So what's this box? I'm sure most of you have heard the expression "thinking outside the box". Well, this is about that box.
So where do we begin? Well, your typical box has four sides, as well as a top and bottom. The top is your escape hatch. The bottom of the box serves to hold the whole thing together.
I'm going to talk a bit about my box. Yours will most likely be different. So let's go over the four sides and why you need to step away from the box. The first side is keywords.
I've learned a few tricks from fellow WA members. You want to use Jaxy and try to find keywords with low QSR ratings. Most (if not all) niches have thousands of competitors. Finding good keywords takes a lot of time.
Stepping out of the box, I use some of these tricks. One of them is running a search on your chosen keyword(s). This helps you keep up with what your competitors are up to and why they are ranking so highly. You are also likely to find keywords that you haven't thought of before. Another place to look is in your browser's autocomplete. That, sometimes, will give you some new ideas. Use Jaxy's alphabet soup. And don't be afraid of using long tail keywords. Many potential customers know what they want and will search for that particular item. If you happen to have it, they just might visit your site.
Number two is information. The more you can find, the better. In addition to looking at customer comments, try to find things like top 10 lists. These can be interesting - they frequently contain vastly different products. But there are some products that appear over and over again. These are prime targets for research into additional information. Some sites contain product comparisons. It is very worthwhile taking a look at these. And you should always take a look at the manufacturer's website for things like warranty information. Your potential customers will definitely want to know about this.
Side number three concerns your website. Try to come up with ways to immediately let your customers know what your site is about (I have seen many sites where I have to read a fair bit before I can figure out what the heck the site is talking about. I recall bringing one site up for review. It was full of different fonts and colors. Somebody had obviously spent a lot of time building it, but it was a big mess. I couldn't figure out a way to comment on the site without causing a lot of hurt feelings, so I skipped it. According to Google, something like 85% of people looking for something are doing so on a mobile device. I use my phone for this sort of thing all the time. It is popular to put tons of information in a column running the length of the screen and beyond. This means lots of scrolling. It's a good idea to think about ways to minimize this scrolling. Me, if there is too much scrolling, I'll bounce off to another website. A table of contents with links to different sections of your post can really help visitors drill down quickly to what they are looking for. Looking at other people's pages can help you find even more ideas.
Finally, on side four, we have content. I have seen many posts talking about the same thing, but coached in (frequently clever) analogies. If I were a customer, I would probably bounce off sites like this pretty quickly. I want information, not the ramblings of someone trying to prove how clever they are. So I strive to be unique. This can be difficult, I know. Your mind goes blank and you can't think of anything. This happens to me all the time. But I almost always will eventually think up something. Try to remember that quality is more important than quantity. I don't know how Google does this, but they claim to have ways to determine the quality of content. If you are cranking out tons of content, it's probably a good idea to step out of the box and take a critical look at what you are producing. Imagine yourself as a customer. Are you going to read all this stuff? Probably not, unless it is unique and highly engaging.
Again, most customers (like me) are looking for information about the product they want to buy. I seem to remember reading somewhere that your average customer will look at six or seven websites before committing to buying something. You definitely want your site to be one of them.
Hope some of this is helpful.