Are small businesses at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO than large businesses? 7 strategies for small businesses to win



  • “Are small businesses at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO compared to large businesses?”

    “Even if you create high-quality content, you can’t compete with large companies?”

    Web managers and managers of small and medium-sized businesses who are tackling SEO for the first time may often have questions like these.

    It is true that small and medium-sized businesses have less budget for SEO than large companies, and most do not have dedicated staff who are knowledgeable about SEO.

    However, even small and medium-sized enterprises can compete with large companies, and there are many small and medium-sized enterprises that have actually succeeded in attracting customers through SEO.

    The important thing for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed with SEO is not to fight in the same way as large companies.

    Therefore, in this article, we have explained the important strategies for SEO for small and medium-sized businesses.

    Topic of this article

    • Is SEO necessary for the homepage of small and medium-sized businesses?
    • Are small businesses at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO than large businesses?
    • 7 strategies small businesses need to win with SEO
    • Basic SEO measures you should know

    By reading the article to the end, you should be able to get the strategies and tips you need to make your company’s SEO successful in the future. Please refer to it.

    Is SEO necessary for small and medium-sized business websites?

    First of all, I will explain “Is SEO necessary for small and medium-sized businesses’ websites in the first place?”

    In conclusion, the minimum SEO measures are necessary.

    For example, if you have a homepage but your company doesn’t show up high in searches for “company name” or “product name,” you should take some minimum SEO measures.

    This is because the users who perform personalized searches are potential customers who have a strong interest in your company, and not reaching them with information is a lost opportunity.

    However, whether you should focus on SEO depends on the company and the purpose of the website.

    Small and medium-sized businesses have limited budgets for attracting customers, so they must prioritize measures that are more cost-effective for them.

    SEO is just one way to attract customers, so consider whether you should focus on it or not, considering that it is suitable for different businesses.

    Advantages and disadvantages of small and medium-sized businesses engaging in SEO

    Here are the pros and cons of SEO for small and medium-sized businesses:


    • If you can appear at the top of search results, it will have a high effect on attracting customers and expanding awareness.
    • Since content remains as an asset of the company, cost effectiveness increases in the medium to long term


    • It takes time to see results

    If you can invest from a long-term perspective, the benefits you can get from SEO are great, so we recommend it.

    On the other hand, SEO is not recommended for companies seeking immediate results in attracting customers.

    Small and medium-sized businesses often do not have the time and effort to invest in SEO, so it tends to take longer than usual for them to see results.

    In order to compensate for these disadvantages, many companies use a strategy of initially using listing advertisements to catch up on short-term CV, and then using SEO to create a medium- to long-term customer base.

    The average small and medium-sized business spends on SEO

    Here’s one study on SEO budgets for small and medium-sized businesses.

    In 2017, seoClarity (and two other companies) in the U.S. conducted a study called “The 2017 State of Enterprise SEO Report,” which summarized monthly budgets by company size.

    For small businesses with 1-100 employees, monthly SEO budgets have resulted in:

    Monthly SEO budget for small businesses (1-100 employees)

    • Less than $1,000…27%
    • $1,000 – $2,500…18%
    • $2,501 – $5,000…20%
    • $5,001 – $10,000…20%
    • $10,001 – $20,000…6%
    • Greater than $20,000…9%

    Looking at this survey, the largest number of small businesses have a budget of “less than $1,000.”

    The next most common companies were those in the range of “$2,501 – $5,000” and “$5,001 – $10,000”.

    However, you need to be careful that if you hire an outside company to do SEO for less than $1,000, the measures you can take are quite limited.

    In order to achieve great results with SEO, you need to continually improve the overall reputation of your site, rather than just improving one factor.

    Are small businesses at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO than large businesses?

    It is true that large companies have an advantage when it comes to SEO.

    This is because large companies are often already recognized by the public and are more prone to “citations” (mentions on the Internet).

    Having a lot of positive citations also helps your SEO (Google doesn’t say so, but many SEO experts agree).

    especially”YMYLIn areas related to people’s money and health, “E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and reliability)” is important, so it is often difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to win.

