5 Simple SEO Strategies That Can Help Small Businesses Compete With The Big Boys.

Does size matter when it comes to SEO?

Do you have to be a big player to dominate the search engine results pages?

Well, no you don’t necessarily: you just have to use the right strategies if you want to punch your weight. Large businesses and corporations may have the advantages stacked in their favour; things like long histories, big marketing budgets and a vast content back catalogue, but that doesn’t preclude small businesses from making inroads and claiming a slice of this lucrative action. All you need is the right sort of search engine optimisation strategy and you should be able to compete in the online business world.

Specialise and stick to just one niche market.

As tempting as it might be to extend your search visibility by dipping into many different areas of expertise; it won’t benefit your business in the longer term. All you’ll do is spread yourself too thinly. It’s much better to concentrate on just one niche area and make that the principal focus of your online activity. If you put all your efforts into just the one keyword, or a couple at most, you’ll achieve a much higher level of online visibility. So if you’re an experienced builder, stick to the ‘builder’ keyword, and don’t try to compete with the ‘home improvement’ market.

Long-tail keywords.

Why use long-tail keywords? Well, simply because ranking highly for long-tail keywords is much easier than ranking high for shorter keywords. They can, therefore, help to maximise your ranking potential for the less popular keywords in the niche strategy mentioned above. Long-tail keywords are extended phrases that Google searches for regularly: things like ‘tips on building better home extensions’, rather than the more populist ‘building extensions’. Granted they may bring in less traffic than shorter keywords, but they are still more valuable for small businesses.

Go local.

If you want to rank higher on the SERPS, then you should definitely optimise for a specific locality. It doesn’t matter whether you also operate on a national basis, you can still capture a significant niche market share by optimising for the local market. How can you attract your fair share of the local market? Well, you can attend events, trade fairs and community gatherings and get your name noticed. Then share this content with the local market using specific local keywords. Make sure you have a significant presence on local review and directory sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

These are really useful sites for local business publicity, particularly since Google’s latest Pigeon algorithm update earlier this year, which gave a major search engine priority boost to local directory listings. If you can manage to attract a large volume of positive reviews, rather than concentrating on producing content and building links, you’ll start to see your search engine rankings improve. Don’t just focus your presence on the broader locality either: drill down and focus on neighbourhoods too as this trend is becoming increasingly popular. Choose neighbourhood-specific keywords to maximise your online presence. Your Google rankings will undoubtedly improve, as long as you do your research and define your neighbourhood boundaries properly.

Engage socially.

If you want to compete with other local businesses online, then you’ll need to get personal and engage socially. Nurture whatever local following you might have, and build your relationship with your audience. The greater your social media presence and the more posts and followers you can attract on social media, the higher you’ll rank on Google.

Provide quality content.

If you want to build loyalty, trust and credibility and increase brand awareness, you’ll need to publish quality content regularly. If you can provide quality content consistently, you’ll build your online reputation as start to be recognised as a dependable and trustworthy authority in your niche market.

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