Just a few years back, it was common to plug a query into Google and be greeted with a list of ten businesses you’d never heard of. As recently as 2010, the search engine world may have looked like a wide open space where the right tech savvy would always carry the day.
In 2017, things are a little bit different.
Across most categories, search queries with “buyer intent” are likely to pick up a number of big brands. Some ultra-competitive areas, like insurance and legal services, are largely locked up by big names – this remains true even when you factor in these searches’ localized nature.
Yet, that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for small brands. Although many traditional “industry leaders” have finally gotten around to SEO, smaller players can still reach the top.
Let’s look at some important SEO considerations:
Google Ranks Pages, Not Sites
Although big brands have name recognition, that same power doesn’t extend to their SEO. The link profile, helpfulness, and optimization of a single page is much more important in its results than the clout of the domain name. That being the case, a basement startup with informative and useful content focused on a “long tail” keyword can beat industry kingpins.
Local Businesses Can Beat National Ones
Though this won’t apply to every project, it’s good to note the benefits local businesses have compared to sprawling national competitors. By optimizing local SEO and engaging in friendly, proactive reputation ma
nagement on review platforms, smaller firms can win out. Being known for quality and service will boost local visibility above Brand X, no matter how big it is.
Small Businesses Are Perceived as More Authentic
We are living in a world where authenticity is prized more than ever. With just a few exceptions, big brands have yet to figure out how to give their communications a human voice. A smaller business, where the owner is passionate and highly visible – across social media, video content, and SEO initiatives – will generally accrue more backlinks and more consumer trust.
Smaller Enterprises Are More Agile and Innovative
SEO is constantly changing, and that puts giant businesses at a disadvantage. As long as you are committed to consistently invest time and resources into SEO, you’ll have the chance to adjust course and maximize new opportunities. That can’t happen at giant multinationals, which have to contend with bureaucracy and focus on high-earning initiatives with fast results.
It can be intimidating to see big brands on the same search engine results page as you, but take heart: Your customers may be looking for exactly what you offer, and they won’t stop that search because a big box store has reached position #1.