Five hacks for small businesses to outrank larger ones. How can you compete with those big guns when it comes to SEO? If they already have a better domain authority than you and they have the fingerprints all over the best search queries in your vertical, it can seem like it's impossible to outrank them, right? Well, no, that's wrong. You can outrank them.
That means not just going after the biggest, most important keywords within your industry that has major players already sitting at the top. Because if you do that, it's going to take a very long time. You're going to be playing their game and it's going to be harder to win. What you need to do is make them play your game. Remember, these are big brands that we're talking about here, massive corporations. And, although they're stocked with resources, they're not agile.
Let's dive into five ways that your small business can supersize your SEO strategy and maybe even compete with some of the biggest names in your industry.
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Hack number one, focus on UX or user experience. Think SEO and UX don't go hand in hand? Think again. Google pays attention not just to keywords and links, but how people click on your website. And if your UX is terrible, you simply will not rank really high.
Hack number two, work on your social presence. Two tips in a row don't even include SEO. Strange, right? Except both UX and social media can play a central role in your SEO just not in your traditional way. Just think about it this way, those big name competitors might have a monopoly on the major keywords that you want to rank for, but anyone can go viral. Building your brand on social media can still drive a ton of traffic to your website and branding is one of the most important factors in SEO.
Hack number three, use canonical tags. Need to avoid duplicate content? It's an absolute SEO must. And the big companies over time tend to create a lot of content on the same topic over and over and over again, which causes Google to be ensure which page to rank for a popular keyword. For example, if I have a page on the Beginner's Guide to SEO, and then I have another post on A Guide on How to Get Started with SEO, both are pretty much the same thing. They're talking about how to do SEO or get started if you're a beginner. So Google doesn't know which one to rank.
Hack number four, optimize your local listings. Remember what I said earlier about how almost half SEO searches are local ones? That just goes to show how important local SEO is. A huge part of it is to create local search listings, especially for small businesses. Remember, you can't just go from big industry head keywords that everyone is searching for from day one. Focus on what you can control, your local listings. This should include high quality images, up-to-date hours, extensive product listing, and specific creative content that reflects your brand and what you have to offer. Any inconsistencies with your local SEO listing can create issues for you, not just with Google crawling and listing your page, but with your audience actually not being able to find you.
Hack number five, write detailed content and refresh it often. I want to emphasize the refresh it often. You want to stand out in your niche? Becoming a thought leader is hard work, but it can pay off big. And writing a lot of content, especially long form content, with high quality keywords and links is essential to get ahead, but you also need to refresh that content on a regular basis. That's what a lot of big companies don't do.
Remember Google prioritizes experience, so not just refreshing content, but getting your message out as short and as quick as possible. Sometimes that could be in 100 words, sometimes that could be in 500 words. Sometimes that needs to be 5 or 10,000 words.
And if you keep refreshing your content, although I mentioned this time and time again, it can really get you a lot of traffic. Now, I also want you to check out your competition's content about similar keywords and make sure you are trying to find new ways to outrank them and assert yourself as an industry leader.
Now that you know these five hacks, you should be able to really take off when it comes to SEO and beat these big companies that have bigger brands than you. Trust me, I've done it and it works. We do it at our ad agency, NP Digital, for both large companies and even startups to midsize companies.
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