Can you use SEO to Compete with Bigger Businesses in Search? Find out more in this post and discover if you can use SEO to level the playing field with your larger, deeper pocketed competitors.
A big problem smaller companies face when competing for real estate on search engine results pages (SERPs), is that of bigger organisations being difficult to compete with and to overtake.
Both sides in this situation, however, have advantages which can help them make grounds in different ways.
How Smaller Websites Can Compete in Search with Larger Sites
A bigger site may well have a number of advantages that can make even thinking about competing seem a daunting task, some of these include:
- Their budget – a bigger site is likely to have a bigger budget to focus on SEO and other forms of digital marketing which means they have resources to push a lot of areas of their sites.
- Brand – Big companies have often spend huge amounts of time, money and other resources on building their brand so that it is instantly recognisable, trusted and sought after. This improves the click through rate in SERPs, as well as encourages people to seek out the brand in a brand search. In addition to these advantages, Google tends to favour established brands in search because it knows people are seeking them out and expect to see big brands in relevant searches.
- Domain authority – sites that have been going longer and have historic value in their domain have a much higher domain authority and are seen as more authoritative and trustworthy.
- Link profile – bigger sites (Amazon for example) are likely to have far more links from a broader range of sources than a small independent shop and consequently have a much stronger link profile.
- Trustworthiness – using Amazon as an example again, often people are more likely to visit them over a smaller business online, as they have a long history of being a trusted brand that can be relied on.
- Ability to act fast – a bigger, higher budget site can react to events and keep on trend quickly but also afford to pump resources in to make this happen.
Can SEO Be Used to Compete with Leading Brands in Search?
These all seem like big, almost insurmountable issues and, on the face of it, could put some businesses off putting too much into an SEO strategy – but should that be the case? Here are some great SEO techniques to compete with bigger businesses in search results:
- Focus on local – targeting a local market can help out with the way your business is portrayed in search results. Regardless of whether you operate on a national level you can still work on local SEO to beat your competition in that area.
- Develop your niche and focus on it – this is the crucial one and the underpinning philosophy which should drive all of your marketing. You can’t be all things to all people and you can’t take on a big company across all of their business areas, so focus on a small area or niche market that you do well and your bigger competitors don’t do quite so well. Then work really hard on becoming the key player in that niche. Taking on rivals by focusing on this niche of your business will help you gain traction, which can ultimately be leveraged into other areas or niches. Say, for example, that your business offers a bespoke service that makes it different from a bigger business selling similar off the shelf products, or you offer a particularly great service to a specific demographic within your market, then emphasising this can help you to build a niche online service around it
- Make use of long tail keywords – this is a case of focusing on the less common keywords that have high volumes of searches and are difficult to rank for. So rather than “shoes”, you could aim for “winter shoes buying guide” as a keyword to be found for.
- Make social more personal – this clearly depends on what it is your business does as to how much people will interact with you (a boutique style shop may have more people wanting to engage than say an engineering company), however if you are engaged with your customers you can help your ability to be found, and get important links back to your site, as well as a reputation for being personable and helpful
- Become an authority – a lot of bigger brands have sprawling sites packed with products, however they can often miss the chance to be an authority on subjects. A smaller business can jump on this, creating well informed, accessible written and, perhaps, video content on the industry and related topics that can help make you an authority. This also significnatly helps with the niche and long tail ideas already mentioned.
Can you use SEO to compete with bigger businesses successfully?
At Zelst, we specialise in developing unique digital growth strategies, which will take a website from an also ran to the leader in their marketplace, as a number of these case studies illustrate . In this example in the construction industry, by developing a carefully thought out digital strategy, well executed keyword research, content, outreach (which achieved prominent positioning in key industry journals), a laser targeted PPC campaign and painstaking technical optimisation, our client became far more visible than their size would suggest for big keyword terms within their industry. Alongside this, by creating content in a field where information had previously been scarce, gave our client the opportunity to become the leading authority in their field and, in conjuction with all of our other strategic digital marketing activities, enabled the company to become the undisputed market leader within their sector, pushing aside much larger operators.
So, can you use SEO to compete with bigger businesses in search? At Zelst, we believe that smaller organisations can compete with larger organisations in search by using SEO and develop unique, bespoke strategies to achieve this. If you want your company to be more prominent in the SERPs and your marketplace, then contact Zelst today!