    However, even small and medium-sized businesses can be ranked high depending on the keywords they target and the topics they cover.

    Of course, the main premise is that you can create content that is truly valuable to users.

    If you say, “The content is good, but it’s not going up,” you need to take another look at the content because it is often not actually good quality content for the user.

    7 strategies small businesses need to win with SEO

    Here are seven strategies (thinking) that small and medium-sized businesses need to win in SEO.

    7 strategies small businesses need to win with SEO

    1. Aim for a highly specialized site for a specific topic
    2. Target long tail keywords
    3. Create unique content that addresses your prospects’ concerns
    4. Enhance the information on the product page
    5. Aiming for a site with good UX
    6. Not trying to tackle all SEO measures
    7. Increase exposure using SNS

    I will explain each one in detail, so please refer to it.

    1. Aim for a highly specialized site for a specific topic

    Build a highly specialized site by focusing on content on specific topics.

    For small and medium-sized businesses that do not have abundant resources, it is not efficient to increase content on a wide range of topics at the same time as it is for large companies.

    Ideally, it would be ideal to quickly create a state of high level of expertise in a certain topic where people would think, “If you’re worried about 〇〇, just look at this site and it will all be solved.”

    For example, if you are a marriage agency, one way to do this would be to narrow down the topic to something that your company has strengths in, such as “marriage with a highly educated man in his 30s,” rather than focusing on a broad theme of “marriage hunting”.

    If a company is confident in kitchen remodeling, it would be best to concentrate on kitchen remodeling content first, rather than increasing content for multiple products such as floors, toilets, and kitchens at the same time.

    By doing so, your site will become highly specialized in the topic and will tend to rank better for related keywords.

    When it comes to SEO, being recognized by users and Google as “highly specialized” works to your advantage.

    In fact, Google lists the following items as conditions for “useful and reliable sites/content.”

    If someone were to research a site that produces content, would they get the impression that the site is trusted or widely recognized as an authority on the topic?

    Quote source: Creating useful, reliable, user-focused content | Google Search Central

    For information about the topics covered on the site,

    • Our own expertise (value we can provide)
    • Information required by customers

    Decide by considering both sides.

    By specializing in an area in which your company has a high level of expertise, there are also benefits such as “making it easier to create unique, high-quality content” and “solving the questions of searchers throughout the site.”

    2. Target long tail keywords

    An effective keyword strategy for small and medium-sized businesses is to first increase the content that ranks high for long-tail keywords.

    Long-tail keywords are niche search keywords that have a low monthly search volume (number of searches).

    Generally, search keywords consisting of three or more words are often called long-tail keywords.

    For example, “hair removal (135,000)” and “hair removal recommended (9,900)” are big keywords.

    “Effective hair removal only once (170)” and “Medical hair removal shin pain (50)” are long-tail keywords.

    If you don’t have much experience with SEO, you tend to write articles aiming for big keywords from the beginning, but keep in mind that it is almost impossible for a small site to suddenly rank high for big keywords.

    This is because the evaluation of the entire site has a strong influence on ranking high for big keywords.

    If you are a small to medium-sized company, the theory is to aim for the top in stages as shown below.

    Keyword Strategy

    1. Aim for high rankings for long tail keywords (in the short term)
    2. Aim for high rankings for middle keywords
    3. Aim for high rankings for big keywords (long term)

    There are two main reasons why long-tail keyword strategies are effective for small and medium-sized businesses.

    Why small and medium-sized businesses should aim for long-tail keywords

    • Low competition makes it easy to rank high
    • Since search users have deep concerns, it is easy to lead to conversion

    When I say, “You should aim for long-tail keywords,” many people wonder, “Will a keyword with a low number of traffic really lead to attracting customers?”

    However, the strength of long-tail keywords is that they can easily lead to conversion, which is the main goal, since users have deep problems.

    Furthermore, as your site increases in rankings for long-tail keywords, the overall evaluation of your site will gradually improve, and as a result, your chances of ranking high for big keywords will increase.

