White Hat SEO for a Risqué Niche

Travis Bliffen
by Travis Bliffen 23 May, 2017

While promoting X-rated sites may be what comes to mind when you hear "adult SEO" the reality is, there are numerous types of sites that could fall into the category. If you refer to the Google Adwords guidelines, you will see a list of the types of sites that could be considered adult.

Everything from adult toy stores to lingerie stores can end up being classified as adult or non-family safe sites, limiting paid advertising options and reducing the number of sites that are willing to link to you.

If your site falls into one of those categories and you have all but given up on SEO, snap out of it! Today, we are going to discuss legitimate, white hat SEO for the adult niche, right after we dispel a common myth.

Google Dislikes Adult Sites

Google has openly said that they do not treat the ranking of adult sites any differently than other sites. Even so, many SEOs and webmasters are convinced that adult sites can only be promoted using black hat tactics, private blog networks and forum spam. Since many sites outside of the adult industry are not willing to link to adult sites, there are less quality sites that you can get a link from unless you get creative.

If you lack creativity and can't find a solid angle, link building can be a nightmare but, that is the case with almost any niche. If on the other hand, you tackle an adult site like you would any other marketing project, you will find ranking isn't all that hard.

SEO is SEO, Marketing is Marketing

As with any industry, adult SEO campaigns start with keyword research and competitive analysis. Finding sites ranking for high-volume keywords in the niche and reviewing their backlink profile can help you quickly identify quality link opportunities. If you are struggling to find high-volume keywords, plug some of the big sites from your niche into SEMrush to uncover their top keywords.

Once you have a preliminary list of quality competitor links and keywords, your next step is to analyze the pages that were linked to from those quality sites. This will help you better understand the angle or strategy your most successful competitors are using and what type of content you should be creating.

If you are new to the industry, you should also take time to look at past marketing strategies that were a success. Here are a few case studies for inspiration if you are struggling with creativity.

  • PornHub was able to launch a mainstream marketing strategy, this was covered on Moz a few years back.
  • Libida is an adult toy store founded in 1999. In 2006, Marketing Sherpa posted a detailed overview of the strategy implemented to promote their site to mainstream audiences.
  • Lover's Lane is a lingerie and adult toy store. Blue Wheel Media shared an inside look at their marketing strategy and no surprise, content marketing was at the core, just like any niche.

If you review the three cases above, you will notice that one of the keys to success is understanding the guidelines of mainstream sites like Facebook and promoting content that meets those guidelines while engaging potential customers.

As with any other SEO project, the content you create goes back to what people are searching for. "How to" searches get incredible search volumes and in many cases, they are the perfect topic for social posts and blog content. Great content goes hand and hand with link building.

Adult Skyscraper Link Building?

When you pull the top links from your keyword competitors, you may be surprised at the major sites that will link to adult topics.

Do a quick search for "best adult toys 2017". Cosmopolitan, Marieclaire.com and cnet.com appear on the first page. If you review those articles you will see that they all link to toy manufacturers or stores. Now, if you are getting links from sites like Cosmopolitan, and your competitors are focusing on links from porn sites, it won't be long before you are leading the pack.

If you are trying to land major links to an adult toy store you can work to get guest posts published on major sites or you can create expert level education content on you own blog - the core component of skyscraper link building.

Finding experts in your field, well-known bloggers, or even industry influencers to contribute and share your content can land you links on multiple quality sites. All white hat strategies, and all great ways to get link your competitors write off as impossible.

Final Thoughts

While we have just touched on the basic ideas of promoting an adult site, I hope that you see it is possible to promote sites using white hat tactics. If you are a marketing agency or adult site owner, don't overlook the potential to land links on major sites.

While some adult sites may be to risqué for mainstream sites to link to, a little creativity can open doors you never thought possible.

About the Author

travisTravis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Spring Hill, TN. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz.