Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term which is known to many, understood by few and completely mastered by no one (except some Google employees). SEO is simply the modification of certain attributes of your website (on-page optimization) and the promotion of your website by other sources on the web (off-page optimization). Understanding both of these concepts in detail is necessary if you want to get your website to rank highly in the search engine results page (SERPs). If you are new to this concept, then you should read more about the search engine optimization basics.
In order to rank at all, you need content. Write articles about many different aspects that are related to your niche. Write until your fingers are sore. The more content you have, the better equipped you will be to optimize and promote your niche website. That being said, don't just write articles that are all over the place and don't have a focus. This is where the SEO comes in.
Buying a Domain for a Niche Website
Buying the right domain is extremely important if you want to rank well for your keyword phrase. All of the search engines rank websites much higher if their domain name matches the keyword phrase. When looking for a domain name for your niche website, try to get a .com extension that contains your entire keyword phrase. (ie. mountainbikes.com for "mountain bikes") Unfortunately, most decent .com domain names are already taken. Some internet marketers disagree over what to do next. Some say try placing hyphens in between your keywords, (mountain-bikes.com) changing the top level domain (TLD) extension (.org, .net, etc.) or adding a prefix or suffix to the domain (mountainbikes4u.com) and sticking with the .com. Overall, niche website developers will agree that adding a suffix is the best, followed by adding a prefix. These options are the easiest to remember and everyone thinks of .com before anything else. If no good additions are available, change the TLD extension. This preserves the linkable nature of the domain. Now if neither of these options are still available, place hyphens between your keywords. This is ugly, but as long as you still have the keywords you need, you'll get the search engine traffic.
Niche Title Optimization
All of your articles should have informative titles that contain the main keywords you are trying to rank for. Don't write spammy, keyword stuffed titles that people can't understand, but be sure to include at least two main keywords.
Niche Content Optimization
When writing an article for a niche website you need to have a primary targeted keyword phrase and occasionally a secondary phrase, especially if it is a longer article. Try not to use your targeted phrase every sentence or the search engines might think you're stuffing keywords. If your article is of average size, say 400-600 or so words, then you should mention your phrase about 4-6 times. This repetition tells the search engines what your article is about. If you just mention it once, then your article would be grouped in with thousands of other articles that have that phrase in them and aren't necessarily about that topic. In addition to this, try to include several variations of your phrase as well as synonyms for your keywords. This is important because the search engines can recognize synonyms, so using them reinforces the keyword phrase and what the articles primary topic is.
Make sure that your content still flows well and makes sense. Don't sacrifice the quality of the article just for a couple of keywords, it's not worth it. Always remember that with all else being equal, quality content prevails.
Off-Page Niche Website Optimization
Once you have a website up and running and you have a few articles on it, you should begin to optimize and promote your website from outside your own "walls". Almost every niche has a forum related to it. Sign up for that forum (or several if possible) and join in on the discussions! Be sure to completely fill out your profile page and add a link to your website in your signature if the forums allow you to do so. Be as personable as possible and contribute to the forum by leaving valuable posts. This will increase your popularity as well as people's interests in what you do, which will lead them to your website. Blog commenting is another great way to increase awareness of your niche website and promote your brand. Everyone hates spam, so if you're leaving a comment make it a valuable one that does more than just thank the author for the great post.
Remember all of those articles you were supposed to write? They are very useful for acquiring high quality links that have targeted anchor text. All you have to do once you are finished writing them is to submit them to article directories like Info Barrel, Ezine Articles and GoArticles. These content sites allow you to submit articles about any topic. You should add a link to your niche website inside of each article you submit or in the resource box. This will greatly strengthen your backlink profile as these sites have a high pagerank and their pages rank will in the SERPs. They might even send some traffic to your site! Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to achieving a ranking will in the SERPs thanks to your niche website optimization.
The previous step in this process is finding a profitable niche. The next step is to monetize your niche website.