Large websites (think Wikipedia) and those that have been around for a long time, often have a leg up in the competition for the top search result spots in your favorite search engines. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot though. In an effort to bring their customers – the people that type in the search – the best results possible, search engines like Google, Bing, and, Yahoo are weighing relevancy quite heavily. And that’s what you can use to your advantage even as a small guy. Here’s how:
Be Specific – Go After The Long Tail And Niche Down
Don’t go after a top keyword for your niche. Let’s say you’re selling blue widgets. Don’t go after the term “blue widgets”. Yes, it gets the highest search volume, but not everyone searching will be ready to buy blue widgets from you. Maybe they are looking for blue widget images because they are curious about what they look like. Maybe they are looking for instructions on making their own blue widgets, or they want to find someone who can manufacture a lot of these blue widgets for their own shop.
Instead, go after the long tail. Use key phrases like “where to buy blue widgets online” or “best place to buy blue widgets in Springfield”. Even better, find a way to set yourself apart from the competition by becoming the place that sells blue widgets for bicycles. Make yourself the expert
Stay On Topic
Relevancy is all about staying on topic. A small website dedicated to sharing great content exclusively on one topic will rank higher than larger sites that share everything. That’s why despite its huge authority, Wikipedia doesn’t rank for everything. Even though there’s a page on just about everything on that site. Let’s say you decide to build a site about gardening. Pick a niche within that and stick to it. That’s how you may become one of the authority sites about something like rose gardening, or building a year-round herb garden.
Each time you work on a new piece of content ask yourself if it is on topic. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Relevancy matters.
Go Local Where It Makes Sense
I touched on this earlier, but it’s an important topic, so let’s dive a little deeper. Where it makes sense, it can be very beneficial to make your content local. Instead of becoming one more seller of yellow widgets online, you could become the seller of yellow widgets for your state or your town and rake in the profits.
Of course, this doesn’t make sense for everyone. But let’s say you are great at email marketing. Instead of putting up yet another site and offer yet another course to everyone in the English speaking world on the topic, go after the small businesses in your area. Become the expert for email marketing in Somerville, NJ (that is just an example… use YOUR local market – don’t compete with me :-). Not only will it be much easier to rank for this longer tail keyword phrase, it also opens up all sorts of new options for local marketing. And don’t forget about higher-priced products and services that you can offer locally like in-person workshops and consultations.