When it comes to online marketing, the biggest challenge for small and mid-sized businesses is to overtake the big brands. The reason is simple- when an average user searches for any product or service online, a biggie will always appear on the top. This is because they have a stronghold over the basic search keywords. To make things worse for the smaller players, these brands may even hold dominance over the entire first page of the search results.
More surprising is the fact that these brands hardly follow the SEO basics but still sit on the top. Now the big question for smaller businesses is what exactly they need to do for cutting through the bigger ones and getting established on the top. Before answering this question, it becomes critical to understand how things work out for the brand leaders without massive efforts in terms of blog posting, link building and other SEO practices.
The Secret Behind The Dominance Of Brands
Primarily, major brands need not to focus on the basics because they are already there. The brand awareness that they build over the years gives them the much-needed authority that smaller businesses struggle to achieve online. Customers already know them and usually, search them by name. They seldom need to worry about link building because they attain them naturally. Since they are authoritative sources, smaller businesses gravitate towards them for linking purposes to fetch authority by this means.
Further, their massive marketing budgets give them the bandwidth for designing alluring websites that naturally attract consumers. All in all, it appears that these brands are unbeatable and smaller players can hardly do anything to leave them behind. But this does not mean that you should be disheartened as there are some SEO strategies that you can leverage to compete with the majors.
SEO Tips That Can Help You To Compete With Brands
When it comes to ranking high online, the right approach towards SEO can help your business to gain an advantage and give fierce competition to the established brands. Here are some practices that you can use.
Understand their strategy: To start with, you need to know that they do SEO differently and understanding the difference will help. As mentioned before, they go above and beyond the conventional link building practices and even their homepage SEO differs from the typical approach. They invest in quality content and this is what that gets them to the top. Further, they prioritize brand keywords for ranking rather than wasting efforts on non-brand related keywords. Knowing the competition well enough is the first step towards beating them in the race.
Plan you strategy accordingly: Once you understand their strategy, you can plan yours accordingly. Generally, small businesses go wrong in competing with big ones by targeting the wrong kind of keywords that the latter already reign. The right approach is to use a mix of high-quality content and smart keyword targeting. Re-strategize your link building tactics as well. In the article Homepage SEO Strategy That Works, Adam White explains that 80-90% of links for your homepage should have no keywords. This is the strategy used by big brands with high rankings on Google.
Promote the content you produce: Just producing high-quality, keyword-optimized content will not give you any benefit unless it reaches your target audience. Get it published on authoritative sources to convince Google that it is worthy enough to be positioned on the top. Guest blogging plays a key role in content promotion as it gives you the opportunity to take your brand to niche-relevant audience. Combine SEO with social media to widen the reach of your brand across the social channels. An extensive reach online automatically gets your brand in competition with the leaders in the industry.
Focus on branding: You need to strengthen your own brand if you visualize competing with the big names in your domain. Start by working on a branding strategy that ensures consistency everywhere, with your logo, tagline and color scheme clearly conveying your offerings to the potential buyers. Build a strong USP that sets you apart and gives you a distinctive identity in the market. Besides investing efforts in establishing a brand name, offer top quality in products or services so that your brand builds a credible reputation in the market.
Do not ignore local SEO: You may think that figuring out in local searches does not matter as much when it comes to competing with big brands. However, strengthening your local SEO is perhaps the fastest way to rank high on Google. Even if big brands dominate SERPs, Google still prioritizes local results. This means that you have a window of opportunity here and may be able to leave behind a brand with a strong industry presence to reach the top search ranking. Once you reach there on local searches, you may work on consolidating your brand further.
Partner with experts: Beating big brands is a major challenge and you cannot imagine success unless you have experts looking after your strategy. Ideally, you will need a fine mix of techniques such as SEO, social media marketing, influencer marketing and online branding to achieve tangible and sustainable results. Look for a team of professionals with the right skills, expertise and experience in all these elements so that they can come up with a strategy that brings best results within an optimal time span. Also, make sure that they are able to help you in maintaining your position in the competitive landscape for the long run.