Normally, competition is a force of nature, and the natural order of things. No business is set up to operate without competition, and those that manage to start out that way will inevitably face it in the future.
Competition is good. It forces businesses to raise their game, to do better by customers and strive to make a quality product, lest they be left behind. A lack of competition rarely fosters greatness.
When it comes to SEO, however, BizEngine will tell you competition is sometimes bad, albeit in a narrow sense. Where you’re a small business with bright eyes and a bushy tail and loads of gumption and a can-do attitude and a wagon full of hopes and dreams, you’re ideally positioned to win over customers in your own little slice of the world. Online, though, you’re playing ball with a bunch of ogres. Ogres are bad.
To put that in simple English, you’re up against large companies with established brand names, reams of keyword research and a vested interest in keeping their search results up near the top. Attempting to go toe-to-toe with them in search results is a losing strategy, and those that do click through won’t necessarily convert to a sale.
The reason is that some terms have high competition. Whether it’s been cornered by a major competitor that’s out of your league, or just warred over by several small companies, a high competition term is extremely tough to break in on. You’re unlikely to get off the fourth or fifth page of Google search results without major luck.
So what’s a small business to do? Use the Google keywords tool to find out what terms are close to the highly competitive terms you wish to target—instead of skiing, go with “ski bindings” or “ski resort”—and target those terms instead. They may not be a direct comparison, but if they are in your field and have medium or low competition instead of high, your chances of getting eyeballs on your page are much better. Once someone’s on your site, you can use that page to transfer them to others through judicious linking.
Remember: Never be spammy. Don’t target terms that have nothing to do with the page you’re using them on and stick to lower competition terms and you should see success. Once you’ve established your brand enough, you can start slugging it out on those big, high-competition terms. For a lot more from some people who know a ton about SEO, be sure to check out Brick Marketing.
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