Blog / Tips On How Your Small Business Can Compete at SEO With Bigger Ones
February 28, 2020 | Web Team
What do big businesses have that smaller ones don’t?
Lots and lots of funds. Virtually unlimited funds.
OK, so the financial resources of bigger businesses may not exactly be unlimited, but they might as well be if you compare them to the funds smaller companies—startups in particular—have to work with to compete at just about every aspect, SEO included.
Because of their deep pockets, larger companies have no problem hiring more people or getting the services of a reputable SEO agency that will do everything it can to get their web pages at the top of search results, among other things.
Still, despite the daily struggles of small businesses keeping up with bigger brands, the former can actually compete at SEO with the latter. With a little luck, entrepreneurial Davids might even beat corporate Goliaths at the SEO game.
If you’re running a small business, here are some tips that can help you compete at SEO with the big boys.
Big companies can afford to optimize successfully for hundreds, even thousands of search terms, something which small businesses can only dream about. Since you have a limited budget, your best option is to specialize in a niche.
With a niche focus, you should be able to narrow down the number of keywords to optimize. Sure, focusing on a niche means you won’t be able to reach a broader audience a handful of times, but it will make you more visible to the right audience more frequently. Your relevance for each keyword will be higher, and so will your chances for conversions.
As the phrase implies, long-tail keywords are more extended and are so specific they more accurately describe the thing or concept a search engine user is looking for. Because of the longer and more specific keyword, fewer sites will match it, and that means there is less competition to rank for that keyword.
A short-tail keyword like “running socks” is bound to return millions upon millions of matches. Try “running socks to prevent varicose veins,” and you will manage to whittle the sites that match it down to a few hundred thousand, which should give your page that features such a product a better chance for improved visibility in search results.
The use of long-tail keywords shares the same goal as focusing on a particular niche in the sense that they both sacrifice something big that yields minimal outcomes for something smaller that offers up maximum results.
While you can still target a much wider audience, it wouldn’t hurt if you shift your attention towards local prospective customers. After all, the relevance of local search in SEO is continuously rising. The chances of a small company for SEO success are better when it’s targeting the city, town, or region where it actually operates. Big businesses with national or international coverage can also benefit from local search if they so choose.
Much of the effectiveness of local search revolves around the fact that search engines and their users are so much smarter these days.
Search engines have become extremely good at pinpointing searches that have local intent. Their users, on the other hand, know very well that searching for products and services they need or want near or at their location becomes easier and more specific when they include the name of their city, town, or region in their searches.
So if you’re, say, a pizza place owner in Scottsdale, you can target keywords like “best pepperoni pizza in Scottsdale” instead of just “pepperoni pizza.”
And if you’re going local, you might want to bolster your presence in your community and get a leg up over bigger businesses that way. Attending local events like expos and fairs, and publishing hyper-local content are a couple of ways of making your business felt in the community.
If you can’t compete with big businesses on most other fronts, then you can at least establish yourself as an authority in the industry that you share by publishing relevant and helpful content on your website.
Fresh, quality content helps you build authority, credibility, and reputation in your niche, especially when your audience takes notice of it and shares it. Add a more personal tone to your content, and the more you can set your business apart from the big players in your industry. And that leads us to…
The thing with huge brands is that they’ve gotten so big that eventually, their dealings with audiences turn into something a bit more impersonal, even distant.
Sure, they can always afford to hire and train entire teams to handle their social engagements and customer service, but there’s just something different about the owner of a small company giving things a more personal touch.
Customers find engaging on social media and review sites with people who actually run the company more meaningful and authentic. It gives them a reason to believe that any suggestions or even complaints they make will reach the right people because they’re already communicating with the right people. Audiences also like the idea of company owners writing their own blog posts.
Indeed, being small allows you to provide your audience with an experience that’s more personal and human.
Going up against the big boys can be overwhelming, but being smart about your SEO strategy can give you a chance to even things out, or even eke out a win from time to time.