You can never compete ‘big boys’ with their big marketing budgets… Or can you?
It seems that smaller businesses really can win when it comes to getting great rankings for Local Search. You might not have the biggest budget but, providing you have some kind of budget, there are some really good opportunities open to you.
One of your biggest advantages is that you can make decisions and you are empowered to follow them through. You don't need to wait in the web developer's queue behind a dozen requests from other offices, other departments and the CEO. On average it takes someone in a large corporate 6 months to push through a website update. No wonder they feel like grumpy cats! The chances are that you can get your site updated within days or even hours.
You also have the advantage that you can buy in the right advice from the right people. Corporates and bigger businesses often have in-house marketing teams who have some knowledge of SEO. Unfortunately, these people don't always get the training they need to keep up to date and they don't get access to all the software required for the job. Google's policies and algorithms are updated constantly. Local Search evolves even faster than mainstream Organic Search. That's why good quality SEO professionals will invest time every month in keeping their skills up to date. When you buy professional advice, always ask about their training. If they aren't investing, don't hire them.
In some business sectors, the big brand does such a poor job at SEO and social media that local branches set up their own sites and profiles. Try looking for Halfords on Facebook and you'll find a huge number of accounts. This creates massive confusion which often undermines the big brand. It also means that your smaller business is competing against another small business.
It might sound obvious but you will know your local area better than any marketing team in Head Office ever can. You can write about your region with authenticity. Also your photos will be of real people, taken locally (which means the location data hidden in the digital image files will match your area). Corporate or stock photography might look more glossy but they don't create empathy with your audience in the same way that natural photos do.
What are the top 5 steps to beat the corporates?
- Get your Google Map listing exactly right
- Add photos to your Google My Business account of the exterior and interior of your premises, your team at work and, where possible, your clients.
- Add Structured Data to your website and make sure you've adopted LocalBusiness Schema.
- Make sure your business listings are totally consistent and that your business name, address and phone number are correct on every website that lists them.
- Make sure your website is properly mobile-friendly, fast and you've migrated to SSL.
Build on strong foundations
These are the fundamentals that you can build on. Get this right and you can grow your business by getting ahead of the competition in the search engines. We might need to do some more work to build on these essential elements but, without the foundations, we can't get you started.
When I talk to prospective clients, I am honest. If you ask me about your site, I will be open with you about the challenges and results we are likely to face. For example, we're unlikely to get you a map pin for Solihull if your business is closer to Shirley and it will be harder to get good results if you use 0800 numbers. I give my clients a straightforward appraisal and then, if we are both happy, we work forward to build a long term relationship.
If that sounds good to you, just get in touch. You can start with a risk-free report which we will review and then agree the best way forwards to achieve great results.
ServicesMarketing expertise meets digital strategy and search engine optimisation.
StrategyWe find out how your digital marketing supports your sales and business growth. Then we design a digital strategy that delivers results.
Search enginesThere's more to SEO than just getting good rankings. We look for measurable growth in conversion rates.
Fixing penaltiesIf your rankings have disappeared, you might have a penalty and we can help.
Digital marketingSocial media, Pay-per-Click, newsletters and integration with your business processes. These are levers for success.
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Our goal is to give you the information, the tools and the support you need to build a robust business. Together we will make sure your digital marketing delivers good quality prospects that you can turn into profitable customers.