Mainstream Gadgets or Niche

May 26, 2010 Steve

Tim wrote in to ask for some pointers on his new gadget review site –

“Hi Guys.

I would like to submit my new website for surgery consideration.

Any advice would be appreciated since I am still deciding which direction to go in with the site. I’m trying to decide whether or not I should cover mainstream gadgets, or whether I should put my focus onto hi-tech, “long-tail” gadgets.

Thanks, Tim.”

Here’s what Jay and Clarke had to say …



My recommendation to you would be to continue providing the reviews you are doing, but also to develop slightly more niche reviews to build up your website. This would have the benefit of developing a USP, ensuring that people come to your site for those specialist reviews. You should strive to ensure that reviews are as timely as possible too, reacting to new product launches or events to ensure that you are seen as up-to-date – something that is very important in the gadget world.

You should really try to keep updating the site as frequently as you can. This will ensure that you always have fresh content. I’d recommend outsourcing if you cannot do this yourself. The more relevant, fresh content, the better for both user experience and for search engines.


I noticed that you also have a section named ‘gadget guides’ which could be a great way to get content on the site that would draw in visitors and act as link bait. If these were comprehensive and kept up to date (think about automating or outsourcing the content if needs be), then they could really support your site’s content. However, it’s important to note that visitors searching for ‘guides’ probably already own mobile phones, and so they probably won’t be looking to purchase anything. Unless of course the guides showed that accessories were the way forward, but these are low value. Lots of pros and cons to this strategy! But the guides could always include Adsense or display ads.

You should also ensure that all pages are highly targeted though contextual ads / other content to make sure that users have the best possible experience. So when someone visits for a particular review, the ads on that page should be as relevant as possible. The large display ad you have in the top of the side bar is often distracting through animation and not very well related. Another idea is to make use of features such as links to related posts (WordPress has the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin that works wonders), show tweets that talk about that content or any other related content, whether it is on your site or from another social site.


Taking a step back and looking at the site from a different – SEO – angle, I would highly recommend that you identify your core keywords, then your ‘secondary’ keywords and so on. These will be different according to each page, but will help guide the structure of the site and the content. For example, one of the core keywords for your home page is ‘gadget reviews’. Other core keywords for rest the site would be categories such as ‘laptop reviews’ or ‘mobile phone reviews’ or ‘mobile phone user guides’ and so on. All of these core keywords should really form the main navigation on the site, dictating the core directories and ‘hubs’ for the reviews etc.

For the review pages, the keywords they should be targeting would include the make and model of the gadget followed by ‘review’, such as ‘Dell Inspiron 1525 review”, but you may want to do some research using the Google Keyword Tool for example, to see which keywords have the most traffic but least competition, and compare these numbers to your existing highest converting keywords on the site.

SEO ‘quick wins’

Browsing the site, there are a few ‘quick wins’ you could fix before even getting to the site structure and content stage which include ensuring that you promote the most important headings on pages, and demote those that are less important. For example, some review pages have an empty <H2> heading tag. Why not structure your review so that the main heading includes the core keywords (probably the make and model plus the word ‘review’), and then have subheadings with some keyword variation to break up the text which would make the reviews easy and attractive to read.

The page <titles> should also include the core keyword for each page first, followed by keyword variations or a succinct description.

Location-based targeting

I noticed that in some instances you are using adding ‘UK’ to some page <titles> for example. I’m not convinced that the content you are offering is location dependent. The content is actually fairly universal. If you wish to narrow down your targeting to just a UK audience, for example for your affiliate programs, then in addition to your domain name, you should consider getting UK-based web hosting and adding location centric content such as shop locations and shop reviews or price/service comparisons to strengthen this targeting. Comparing shops (such as John Lewis, Currys, Amazon UK) would narrow down your target audience naturally, as not all these shops are available internationally.


Hi Tim.

Firstly, get rid of the Google Advert Banner across the middle top of your site, I feel it’s a huge turn off if it’s the first and main thing you see, however feel free to add it down the bottom of the site. You already have a Google Ads on the top right square box and you really don’t need much more than that as the initial thing users see.

The reviews are not very inspiring, one paragraph of text and no images, flesh it out with an image of what you’re talking about.

Get some kind of directory structure in your main url paths (I see you have a directory but it’s separate from the actual product urls) and start to build up different sections to your site. As it stands you have all the products in their own directory, whereas if I was on site looking at mobile or laptop reviews, I would expect to click down and read other reviews.

You can’t click on any of the reviews to go to a site selling them or a manufacture site, I take it your plan is to add Affiliate links later, if not and it’s just about showing Google Adverts, then I can’t see this ever working at any great scale, but if that’s the case then bear minimum to expect is to see a row of Google AdSense adverts after the review.

By the way, you also need to update your WordPress version and the plugins you’re using.  By not keeping up-to-date with the latest Wordpress versions and plugins, you put your site at risk and you also miss out on improvements to the code.

Editor’s Note

Hi Tim.

Thanks for sending in your site for review and hope that Jay and Clarke have given you some ideas on what to do. The gadget sector is definitely a tough one to tackle with the amount of competition and high quality sites that are out there. Having said that, Kirsty’s post on niche selection yesterday was an interesting read, so check that out as well. One of the points relevant to your case was not letting pre-conceptions prevent you from entering a niche that you think is over saturated: “Choose a small area and don’t take on the big boys, but don’t be put off by a little competition either” … best of luck.

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