When it comes to building a website, there was always this debate about whether having a niche site or an authority site. In this article, I’m going to talk about the differences between them, and what each one of them brings to the table compared with the other one.
First, I’m going to talk about what is each one of them.
A niche site is a website that is relatively small in terms of content, and is focused on a specific niche, hence the name. The focus of niche sites is to deliver exact solutions to people that are looking for something.
In terms of size, niche websites have a small amount of content on them, up to 30 pages. The reason for that is because there’s a limit on how much stuff you can write about a specific niche.
Niche websites are designed to deliver solution fasts. For example, if you’re looking to buy a pool for your backyard, a niche website will showcase the best pools you can buy for your backyard, alongside with some reviews and pictures of it.
Another unique thing about niche websites is that they target very specific keywords, or in other words, a very specific niche.
In the example I just said, a niche website would be something like bestbackyardpools.com, and the content will be written around the keywords backyard pools. That means a niche site has better chances at ranking number 1 for the keywords they target.
What Is An Authority Site?
An authority site is a very high-quality website that covers a much broader topic. These websites are like brands, and they grow and expand with a lot of content on them. The focus of these websites is to build a brand and be an authority in their field.
In terms of size, authority sites are the biggest ones. They go from 50 pages to growing forever. Their purpose is to grow as big as they can while providing great value to their visitors. There’s absolutely no limit to how big an authority site can get, especially because the topics they cover can get even broader.
Authority websites are designed to stick around and become a strong voice in their industry. If a niche website would be focused only around backyard pools, an authority website can cover all the things you can do to have fun in your backyard, from barbecuing to playing sports.
Authority websites don’t rely on only one specific keyword, as they provide content for multiple niches. That’s why authority sites are much harder to grow, but when they get there, they are much more stable at maintaining their authority. They also don’t count on Google alone, as authority sites grow on social media as well, increasing their brand awareness as time comes by.
Examples of Niche Site And Authority Site
Let’s give an example so you can better understand the differences between niche sites and authority sites.
Keyword: Best website hosting
Let’s say that you want to find a good hosting company for your new business, and you search in Google “best website hosting”. These are the first two results I get:
The first result is from TechRadar.com, which is an authority website. While that specific page also reviews the best web hosting companies, the purpose of the website is much broader. They review VPN services, antiviruses, gadgets, but also provide the latest news in tech. They have more than 500,000 likes on Facebook, and they are a big brand and authority.
The second result I get is from HostingFacts.com, which is a niche website. This website is made to review all the hosting companies with great details, showcasing the advantages and disadvantages of every one of them. It basically helps you make an intelligent decision based on your budget and needs.
The difference between these two is pretty clear. The niche site goes into much more details reviewing all the web hosting companies, while the authority site has only one page covering this topic. I believe this is the reason why the niche website ranks higher too.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Niche Site And Authority Site
Now let’s talk into more details about the advantages and disadvantages that each type of websites has, so you can better understand which one is more suitable for you.
As you can see, there are pros and cons for each one of the options, and therefore everyone will make their decision taking into consideration what’s best for them.
Why Should You Start Building A Niche Site?
There are multiple reasons for you to consider building a niche site. They are a great way to make some income while providing exact solutions for your clients.
1. They Are Fast To Build And Profit From
I believe this is one of the main reasons you should consider a niche site. A niche site takes relatively little time to build and launch compared with an authority site. As you’ll have more experience in building niche sites, this process will become even easier.
An authority site takes a very long time, especially because a broad topic is competing with a lot of companies that pour a lot of money in their traffic. A niche site doesn’t have to compete with big brands, it only competes with other niche sites that target the same keyword, and that is something that can be easily topped.
Let’s say that you want to design some clothes. Trying to compete with big brands is suicide and will kill your business even before starting out. But if you offer something different, something specific (like a very specific niche), you have better chances to stand out and attract the right clients. Not everyone can create an authority on IT news and reviews, but almost everyone can build a niche site that showcases the best web hosting companies.
The profit from these sites is also easier to achieve. While you’re limited at promoting the products your keywords cover, if you do things right you can have sales even after a month. That’s not the case with authority sites, where it can take more than a year to start generating some profit. In addition, while most niche sites don’t generate as much as an authority site, the fact that it’s a passive profit and that it can be multiplied is awesome.
2. They Are Easy To Multiply
When you create your first niche site, things will be hard because there are a lot of things to learn. Where to host your website, how to create your content, how to find the proper keywords and how to monetize everything will be some of the major things that you need to figure out.
But after you create a couple of them successfully, you’ll have a formula that you can use over and over again. That’s the good thing about niche sites: when you hit the peak of the profits, you repeat the process on another niche.
This can grow to sizes that you can’t even imagine. Some people generate profits from tens and even hundreds of niche sites.
That doesn’t mean you can’t generate a lot of profit from only one niche site, because you definitively can. I was just trying to point out that is an advantage that only niche sites have for those that want to use it.
3. It’s A Passive Income
While an authority site requires constant work and putting out content all the time, a niche site doesn’t. And that’s the beauty of it.
A niche site is launched with all the content it needs, and that’s all. Imagine building and launching multiple sources of passive income that you don’t have to worry about anymore. Pretty sweet, right?
You work on it once, and you get paid multiple times.
4. They Are Much More Effective
When a niche site is done right, it attracts the kind of people that are looking for exactly what you have on it. That’s like selling cold beverages on the beach, you can’t go wrong!
Also, niche sites offer a lot of information that helps visitors make informed decisions, and that is very effective in making them buy those things. Combine that with the possibility of reviewing multiple products with pros and cons, and you have a very effective way of generating sales.
Authority sites are not built around generating sales, so that’s why they are less effective. In the previous example of searching for web hosting companies, I would much rather find a suitable company from the niche site rather than from the authority site.
That means I’d be more inclined to order using the links from the niche site. It’s simply more detailed and it helps me better at choosing a company, while the page from the authority site mentioned is vague.
5. You Can Test Keywords With Them
Launching a new website is a risky business because you don’t how profitable some keywords are compared with others. Niche sites are a great way to test keywords and see which ones produce the best results. It works best for info products i.e. eBooks or online courses.
For example, let’s say that you want to build a business around losing weight diets, but you don’t know which type of diet produces better results. You can simply test that with a niche site.
You can see which diet works better by tracking down all the clicks inside your website. After that, you can go on and invest some ads in that product, knowing for sure that you have a winner.
This is one example, but testing can be used in multiple ways to determine which niche or product deserves to get more investment.
Testing with a niche site is also recommended if you want to build an authority site later on. You wouldn’t want to invest so much time and effort into something that isn’t working. With niche sites, you can know for sure that your authority site will be going in the right direction.
Wrapping It Up
Niche sites and authority sites are different and they are good in their own terms.
Authority sites are good if you want to build a brand and focus on a much broader topic. These take more time to build and monetize, but they are also much more stable at growing after that point. Yet, they require constant fresh content to keep the ball rolling.
Niche sites are good if you want to focus on a niche and monetize it quickly. They are much easier to build and launch, and they require no further updates from your part. They are more vulnerable to search rank fluctuations, but you can easily multiply them.