Every niche needs a go-to resource, but few understand what it takes to create a high-level resource that people will actually use. Beyond keywords and search engine marketing, for an ultimate resource to be truly ultimate, it must meet three criteria:
- It must fulfill a demand in a way that exceeds all other resources
- It must be complete, or be continually evolving to remain as complete as possible
- It must be practical and easy to use
When you’re driven by passion, it’s only a matter of time before you consider dominating your niche with an ultimate resource. You know it’s possible but it’s not always clear what steps to take.
Perhaps you already have a decent web resource to start with. The following are tips designed to help you meet the above criteria and turn a good resource into an ultimate resource:
1. Engineer unique, practical solutions and advice
As human beings, we’re naturally biased toward our own ideas. We tend to think others will love our ideas as much as we do, even when they’re not practical.
Optimism can be a good friend, but only to a point.
For a web resource to attain “ultimate” status, you have to figure out what problems people face while using other resources. Then, you have to find a way to make your resource more practical than the others. Even if other resources only have minor inconveniences, you want to swoop in with a better, easier solution.
For instance, if a resource archives official reports in PDF format, most people will provide download links and leave it at that. This forces the user to download the PDF documents in order to view them. This also takes visitors off your site. Returning users might not remember they downloaded the PDF, and they’ll need to download it each time they return.
Making your PDF files viewable in the browser seems like the obvious solution, but there’s an even better solution.
The unobvious solution is always practical
In this case, rather than making visitors download the original PDF files, export the PDF files into images. Then, organize them into a gallery using a simple and customizable application like shadowbox.js. Visitors will be able to access documents without downloading anything or leaving your website.
When you’re dealing with a large quantity of documents, PDF pages converted into an image gallery is more user-friendly than viewing the documents in the browser. You can program a gallery to seamlessly transition from one document to the next.
Don’t forget the practical advice
In any niche, practical advice for users is an essential ingredient to achieve ultimate status. For example, this Chrysler Jeep dealership in California has a whole series of videos dedicated to educating customers about service issues. This gives people a reason to visit the website, whether they buy a car or not.
2. Revisit your niche
Any website can become an ultimate resource, but your niche matters. When your desire to create the ultimate resource isn’t backed by passion, you’re not likely to see it all the way through.
Is the niche you’re in something you can remain passionate about day after day, year after year? If not, can you remain passionate about the process as an entrepreneur, regardless of the subject matter? As long as you’re passionate along one of these lines, you’ve got a chance.
Some people start off by targeting profitable niches, while others turn their existing passion into profits. Both are acceptable ways to go if you can stick with it.
3. Use competing resources
To create an ultimate web resource, you need to do everything better than the competition. The only way to know where other resources fall short is to use them yourself. Sure, you can rely on feedback from others – and it’s a good idea to do that – but you need direct experience.
For instance, if your niche is aggregating eBay listings for antique watches, find other websites that do the same. Figure out what plugins and applications they’re using to embed the feeds. Then, look for points of frustration. Does the website’s CSS not apply to the listings? Are the titles incomplete? Does the grid arrangement make it difficult to spot items visually? Is there a better way to arrange the individual listings generated in the feed?
Make a list of everything you see that could be improved and then get to work on improving it. When you do this and apply the other principles outlined in this article, your web resource will be the ultimate source visitors choose.