Have you ever wondered how much content you should have on your website? Have you ever questioned whether you had too little or too much content on your niche site? If you have ever had any of these questioning thoughts, then this post is for you!
A “niche site” is a difficult thing to define. In my view, the word “niche” is less defined by the amount of content the site has, but more by the type of content it covers. If the site covers a very specific topic and has a narrow focus, its a niche site. If it covers a broad category like “technology news” or lots of different topics like an article directory or a news type sites; its not a niche site. So, if all your site talks about is “worm farms”, its a niche site. That worm farm site could have 1 page of content or 1000 pages of content, its still a niche site because of its narrow focus on one particular topic. That's how I see it anyway.
So, really the important aspect of a niche site, is finding that focus on a particular keyword or set of keywords. Of course, I always use Long Tail Pro to search for keywords, and I have shown how I do keyword research here and here, and many other places. Then once you have decided on a keyword/theme for your site – the content should be focused around that theme. So, I don't have all the answers for how much content YOUR site should have, but these are my thoughts (it always depends on each individual circumstance).
A One Page Site?
Is 1 page of content too little for a niche site? Maybe, but maybe not. The answer depends on the purpose of your site and the keywords that you are targeting. As I mentioned in a previous post, lots of the sites that I built in August of last year are essentially 1 page of content! I really did this more as an experiement than anything.
You see, about a year ago I built a site that was supposed to have 5 original articles on it; however, I somehow got distracted and only ended up putting 1 page of content on the site targeting my primary keyword. A couple of months later I realized what I had done and went back to look at how the site was doing. To my surprise, it was ranking #1 in Google for its chosen keyword! It was consistently earning me $3 to $5 per day with just 1 article on the site!
So, of course I decided to test this out on a few other sites. Most of the sites I built in August started with only 1 page; and you can see that they have done very well as far as rankings and earnings are concerned. However, this is a very risky move…I have since started adding content to some of the sites. Its risky because of Google's Quality guidelines about “little or no original content”. Although, I still make the argument that a 1 page site with a well written article is more than enough to answer a searchers query. But just be very very careful here.
I'm not recommending that people should start doing this. I'm just suggesting that its very possible to rank a 1 page site on the top of Google for your chosen keywords.
After all, lots of keyword queries can indeed be answered in 1 page or less. Here are some Google queries that could be answered in a page or less:
- What is a prime number?
- Today's date
- Unbreak my heart lyrics
- Chicken cordon bleu recipe
- How to copy and paste
Google Ranks Pages, Not Sites
In fact, most queries can probably be answered sufficiently in 1 page. This is why Google ranks PAGES and not SITES! In other words, Google primarily looks at the content of the single page rather than looking at the overall value of the site when ranking pages. In fact, that is why its called “PageRank” not Site Rank. Google assigns a PageRank to each individual article on a site. So, the homepage of a site might have a PR of 6, but the ranking article may only have a PR of 1. This is why you should always look at the PR and number of links to the individual page and not the entire site when analyzing the competitiveness of a keyword.
So, when I say 1 page of content – here is what I mean:
- 1 Original article targeting the primary keyword
- A contact page
- An About Us Page
- That's about it.
An Example of a 5 Page Site
However, to do a better job of staying within Google's quality guidelines, I would advise adding more articles sooner rather than later. My standard niche site is usually started with around 5 pages of original content. These additional 4 articles on the site would cover related topics that the human reader would be interested in learning about. So, if my chosen keyword was “Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe”, I might write articles targeting the following keywords:
- Primary Keyword: Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe (Possible Title: “The Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe Ever!”)
- Secondary Keyword: Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu (Possible Title: “Why This Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu Meal is the Healthiest Choice”)
- Secondary Keyword: Best chicken recipes (Possible Title: “The Best Chicken Recipes for 2012”)
- Secondary Keyword: How to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu (Possible Title: “How to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu”)
- Secondary Keyword: Chicken Recipes for Dinner (Possible Title: “The Top 10 Chicken Recipes for Dinner”)
Of course I have not researched whether these keywords are good or not, but hopefully this just gives you an idea of the types of additional articles that might be included on a niche site. However, the question remains – how many articles is ideal?
A site dedicated to chicken cordon bleu may not be able to handle much more than 10 articles because it is such a narrow focus. However, a site that is more broad like “best chicken recipes” could easily handle a 100 articles or more as you review individual chicken recipes and how to cook them.
A Thousand Page Niche Site?
So, how many posts should your niche site have? Well, that really depends on the topic you have chosen and your own personal goals for the site. If you have a site dedicated to the “hosting reviews” or a more in depth topic, you could easily fill a site with 1000 pages or more. A site with a primary keyword of “hosting reviews” could easily dedicate an article to every hosting service out there and discuss its pros and cons. And there are easily several hundred different hosting services out there.
The site could also go into more depth about the benefits of VPS hosting, or discuss specifics about hosting WordPress sites, or best practices for organizing your server. The potential topics could go on and on.
So, the decision is really yours. Are you hoping to build 100 small sites or are you set on building 1 or 2 larger sites? The strategy is still essentially the same of picking a primary and then secondary keywords; but the amount of content can vary greatly depending on your overall goals and focus on the site.
The Amount of Content I Use for Niche Sites
As mentioned, I have built sites with as little as one-page, and yes they can rank very well in Google (#1). However, my standard niche site starts out with about 5 original articles. It may never get more than 5 articles. But if its a site that is earning well, and I see room for expansion then I will begin adding more secondary articles. I do have multiple sites with over 100 pages of content.
For the past month or 2, I am trying to focus on niches that I can grow into something more significant, so I have been starting the sites out with 20 to 30 pages of content. Then if I can get them to rank well, then I will begin adding even more content.
Overall, hopefully this discussion has given you something to think about in relation to how much content you should have on your own site. I have simply shared what I have done and make no recommendations as to what you should be doing. Ideally you will be able to consider the options and develop a strategy that makes sense for yourself.
Anyway, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. Please leave a comment below!