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How Small Businesses Can Compete with the Big Boys?

How Small Businesses Can Compete with the Big Boys?

Search engine optimization has grown tremendously over the years as many business realize they need SEO to bring in revenue and traffic.

SEO has evolved, and it has changed in order to give the user the best experience possible by showing the most relevant results in the SERPs. Follow these tips to find out how small businesses can compete with the big boys.

What does this mean for small businesses?

It means that they have to tailor their search marketing strategy to the user, and make sure they are giving value to their customers.

But there is a big problem.

All businesses that have an online presence are in the same positions as YOU!

They, like you, are trying to appear at the top of Google.

Since bigger companies/corporations like Nike or Adidas already have a million dollar budget along with an existing and growing customer base, bringing in regular inbound links, it’s no wonder why smaller companies struggle to rank higher than the bigger corporations.

No matter what industry you work in, there is always going to be competitors.

working hard to outrank your competition

So what can you, a small business with limited resources, do to compete with the big boys?

It’s all about Relevance.

SEO is no longer about, volume, domain age, and number of links. It is all about which website is the most relevant to the user.

Knowing this can help you build a strategy to help beat, and out rank your competition.

Niche down

The best thing most small business can do is to focus on one niche.

This may sound counter intuitive as most people thinks it’s better to be some sort of handy man and be good at everything. but it’s not.

For example, if you work in plumbing, construction, painting & decorating amongst other things, you may think that your website will be able to appear in Google for all of those topics, and be relevant for any search queries related to that topic.

But remember, you’re trying to beat the big bad companies and blow their house down.

Specializing in many areas is only going to dilute your ability to rank for certain keywords.  You will have relevance in many keywords, but your relevancy in each of these keywords is going to be low.

Think about this.

Would you rather be ranked number one for a few keywords and dominate the area of service, or be below average in a plethora of keywords. Niching down helps keep your website relevant, by focusing on a handful of keywords, which will give you great visibility for those keywords.

Long tail keywords

Targeting long-tail keywords is like focusing on one niche. It helps maximize your relevance, as opposed to spreading minimal relevance.

This strategy helps you rank for less popular keywords that have a huge ranking potential, as opposed to ranking for very popular keywords that have a lower ranking potential.

Long tail keywords are more specific phrases that visitors are more likely to search for in Google, in comparison to short head keywords which are more general. For example, aiming to rank for, “how to fix suspension on ford fiesta”, rather than “fixing suspension.”

Long-tail keywords might bring in less traffic, but it’s still important for small businesses to go after them. Besides, you have to start somewhere. Once you target long-tail keywords, you then can refocus your strategy to target keywords which are a bit harder to rank for, but have huge popularity.

Use can use webmaster tools to find which keywords to try to aim for. Or, you can create content on your site or blog which will naturally create long-tail keywords as you write your post.

Leverage your locality

“Do what others won’t, to achieve what others can’t”. This is one of my favorite sayings, and it ties in perfectly to the next tip.

Target a local audience

Local search is highly relevant in the SERPs these days.

Your small business should be targeting specific areas, in order for you to have control on the market share in that area. You can then expand your target audience, and focus on another area.

Eventually, you can have a good proportion of the niche market share.

Big businesses will struggle to do this as they will attempt to assert their dominance on a national and international scale.

For example, being the best SEO in Bedford, rather than being the best SEO in the UK.  You will get nowhere trying to rank for the best SEO in the UK. However, trying to rank for the best SEO in Bedford, will mean a higher chance of success. This will then help you generate more customers in the long run.

Attend events

Get your name out there and attend events. It’s a great way to spread the word about your business and your product\service.

Make an effort to attend as many local events has possible to the point where you will become a familiar face. At the end of the day, people do business with people, and if you’re a well know face that people trust, you will find it easier for people to buy whatever it is you have to offer.

Offer discounts, and i’m sure by the end of night you’ll have a few customers lined up.

From an SEO standpoint, you can show off your attendance and post you companies attendance online, to ensure everyone sees your content and knows who you are.

Reviews

Local reviews on third party sites are very important for every business and local SEO. It helps people determine if your business is any good or not, without even stepping a foot in the door. A string of bad reviews will mean your business has lost customers without your knowledge, and the chance of you winning them back is near on impossible.

Third party sites were made a priority in Googles pigeon update, so the more good reviews the better. You can outrank your competitors that have negative or no reviews.

Getting good reviews can help you save time in implementing a content marketing strategy or building links.  You could focus on generating strong quality reviews to use as leverage against your competitors.

Give your customers promotions or discounts for giving you a nice reviews. Cheeky, but it works.

If you have provided a good service but still struggling to get any reviews at all, kindly ask your customers to comment on what they think about your business. If you’ve done a good job, a positive review should come your way.

Personalize your social profile

Focus on a local social marketing campaign to increase your brands awareness. You can implement this by making your social profiles personal. Being a small company allows you to appear more human than the larger companies, as they are often automate their responses.

Big business on social media often don’t have a ‘personality’ as there is a very serious undertone on their social media. Make your social media profile not only about your business, but also about you. People will like the extra attention to detail, and will show off your human side. People will find it easier to connect with you, and will want to work with someone who they know a little bit about.

Try and tailor your response to everyone to give that personal touch, this along with publishing great content will help your social profiles grow and will help you rank in Google.

Become an influencer

Engage in regular blogging helps build brand awareness & credibility, which will inevitably give people the impression that you are an authoritative content publisher. And soon you will become one.

Essentially, fake it until you make it!

Make sure to have a blog and guest post regularly, to gain visitors to your website. A good content marketing strategy is key to building a solid base of customers and visitors.

Your posts have to be amazing which can create discussions, give ideas, have action points, or even cause controversy. If you see engagement on your website, then keep on doing what you are doing, because you are on the right track.

ConclusionGladiator competing with a giant

It’s not easy to for small businesses to compete with the big boys. Nor it is easy to get to the top of Google.

But…

It’s possible.

When trying to beat your bigger competitors remember to niche down, target locally and focus on specific long-tail keywords in order to outperform them. Your goal at the end of the day is to create a bigger visibility, and to be relevant for your chosen keywords and topic.  If you implement all the tactics outlined, there is no reason why the underdog can’t win.

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Tahir Miah
 

Tahir Miah is an entrepreneur, digital marketer and SEO enthusiast. He is the founder of Serpjump, a Bedford link building agency. Tahir currently advises companies on the best way to increase revenue and brand awareness through SEO, content marketing and link building. He can be found on @serpjump

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