One of the most important things to understand about the behaviour of those online is that there are predominantly two different types of people: one group is made up of people who are just “surfing” and browsing around looking for things that interest them. The second group of people is actively trying to find a specific solution to a particular problem. There might be variations on each of these themes, but generally speaking, people are either casually browsing or actively seeking when they online.
Generalist practice websites often struggle to find an audience because they superficially cover a wide range of topics. They may hold the interest of people who are browsing, but unless there is a considerable volume of fresh content coming that is valuable enough to hold the attention of a casual audience, there really isn’t a reason to come back. What happens for these sites is that single pages or posts might be very popular because those specific pieces resonates with an audience, get shared and, through the viral nature of social media, end up generating viewers. The problem comes when that audience doesn’t see anything else that immediately grabs their attention and they move onto their next online destination.
Similarly, overly detailed and hyper-niched sites have the exact same problem but for the other group of visitors, those actively seeking something. The site has niched down so granularly and to such a level that while individual items might appeal to a variety of people, the site itself only holds the attention of its most ardent fans. The average visitor will come to the site, find the answer to their specific question and then leave because the depth and detail of the site overwhelms them.
Becoming An Authority
The best way to attract both of these audience groups in a meaningful way is to pick a niche that is broad enough to attract a range of people on a regular basis, but not to narrow it down so specifically that you alienate your casual audience. You want to be able to be an authority or expert in your niche so that it attracts people looking for specific answers to problems without alienating a casual browsers and eliminating the possibility of building a meaningful, returning audience. Becoming a authority means you’ll become the source people will go to for help when the need arises.
The key to being successful in your online marketing comes back to your ability to create regular, topical content that educates and entertains the passive browsing audience so they return regularly, but also occasionally craft content that solve specific problems and goes into detail about a problem in your particular niche. This is often best done through regular blog posts, opinion pieces or podcasts and videos for the informative, topical content. Less frequently you can also create much longer, in depth “pillar” posts that take an aspect or problem in your niche and go very deep into it.
This approach is very powerful, and by properly selecting and researching your niche, you can really generate considerable value for a wide range of possible visitors. This strategy is really a confluence of current online marketing elements. It brings together content marketing, SEO and social media marketing. An advanced approach like this may require assistance to plan and execute correctly, so perhaps finding and working with an online marketing agency could be one way of helping you deliver this type of powerful niche marketing to your practice.