5 hacks for small businesses to outrank larger ones. How can you beat those big
guns at 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.
5 Hacks For Small Business
Now, it may seem like they have unlimited resources, strong branding, and an
audience that’s deeply familiar with their work, but that doesn’t mean David can’t beat
Goliath. And the truth is you absolutely can still compete.
You just have to be smart about it. 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. And if you look at the
output that they produce for how many people they have, it’s actually not that much
when you actually look at it as output per person.
Because there’s a lot of politics, there’s a lot of things that just make things move
slowly. 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.
Hack 1: Focus On UX Or User Experience.
Think SEO and UX don’t go hand in hand? Think again. According to Google’s Head Ex of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, he once said,
” Those types of factors that are generally good for your users, that’s probably going to be worth a whole heck of a lotta money to you than thinking about the amount paid link or anchor text that’ll come from multiple links on a single page.”
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. Some important aspects to keep in mind when you’re talking about UX is, is my website credible?
Is it professionally designed and up to date? Is there content that my audience can quickly read to figure out if they want to stick around on my website or not? Are my prices transparent? Are my products and services described in a clear and uncluttered way?
Check off those from your list, or hire a third party to perform a UX audit. Technically, my ad agency, NP Digital can do that for you if you’re interested as well.
Hack 2: 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. When someone sees or interacts with your website or your brand or your copy or your videos, it helps reinforce your brand.
And they call it the rule of seven, it takes roughly seven interactions for you to generate more evangelists and loyalists when it comes to your brand. As the Ex CEO of Google once said, Eric Schmidth, he once said,
“Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”
So the bigger your brand, the easier it will be for you to rank on social media and this will help your brand get out there. I post on social media all the time, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok.
And every time I do, I make sure to incorporate my agency’s websites into the mix in some way, whether it’s a link in my bio or feature in the actual post itself or just mentioning it like I did on this guide.
Why? Because even though it’s not a keyword or a backlink driven strategy, it’s still driving traffic to my website because then people start going directly to you.
Which helps people get to know my company’s brand name, NP Digital, and we start getting literally thousands of people searching for our ad agency on a monthly basis.
May not seem like a lot, but when you’re dealing with Fortune 500 companies, each search really does help.
And the best part about social media is that you can quickly pivot to another platform if one of them isn’t working as effectively as you would like it.
Hack 3: 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.
You want to use real canonical tags to get rid of your duplicate content on your website, and ideally, you want to be combining the pages that have similar content into one URL and do a 301 redirect. This will just help you generate more traffic in the long run.
Hack 4: 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.
I see a ton of super small businesses struggle with this, inconsistent naming, wrong address, stuff like that. It’s super easy to fix and it’s preventable and you shouldn’t even have these issues in the first place.
And best of all, you want to get a lot of reviews. The more five star reviews you get, the more likely people are to click on your website and even if your company isn’t local to one specific region, you can create localized pages to go after all the major cities where your clients are.
Hack 5: 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.
We see this at our ad agency, NP Digital. A lot of the big companies that hire us, they create new content but they forget to refresh the old ones and then they’re like, wow, we’re refreshing them.
We’re getting way more traffic, and it’s much more affordable and it’s a much better ROI. And it’s like, yeah, you need to focus on that.
But don’t just write massive long form articles and assume this is what Google wants and if you refresh them, it’s going to be fine.
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. If your content is so long that it actually dissuades users from clicking, Google won’t care how many keywords you shove in your content.
It needs to be amazing content that’s friendliest for users and is up to date. Your sweet spot should however be as many words that you need to get your message across, or as little words that you need to get your message across for people to be like, huh, I got what I need.
I don’t have any more questions. I don’t need to search about that topic again. That’s how you know you won and you’ve done a good job.
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.
So if you need help with this, check out our ad agency. If you have any questions, email us. If you enjoyed the guide, share it tell other people about it. Thanks for reading.