Launch of Niche Site & Update

Niche Website

by Wasim Ismail on October 21, 2011

Earlier this week I have launched my Niche Site www.QuitShisha.com. Which is a site to build awareness of the effects and harms of smoking Hookah Pipes. As promised every month I will give you an update on what’s happening on the site, and how it is performing in Search Engines, what I am doing, and what you can learn and implement into your site.

Keyword Research – 1 Hour

This was the first thing I did before I started anything. As I wanted to make sure that the site I launch has a decent amount of potential traffic.

See the process I followed and the tools I used on this article:  Niche Website & Keyword Research

Design  – $50

I wanted this site to be simple and informative, giving the user as much information as possible.

I didn’t want to focus to much on intense graphics, and colours. As I want the content of the site to be the main attraction. To make things simpler for my designer, I used a program called gomockingbird.com, to create a quick simple wireframe of the website for the designer to work from.

Not only this saved time for the designer, it also gave the designer an idea of what I wanted and how I wanted the layout to look. So we didn’t had to go through various concepts and styles, after couple of designs, the layout was confirmed.

Banner Images: All the banner images were bought of www.dreamstime.com

Development  – $100

Once the design was done, I made a quick to do list for the developer, mentioning all the points and features of the website. As this was a simple website, again no heavy coding was needed. This process was very simple. Using the WordPress platform, I knew exactly what I wanted, mentioned it on a document to my developer, over the weekend the site was developed.

niche site wireframe

Content  – 6 Hours + $300

The main thing for the site was content, now I’m not a health expert, but I do know that any sort of smoking is harmful. But that’s not good enough for the site. I hired someone in Philippines of oDesk to do some research. She spent 2  weeks researching various topics for the site, and gathering all the information, which we shared using Drop Box. Once I had a good chunk of the topics I spent a day quickly writing some of the articles for the main pages for the site, and also assigned a few to the person that does some of my content work for other projects. Together we got most of the content ready for the site to be launched.

Optimising  – 3 hours

The exciting stuff. First off all I wanted to ensure that every single page on the site has a good chance to rank well in search results. Besides putting together the content there was still a few points I needed to do. (If you are not familiar with the below points, its best to seek advice from an SEO Consultant or your Developers).

As we are using WordPress platform, soon as the development was done  I did the below tasks:

1. Installed WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. This is one of the best SEO plugins you can get for your WordPress site. I have used couple in the past, but this one ticks all the boxes. The coding is clean, easy to install, and best of all it does what it needs to do, ensuring that your content is optimised well.

Than with each page, based on the content of that page, using my Keyword Research tool (Market Samurai) I worked out which keywords would be best to optimise that particular page. Based on the list I set them up in the Title & Description Area of the Page. Keeping the most important keyword for that page first followed by the others.

E.g. On my Hookah Cancer Page the priority keyword is Hookah cancer, so the title of that page is set to be: Hookah cancer | Chances of lung cancer | Shisha health risks | Quit Shisha

WordPress SEO plugin

Followed the same process for all the Title Tags, and Meta Description for each page on the site.

2. Yoast SEO plugin also comes with a breadcrumb feature. Sent the code to the developer, and breadcrumb navigation was setup. Breadcrumbs has many features both from users point of view and also Search engines. The main focus of the breadcrumb should be to assist your visitor so that they know exactly where they are on the website. Search Engines also like breadcrumbs, as this is also implemented into search results as shown in the image below, along with offering a good opportunity for keyword rich anchor text.

Serps Breadcrumbs

3. The standard URL format of WordPress are not necessary user friendly, this can be easily changed by opening up “Settings” and selecting “Permalink ”  and changing the URL format. I generally prefer to go for this style:

/%category%/%postname%/

This ensures that all the pages on my website are user friendly and also have good URLS for the search engines.

4. To help the search engines with the indexing it’s important to submit an XML sitemap. Again the beauty of Yoast SEO plugin comes into place here, it generates the XML site map for you. So all I had to do was submit my Sitemap into Webmaster tools.

5. Optmsing all the images. Once all the images for the articles have been set, just made sure that all of them had an alt text tag, which simply indicates to the robots of the search engine what this image is about.

6. Made sure that the site does not have any canonicalization issues. Basically that all the URLS point to one page e.g.

  • www.quitshisha.com
  • quitshisha.com

WordPress is very good in taking care of this, but in case you do have this issue, it can be easily resolved by setting up redirect (301) from one page to another.

7. Content. Search engines like content, and plenty of new fresh content. So why not give them what they want. Hence the reason of the blog section on my niche site. Every so often I submit a new blog post. Keeping the site fresh, and informative, also giving search engines a new page to index.

8. Link Building, now as this is a new site, a new domain, I’m not expecting magic to happen, it will find its place on the net, and start to gain popularity over time. As part of getting some good link backs for my site (which is what I am currently working on), I have created a badge to support the cause on the site allowing visitors and other organisations to place onto their websites which will link back to my niche site. Information about supporting the cause can be found here: Support Quit Shisha Cause.

Quit Shisha - Effects of Shisha

FEEL FREE TO SUPPORT THE SITE

9. As part of optimising my site, I want to ensure that the users do not notice much delay when loading the site, also as Search Engines take this into consideration I installed a simple plugin called “WP Super Cache” which takes care of that.

First Week of launch Stats

  • 118 Visits
  • 55 Unique Visitors
  • 390 Page views
  • 3.31 Pages/Visit
  • 00:04:18 Avg. Time on Site
  • 42.37% Bounce Rate
  • 46.61% % New Visits

Ranking Report

Keyword Google.com position Bing position
effects of shisha 59 14
harms of hookah 40
quit shisha 8 1
quit hookah 34
harms of shisha 34
effects of hookah 150
Shisha Health 118 5
is shisha harmful 193 8
Hookah Cancer 78
Hookah Health Risks 114

Time & Money

  • Time spent: 10 Hours
  • Cost: $450

As you can see I have a bit of work to do on the keywords to get me to the top spot. Which I will keep you posted month by month on the progress of this. Also you can see from this exercise, you don’t need to spent allot of time to get a decent well optimised website up. Have a clear focus on what you want to achieve, a good plan of action, along with hiring a good team, and within 10 hours (1 day) you have your site up and running. Best of all you do not need to do EVERYTHING yourself.

Niche Site Articles:

Niche Website & Keyword Research

Thank You For Reading

Did enjoy the article, subscribe to my blog. Stay in touch with me at Twitter @wasimalrayes or my other networking profiles mentioned at the top of this page.

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