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Which Niches Should You Avoid with SEO?

SEO is a powerful way to drive organic traffic, leads, and sales to your website.

But not all niches are created equal when it comes to SEO.

Some niches are more competitive, more volatile, or more regulated than others.

And that can make SEO a nightmare.

 

In this post,

I'll show you which niches you should avoid with SEO and what you should do instead.

Here's what you'll learn:

• The three main criteria to evaluate a niche for SEO

• The three worst criteria to avoid with SEO

• The three best alternatives to SEO for these niches

Let's dive in.

Criteria #1: Competition

The first criterion to evaluate a niche for SEO is competition.

Competition is the level of difficulty and effort required to rank well for your target keywords.

The higher the competition, the harder it is to rank well.

But how do you measure competition?

You can use tools like https://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords or https://ahrefs.com/keywords-explorer to find the keyword difficulty (KD) score of your target keywords.

The KD score is a number from 0 to 100 that indicates how hard it is to rank for a keyword, based on the authority and relevance of the top-ranking pages.

The higher the KD score, the higher the competition.

So,

How do you avoid high-competition niches?

You look for niches that have low KD scores, such as below 20.

 

For example,

Let's say you want to rank for the keyword “best VPN”.

If you use https://ahrefs.com/keywords-explorer, you'll see that the KD score for this keyword is 95.

That means that this keyword is extremely competitive, and you'll need a lot of authority, content, and links to rank for it.

Again,

If you use https://ahrefs.com/keywords-explorer, you'll see that there are some related keywords that have lower KD scores, such as:

• best VPN for gaming (KD: 13)

• best VPN for Netflix (KD: 15)

• best VPN for torrenting (KD: 18)

 

These keywords are less competitive and more specific, and you'll have a better chance to rank for them.

By avoiding high-competition niches, you can save time, money, and energy on SEO.

Criteria #2: Volatility

The second criterion to evaluate a niche for SEO is volatility.

Volatility is the level of change and uncertainty that affects a niche.

The higher the volatility, the more unpredictable it is to rank well.

But how do you measure volatility?

You can use tools like https://www.bing.com/webmasters/ or https://moz.com/mozcast to find the algorithm volatility score of your niche.

The algorithm volatility score is a number from 0 to 100 that indicates how much the ranking algorithm of Google or Bing has changed in the past 30 days.

The higher the algorithm volatility score, the higher the volatility.

 

So,

How do you avoid high-volatility niches?

You look for niches that have low algorithm volatility scores, such as below 20.

For example,

Let's say you want to rank for the niche of “weight loss”.

If you use https://www.bing.com/webmasters/, you'll see that the algorithm volatility score for this niche is 72.

That means that this niche is highly volatile, and you'll face a lot of ranking fluctuations and algorithm updates.

But if you use https://moz.com/mozcast, you'll see that there are some related niches that have lower algorithm volatility scores, such as:

• weight loss tips (AVS: 12)

• weight loss recipes (AVS: 14)

• weight loss exercises (AVS: 16)

These niches are less volatile and more stable, and you'll have a better chance to rank for them.

By avoiding high-volatility niches, you can reduce risk, stress, and frustration on SEO.

Criteria #3: Regulation

The third criterion to evaluate a niche for SEO is regulation.

Regulation is the level of rules and restrictions that apply to a niche.

The higher the regulation, the more complicated it is to rank well.

But how do you measure regulation?

You can use tools like https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/webmaster-guidelines-30fba23a or https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf to find the regulation score of your niche.

The regulation score is a number from 0 to 100 that indicates how much the quality and credibility of your site and content matter for a niche, based on the guidelines of Google or Bing.

The higher the regulation score, the higher the regulation.

So,

How do you avoid high-regulation niches?

You look for niches that have low regulation scores, such as below 20.

For example,

Let's say you want to rank for the niche of “health”.

 

If you use https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf, you'll see that the regulation score for this niche is 100.

That means that this niche is highly regulated, and you'll need a lot of quality and credibility to rank for it.

