“As our social fabric evolves into a quilt made up of an ever-increasing number of patches, more and more ‘niches’ are being created, and niche marketing is where business owners can enjoy larger margins on their products and services.” Forbes’ Megan Totka hit the nail on the head by intimating that although niche markets and websites are more abundant than ever, a ‘niche’ by no means has to be necessarily small, and its website does not have to be marketed at a small percentage of online users. All niches are, are subcategories of already specific topics — think solo travel, legal services, or make-up and beauty. If you work in a niche market and wish to build a website that boosts your ROI, what features should you include?
Great Design Starts with your Branding
Consider your website a kind of museum that displays your company’s ethos, values, purpose, and mission – i.e. your brand. Before displaying your logo, fonts, slogans etc. ask yourself if these are in line with your business since once they are on the web, they can influence your traffic, conversions, and social media numbers. To take a case in point: web design for lawyers must express values such as commitment, reliability, authority. However, in a niche legal site, other elements will need to be clearly expressed as well. For instance, if you specialize in sports, then sophisticated imagery of athletes (think basketball players, runners, tennis players) on your homepage will make clear from the outset that you specialize in this sector. Images can be artistic, powerful, emotional. Appealing to your target’s core values will not wrest from your own.
Beautiful imagery and fonts and a clear vertical or horizontal menu indicating your services, specialties, team and the like will ensure your site looks good but it needs to be functional and user-friendly as well. For instance, loading speed should be optimized for desktop and mobile, bearing in mind that niche sites can offer users the type of information they cannot find elsewhere — and people may need to access this content urgently. In professional niche sites belonging to lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors, vital information should be accessed quickly. The average user stays on a website for just 15 seconds. If your aim is to attract new clients, your aim should be to keep them on long enough to fully comprehend your services or at the very least to see you as an authority in your niche.
Embrace Responsive Design Tools
Responsive web design will ensure that regardless of where your audience is, they can access your information in a readable format. Including responsive features in your website will ensure that visitors do not associate ‘niche’ with ‘low budget.’ Things to incorporate into your site include responsive data tables, navigation menus, changes for CSS Media queries, and fluid images. An example of the latter is creating a responsive layout that will serve different sizes of the same image at different resolutions. That is, when a viewer is on a small screen, the image should be served to them at a lower resolution than when it is viewed on a big screen.
Niche markets can be highly lucrative, sports law being just one example of many areas that are relatively small but powerful. If you are a niche business wishing to expand your audience numbers, start with design that reflects the essence of your brand. Ensure that speed and responsiveness are first rate, bearing in mind that a majority of Google searches are conducted via mobile. Adapt aspects such as imagery and navigation menus so that your niche site is always user-friendly, fast, and functional.