Small entrepreneurs are often demoralised at the prospect of online competition from the big players. Brand awareness, global reach and dedicated financial backing are all utilised to improve search engine rankings, establish relationships and sell products. The monopoly established by big business can seem overwhelming, but there are smaller site strategies that help to improve SEO and create a level playing field. Used wisely, the internet can ultimately allow the cream to rise to the top.
Big businesses and websites have natural marketing advantages simply due to their size and overall exposure. Their broad reach and page authority cannot be denied, although the large business model can become unwieldy and confusing, sometimes resembling an impersonal information dump. Quality content can become compromised for the sake of quantity, especially when business partners require preferential treatment, company direction is fixed or creativity stifled. Instead of rising, the cream becomes watered down to facilitate expansion.
It’s unwise to butt heads directly with stronger opponents in a fiercely competitive online environment. However, smaller businesses and websites can adapt and flourish in ways that larger ones can’t. Firstly, we need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both big and small business strategies.
Advantages of big sites
- Domain recognition and authority
- Reputation for trust generated by advertising, reviews and business reach
- Search engine bias created by multiple links connected to popular websites
- Financial backing for dedicated web marketing and SEO professionals
- Major investment in business priorities
Advantages of small websites
- Speedy implementation of new strategies without the need for multiple layers of management approval
- Flexible creativity and the ability to plan beyond established boundaries typical of large businesses
- Niche appeal by focusing on specific product attributes to create subject authority and a dedicated pathway to your business
- The opportunity to prioritise and easily adapt focus on SEO, web marketing or other strategies as the need arises
- Authenticity as a specialist that allows business to grow steadily and organically without direct competition from larger players
Consumers require a degree of familiarity, both offline and online. A true economy requires both large and small business to function relatively harmoniously. An internet entirely dominated by large multi-nationals would be distasteful in the eyes of most people and greatly limit business and purchasing opportunities. Small websites play a major role in internet uptake by the masses, providing variety, specialisation, and a healthier, happier browsing experience. Small website operators introduce a variety of strategies to create a level playing field. Here are a few more specifics.
Targeted keywords: Big brands are often unable to use some keywords due to their business platform. Examples include:
- Keyword comparisons: Big brands don’t usually make the effort to compare themselves with other brands. Big businesses are insular, preferring to broadcast their own attributes without acknowledging competitors, but a small business doesn’t need to emulate this practice. In fact, a small website that offers comparisons with the competition can establish itself as a genuine subject authority while also promoting company expertise and advantages.
- Long-tail keywords: Website marketing often involves creating keywords that have the greatest reach. Although often helpful, generic keywords can result in web searching that is ambiguous, frustrating and wasteful. A targeted long-tail keyword on the other hand, can directly steer customers and visitors in the right direction. Instead of trying ‘Rhinoplasty photos’, a smaller website can consider something like ‘Female Before & After Rhinoplasty Photos’. You won’t catch every Rhinoplasty related photo search, but there is every chance your specific long-tail keyword will be visible near the top of search rankings where potential customers can see it.
- Editorial keywords: Big business is often restrained in ranking products or performance due to allegiance with other businesses. Small websites aren’t constrained by such considerations and can develop page authority by being upfront and unbiased about the competition.
Niche marketing: As more information is piled onto the internet, specific brand association and niche marketing becomes plausible. Consumers are aware that detailed web enquiries can derive personalised search results, creating an opportunity for small players to establish themselves as industry experts in a niche market.
Create long-term strategies: Business websites attempt to monetise content on every page. A small business, on the other hand, might prefer to firstly establish authority and trust. Instead of providing product or service information for direct sale, a smaller website might instead focus on tips, tricks, news, tactics and education. Valuable content may not pay off immediately, but can serve as genuine long-term resource and reference material. Once trust is established, customers will follow.
Focus on specialist content: Although big websites attempt to cover all bases, a smaller operator can dedicate more time toward a niche subject. Page authority and quality content are increasingly targeted by search engines, and your subject authority will hold you in good stead for higher page rankings.
Build one-on-one relationships: We have all experienced customer dissatisfaction with the impersonal nature of big business. A small tight-knit business won’t let potential customers or clients fall through the cracks, preferring instead to establish a real connection where time is dedicated toward informing and educating customers.
Small website promotion needs to adjust in scale in comparison with larger players. Competing on the same field is almost impossible but playing a whole new game free from the overlordship of big business is possible and ultimately profitable.