March 1, 2015

How small business websites can outrank larger businesses


It has always been thought that ‘no matter how strong your content is, a large national brand will always have higher traffic that causes them to outrank you.’ However, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, is about the exposed the truth on whether site size really does impact search rankings.

Matt Cutts clearly disagrees with the notion that larger national brands will always have higher traffic and search rankings. Smaller sites might actually have more opportunities and capabilities due to their size, such as producing fresh content more quickly.

Even though it easy to feel like outranking your larger competitors is unreachable world wide, try just considering just your area of business. Cutts believes that your site can experience long term benefits if you can find a real ways to stand out from your competition by focusing your marketing efforts on a particular niche.

Debunking the Myth

Everyone knows the saying that larger websites will always rank better in Google but that might be more myth than we originally had thought. In September 2013, 400 people responded to an online survey that asked if they believed that a website’s size would impacts Google rankings. 57% believed that larger sites rank better, while only 9% of respondents believed smaller sites could – and the remaining 34% believed that size doesn’t impact the rankings at all.

While many small business website owners may be daunted by larger sites, and may be surprised by Cutts’ response, it’s clear that the quality of the site and what’s on the web pages will make a difference in search rankings.

Because Google ranks web pages instead of websites, the search engine is always looks to match the best, most relevant web page to the user’s search query. With that said, if shouldn’t matter if you have a small or larger website because if you focus your attention on producing quality content, it will pay off in the long run.

Small site transformed into a larger site

For small business websites, the fact that your site is smaller than your national competitors isn’t the end for your site. You could end up having a website as big and as impression as theirs if you work hard and produce that superior content we have been talking about. From Cutts’ angle, he argues that while your site may be smaller now, it can grow and transform if it gives users a better experience than your larger competitors.

As you’ll be delivering more valuable content in the long run, and Google will reward your sites for it. Cutts uses Instagram as an example of a site that started out small but provided something of extreme value to its users. Because of the site’s focus on value, they were able to grow into a large, well-known platform.

But be aware to make sure you consider your site and your staff. If you only have one person running the site, you may have to start small. This shouldn’t be looked at as a negative because it will allow you to focus on a specific topic or niche market. Then, in time, you could become the leading expert in that area and you’ll then be able to expand into other areas with time. As your authority and reputation builds in these different areas, you’ll help your site get larger and larger, and soon be on par with your national competitors.

User experience and value should be the focus

High quality and well written content will always be one of the ways you can give users what they want but it also helps deliver an imperative user experience and user value – the two components Google’s algorithms considers heavily when ranking sites, according to Cutts.

Its possible that smaller sites may have the time and capabilities to produce more new and exciting content than larger brands. In Cutts’ latest video, he shares specific strategies that smaller sites should implement if they’re looking to outrank their larger competitors:

  • Be agile – keep a close watch on what your users want, making sure that your following any changes in the patterns the internet reviles. As the internet changes, so will your users behaviours and to be successful you must also always be a step in front of your users.
  • Be dynamic – make sure your site and your goals are exciting. A small business can quickly loose any traction they have made if the content provider gets over posting material. If you can create new and vibrant ideas while giving users something unique and shinning with value, your rankings and the success of your site will increase incredibly .
  • Respond quickly – by responding to website, social media and other user enquirers quickly, you’ll position yourself as an industry leader who is laser focused on your customers’ happiness.
  • Target realistic areas – instead of trying to rank for example “Brisbane Builder,” try to target keywords that are longer and more specific to a certain niche or local area like “Kelvin Grove Renovation Services.” Focus your efforts on becoming a leader in the long tail, and then move into targeting broader topics down the road.

Cutts makes it simple for us to understand: Deliver more quality, details and insights than the bigger brands. By simply making your site better than the competitors in your industry, you’ll naturally rise in the Google search results over time.

Set you website up to be better in the long run

With Cutts’ latest video and explanation, it should be more than evident that with some diligence and smart strategies, outranking larger sites is not impossible. As Cutts says, “the smaller guys absolutely can [outperform] the larger guys as long as they do a really good job at it.”

By focusing on a specific keywords and services, being innovative with your ideas, and delivering user experience and value, you’ll be able to transform your existing small business site into a larger online presence. And lets not forget, always be optimistic about your capabilities, and figure out what you can do that the bigger sites can’t.

And remember not to give up trying to produce high quality content. If we have learned anything from Matt Cutts and Google’s recent updates, that superior content is what will help your site rank better in the long run.