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SEO hacks: 5 ways small businesses can outrank big businesses

Here are five SEO hacks you can do today with minimal budget, that can have you competing with the big boys.

Let’s take a moment to commiserate with the small business that produces soft drinks. Or the local designer manufacturing sports shoes. Or that tiny telco that’s big on service and price but small on marketing budget.

For many companies operating in a space dominated by multinational brands like Coca-Cola, Nike or Vodafone, ranking high in search can seem but a dream and SEO a futile exercise.

How can a small business possibly compete for SEO with their competitors, with their multi-million-dollar budgets and teams of marketing professionals, and rank highly in Google?

We’re talking about brands that already have enormous brand recognition thanks to a wide and well-funded marketing mix, which may include television ads, event sponsorship and billboards.

Competing using the same keywords just won’t cut it – you’ll be outspent and you won’t get much traction.

To the small business longing to improve their search ranking, we say, don’t give up. SEO gives people the ability to compete, but you have to be smart about it.

Here are five SEO hacks you can do today with minimal budget, that can have you competing with the big boys.

1. Focus on UX (user experience)

When we think about SEO we often focus on keywords and links – but it’s important to remember that Google doesn’t just use these marketing tactics to rank websites, it also considers how people use your website. How much content do they consume? How long do they stay on your website?

Quick hacks you can smash out today to improve your user experience include making sure the content is relevant and engages the user; that product descriptions are clear and pricing transparent; and that your website is professionally designed and easy to navigate.

2. Concentrate on social media

Search and social media are sometimes thought of as mutually exclusive marketing tools, but your social media presence can actually really impact your SEO.

An active and engaging social media presence will increase traffic to your website, thus lifting your ranking on search.

The key is to link or mention your website in every post you share. It doesn’t even matter if people don’t click through – it’s building your branding and eventually people will begin going directly to your website.

3. Use canonical tags

We know that creating new content regularly helps with SEO, but chances are, there’s only a certain number of topics you can write about or produce videos on.

Say you’re an organic food store. You might write blog posts about the health benefits of organic produce that are all pretty similar. For example, ‘Why apples are your must-have organic item’ and ‘Why organic is best’ are different articles, but very similar topics. Over time, that confuses Google and you may end up with pages of little importance to your business ranking higher than the ones that will drive traffic and promote sales.

Canonical tags allow you to rank pages in order of importance, meaning when you appear in search, it shares the pages you want to show.

4. Improve your local listings

It’s a fact: people shop local. In fact, about 50 per cent of all Google searches are for products and services available in a local area.

So, if you’re doing SEO on a budget, make sure you get maximum marketing bang for your buck by concentrating on locality.

Keep UX front of mind and give consumers what they are looking for: opening hours, and detailed and specific product descriptions.

Reviews are also super important for people shopping locally, so make sure you have lots of good ones, by encouraging happy shoppers to leave a review and rewarding them if they do.

5. Write articles and refresh them often

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to become a thought leader in your particular field, and this is done by producing interesting and relevant content – and producing it regularly.

Yet, producing regular articles, laden with keywords and links, isn’t enough to impress Google. Google will only rank you higher in search if people are staying on your pages and clicking through links. If they do, this tells Google that your content is useful and important to consumers and they will rank it higher.

Given this, it’s important to also refresh old content, making sure it’s up-to-date and still relevant.

Speak to the marketing strategy experts

Online marketing is a complicated beast, with many parts required to work in a certain way and holistically to achieve maximum results – SEO being just one of them.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne who have the knowledge and experience to create a digital marketing strategy that takes in all aspects of online marketing, including SEO.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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