The SEO Advantages Enjoyed By Small Businesses
While larger corporations with bigger spending power might seem to dominate online searches, your small firm can still carve itself a niche
Let’s face it, if you run a small or family business, it’s not always easy to compete with the big boys. Large, nation-wide corporations and chain stores often have a huge advantage over mom and pop stores and small businesses that are operating in a local market. This is true in a number of different realms like purchasing power, customer loyalty, and cost structure.
But large corporations also have an advantage on the internet and generally outperform small businesses in search engine optimization. This is because they generally have more resources like bigger budgets and a larger staff than their smaller competitors. Similarly, big box stores and corporations often have years of experience, giving them notoriety in their industry.
Yet, as a small business, you shouldn’t be discouraged by your chances in the SEO world. The truth is that your business may have some inherent advantages over large corporations when it comes to being ranked on search engines. Let’s go over some of these advantages so you can learn how you may be able to gain the upper hand and outperform the big corporations in SEO.
Niche targeting: Becoming a specialist
While you may think that the widest possible focus is best for SEO, the truth is that when competing with big corporations, a niche focus is much more impactful. If you put a lot of effort into ranking on a variety of wide, often unrelated keywords, you may not reach success in any of them. Instead, focus on one main keyword or a handful of related items. This will help increase your visibility and optimize your site for long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords have a much lower volume than short tail keywords, but that makes them less competitive and easier to rank in. Also, optimizing for long-tail keywords is not too difficult and can be done by generating quality content for your site.
Focus Locally for optimized results
The biggest advantage that large businesses have – their huge structure and nationwide presence – is also their biggest disadvantage. These organizations don’t have a fixed or set location where their business operations take place. But you, as a small business, likely do have a specific locality where you operate and you can capitalize on that by targeting your local audience.
A separate algorithm is used to sort local SEO results and you can take advantage of this by adjusting your website appropriately. Create content that has location specific keywords and focuses on the area that your business operates in. Location-specific content will not only help your SEO efforts, it will also give your business credibility with the local community.
Also, you can exploit local review websites that can give your website a boost without producing any extra content. These websites – like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others – review local businesses and are given a lot of weight by Google and other search engines.
Similarly, search engines are putting increasingly more value on local search results. Google, for example, lists local business that are relevant to a search term at the top of the page. It lists three related business as well as their addresses, websites, and even a phone number. If you are able to get listed here, you will have a significant advantage over large corporations.
Small means flexible
Another advantage you have as a small business is the flexibility and agility that you are offered by being small in scale. Large businesses don’t have the freedom to operate the way a small business does because they are likely already associated with a few major keywords. Small businesses, on the other hand, have the ability to make game time decisions and change their strategy based on how they are performing. This gives you the flexibility to constantly experiment and incorporate new keywords into your content, giving you the opportunity to increase your presence and grow your business.
The uniqueness and personality of a small business
Small business, and especially startups, have a sense of novelty surrounding them that large corporations just can’t emulate. Users are more likely to interact and actually engage with the content on a small business’ website because the website will be new, unique, and unlike anything they’ve seen before.
One way to create a unique presence on the web is to build a personality around your brand. Take advantage of brand personalization to closely interact with your audience and social media following. This will likely pique users’ interest and give them a reason and opportunity to engage consistently with your content on the web.
Small businesses have user trust
One last advantage that you have as a small business is that users inherently trust you. In contrast to large corporations that have a high level of cynicism and distrust associated with them, small businesses are often trusted and given credibility. Small businesses generally have an easier time getting their messages published or shared on the web, a huge advantage to anyone competing in the SEO realm.
Use this to your advantage by generating a loyal community surrounding your brand. By posting frequently and keeping your standards high, you can maximize the influence of each and every piece of content you publish. If you do this properly, you can become an authority on the web which will eventually help towards your SEO efforts.
Overall, there’s no guaranteed method to get your website to the top of the search engine results page, but if you are a small business, you may have a leg up on your competition. By taking advantage of your local market and your agility, you can help push your small business to the top of the rankings page for certain important keywords.
These tips can help you fine tune your strategy to make sure you are using all of your resources in the best possible way. Give your business the best chance it can get by focusing on the advantages you have as a small business, and staying away from direct competition with large organizations.
On Yavin is the founder and CEO of Online Performance, a company specialized in providing SEO services and founder and UK CEO of Exactive Marketing, an advertising agency, focused on digital marketing. He is an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) with years of experience in web and mobile marketing.