There's an area in SEO called "Niche Site Optimization" that refers to almost always small, specialized websites that appeal to only a narrow, targeted market rather than commonly used, wide spread topics.
A Web Professional should have its own website
Just like many professionals, I believe in dogfooding one's creations.
A couple of years ago, I decided to test a lot of my self-learned SEO techniques in my own website and net properties. I chose a small, localized list of long-tail keywords that would make my site visible to very specialized web queries.
I'm mostly self-taught and do a lot of testing to try out my techniques (and I do a lot of stuff that I haven't seen anybody else do, like working with XML and microdata).
The good part about this is I get to test all the new hot stuff while only being visible to a small market and not polluting another SERPs.
I chose "web developer saltillo" as one of the possible combinations for these reasons:
- It's nicely localized geographically
- I can easily scan and detect competition running a simple search.
- Changes would be visible relatively easily.
- It's a well known, expanding area of professional interests.
- It's a good keyword combination for possible recruiters.
I thought there would be many personal pages, profiles and perhaps company pages since there are quite a few web development software companies (I keep tabs on them, and check for opportunities and competition).
Surprisingly, there were way more job listing agregators and an occasional linkedin profile in the search results.
And so, I engaged in regular updates and constant improvements to my website as a side project, mostly delegated to late hour tweaks done before I went to bed.
What were the results?
Google Search Results
Bing Search Results
Yandex Search Results
What about the expected local competition?
This was disappointing, since I expected the web development community here to be way more web-aware than me. Most of the web developers and SEO workers around the area are slightly younger, richer, smarter and with better rounded networking opportunities than me (particularly those working for Silicon Valley companies).
It seems they don't experiment at all with optimizing their profiles or web properties. I can think of many reasons why they don't but it feels like its not important to them.
The only one who does some partial optimization and competes with me is my cow-orker (and that's because I'm prodding him and teasing him constantly).
Onwards with the experiment.
So, I can learn something from these results:
- The techniques used work, so I can integrate them with our clients strategy and services.
- Results are visible in every search engine, not just localized Google results.
- There's no competition for a lot of the niche searches.
- I should take on additional search strings to displace established results that might yield some additional benefits.