How a Small Business can be Successful in SEO
Everyone wants to rank well for unpaid high volume keywords but as a small business competing against bigger companies do small businesses really stand a chance with SEO?
Many of the small business owners that I talk to have an objective to rank well within all the major search engines for unpaid listings, although the expectation is that they do not rank well for just branded searches but for the high volume search terms. A Mortgage Broker wants to rank well for “mortgage” and a Financial Adviser wants to rank well for “Financial Advice”. The only challenge is that so do the big companies and they are willing to spend money to get this outcome.
So do small business owners have unrealistic expectations or can they really compete against the bigger companies when it comes to growing the ranking of their websites for the high volume search terms?
So here are some of the consistent themes that I found after reviewing the formulas of the small businesses where the owners do believe they are successful in SEO:
The small business owner does not have any expectation that they need to show up for the high volume keywords, they have identified a very concise list of keywords that are relevant to their business and the community in which they operate, giving them a true niche focus.
They regularly produce some interesting content, such as white papers or reports that they load onto their website that is very aligned to their niche and in some cases this content is always linked to the one author (the business owner).
They have a good social media presence that they actively manage every day and use this to promote the content that they put onto their website.
The small business has made sure that they have reviews of their business on aggregation sites and have over time have had their business mentioned in the local newspaper.
They have real expectation on the volume of leads that they expect from the site and use analytics software to track the performance of the site and referring keywords, in most cases this is Google Analytics.
Last but not least they do manage a program that pays for listings, so they are not always relying on the unpaid listings.
So as I expected it is not a good strategy for a small business to go after the high volume keywords but to become very focused and active in driving traffic to their site through targeting a niche. Now I am not saying that if you follow this formula you have success but it seems to provide a good framework to follow.