Sometimes, SEO can seem like a bit of a struggle. Unless your business has found a niche that no other company has tapped in to, there are always going to be the big players in your industry that seemingly dominate the Google search. Yes, the larger companies (those that are nationwide or worldwide and seem to have the monopoly), are at an advantage, but we have a few tricks up our sleeve to help the smaller businesses take them on. If you consider yourself to be a smaller (note: smaller, not necessarily small), then listen up.
Let’s start with the advantages of being a bigger business in the world of SEO
They most likely have a higher domain authority. Essentially, the higher a site’s domain authority, the more klout they have online.
The more well known the brand, the more backlinks they are likely to be getting. Backlinking involves other sites literally linking-back to their site, and the more you have (even better if they’re from other sites with a high domain authority), the better you’ll rank on Google.
Bigger companies tend to be well established, meaning that they are more likely to be thought of as trustworthy. They’ve often already built up brand associations on the web therefore customers may be swayed towards working with them.
They probably have a bigger budget to spend on their online marketing efforts, including their SEO.
What advantages do you have as a smaller business?
You are smaller therefore you are more nimble. You can choose to go in one direction one week then decide something else needs to take priority the next. This means that you can stay on top of the latest SEO trends without having to go through long-winded approval processes.
Want to shift your PPC and retargeting budget to SEO this month? As a smaller business, you have the freedom to focus your online marketing efforts wherever you see fit. Once again, no approval processes (or fewer approval processes) necessary.
In a smaller business without as many approval processes, you are able to be more creative. If you have an idea that may seem a little out there but might just work, you can just go for it. Because Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting to favour content that people actually want to see, if you have the freedom to be creative you may just produce something incredible.
Okay, so larger companies may have had years to build up their brand and gain the trust of their customers, but you have authenticity. You’re not a large corporate sell-out, you can talk to your customers as if you are one of them and not come across like a phony. You may be talking to a smaller audience, but what’s the point in talking to millions if it doesn’t result in conversions? Authenticity means that despite a small audience, you have the chance to have a much higher conversion rate by resonating with your customers.
So, what can a smaller business do to compete with the big fish?
- Go for the keywords that the bigger companies aren’t using. Go for long-tail keywords that are more specific to your niche. Try comparison keywords that the larger companies wouldn’t touch, for example, if you’re a small tech company releasing a new mobile operating system, try ‘IOS versus Android’ (then write about how you’re better).
- Gain authority and brand association for a specific niche. You may not get to the number one spot for the term for ‘cupcakes’, but you may be able to get there for ‘gluten free no-bake cupcakes’.
- Invest more time into single pieces of content. Bigger companies will want to churn out content to stay on top of their game, but you want to become a resource for your customers. Investing more time in content can result in giving more value to those seeking out an authoritative business in a particular area.
- Strengthen business relationships with the personal touch. This is something a larger company will struggle to do; getting across that personal touch is incredibly difficult if your main contact isn’t anywhere near a decision maker or is just part of an outsourced PR team. You can take on those relationships and build up your brand association 1-on-1.
If you haven’t already, get started with your SEO strategy.
If you’d like a hand getting started, drop us a line. We’ll show you that just because you’re a smaller business doesn’t mean you can’t compete for Google’s top search result.