It’s no secret that large businesses have had an advantage over small businesses in the online world since the .com boom. Large businesses typically have more resources, larger budgets and operate on a greater scale which has generated results and has seen the fall of entire industries such as book stores. In recent times the rise of social media and Google’s focus on local businesses has made the online world more of an evening playing field enabling even the smallest of business the ability to compete with the big guys. Here are 5 ways small businesses can beat large businesses online:
1. Social Media Strategy
Social media is a leveller in the online marketing world. This means budget and resources do not necessarily guarantee success. There are many small businesses with shoestring budgets and a gallon of enthusiasm that are outperforming their competitors in the social media space. Small businesses have an advantage over large business as they will have more freedom to be creative with the content that they publish whereas large businesses are often constricted by guidelines and regulations set by HR departments.
2. Participate In The Local Community
An advantage that a business that operates in a local area has over a large businesses that operates in multiple locations is their local knowledge. As a member of the local community you will have access to knowledge and a community that large businesses do not. To take advantage of this find out what special events are taking place in your community and participate by joining the conversation on social media surrounding an event, providing a special offer or sale to celebrate an event or working in partnership with other local businesses that your customers love.
3. Add Company to Google My Business
Google My Business is the new Google Business Hub where business owners can manage their presence across Google including Maps, Adwords and other Google services. In recent years Google have featured local results more prominently in the search results with their local pack appearing directly in the search results for searches with a local intent. By registering with Google My Business and completing a profile for your business you can appear in the local section of the search results when searches are performed with local intent. (A search with local intent is when someone in a local area performs a search for a product or when someone from outside the area performs a search for a product and a selected location).
4. Build A Positive Reputation
The online reputation of a business is having an increased impact on online customers as they become more and more visible with more and more websites providing the opportunity for customers to rate or review a business. Some well known examples include Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook. Local businesses have the opportunity to build a reputation online by registering their business with the relevant websites and encouraging customers to provide their feedback.
5. Optimise Website For Mobile
It is well documented that as much as 40% of website traffic is performed on mobile phones. Many people who perform searches from a mobile device are ready to make a purchase and are looking for a business in their area that provides the product or service that they are looking for. If a website isn’t mobile optimised customers won’t be able to find the information that they need and will visit a competitor website, but if the website is mobile optimised the customer will be able to read the information on their phone and find the store to make their purchase.