Think only huge corporations are able to win the search engine optimization (SEO) or internet marketing game? The playing field has been leveled—but you need to know the rules in order to compete. Every single business, regardless of size, should have a web presence. This means millions of people are battling for the few prime search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re an online bookseller and someone searches in Google for “shop independent bookstore online”, how are you going to compete against Amazon?
The big boys like Barnes and Noble are touting inbound links to the tune of millions of dollars, several years of quality content and they already have a hoard of returning online visitors. Obviously they’re going to rank at the top when searching for commercial products. However, every single industry will always have top competitors who’ve been there longer, tried harder, and have bigger budgets. The good news? SEO isn’t about pure volume anymore.
Today’s SEO is all about matching searchers with the most relevant website. Here’s how you can up your game:
Use Keyword “Themes”
Also known as long-tail keywords, this helps you define your niche. It’s much easier to rank at the top when competing for “Boston Shellac manicure wine” than just “nails Boston.” Maybe you operate a salon that specializes in Shellac manicures and also serves wine as a complimentary gesture—that’s trending and it’s what many people are searching for. However, try to compete with all the other nail salons in a major city and you’re in trouble. The most popular, short key phrases are in high demand, so make your pool smaller.
It’s pretty easy to optimize for themes with Webmaster Tools. You can also pepper in themes with more quality content.
Get Personal with Social
Get a leg up on the competition by making your branding more personal. There comes a time when every mega corporation will lose that personal touch. Smaller businesses have the advantage of dishing up a human experience that’s more intimate and welcoming. Foster growth on social media and you’ll enjoy more followers, more comments, and ultimately social media impacts where you rank on Google.
Nurture a Niche
Small businesses are more easily matched with niches—don’t fall into the trap of thinking more variety is better. If you have too many specialization areas, you can have more variety in your keywords, but you’ll give up relevance to make that happen. Put your SEO energy into a handful of key phrases and you’ll achieve better visibility.
Local SEO (LSEO) is a hot topic for a reason. Google considers LSEO more relevant and important than ever. After all, it’s better to be the best doggie daycare in Dallas rather than just an okay doggie daycare on a nationwide level. What’s that? Your business actually operates on a national or multi-national scale? Still focus on a key local area by attending community events, nurturing local reviews, and focusing on hyper-local content, too.
When you’re building awareness of your brand, focus on credibility and creating loyalty. Creating authoritative content is most easily done on blogs, via e-books, podcasts, webinars, and videos. Stick with consistent, quality content but remember this is a long-term strategy.
It wasn’t easy for David to down Goliath, but it happened—and you can do it, too. It’s all about strategy. Is yours top notch?