As a small business, you are faced with the daunting prospect of having to compete with global behemoths in cyberspace, vying for the attention of potential customers. Even though your budget dictates that you invest in more affordable marketing strategies rather than just throwing money at advertising your website, you can still compete with large, established brands.
The trick is to pick your fights carefully. For example, in SEO, targeting highly competitive keywords will probably not gain you any exposure. These keywords will be the subject of a tight stranglehold by a monopoly of established brands – the chances are that it would be years before you could expect to be in and around those results. A good digital marketing strategy will target variants of keywords, often with phrases consisting of three or four words which still hold a good search volume whilst not being half as competitive.
Due to the market percentage that Google enjoys, if your website is not ranking on the search engine, you are going to have very little online visibility. If this is the case, the simple fact of the matter is that your business will struggle to earn any conversions online - no matter how good your website is.
It is important to differentiate your offering from the competition, otherwise, your business will be lost on the internet. You can achieve this by offering something different – whether it is a unique product, more in-depth content or a tailored solution that gives your business an identity all of its own that can be used to help potential customers discover what you offer.
There is no single definitive way to approach SEO. The strategy can be tailored to your own individual needs and budget. At i3MEDIA, we work with global brands as well as businesses targeting local areas such as Peterborough and Cambridge.
Regardless of how much work you commit to doing on your strategy, you must remember that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. Yes, you can attain quick wins, but SEO is never finished – once you have hit your target, you can't just simply stop. Your competitors will be working on their own SEO strategy to regain their position in the search rankings.
The good news is, though, unlike PPC that you can turn on and off at a moment’s notice, the work that you put into your SEO will have a positive effect for a considerable amount of time. For as long as it may take to reap the rewards, you will be able to enjoy the benefit for some time to come – which is all the more reason not to become complacent and continue to optimise your website.
As the person responsible for the marketing of a small business, no doubt you will already have experimented with adverts in local newspapers and flyers. In reality, it is difficult to measure the results that you see off the back of such advertisements - unless every person lets you know how they discovered your business, which isn’t likely to happen.
SEO not only yields results, but small businesses can also measure those results and the return on investment (ROI). Google Analytics plays a pivotal role in measuring the success of your SEO campaign by recording the number of users and sessions on your website at any one time and also recording where the traffic has come from as well as conversions and goal completions.
Organic search results (Google search rankings) can be viewed and compared to any period of time. This means that you can easily see the positive effect of your SEO campaign as well as the increase in conversions and revenue as a result - giving you a definitive figure on your ROI.
At i3MEDIA, we report on the progress of each client's SEO campaign, clearly outlining the progress made in terms of keyword ranking, traffic, conversions and goal completions amongst other key performance indicators (KPIs). All of this is to ensure that our clients can see the growth of their online visibility and ROI.
Local businesses can easily compete against large brands with a localised campaign. For example, a Manchester-based estate agent could, in theory, target the key phrase ‘estate agents’ which has an average search volume of 90,500 (as per SEMRush) which is highly competitive and not necessarily targeting potential customers in their area.
On the flipside, that same business could also target ‘estate agents Manchester’ with a search volume of 2,900 and distinctly less competitive and better targeted. The chances are that potential customers in the area will be the people who make those searches, looking for estate agents operating in the local area instead of national chains. Although 2,900 is a much lower number than 90,500, when you consider the difficulty of ranking for that phrase and the number of searches that would be made outside the Manchester area, the more targeted key phrase certainly better serves the business.
Of course, it isn’t just optimising your website with keywords that sees your business rank – that’s an old SEO technique that, now, would run the risk of a penalty. Instead, local businesses will do well to register on Google My Business (GMB), which helps the search engine pinpoint where you are in the world.
In contrast, larger businesses may not have that clear local presence online, giving an advantage to local businesses. With a website that is properly optimised and targeted to pick up local traffic, SEO will prove itself to be an invaluable asset to your business.
No two digital marketing strategies are the same and, here at i3MEDIA, we offer bespoke solutions based on your business. Our expert team carefully evaluate where you are as a business and identify targeted opportunities to help you grow and expand your online presence.
For more information on a tailored SEO campaign for your small business, or to request a quote, please contact us today on 01733 890836 or send us a message via our contact form.