Local Business, The Big Guys, and SEO

Many small businesses wonder how they can compete with large national or international companies in their market. This is especially true when it comes to online business and web traffic. Large companies with plenty of money and man hours to invest can really build their brand online and consistently rank high in search results.

So, how can you, the small business compete with that? It may be as simple as finding a part of the market, in particular the local market, and becoming the authority on that. Let’s take a simple, yet effective example of this idea.

Starbucks is everyone’s favorite international coffee shop. Almost no matter where you are in the world, there is likely a Starbucks within driving distance, and most likely walking distance, if you are in a large city. Starbucks has a huge budget and teams of people to come up with new cups to match the season and to track trends in cultural issues that it’s customers care about. This allows Starbucks to target its customers all over the world, and provide them a consistent product and a contestant atmosphere. Not to mention a pretty snazzy website.

However, a local coffee shop in Knoxville (or any town) has a leg up on Starbucks. A local shop has a great ability to have the pulse of the community, and quickly change according to that. As the local culture changes, as a local high school starts to win, or a celebrity comes to town, it becomes very easy for that shop to change directions and marketing to fit that trend. For Starbucks to do the same thing, would take the approval of several levels of management, and more money than it would likely be willing to spend.

How can we apply this to SEO and content marketing? Pretty easy, find a niche in the marketplace, and exploit it. Start changing content on the website to fit the niche, write several blog post about the topic to increase interest and drive web traffic. Post on social media to show locals that you have what they are looking for.

Here is another example: if you have a local bookstore, don’t try to be Barnes & Noble, be you. If you notice a spike in interest in books about local folklore, then use that interest by adding content and blog posts about local folklore to your website while highlighting books that feature that topic. Will it make you a millionaire? Maybe not, but it will drive additional interest in the subject, which you will be prepared to capitalize on.

These two examples are simplistic, but I hope that they are able to convey the idea that I wanted to send in the post. Recently, Moz had a vlog post, which was also discussed this topic. If you are interested in watching that video, click here.

And, as always, REO is here to help with getting your SEO and content marketing goals accomplished. If the idea of writing blogs or maintaining a social media presence seems overwhelming, or if you have too many things on your plate to handle it yourself, let us know, we would be glad to help!

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