Tips for small businesses looking to beat the competition

Tips for small businesses looking to beat the competition

March 15, 2021
(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

As a small business owner you know it’s not easy getting your business noticed! We as consumers will go online at a rate of 97% to find local services. How can you ensure your business is found online? There are numerous ways and we aim to tackle a number of these in this post. 

4 tips for getting your small businesses noticed on the internet

Obviously, showing up in Google should be your primary objective. Depending on your sources Google owns anywhere from 87% to 93% of the search market share, represented by this graphic.

us monthly search engine useage

Using search engine optimization to rank in Google

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it is often referred to is the process of optimizing your website and the content therein to rank better on the search engine results page (SERPs).

With SEO there are four main factors: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page or off-site SEO.

  1. Technical SEO: It is the art of optimizing non-content elements of the site and the overall site itself, improving its foundation. This will include items such as site speed, appropriate use of headers, image alt-tags, title tags, and meta descriptions.
  2. On-page SEO: This type of SEO helps Google to understand a page's content through the use of keywords and keyword phrases. Also lumped in with this would be generating content that your audience is looking for in other words, answer people's questions!
  3. Off-Page SEO: This type of SEO builds up a website's reputation and authority. This is usually accomplished by connecting it to other high-quality websites including directory profiles, local listings, social media pages, and a Google My Business listing. In general, what you are looking for are other reputable websites that link back to your site. This helps tell Google you are trustworthy.

    As George Harrison said in his song, Got My Mind Set on You,
    “It's gonna take time, Whole lot of precious time, It's gonna take patience and time.”
  4. Local SEO: One of the best ways we have found to help small businesses rank locally is through the use of geographic landing pages. As you might expect these will consist of a geographical location and services or products relevant to the area. They are solely designed for local searchers.

Use a blog to your advantage

Let me first state that I am of the opinion that a small business blog does nothing but help them. There are others that think a blog should be more focused on timely topics, not simply content. I also don’t want to discount their arguments, but to me, I think of a blog as an easy way to place content on your website in a consistent manner. I will often tell prospective clients that Google is hungry for content, much like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. Having a blog and putting content out, that again answers questions people are looking for can only help your business.

Build out your Service and Offerings pages

As part of your overall strategy, you will also want to make sure you have pages and content focused around your services and offerings. These pages should be optimized for the keywords and phrases related to your services and offerings. For example, if you run an auto repair shop, you would want to have pages and content that talks about the major services you offer, such as oil changes, brake replacement, suspension repair, tires, etc.

Think evergreen

As you start to build out all this content you want to think about the long term as well as the short term. And when I say long term, I mean years not months. Most forms of advertising have a limited shelf life. Online ads and social media are most likely the shortest, as they can be here one minute and gone the next, literally!  Where if you think about your content and the information you are putting out as evergreen or longer-lasting content you are setting yourself up for the long game. Just be sure to go back and review the evergreen content from time to time to ensure that it is still relevant.

Will this help your small business?

The short answer is YES! I am sure it is obvious to you that you should have some sort of presence on the web. However, if there was any doubt take a look at these stats. According to the World Bank and a quick search on Google for ‘how many people use the internet in the united states,” you will find that in 2019 nearly 9 out of 10 people were internet users, and if you are reading this include yourself in that number!

United States/Internet users

how many people use the internet in the united states

 

 

Ultimately this will help your small business to:

Achieve a competitive edge

As I mentioned before utilizing SEO and content marketing techniques will help. The main thing is you want to become the go-to place that searchers find information about your topics related to your small business. Many people will still go to Google first, but if you can make sure that Google finds the answer on your site, it is more likely to show the searcher your site in the SERPs.

Reach your target audience efficiently and with relevant information

As of the writing of this post, we are still in a world of uncertainty as it relates to the global pandemic. While there are signs of improvements, life, as we knew in 2019, will be changed for the foreseeable future. Video meetings have replaced in-person and will likely continue for sake of efficiency.

If you have a solid plan to reach searchers through your SEO and content marketing efforts you have to do less of a shotgun approach to your marketing and perform more of a rifle approach. The best advice I can give is to think about what questions you get asked about your services and offerings and then have content on the site that relates to that.

Find new clients

The goal of anything you spend money on should help you make more money or do something more efficiently. Marketing and SEO should be no different. As I have mentioned before SEO helps you rank better on Google’s search results page. By showing up here will better position yourself to gain new clients much faster than with other traditional marketing methods.

Increase your visibility and credibility

Visibility is important for all types of businesses via social media, through your website, off-website, and even offline in the physical world. Once you have become more visible then you start to become more credible. Simply being a decent human and decent business will go a long way. In other words be fair and honest with your pricing, over-deliver, and don't be afraid to provide a little extra.

Save money

You may be asking how if I am spending money do all that you have told me to do is it going to save me money? The short answer is as the saying goes, time is money. You can invest a little or a lot of money on unfruitful and unproductive techniques that don’t pan out, or at the least, you can’t prove they work. You can try to compete with the bigger business down the street with traditional media or advertisements, online and off-line. But with their massive budgets, they have money to burn. However, with a strong SEO strategy and content marketing plan it levels the playing field for you.

Final Thoughts

At Cube Creative, we have seen numerous businesses grow and thrive by utilizing the techniques and information that we have provided here. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one fits all solution for every business. What works for your friend’s auto repair shop might not work for your chiropractor or another business. As a general rule, when a plan is developed and executed properly including good SEO techniques and populated with content, the payoff for your small business is long-term value and staying power.

If you’re interested in creating an SEO or content marketing strategy for your small business but aren’t sure how to get started, don’t hesitate to contact us! We love helping small businesses grow and we have a variety of experience in a variety of fields!  We are confident that we can deliver the results you need.

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Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  March 15, 2021

Chad is our business development manager. He will help you survey your business needs, ensuring you are educated on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

See Chad Treadway's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway