Today’s Ask an SEO question comes from Sasank in Telangana, India, who asks:
“Which is more suitable for starting a website in 2021: To start with a specific niche or a website that covers diversified topics (not a news/magazine)?”
Sasank, the short answer to the question is that you could choose either option, as long as you have a clear site structure and enough content to support the niche or each individual topic.
Now, let’s get into a more detailed answer.
There are a couple of things to consider no matter which direction you take, including website structure and content depth.
Note that in my explanation I will use topic and category interchangeably, but I am talking about the same thing.
Create a Strong Website Structure
When it comes to website structure, one of my favorite analogies is to view your website as a book.
Think of each category as a book chapter and your goal is to fill that chapter (i.e., category) with relevant content.
The pages should be connected, which I’ll explain below, just like you would arrange your book based on chapters.
Doing so builds a logical and clear structure within the website and helps search engines better understand what your website is about.
This advice applies no matter what type of website you decide to develop. When thinking about your website structure, focus on creating a hierarchy that has a clear order of topics.
In other words, create a taxonomy of your topics. Your home page should be at the most top level of the hierarchy and optimized for general keywords.
Then, as you move down the hierarchy, you get into categories with supporting content and more specific keywords.
A popular approach is the pyramid site structure, in which the website is organized by topic.
Here is what John Mueller had to say about this type of structure:
“…the top down approach or pyramid structure helps us a lot more to understand the context of individual pages within the site.
So in particular, if we know this category is associated with these other subcategories then that’s a clear connection that we have between those parts.
And that definitely helps us to understand how these things are connected, how they work together a little bit better.”
You can create this type of structure whether you are focusing on a niche or have multiple topics within the site.
The taxonomy, internal links, and navigation (including breadcrumb) will help build a clear structure, which will, in turn, help you build authority for the topics you are targeting.
The key is to have enough pages/content to support each category, which leads to the next point of determining categories and subcategories.
Determine Categories and Subcategories
The first question to ask yourself is: Will there be sufficient supporting content for each category?
In other words, will there be enough topics you can cover?
Going back to the site structure recommendation, to create a hierarchy, you need pages that come together to form a category or theme (i.e., the analogy of book chapters).
And to answer that, you need to determine the type of information (or products) you will provide on your website.
Then, organize that information into categories and subcategories.
Next, identify the supporting content that you will place within each one.
Finally, conduct keyword research so that you have searchable phrases to use for your pages. To start, target at least five pages for each category and/or subcategory.
Researching keywords is also an opportunity to identify additional topics you can include within your categories.
For example, you might come across a highly searched question that aligns with a product category. In that instance, you could create a page, or blog post, that answers that question and links back to the main product category page.
Semrush, AnswerThePublic, and Keywords Everywhere can all help you with finding keywords and ultimately topics to cover. (Try using the Keywords Everywhere browser extension on AnswerThePublic’s website to make a powerhouse tool.)
To summarize, starting a specific niche website or a website that covers diversified topics can both work in 2021.
You just need to make sure you have structured your website appropriately and have enough content to support your categories.
Your goal should be to create useful content on topics your audience cares about.
- Anatomy of a Webpage: How to Maximize SEO Impact
- The Ultimate Guide for an SEO-Friendly URL Structure
- How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: The Ultimate Guide
Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!
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