anything you can comment on when it comes to the work/life balance, you can bring people in with your expertise and get them interested in your products. People will readily share fitness tip articles through social media.
If you’ve ever had a thought to enter the pet shop industry, now might be as good a time as any, because the days of needing a brick-and-mortar store to fill that role are long gone. Now, you aren’t going to be selling live animals through that model, of course, but you can sell anything else — from pet foods to chewy toys and everything in between.
This is a great option in today’s world because the internet loves animals. Driven by the urge to share their pets with the world through their social media activity, people will spend more time, effort and money on pampering them. They get to feel good about making their pets happy, their pets enjoy themselves, and they get the added validation of knowing that their social media followers are watching with admiration (and perhaps some envy).
From a promotional standpoint, there’s so much opportunity in this area because you can delineate not only by animal but by breed. You might not be able to get a guide for caring for dogs to rank, but you might stand a chance of getting a guide for caring for a specific breed to rank — and if you present it in the right way, you can no doubt pick up some shares on Twitter and Facebook in particular.
From Game of Thrones to Star Wars, branched geek merchandise is doing massive business these days — but the money doesn’t stop there. Even if you don’t have the rights to any branded items, you can still take advantage of pop culture by riffing on it. Come up with T-shirts, mugs, and pens building on cultural touchstones in a legally-distinct fashion, and you’ll start making sales. Print on demand services mean that you can do this fairly cheaply, too.
The best thing about this approach is that you can really have fun with it, because the value of the products in this area is very rarely to do with the physical products themselves. It’s about what they represent, and how they’re depicted. I often use Firebox as an example when it comes to fantastic creative sales copy, so check it out if you’re curious.
Just think about how much people search for questions, people and events from their favorite shows, and how much scope that gives you to write about them. You could create a piece about other hats you think Dumbledore might have enjoyed wearing, for instance, or a suitable T-shirt for each member of the Avengers. Anything like that could potentially pick up some major traffic to your store for very little effort.
Thinking about getting an online store off the ground in the near future? Try one of these thriving niches. They’re well-established by now, but don’t let that fool you — the room for expansion and development is still substantial, and there’s plenty of money yet to be made if you’re ambitious enough to go for it. Good luck!
Kayleigh Alexandra writes all about fresh events and innovations in the world of business for Micro Startups — a site dedicated helping ambitious people everywhere realize their business dreams. Stop by the blog to catch up on the latest entrepreneurial insights, and visit us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.