The fundamental point of the Google algorithm is to provide the best answers and user experience to searchers. Though it can be frustrating at times when you see people game the system, there is also beauty in the fact that there is still an opportunity for small businesses to outrank the big sites if they work with smart and precise SEO. By providing a better user experience and content and working with specific link strengthening of important pages, small businesses can often sneak ahead of the big guys who attempt to just use their strength to generically bully their way to all of the traffic.
Deconstruct the Content
What are searchers looking for and what is Google delivering? First of all, you want to look at the pages that are currently ranking for your search term. For smaller businesses, it is often a good idea to aim specific content at specific searches than to try to outrank for broad topics. Typically if you can provide the best content to solve a specific issue, you can get a ranking. Rather than trying to rank for books, try to rank for a specific type of books. The search volume may be lower, but you can provide more specific and better content for the query and sneak in.
We have tools that break down pages that rank into their content and technical factors so that small businesses can focus on the most important things to push them up in the rankings. It isn’t always just the obvious primary keyword to focus on, as thousands are already covering these basics, but the secondary keywords that Google focuses on with semantic search.
Semantic search is the idea that certain other terms should always surround the main keywords to provide the best user experience. A searcher looking for the “best NYC attractions” does not want to land on a page that says “best NYC attractions” fifty times and Google has learned the other phrases that should go along with the main keyword phrase. “Empire State Building”, “Times Square”, “Statue of Liberty” are all other terms that Google has learned need to be a part of this page to create a good user experience. Every search term has these secondary phrases, and if we do our homework, we can improve your content and rankability by using these terms properly. These are often the precision pieces to the puzzle that other sites may miss.
Specific Link Building – Page Strength
Page strength matters. Most likely you are considerably behind that big competitor in overall domain strength, but your specific page can be built up to be stronger than that deep page on the big site. In many cases, they are so deep in the bigger site that the page has very few links pointed directly at it. If we can build links directly to your page, we can often pass the individual page strength of the big site and move you up in the rankings. Individual page strength is becoming more and more important, and this can be your crack in the armor of the big guys.
If you need help with any of this, give us a call. We are doing this stuff every day.