As a small business, successfully competing against established giants on the search engine scene can seem unattainable. Or is it? With the right focus and the implementation of smart SEO strategies, you can seize opportunities others overlooked. In this article, we uncover proven strategies that can elevate the competitiveness of small businesses.



Can Small Businesses Get Top Google Rankings?

Almost every business that has a web presence wants to compete for a top position within search engines such as Google and Bing. There are only a handful positions available at the top, which is why it can become a real competition to put your business up there.

Additionally, small businesses have a smaller budget to work with. This means that they have to be very resourceful when it comes to their marketing efforts. Larger businesses will have a larger available budget and often have the whole team that handles the ongoing SEO efforts.

So, can you really compete with larger competitor online?

The short answer is YES. Thanks to advancements in search engine rankings, smaller businesses also have the ability to rank well in search results. While big names like Walmart or Samsung will have millions of inbound links already pointed to their site, that should not discourage you from competing for the top spots.

Search engine optimisation is no longer determined only by the size of your business or who has been around the longest. It’s not even necessarily about having the most inbound links with the most pages of content. With this in mind, there are several strategies that you can implement to be able to successfully compete against larger businesses within your industry.

Determine your area of expertise

The first step is determining what your business specialises in. What gives you an edge over the competition? Find something unique about your business, something that you excel at and focus on that specifically. Many people believe that you have to focus on as many products and services as possible, but that’s not necessarily the right way to start.

Trying to rank for 20 different services can be very time-consuming and difficult to achieve but focusing on one service at the time, and trying to rank your organisation will be much easier to do.

To compete with your competitors, take on a niche focus. This will avoid having a low relevance for a variety of keywords, but rather be relevant for one specific keyword series or product.

Implement a long-tail keyword strategy

Long-tail keywords are great for niche targeting. You’ll sacrifice minimal ranking potential for a list of popular keywords, for maximum ranking potential for less popular keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that Google will look for, according to what people search for.

Ranking for long tail keywords is much easier than ranking for short keywords.

Researching which long-tail keywords you should use is quite easy. You can use a variety of tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, or you can just publish a lot of great quality content. Long-tail keyword phrases tend to appear naturally within your content writing. This will help to naturally optimise your website for specific key phrases while boosting your rankings for specific long-tail keywords for your business.

Focus on local content

By appealing to your local audience, you can also boost your visibility online. Local search is increasingly becoming important in search rankings, which is why you should always focus on local content.

Even if your business operates throughout the country, you can still focus on local content for your audience. It might just give you the edge over your competition.

But there are many other ways in which you can focus on your local community. You can get your brand name out there by getting involved in community building projects and attending major events. This will allow you to generate more business simply by being there and offering discounts or promotions. And then secondly, you can advertise your online presence to help boost your SEO.

Post about your location on your website and even put out a press release to attract an opportunity for some great inbound links to your website. You can also ask your customers to write a review of your business or products on local sites.

If your competitors operate in the same city as you do, focus on hyper-local content.

Google is increasingly getting better at identifying specific neighbourhoods within the city. So instead of simply focusing on the city, you can start focusing on a specific neighbourhood to attract your local audience. You can use neighbourhood specific keywords and names to help your business rank within search engines for a specific service or product.

Engage your social followers

Apart from simply having a social media presence, try to personalise your engagement. Connect with your customers and followers by being more personal and giving them a humanised experience.

If you actively build your social media community, you will attract more posts and followers. The more active you get, the higher you will likely rank within Google.

Publish authoritative content

Gradually building your brand and gaining credibility among your customers requires regular and frequent content updates. Most of your competitors will also utilise a blog to publish additional content on their websites. You can publish a variety of content types on your block, including costs, e-books and videos.

One of the keys to building a successful content strategy is consistency. You need to have a solid strategy that works for your brand. Consider hiring an expert if you are not sure how to handle your content writing or marketing efforts.

There is no shortcut to getting to the top of Google’s search results. But with the right strategies and consistency, you can compete with your larger competitors and put your brand in front of customers.

Matt Cutts from Google Webmasters gives his advice on how to get your small business up the rankings

Whether you are just starting out on social media or are an expert in the field, you need good content to keep people engaged. The Content Works provides optimised content for all your social media needs.

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