Competing with Big Business

Despite mention in my previous post of JCPenney and being penalized by Google for their unorthodox link buying campaigns, it is still as true as ever that the search engine algorithms favor big businesses. Companies like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and others are frequently mentioned and linked to from a variety of other websites, and no matter how hard the little guy may work to rank in these areas, success is exceedingly rare.

That doesn’t mean we should just give up and accept that our small business ventures will never take off. It just means that we need to be creative.

One suggestion is to market your site using less popular keywords or phrases. You can use Google’s keyword tool to evaluate popularity, and then determine what sort of opportunity your site has to rank in different areas. While certain broad terms may be out of reach, specialized phrases tend to be fair game. As a bonus, individuals who search using these specific terms are more likely to be serious customers ready to make a purchase.

Another idea – perhaps the most important – is to figure out how to set yourself apart from the big businesses online. What do you have to offer your clients? What makes you different? Why should they choose you? You may not have the budget (and the buzz) to compete with megastars in your industry, but if you can figure out what makes your company unique and sell that, you will succeed.

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