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Friday, November 3, 2017


Stiff Competition: How To Get Your Small Business Noticed Online
Jia Wertz, Forbes.com

Whether you’re a new company or an established brand, it has long been difficult for small businesses to compete with larger companies. And the advent of the internet and search engine optimization (SEO) has only made the struggle more difficult.

While there are hundreds of thousands of brands competing online, there are a few e-commerce sites, like Amazon, that top the rest. Amazon is the big box store of years past. At one time, consumers would shop at several small businesses to get what they need, but later, larger stores like Walmart popped up, serving as one-stop shops for every consumer need.

This is the position Amazon holds on the internet. The e-commerce site offers so much to consumers that it can be hard for smaller e-commerce sites to compete.

But Amazon’s inventory isn’t the only reason they trounce smaller competitors. When consumers are searching for goods, Amazon is most likely to be among the first e-commerce sites they find because the brand also ranks at the top of nearly every search engine results page (SERP).

So what can smaller e-commerce sites do to compete? Here are five tips for getting your site the most exposure  to help you measure up to the competition. While mastering SEO at every level of your site is important, at the end of the day, half the battle is about connecting with consumers.

1. What’s In A Name

“Your domain name can be your biggest asset or your biggest weakness. Having a domain name that is designed for SEO is important. It’s possible that one of these domain names can be easily obtained. Maybe you’ll find that the domain you’re looking for isn’t already owned by another company. Or maybe you’ll find the domain name you want has been left to expire and is available for you to purchase,” explains Michael Rader, CEO of Brandroot a one-stop-shop for domains that come complete with a logo.

But it’s also important to look for domain names that are being sold. This month, Vanity Shop of Grand Forks Inc. sold it’s Vanity.com domain name. While these kinds of domain names, already perfect for SEO aren’t always available, it’s important to watch the market for when one is up for grabs.

2. Keywords Are Key

SEO isn’t just important for your domain name. It’s also important to design your entire site around SEO. Every page of your site should be written with SEO in mind, from the descriptions of your products to the “about us” section of your site.

It’s just as important to design your site with SEO in mind as it is to use the right keywords. You shouldn’t be using the terms that other big brands are using because due to their standing, these brands will still dominate SERPs. Instead you should focus on those long tail keywords that are specific to the product you are selling. Find your niche and use it to your advantage.

3. Content Creation

In order to best capitalize on SEO a number of e-commerce sites now also generate additional content to publish on their sites. Put simply, the more content you have on your site, the better chance your site has of appearing in SERPs.

It’s important to promote your e-commerce site to consumers not only when they are actively looking to buy what you are selling, but also when their mind isn’t on purchasing anything. Create blogs, articles or videos that are relevant to your target customers and publish on a regular basis to bring potential customers to your site.

4. Be Social

While SEO is essential for any e-commerce site, it’s also not the only way to get your company noticed. Afterall, making an impression on potential customers is about more than mastering a computer algorithm.

Consumers still care about the companies they are buying from. If you're not active on social media site and aren’t connecting with consumers, you’re already far behind your competition; but you also have to be smart about how you use your social media accounts. Don’t just promote what you’re selling, promote things that identify with your brand and its lifestyle.

5. People Love Personalities

Take a look at any popular social media platform or website and you’ll find that the accounts and websites that get the most attention are those with captivating personalities behind them. Several Instagram users have utilized their personalities to earn sponsorship deals and what was once a hobby has become their career.

No one wants to look at a bunch of different yoga poses, it’s the person doing the poses people are interested in. Use the personalities in your own company to your advantage. Promote your people whether it’s on social media or directly on your e-commerce site. If consumers identify with the people working for your brand, you can build brand loyalty.