Is it Still Possible for Small Businesses to Stand Out on Search?
Even just a few years ago, it was often easy for small businesses to rank highly in searches with just a little SEO work. Today, so many businesses are focusing on SEO that there just isn’t room for all of them — especially when the giant chain companies always seem to find their way to the top. Fortunately, there are still ways for small businesses to separate themselves from the pack.
Tailor to Your Market
The reason giant chains often rank first is because their national fame gives them a strong online presence. However, their websites often take a cookie cutter approach with little local information. Even many small businesses contract an SEO firm that doesn’t really know the local market.
This creates a hole where you can target your information to specific local neighborhoods, tastes, events, and needs. It will also help to show your customers who want to shop local how you’re connected to the local community.
Be Active in the Community
Be active in the community by participating in local events and sponsoring causes you support. In addition to building your offline reputation, this will help you to appear in social media, press releases, and local websites.
You may have heard that buying links is bad, but that’s when you’re simply paying someone to add a link somewhere. If you’re actually involved in your community and receive a link in return, it will still help your organic search rankings even if your motive was marketing.
Ask Your Customers to Leave a Review
Reviews are an increasingly important factor in search marketing. In addition to helping search engines see that you’re a real, active business, many search results now include a box with customer reviews instead of just a list of links.
Asking your customers to leave a review can help you build up your presence faster. Don’t worry about getting bad reviews. They will be drowned out by the good ones as long as you correct any legitimate customer concerns. In addition, a bad review gives you a chance to publicly show your strong customer service and willingness to make things right when something goes wrong.