How Small Businesses can Outdo the Big Players in SEO

I get this question often when SMEs or local businesses come to me to ask if they have a real fighting chance with SEO. Given the strong, long-time, big players out there with huge marketing budgets, it seems like an uphill battle. But thanks to the ever evolving world of online marketing, there is a great window of hope where startups and small brands can take advantage of. Somehow, the internet has levelled the playing field for everyone.

Check out these 5 ways a small business can compete against a big player in terms of SEO.


1) Build a modern website: Fast-loading, Mobile-responsive

Surprisingly, some old-time giants are still traditional and give their website less priority as compared to their position in the market. Related Read: 10 SEO Action Items for Gymboree Philippines. So now, show them what you’ve got! Leave your target segment in awe by offering a well-designed, user-friendly, fast-loading, and mobile-responsive website. It will make your business look more modern and up to date. Mobile-friendly pages are ranked better in search results. Take this advantage.


2) Stay true to your niche

The reason why you built this business is because you have identified a certain segment you can profit from. Stay true to that. It doesn’t mean you cannot expand in the future, but this advice will help you focus and pool all your SEO efforts towards targeting your specific market segment. Most likely, there is less competition here and it will be easier for you to establish your brand.


3) Start a Blog

Not all big players have a blog. Maybe it’s not their core marketing channel; or they might have one but use it solely for promotional content. That leaves most big brands to be impersonal to people. As a budding enterprise, grab your chance to be known in your market by being more conversational and engaging. Actively blog and participate in social media discussions where you and your audience are relevant.


4) Scale the Long-tail

You can gain collective traffic from long-tail, query-based keywords like: “best pizza parlors to try in Florence, Italy”, for example. Most big brands cannot scale long-tail keywords or highly niched topics. By offering very specific, useful content like that, you add some personality to your brand that makes it more appealing. Also, blog post titles that are: How-to’s, Top 10s, etc are click-worthy. Optimize it further by using a tool like co-schedule to write better headlines. We call this CTR optimization. It is another key SEO strategy to drive traffic from search despite being a small business site. Contact me to ask about CTR Optimization:

Here’s a summary illustration of what I mean by scaling long-tail keywords, courtesy of

5) Get local citations and make NAP consistent.

In my experience, we’ve found it really helpful to tap local directories like or signing up a Google My Business Listing for local businesses. It helps Google build confidence in your brand if your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) details are consistent and complete across all local citations and your website’s contact information. As with big players who have thousands of branches nationwide without a Google Business Listing or is not on Google Maps, this is your opportunity to outdo them in terms of localized competition.

If you want to know more about how to setup your Google Map (free) or Listing, go here:


If you need help in making sure your website is search-engine optimized, send me your questions to:

You may also book your 60-minute online coaching/chat here:

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Romela de Leon-Ortega

SEO Consultant & MomPreneur
With over 10+ years of experience as a SEO and Search Marketing Consultant, I empower brands to develop long-term growth through search engine optimization. I also assist local businesses in launching Adwords PPC campaigns. Huge bias for MomPreneurs, as I am one myself 🙂