Have you heard that story about the two guys hiking in the woods who suddenly come across a big grizzly bear? The bear was a good 50 ft or so away and started to come after them when one of the men quickly went into his backpack to pull out his running shoes. He got the running shoes out and started to put them on when the other man said, “what are you crazy? You can’t outrun that bear!” The man lacing up his sneakers said, “i know that but I only have to outrun you!”
That’s exactly how the game of search engine optimization is. There’s only a limited amount of real estate on page 1 of Google for every search term. Even less than that only the top 3 spots get any significant traffic on page 1. So all you have to do is outrun your competition. That’s it.
Sure there’s alot that goes into it but just understand the whole goal is simply to market yourself better than your competition. If you do that you will win.
So How Do You Market Yourself Better?
The very first step would be to conduct an in depth market and competition analysis. You can reach out to a company like ABM to conduct the analysis for you if you want a thorough and comprehensive review of your market & competition or you can simply look at a few things on your own. In most cases even if you’re going to have a professional do your research it’s still a good idea to start the process on your own so that you understand the market a bit better.
Survey the local landscape in your area and assess who the dominate players are online. I stress identify who the dominate players are online because sometimes they are not the same as the ones who are the most well known around town or the ones that do the most offline advertising. Don’t be influenced by your offline relationships, only analyze what is happening online in your local market.
Do some keyword searches for the services that you offer. Search normally, don’t try and guess what keywords people type in just search for the stuff that you do. Search for all of the services that you do in your area. What do you see? Who’s there? Do many of these types of searches for all of your core service offerings. Take note of who shows up the most.
Reverse Engineer Your Competition’s Online Strategy
Once you identify who is doing the best in your market, break down their strategy on a high level if you can. Things for you to look at;
- What kind of website do they have? Is it aesthetically pleasing and seemingly well built?
- How does it look on your mobile phone?
- Are they producing a lot of content?
- Do they show up organically as well as in the paid section (Adwords)
- If their advertising within the paid listings, can you figure out what keywords they are targeting? (there’s software you can use that will give you this information- contact us for more information on this)
- Do they have an extensive before and after photogallery?
- Who manages their marketing?
- Can you figure out where they are getting links from?
That will get you started in terms of figuring out what they are doing in order to be represented well within the search engines.
Remember, you only have to do better than your competition in order to win online. No reason to wait for everything to be perfect, just start marketing so you can get found online too.