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Making small websites punch above their weight

I hope your website has dozens, or even hundreds, of pages with strong, informative content. That’s a crucial element in winning the SEO battle. But what if your site is new, or particularly niche, and only has a handful of pages? Ten years ago, when ‘microsites’ were all the rage, it was still possible for a small site to do well in the search engine results accidentally. Today you’re more likely to need a smart, targeted strategy.

As I’ve mentioned many times, SEO is not about being the best site on the web, it’s about beating your competitors. So you’ll either need to find valuable searches where your competitors don’t rank, or beat them at the ones where they do. Best of luck with the first; I’d suggest that in most cases, it’s the second approach you’ll need to target.

It’d be great if you could have access to your competitors’ Google Search Console reports, to see what searches they’re ranking for, and the volumes of those searches. Sadly, you’re not going to get that, so the next best thing is to use a third-party tool like Ubersuggest, where you can enter URLs from other sites and see some of their top searches. Don’t forget, your ‘competitors’ aren’t necessarily the companies you find yourself quoting against in everyday sales pitches, but the ones that are doing well in the Google results. Listing those is an exercise in itself.

Once you’ve identified the pages that are getting top positions for the most frequently-made, relevant searches, your task is to write something better. This may not be as hard as you think – it’s surprising how many companies are quite unsophisticated with SEO and have got to number one without trying. However, your article should at least attempt to be the ultimate resource for the topic: something real prospects and search engines alike will take one look at and think they’ve found the only background they’ll ever need. As an example, I helped write this 5000-word piece on ‘how to reduce traffic congestion’ which dominates its targeted search, bringing in hundreds of visitors a month (although in a fantastic example of the ‘long tail’ of search, lower-volume searches bring in six times as much traffic in total).

However much time and money you’ve spent on the article, think about doubling it for the online promotion. That means encouraging valuable sites to link to it, using social media to promote it, and much more. Getting a web page to generate business is not easy, but it is possible, even on a small site, if you allocate sufficient time and money, and spend both wisely.