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Many small business owners feel like they can’t compete with the “big” brands simply because they don’t have the money or the manpower to achieve real SEO success. But comparing your SEO success against those bigger brands might actually be selling your own campaign short! Small businesses can have just as much SEO success as any other company, the key is knowing where to focus your limited resources to get the most bang for your buck.
Here are 3 ways small businesses can still achieve big SEO success:
1. Build one quality link at a time.
Links are still the bread and butter of SEO. And although the Google Penguin update has many small business owners running scared from link building you can’t afford to ignore this crucial component of SEO for too long. They key to link building is to build one quality link at a time and to vary up the link sources as much as you can. This helps keep your link profile looking natural and can protect your website from future algorithm updates. Don’t set arbitrary link count goals for yourself as this can often lead to last minute scrambling at the end of the month, which usually means you’re building links you would have otherwise passed over. If it wasn’t a good link then why is it now that a deadline in hanging over your head?
Remember that no quality link needs to be justified! The minute you have to look at it through rose colored glasses to make a link look like a good idea is the moment you know it’s time to walk away. Relevancy and authority determine a quality link, not how easy it is to build!
2. Create content that serves your audience’s needs, not your ego’s.
In a recent interview Elisabeth Osmeloski of Search Engine Land said;
Small businesses who connect with their most loyal customers on a regular basis, through simple interactions can be more agile and responsive to customer needs. Content marketing doesn’t have to be a massive investment of time or even intense amounts of writing. Just quick announcements on G+ or pictures/comments on Facebook might be enough for their audience.
Your content marketing campaign has to be about your audience and what they need; it should not be about how awesome your company is. What kind of information is your target audience looking for? What problems are they trying to solve? Your content should become a resource for your audience and over time you authority and online brand presence will grow. Great content can also earn you high quality links, which is like killing two birds with one stone! The key is to figure out what your audience needs and to give it to them. A company blog, a strong social media presence, and an ear to the ground can help your small business build its online presence over time.
Just remember that building authority through content marketing takes time. It could be months or even longer before your company blog starts getting much traffic. But you have to be committed to the long haul for your SEO program to work.
3. Focus on the niches your competition has overlooked.
If you run a small floral shop in Boston chances are you will never have the same online brand presence that 1-800-Flowers does. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dominate your own local market with a strong SEO program! Your shop can cater to wedding parties, high-end hotels that throw events, gardening enthusiasts, local restaurants and more. The key is to figure out what niches your competition isn’t in or has overlooked and claim that space for yourself. SEO is about positioning your website so that when visitors come looking your site is ready to go! The goal is to not interrupt their online experience with ads and banners, but create enough touch points so that when they need you they can easily find you and do business with your brand.