Often, the commentators on industry blogs talk about best practice without, it seems, the faintest concept of how the level of commitment and physical endeavour required can overwhelm a small business.
This thought was running through my head early in the week when I saw this article from Adam Stetzer on the burdens that smaller companies have to address. Adam stresses the importance of regular link profile analysis to ensure that SMEs stay resolutely in the black when it comes to authority. However, there is a bigger question here around how SMEs are to compete against their larger cousins in all areas of search marketing – when a competitor has a bigger budget, greater resources and more staff, following best practice – whether it be in link acquisition, social media engagement, site optimisation or content development – seems unlikely to win the day. A tough challenge.
And that’s why we’re always looking to provide useful advice and scaffolded support in these weekly digests – understanding the rationale behind conceptual and practical aspects of search marketing is key to keeping ahead of the competition and only through knowing the rules of the game better can Davids look to beat Goliaths.
With this in mind, here’s a fantastic primer on what you should care about most in the SEO race. Identifying 18 must-see factors, it helps clarify both the how and the why of certain areas of your search marketing strategy and, even those who know their onions will benefit from that clarity.
One way that SMEs can definitely level the playing field in through judicious use of a targeted PPC campaign. Whatever one’s budget, there is (more often than not) a niche within each market that can be optimised with the right strategies. Not that it’s easy – but it’s do-able! Here’s all-round PPC guru, Larry Kim on how to “hack” your Adwords Quality Scores – an element that is at the heart of undercutting your competition.
On the topic of broader organic strategy, we can turn to the Moz’s Whiteboard Friday for a suitably philosophical approach to success – by understanding your aims, you can be more explicit in your site’s intentions and, without meaning to cast aspersions, there are many, many websites (of companies, large and small) that fail to demonstrate this clarity. With some sensible self-analysis, you can overtake them all on the inside. Don’t think bigger, think smarter.
And lastly, we regularly urge you to get serious about engaging with conversion rate optimisation (CRO) – the single biggest crime a website can commit is not to cherish the traffic that already comes to it; furthermore, the site that looks after ALL its visitors will quickly see itself rewarded with more visitors (both on- and off-line) – news of good customer service always travels fast (though not as fast as news of bad customer service).
However, serious CRO can take time and, more importantly, money that SMEs simply don’t have. You have to invest to grow but, sometimes, you have to start small. And that’s why this article is so useful – clearly articulated, it details some relatively simple CRO tests that most site managers can engage with and virtually all will benefit from.
So, SMEs – don’t let the big boys bully you and your site; think out your strategy, work smart and hard and your nimbleness can outflank them.