As online searches continue moving from a novelty to a standard part of daily life, search engine optimization and marketing is growing increasingly popular. Almost every business, regardless of its size or industry, has a web presence. All of them are competing for a handful of placements at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Mega-corporations like Walmart and Home Depot have millions of inbound links, decades worth of content development, and a large base of recurring visitors. It’s no surprise that they’re at the top of the SERPs today. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; you’ll still have competition though. These sites have bigger budgets and more resources, making them more visible online.
Fortunately, SEO isn’t about volume, who’s been around the longest, who has the most inbound links, or who has the most content anymore. Instead, it’s about being relevant. There are many strategies you can use here.
Specialize in a Niche
Giving yourself a niche focus is one of the best things you can do. This helps you take down your biggest competitors whereas having several areas of specialization will allow you to be relevant for many keywords, but this relevance for each keyword is low. Putting all your effort into niche keywords gives you higher visibility.
Have a Long-Tail Keyword Strategy
Long-tail keyword strategies are similar to niche keyword strategies. While you won’t rank for really popular keywords, you’ll rank better for less popular keywords. Google actually looks for long-tail keywords today instead of looking for shorter, more popular keywords. Ranking highly for these long-tail keywords is easier than ranking highly for short keywords too. So, while they bring in less traffic, they’re more valuable.
You can use Google’s Webmaster Tools to research ideal long-tail keywords. Another option is simply publishing a lot of great content. This works well because these long-tail keywords tend to appear naturally here.
Leverage Locality in Optimization
Beat your competition by targeting your local audience. Today, local search is growing more relevant and more important. This means that being the best business in your area is better than being an “okay” business on a national or international level, even if this is the level your business operates on. It allows you to capture a niche market share, edging out your competition in this area.
As you work on getting your business’ name known in your area, consider attending events and engaging in community building. By attending major events including fairs, festivals, and community gatherings you’ll generate more business thr
ough your presence. This works especially well when you offer discounts and special promotions to those in attendance. Your SEO also benefits because you can go online and brag about your attendance at the event.
Posting great content on your website with keywords specific to your location and syndicating a press release about your attendance at the event also offers you great opportunities to gather high-authority keywords specific to your location. This is easy to do too.
Since Google’s Pigeon algorithm update, local reviews posted in directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor are important for your local SEO efforts. These sites give your website a huge boost and bring you lots of traffic when you receive positive reviews. This is great for new, small businesses because they can jump up in the SERPs before they produce content or build any links. They must simply focus on getting a lot of positive reviews from their clients. Although Yelp won’t let you ask for reviews or compensate anyone who reviews your business, you can place a link to Yelp in all of your social media profiles. This will encourage people to leave you reviews.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to create lots of hyper-local content will help you crush your larger competitors. This is especially true if this competitor is in the same city as your business.
Today, Google is doing a better job of identifying and categorizing neighborhoods within big cities. With this in mind, you should use local search to your advantage. Use neighborhood-specific keywords instead of simply mentioning your city and state. Google’s view of your neighborhood’s boundaries will help with your business’ success.
Personalize Your Social Engagement
Local search optimization is important, but personalizing your social engagement will also play a large part in helping your business overcome its big competitors. When you step up the “personal” factor in your business’ brand strategy, people pay more attention because you’re providing them with a humanized experience. This is something big businesses tend to lose track of once they grow to a certain point.
An important part of this comes as you nurture your social media following. Doing so enables you to attract more posts from new followers. The bigger and more active your social media presence is, the better you’ll rank in Google.
Get Recognized as an Authoritative Content Publisher
You must frequently publish a lot of high-quality content if you want to bring awareness to your brand while building loyalty, trust, and credibility. This is something you can do through your web site’s blog. Another option is publishing and distributing ebooks, webinars, podcasts, and videos then sharing them through a variety of channels. Regardless which of these content strategies you use, it’s important you produce high-quality products on a consistent basis, so you’re viewed as a dependable authority in your niche. Take the time to maximize the reach of each of these types of content, so you get a bigger return on your investment.
There’s no shortcut when it comes to rising to the top of the SERPs. This is especially true when you’re up against a major competitor. However, there are some things you can do to improve your odds here.
This information was provided by Reyna Waterhouse from this site. She has an SEO location in Greater Vancouver you may be interested in checking out: