Niche vs. Brand Marketing (Goodbye chrislynchwriter.com)
My ruthless cull of domains continues! Now that all of my books, short stories, and movies are listed on this site I'm dropping more of my niche-specific domains and redirecting all of the traffic here. In some instances, the timeline for this is short, the expiry for the domains coming around sooner than it might have done if I was working with a strictly timed plan.
Allowing chrislynchwriter.com to expire this month is quite a milestone; it was one of my better-developed domains in terms of content and a "nice" domain in terms of fitting comfortably into my niche of writing and being matched pretty well to a search term that I can imagine people entering if they were trying to track me down. However, the numbers don't lie and since I combined my domains the traffic to this single site has exceeded the combined traffic of the individual domains quite significantly.
What gives? Surely, you need a niche site? That's what every SEO guru says... don't they?
The more I look into it, the more SEO and marketing experts I find who are stepping away from the concept of "niches" and more towards developing brands that can operate across many spaces. Amazon do it - their brand is recognisable across everything they do and, well, they do just about everything.
Your niche, if you really feel you need one, is you - not what you do but the unique way in which you do it and talk about it.
Despite this, if I check Google for "niche SEO", and filter my results to content just from the last week, I still see page after page of results all saying the same thing - find a niche, work exclusively in that niche, link that niche not outside, etc. etc.
Playing the Long Game
I normally like to finish off any SEO blog with a "here's what you should do", some hard-and-fast rules and actions that you can apply to improve your site. That's not going to happen here. Instead, I'm going to give you a choice.
If you want fast and predictable results from SEO, go niche. That's the safe play. Just remember, your growth will be linked to the size of your niche. If being the number one result for "Vegan Plumbers in Sacramento" is your goal, just make sure you're never going to move (or accidentally start eating bacon).
If you want to build for a longer-term strategy around a brand that allows you to pivot into different markets without have to start from scratch each and every time, forget the niche and build out broad.
It's working for me right now- check back in a few weeks and I'll be here to let you know if it still is!