Many small or medium business owners have a common goal – to dominate all the other same-sized competition. That certainly is an admirable goal. However, it is pretty limiting.
Why are you only interested in challenging the same-sized competition? Those small businesses aren’t the only businesses competing for the same customers as you. Big businesses are hoping to grab their attention too. Why are you content to let them dominate the industry and steal your potential profits?
Don’t limit yourself to just the competitors who are smaller than you. Go after the big dogs too.
Sure, it will be a bit difficult to give those industry leaders a run for their money. After all, they have more resources than you could ever hope for. But that doesn’t mean the task is impossible. It simply means you need to get creative with your marketing efforts. Here is what you do.
- Turn from Outbound to Inbound
Let’s be real. Unless you win the lottery, your TV commercials will never be as attractive, professional, or effective as those of the big businesses. Don’t waste your money on outbound strategies that won’t work.
Instead, focus your efforts on inbound marketing. In general, inbound marketing tends to be more successful. You are targeting consumers who are already interested in what you have to offer.
Try your hand at blogging. Join some social networks. Write an ebook. Set up a pod cast.
- Make Necessary Changes
While inbound marketing will probably be more fruitful for your particular business, it isn’t a miracle worker. You can’t just throw together a blog and expect it to bring droves of people to your business. You need to be smart about it.
Take a look at what does and doesn’t work. Do some A/B testing. Check out your site’s analytics. Get some solid data to help guide your future efforts. Ask yourself…
- Is this particular marketing goal realistic? Can I reach this goal in a timely manner? Will it give me an edge in the industry?
- Which marketing strategies are most effective?
- Which efforts yield the most leads and customers? Which leads and customers are most profitable?
If you find something that isn’t working, get rid of it. Don’t pour more effort, energy and time into something that will go nowhere.
By changing tactics quickly, you’ll have a major advantage over your big competitors. They have committees, boards and executives that need to approve nearly every decision – no matter how small. You don’t have to jump through all those hoops. By the time your competitors have made the same changes you have, you’re already two steps ahead.
- Adjust Your Keywords
We all know SEO revolves around keywords. However, you might not be aware that your keywords fall into one of two categories: head terms (weight loss) and long-tail keyword phrases (weight loss for senior citizens).
In general, the industry leaders have no trouble ranking for head terms. That is why they are the leaders. You, with your limited resources, will have a hard time challenging their top spot.
Instead of trying to fight a useless battle, try a different approach. Aim for ranking success with long-tail keywords. The good news is, 70% of organic search traffic actually revolves around long-tail. Score!
You’ll come across a head term that you really need to rank for. You’ll also come across long-tail keywords that have stiff competition. When these situations arise, take those competitive keywords and use them with pay-per-click advertising. That way, you are still connected with that keyword and advancing your business, but not fighting against a monster.
- Admit You Need Help
As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities. You are forced to be a multi-tasker. Some of those tasks are more enjoyable – and therefore easier to execute – than others.
You don’t need to be perfect at everything you do. While it may seem like your small business sits on your shoulders a lot of the time, it is sometimes advisable to outsource.
If you aren’t the world’s best marketing strategist, have no shame. Marketing – and especially SEO – is a difficult concept to master. But that doesn’t mean your business needs to suffer because of your ignorance.
Hire a marketing professional to help. Turn over that portion of your business and walk away. You’ll be able to focus your efforts more in your area of expertise. By relinquishing the tasks that don’t come easy to you, you can help your business grow by devoting your time to the areas where you excel.
What do you think of these small business SEO tips? Do you have any suggestions we left off the list? Let us know!
Ron Barraza works for a local SEO firm. He recently came on board to help Custom Corntoss market their cornhole products. Before, the company was trying to go it alone. After stepping in, the firm nearly doubled Custom Corntoss’s presence online. Ron used a lot of the above mentioned tips to help draw attention to the company’s custom cornhole boards and cornhole bags. Want even more tips? Connect with Ron on Twitter or Google Plus.