    3. Create unique content that addresses your prospects’ concerns

    The most important thing when creating content is to clarify what your potential customers (search users) are having trouble with and what their concerns are.

    What do your prospects ultimately want to achieve?

    Also, what are the “concerns” and “challenges” that prospective customers will face on the way to achieving their goals?

    Write down your worries and issues and incorporate them into countermeasure keywords and content.

    For example, imagine a user searching for “rental living alone in Ebisu”.

    Considering this keyword alone, we can predict that the user is thinking, “I want to find a rental property for single living in Ebisu.”

    However, finding a property is not the user’s goal.

    Your goal should be to agree to the terms, sign a contract and move in at a fair price, and finally be able to live comfortably.

    Good content is content that can understand the background of these users (prospective customers) and solve their problems, or in other words, content that allows users to move on to the next action.

    Therefore, when creating content, please be sure to clarify the following points beforehand:

    Things to decide before creating content

    • To whom (in what circumstances)
    • What do we offer? (What kind of value)
    • What do you want to happen (what kind of goal)

    Also, even if you mass-produce so-called “SEO articles”, ordinary content similar to the top pages, it will not have a great impact on your business.

    It is expected that content with low originality will continue to be difficult to rank high on, and it will also be difficult to contribute to sales and lead acquisition.

    Google also suggests that originality is important when it comes to content quality.

    • Does the content present original information, reports, research, or analysis?
    • Does your content include insightful analysis and interesting information, not just the obvious?
    • If the content is derived from other sources, does it sufficiently demonstrate added value and originality rather than just copying or rewriting?

      Quote source: Creating useful, reliable, user-focused content | Google Search Central

    It is possible to increase the uniqueness of your content by simply including your company’s thoughts and experiences, or by organizing the information in a creative way, so always be aware that your content is original.

    4. Remove low-quality content from your site

    Low-quality content is often a blind spot when it comes to SEO.

    Although we tend to focus on increasing content, it is also important to eliminate low-value content from the site.

    The “Helpful Content System” that Google uses to determine search rankings has found that if the overall quality of the site is low, it will have a negative impact on the ranking of individual content.

    Not only the content itself that is not useful, but also content on sites that are judged to contain a relatively large amount of such content, will be lowered in search rankings because it is determined that other content on the web should be displayed in preference to other content. Masu. Therefore, removing content that is not useful may improve the rankings of other content.

    Quote source: Google Search Helpful Content System | Google Search Central

    By keeping only “high-quality content” on your site, you can improve the overall average score of your site without being held back by negative factors.

    If your site is small, it will be easier to manage each piece of content on your site, so take advantage of this to improve the quality of your site as a whole.

    One thing to keep in mind is not to judge content to be of low quality just for the following reasons.

    Content that is not necessarily low quality

    • Old
    • Few characters
    • No access

    It would be a waste to delete content when it is actually valuable to users.

    It may be difficult to judge at first, but

    • What kind of content does Google consider low quality?
    • What kind of content distracts from the value and purpose you want to deliver?

    After clarifying these two points, judge the value of the content.

    Eliminate low-quality content by rewriting, deleting, noindexing, etc.

    5. Aiming for a site with good UX

    UX refers to “user experience” or “user experience.”

    Not limited to small and medium-sized businesses, but instead of focusing only on techniques, focus on the essential point of “improving the experience of site visitors.”

    It is true that SEO measures come in and out of fashion over time, but the fact that “user first” is a winning condition has not changed.

    This is because Google has consistently improved its services based on the “user first” philosophy.

    1.Focus on the user and everything else will follow.
    From the beginning, Google has put user experience first. Whether we were developing a new web browser or tweaking the look of our homepage, our primary focus was on users, not Google’s internal goals or revenue. …
    Quote source: 10 facts from Google – Google

    In particular, for small and medium-sized sites that receive fewer visitors than large-scale sites, it is necessary to “increase the satisfaction level of each visitor and ensure conversion.”

    Please check the following UX aspects and improve if there are any negative aspects.

