David vs. Goliath
Fortune 500 companies are about to eat your lunch. Unless, of course, you grab a sling shot.
If your website is less than a decade old, has less than 100,000 inbound links, or less than 10,000 indexed pages, then enjoy the year or so. Relish the traffic you are getting from search engines. Stew in the delight of ranking high for some pretty common search terms. Because that’s all about to end.
Why is your site about to go ten pages deep?
Because huge companies with massive budgets are watching what us smaller websites and SEO firms are doing and oogling at our ROI.
Fortune 500 companies that are slow and unwieldy have stayed out of the search engine optimization game so far. But now that they are seeing the importance of organic traffic, they are going to systematize and dominate. They have the money, brand and influence to absolutely destroy any websites that stand in their path.
Do you really think you can rank for “Big Red Wagon” when Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and other huge companies with established domains, inbound links, and a team of SEO’s are working for the same thing? Not likely.
Do you really think that your keyword research tools can stand up to something that a genius programmer could design for GE and sell for millions or dollars? I doubt it.
So what does this mean for us smaller, freelance, or one-man webmasters? Is this the end of the line? Are we going to look back on 1995-2009 as the glory days of SEO before the “Big Guys” got involved?
But there IS a way to stay in the game when the big guys enter. And it won’t have anything to do with getting a few links here and there or having a flawless site structure. In the future, as Cement Marketing practices, every site will be built to be fully optimized for search engines. Our SEO practices, while cutting edge now, stand to become industry standard.
So how will smaller websites stay competitive?
Easy. The same way brands and small businesses have always put themselves on the map – with a clear and compelling message that everyone wants to share. Be unique. Be edgy. Be smart. Be linkworthy. And above all create something memorable.
Fortune 500 companies have Legal Departments and they have Branding, Office Politics and 1985-MBA-Weilding Bosses, and they have writers whose creativity has been sapped by talk about American Idol around the watercooler and endless meetings. My God, The Meetings.
You, on the other hand, have coffee shops, and late-night brainstorming mixed with loud music and screaming kids and thunderstorms and the absolute ability to publish and create whatever you want without worrying about what your boss will think, how the shareholders will react, or what the legal department thinks.
People don’t want to link to corporate legalese. They don’t want to read boring content. And they aren’t going to remember a watered-down sales pitch. Us smaller guys, the Davids, will trump the Goliaths because we are far more interesting and we always will be. If your business has employees, if you have people with smiling faces ready to service or help your customers – than you are more interesting than a dry, corporate website.
Use your employees and customers are your muse. What do they need? What do they inspire in you? In your brand? Maybe it’s a viral application, a widget, a quiz or a compelling Twitter account. Whatever it may be, chances are yours will be more interesting than the same thing created by a giant corporation.
So what do you do now to prepare for the SEO future?
First and foremost, be sure all of your SEO ducks are in a row and that your site is fully optimized and then stop and think about what you are doing today and what you can be doing tomorrow to spread your brand message virtally.
At Cement Marketing we believe that the future of SEO will depend on the quality of your content which will be judged, not just by search rankings, but by the amount of chatter your brand or website is receiving across all social network platforms. That’s why we offer both SEO and SEM capabilities. It’s what sets us apart and what will ultimately set your brand apart in what is about to become a very competitive marketplace.
Break the mold of what your competitors are doing and create something unique, something people will want or something they will use. Don’t worry about tips and tricks, soon those will be commonplace. Start thinking big before the big guys do.