Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a vast topic for anyone looking to get on the virtual map. Being accessible through major search engines can have a significant impact on your business’s reach.
You would be aware (or even intimated) that large corporations and businesses dominate search engines. It seems that results are biased towards them, but that’s not a surprise. Having the capital to splurge on marketing, full-time staff and specialists allows for these entities to become top dog in their respective niches.
As a small business owner, you may feel that it’s impossible to compete with these large-scale efforts. However, you may just be mistaken. It is not the size of the weapon, but how it is used. In a less rhetoric sense, small businesses have a few major advantages over these large corporations when it comes to SEO.
1. Niche Targeting
If you are a small business owner, your business probably falls under a specific category. Optimisation, in general, means narrowing a concept to a streamlined basis. Therefore, you are advantageous in the sense that your generalised keywords and phrases can be optimized to target specific, high-traffic searches.
In contrast, a larger business can target a variety of searches. Try applying more long-tail keywords that don’t garner as many searches, but less competitive and more targeted.
2. Novelty [restrict]
Less volume is often associated with bad results, but this is not the case. The key thing that many people fail to realize is that engagement is far more valuable than volume.
Relating to niche targeting, your specified product or service are usually what people are looking for. That means that you know that out of 10 website clicks, 7 are probably genuine clicks.
Users who visit websites that offer a large variety of services and products are usually browsing for a specific item.
If you are visiting Amazon as a browser, you are most likely to be looking for a specific product. Visits to other pages on the website are sometimes unintended and therefore not considered as engagements.
3. Unique Personal Branding
Corporations are usually run by a team of individuals with differing tastes, values and expectations. Despite an organisation’s efforts to cultivate a like-mindedness, conflicting interests make it hard to form an idealistic brand.
Small business owners have a lot of freedom when deciding how to brand themselves.
If you are the leader of your business, you can form extensions how you see fit. Whether that means launching a line of hand-made shoes or bottling up water under your personal name, the choice is yours.
Where SEO comes into play is your ability to offer truly unique propositions.
If, as an extreme example, your F&B outlet starts providing massage services, you are creating a concept that is truly unique to your business. This means that any search containing those two things as a keyword relate directly to you.
Small businesses are generally focused in a single area. While the spread may not be wide, it can be thick.
Localised SEO operates on a different algorithm than general searches. A user who searches for certain products or services, usually end up with results that are prioritised as ‘nearby’.
By taking just a few minutes to register your name, business address and contact details with Google, you have a good chance of garnering the attention of people in your location. For added value, take some nice pictures of your store (and services if possible). Providing these will help engage searchers better.
It is not always possible to compete with larger corporations that have the capability to address issues in greater detail. Aim for co-existence rather than competition. This will prevent you from taking on more than is realistically possible for small business owners.