    Points to check in terms of UX

    • Is the site easy for users to find information without hesitation?
    • Is the display speed slow and stressful?
    • Is the design easy to see?
    • Is the form easy to fill in without hesitation?

    6. Not trying to tackle all SEO measures

    In fact, the term “SEO” covers a wide range of strategies, ranging from those officially recommended by Google to those whose effectiveness is believed to be an urban legend.

    Even if small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources try to tackle all kinds of SEO measures comprehensively, it is actually quite impossible.

    Additionally, there are many measures that are effective for large-scale sites, but do not have much of an impact on small-scale sites.

    For example, “crawl budget”, which is often talked about in SEO, is often not something you need to worry about for small sites.

    Many small and medium-sized businesses tend to see results faster if they first focus on “increasing content that is valuable to users.”

    Deciding what to do and what not to do is very important when it comes to SEO for small and medium-sized businesses.

    If you are having trouble making a decision, many companies offer free site diagnostics, so it might be a good idea to consult an SEO professional.

    7. Increase exposure using SNS

    Communicate with users who are interested in your topic on social media on a daily basis, and promote new content when it is published.

    Compared to large companies that are always in the spotlight, small and medium-sized businesses are less likely to get talked about or receive backlinks just by publishing content.

    Due to recent trends in SEO, backlinks are often neglected, but they still have a tremendous impact on SEO.

    No matter how good your content is, if it’s not seen, it won’t even be evaluated, so you need to use SNS etc. to increase your site’s exposure and create a situation where it can be seen by many people.

    However, there may be many companies that are worried that they don’t consistently communicate on SNS or that they don’t have time to think about what they post on SNS.

    In such cases, we recommend cutting out some of the content you are posting on your website.

    If you have taken the time to create content in-house, you can change the platform and turn it into a trendy short video, an illustration, or a short post summarizing the main points.

    Even if the content is the same, the attributes of the users viewing it will change if the location changes, allowing you to reach more people.

    Let’s keep the basic SEO measures in mind!

    So far, we have explained the important strategies and ideas for SEO for small and medium-sized businesses, but it is important to keep the following basic SEO measures at a minimum.

    Basic SEO measures to keep in mind

    • Include keywords in the title and meta description
    • Structure your content with h tags
    • Connect related articles with internal links

    I think many people have already put it into practice, but let’s check it out again.

    1. Include keywords in title and meta description

    A page title or meta description is a type of meta tag that tells search engines about your page or site.

    Decide which search keywords you want to rank high in, and include keywords for countermeasures.

    By including keywords in each location, you can tell search engines that the content is related to 〇〇 (keyword).

    However, packing in too many keywords can have the opposite effect, so be sure to place keywords within a natural range from the user’s perspective.

    2. Structure your content with h tags

    The h tag is a tag used to create a heading within a web page.

    Structuring your content using h tags for each paragraph makes it easier for not only users but also search engines to understand the content.

    Let’s create structured content with “heading” → “body” → “heading” → “body”.

    3. Connect related articles with internal links

    Set up internal links (intra-site links) for related content.

    If you can set up internal links properly

    • more likely to be indexed
    • Communicate important pages to search engines
    • It becomes easier for users to complete their search actions within the site.

    You can expect the following effects.

    There is no point in placing internal links to unrelated content, so be conscious of placing links that are useful to users.

    [Summary] Small and medium-sized businesses can win if they strategically approach SEO with a user-first approach.

    For small and medium-sized businesses to succeed in attracting customers through SEO, it is extremely important to proceed strategically.

    Try incorporating the following seven points introduced in this article into your own SEO measures.

    Strategies for small and businesses to win with SEO

    1. Aim for a highly specialized site for a specific topic
    2. Target long tail keywords
    3. Create unique content that addresses your prospects’ concerns
    4. Enhance the information on the product page
    5. Aiming for a site with good UX
    6. Not trying to tackle all SEO measures
    7. Increase exposure using SNS

    If you have already taken the above measures and are not seeing the results you want, we recommend that you have a professional identify the cause.

    Our company, Excore, also provides SEO consulting and policy agency services, so please feel free to contact us.