SEO For Small Businesses: How Small Companies Can Beat Big Competitors

Have a competitor with a bigger website? Shweiki Media Printing Company teams up with expert Alicia Lawrence, the Content Coordinator for WebpageFX, to explain four steps to help small companies strategically compete against their big competitors.

Small businesses often get really discouraged when they are up against a really big corporate websites. In this day and age, having a strong web presence makes all the difference. Yes, it might take years to get a strong enough website to outrank competitors on some main, money -making keywords, but there are also a lot of strategies and tactics to use to get ahead of the competitors right now that one might not know about.

1. Unique Selling Point

If one is working with a small company that is up against a bigger site, one of the first things to do is determine their unique selling point, if they haven’t already. This goes beyond a statement that says how the product or services are different and better than all the others on the market. Instead, one should find the unique perspective that gives the site a voice over and above its bigger competitors.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 10.21.11 AM

For example, Titan Alarm is a security system company. Their main competitors are the APDs and Comcast of the area, which are some really big companies. However, in over to get ahead of these bigger conglomerates online, they played into the fact that Titan Alarm is local and services the local area unlike their competitors. They added an angle and approach that felt personal to their customers on their blog, etc.The content created for this site is hyper-local and very specific to the area. In a short amount of time, Titan Alarm ranked for over 70% of their targeted terms on the first page. They are now closing close to 60% of all of their leads, which is huge.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 10.21.24 AM

Localized Content

Whether it is a security system company like Titan, or a family dentist practice, if a company wants to rank locally, a great way to do that is to talk about the local area on the site and not just service-related copy. Here are a few ways one can do that:

  • Create a guide for those moving into the area.
    • These are not very competitive in the search engine, so they can rank fairly high.
    • They get the brand name in front of the new people who could turn into customers.
    • Local guides also get links from local newspapers or blog sites in the area.
  • Make a list of best restaurants in town or best places in town to go for music lovers.
  • After publishing the piece, be sure to reach out to the restaurants and places mentioned in the article.
    • They will likely share it on their site or social media, extending the reach even further.

Think big in terms of local content.

Another way to use a company’s unique selling point is to find services or products that the bigger competitor does not offer and start optimizing those keyword terms. This will start getting traffic and leads while working on more of those competitive areas. In general, one should focus on the areas that will have the most impact and look for opportunities that the larger sites are not taking advantage of.

2. Low-Hanging Fruit

Many bigger sites do not invest in long-tail keyword strategy. Long-tail keywords are usually phrases of three or more words that revolve around a bigger question or topic.

For example, instead of typing “organic garden pesticides”–which has a ton of traffic–into Google, one would use the term “How to get rid of Japanese beetles naturally.” It is more specific, more words, and it does get some traffic. Not as much traffic as “organic garden pesticides,” but enough that would bring in customers without having the high competition that comes along with the main keywords.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 10.21.43 AM

Long-tail keywords have become more popular as people began using the search engine to ask those longer questions. The questions, including “How to get rid of Japanese beetles naturally,” make for great blog topics and can help the site rank for those terms. If a site gets enough of those long-tail keywords, it builds up. The site can be confident they can rank on the first page for those keywords, and get some traffic organically.

3. Flexibility & Fast Turnaround Time

Bigger sites are often too big for their own good. When working with a smaller company, oftentimes there is an advantage in that there is not the corporate struggle when it comes to getting things approved. Getting content added to the site is faster, as well as testing out things to improve conversion. The more that can be updated and kept fresh for Google, the better. This tends to be done at a faster rate with smaller sites and companies than with larger businesses.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 10.22.00 AM

One should be creative, have fun and try new things.

  • Sometimes changing little things on a site makes a bigger impact.
    • For example,  changing the color of the purchase button.
  • One should take advantage of newsjacking or current trends because of that flexibility and faster turnaround time.
  • Add interesting content when applicable and build copy for the site.
  • Test out conversion points, even if things have to get approved.
    • The boss or point of contact at a smaller business will be more on the side of “whatever it takes” than “we need to approve this through legal.”

4. Special Offers

Lastly, in a smaller company there is more freedom to offer specials or discounts. These can be promoted through AdWords or even just banner ads on blogs to help get that upper-hand in the search results. Smaller companies or start-ups have the ability to make those connections or even pull that out on the fly. Bigger companies do not have the flexibility to create those offers right there.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 10.22.19 AM

In the end, it all comes down to strategizing and understanding where there may be gaps in competition to get the smaller company’s foot in the door.

Tweetable Facts:

Like this Article? Subscribe to Our Feed!

Alicia Lawrence

Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Advanced Web Rankings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.