Niche Website: A Case Study of CanineHips.com

I have taken on a new project to build a website from the ground up and gain first page recognition by completely avoiding any costly advertising campaigns like Google AdSense and specifically target free, organic, social networking communities like Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, and the numerous free bookmarking websites like Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon to increase inbound and outbound links to my website — resulting in better page ranking.

How did I choose my website decision?
After careful consideration, my own love for dogs, a Labrador named Phoenix who developed hip dysplasia, and a great available .com domain name (along with a few long hours of keyword and search engine research and a girlfriend training to be a Veterinary Technician), there was no doubt in my mind I would build a website about Canine Hip Dysplasia.

Already owning a Linux Web Hosting Server, and after entering my handy-dandy GoDaddy promo code, $6.95 later I owned CanineHips.com.

How did I plan to develop my website?
I knew immediately that my website would be mainly informational. Organic growth is very much dependent on content, whether or not you sell anything is irrelevant. In fact, building a website that will generate sales (via product or services) should first be concerned about content and only after there is satisfactory, informative content should the sales angle begin — and this is very much how CanineHips would be designed and developed.

Needing complete confidence that my website would have up-to-date and valid web standards, WordPress was without a doubt my choice for a personal publishing platform and content management system. WordPress gives the ability to easily link all of my social communities (FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and additional links) and allow visitors the ability to comment on each page and develop an internal community.

Action Time
After an hour searching the WordPress database for themes, I found a simple, plain, and most importantly free layout that I thought would work nicely with a few minor adjustments and some activated plugins. So, within 24 hours I had…

  1. A Specific topic and keywords decided upon
  2. $6.95 Purchase of the .com Domain Name
  3. $0.00 Installation of WordPress and website layout

So far the benefits are obvious to me, but maybe not for others. By using WordPress and installing one of the countless thousands of available layouts, all costs and time spent associated with building a website layout are virtually removed. Within less then one day I had a fully functional, completely configurable and totally search engine optimized website setup and ready for my content.

Now it was time for the research and content creation stage of the website. During my initial search engine and keyword analysis, I developed a clear idea of the highest level pages I wanted to include based on overall search volume and my general knowledge on the subject.

  • What Is Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Symptoms Of Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Clinical Diagnosis Of Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Treatment Of Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Medications For Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Supplements For Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Prevention Of Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Signs Of Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Detection Of Canine Hip Dysplasia

During this stage of a website, it is recommended that you keep all of your initial work private and not add your website to search engines or any social websites until you feel confident that you have written enough in depth and accurate information on all the pages you chose for your initial launch. When research began, I added and removed different pages countless times throughout the beginning faze of research and writing.

It is important to know that your initial list is not set in stone and entirely up to you to decide what pages will remain relevant and what should be put on the back burner for the second batch of pages. When starting an online venture, it is crucial to get joy out of your work and research. During the beginning days of research you should not run out of information to write about, not struggle developing initial pages for website launch, and certainly not dislike or not want to write about the topic you have chosen.

Having dogs my whole life, specifically Labradors, I was aware of hip dysplasia and certainly interested in the disease. Additionally, I had a invaluable resource: a Veterinary Technician as a girlfriend. Having a general interest made the topic much easier and enjoyable to learn about then say–Lawnmowers. Most importantly, this was a topic that I enjoyed, was somewhat knowledgeable in, and had loads of resources I could use. But this doesn’t prevent anyone from doing exactly what I am doing on any topic. There are many many MANY available resources to obtain information. Go the public library, read the thousands of online articles at your disposal, call a related company or organization, etc. If you lack the motivation to truly study and learn your topic, you will certainly fail.

For some very self-driven individuals, this may not be an issue. However, I believe many will fall into the world wide webs version of failure to launch. My website topic, keywords, and domain all came extremely smoothly and without any uneasiness of competitors, domain name or content availability. However, I have tried to find my next topic for my organic growth project but have yet to find one that passed my initial inspection and analysis with out any uncertainty like canine hip dysplasia did. The point being, for some: developing a successful website is very much dependent on your joy and desire to write about the topic. For others: their personal drive is enough motivation to create any website, no matter the topic. Either way, determination and commitment are the key ingredients that get the job done.

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About Me

Senior Application Developer. Focused on WordPress, Magento, Web Security & Server Optimization. I also contribute to open source projects when I can.

I have a growing family and spend most of my free time with them, working on my personal health and fitness or small home improvement projects.