But if you use https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/webmaster-guidelines-30fba23a, you'll see that there are some related niches that have lower regulation scores,

Such as:

• health tips (RS: 10)

• health recipes (RS: 12)

• health exercises (RS: 14)

These niches are less regulated and more accessible, and you'll have a better chance to rank for them.

By avoiding high-regulation niches, you can avoid penalties, lawsuits, and bans on SEO.

The 3 Worst Niches to Avoid with SEO

Now that you know the three main criteria to evaluate a niche for SEO, let me show you the three worst niches to avoid with SEO.

These are the niches that have high competition, high volatility, and high regulation.

And they are:

• Gambling: Gambling is a niche that involves betting money on games of chance, such as poker, roulette, slots, etc. It is a niche that has high competition because there are thousands of gambling sites that compete for the same keywords and customers. It is a niche that has high volatility because it is subject to frequent algorithm changes and legal issues. It is a niche that has high regulation because it is illegal or restricted in many countries and regions.

• Pharmacy: Pharmacy is a niche that involves selling or prescribing drugs, medicines, or supplements, such as Viagra, Cialis, Prozac, etc. It is a niche that has high competition, because there are hundreds of pharmacy sites that compete for the same keywords and customers. It is a niche that has high volatility, because it is subject to frequent algorithm changes and quality issues. It is a niche that has high regulation, because it is regulated or controlled by many authorities and agencies.

• Finance: Finance is a niche that involves providing or advising on financial products or services, such as loans, mortgages, insurance, investments, etc. It is a niche that has high competition, because there are dozens of finance sites that compete for the same keywords and customers. It is a niche that has high volatility, because it is subject to frequent algorithm changes and market fluctuations. It is a niche that has high regulation, because it is governed or monitored by many laws and rules.

These are the three worst niches to avoid with SEO, because they are too hard, too risky, and too complicated to rank well.

The 3 Best Alternatives to SEO for These Niches

So, what should you do if you want to target these niches, or any other high-competition, high-volatility, or high-regulation niches?

Should you give up and look for another niche?

Not necessarily.

You can still target these niches, but you need to use different strategies and tactics than SEO.

You need to use the best alternatives to SEO for these niches.

And they are:

• PPC: PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it's a form of online advertising that involves paying a fee every time someone clicks on your ad. You can use platforms like https://ads.microsoft.com/ or https://ads.google.com/ to create and run your PPC campaigns. PPC is a great alternative to SEO for high-competition, high-volatility, or high-regulation niches, because it allows you to bypass the organic rankings and get instant and targeted traffic to your site.

You just need to have a good budget, a good offer, and a good landing page.

•Social Media: social media is a form of online communication that involves creating and sharing content on platforms like https://www.facebook.com/, https://twitter.com/, https://www.instagram.com/, etc.

You can use social media to promote your site and your products or services to your followers and fans. Social media is a great alternative to SEO for high-competition, high-volume niches.

• Email marketing: Email marketing is a form of online marketing that involves sending emails to your subscribers and customers.

You can use platforms like https://mailchimp.com/ or https://convertkit.com/ to create and manage your email campaigns. Email marketing is a great alternative to SEO for high-competition, high-volatility, or high-regulation niches, because it allows you to build a loyal and engaged audience and drive repeat and referral traffic to your site. You just need to have a good lead magnet, a good email list, and a good email copy.

By using these alternatives to SEO, you can still target high-competition, high-volatility, or high-regulation niches and get more traffic, leads, and sales to your site.

Conclusion

In this post, you learned which niches you should avoid with SEO and what you should do instead.

You learned that there are three main criteria to evaluate a niche for SEO:

• Competition

• Volatility

• Regulation

And you learned that there are three worst niches to avoid with SEO because they have high competition, high volatility, and high regulation:

• Gambling

• Pharmacy

• Finance

And you learned that there are three best alternatives to SEO for these niches because they allow you to bypass the organic rankings and get instant and targeted traffic to your site:

• PPC

• Social Media

• Email Marketing

By following these tips, you can avoid the worst niches for SEO, and choose the best alternatives for your site.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.

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