Small business owners may become envious of the sort of marketing budgets that are available to professionals working for large corporations. It seems like so much could be achieved if the right budget was made available.

It was once the case that the Internet was seen as offering a level playing field. Those massive budgets might allow big companies to run television ads and pay for product placements in stylish magazines, but they weren’t much use in the battle for search engine positioning. Or, so it seemed. Today, it’s clear that the big brands are dominating many of the most competitive search terms around.

How did this happen? The current scene reflects the fact that those big brands have been able to hire expensive SEO consultants. If you have large sums of money available to you, then you’re in a great position to attract talent.

With this background in mind, what does it all mean for small businesses? Should a small business owner simply give up on the world of SEO? Although things can seem rather dispiriting, there’s plenty of hope to be found.

Using your budget wisely

You may have a smaller budget available to you, but that just means that you need to be more creative with how you use it. Whether you’re carrying out SEO work in-house, or looking to outsource, the chances are that the most cost-effective approach for you will involve targeting long-tail keywords.

Although these words and phrases may each attract considerably less searches each month, there are some considerable advantages to such an approach.

The first of these is that the big brands frequently overlook these keywords. This makes them less competitive, opening up a niche for small businesses.

The other point to note is that each keyword may generate relatively little traffic. But once you have achieved good search engine positioning for many of these smaller keywords, you’ll find that you’re in a position to benefit from the fact that the “sum is greater than its parts”. In other words, the numbers can really add up!

Carve out a niche

You may not be able to compete with big corporations across an entire product range, but you do undoubtedly have some competitive advantages. Have a think about your own business.

It may be that you offer a great level of customer service. You may offer a wonderful level of expertise, or know how to find obscure items. Each of these can set you apart from your competitors.

It can also inspire you when thinking about your approach to SEO. If you do have a natural niche, then it makes sense to try and dominate that space within the search engine results. Make sure that potential customers are aware of your business. Maintain a high level of visibility for searches relating to those products and services.

Final thoughts

Most small businesses have to be nimble and creative in order to survive. Having a smaller online marketing budget is not an excuse for being buried in the search engine results.

You need to concentrate on ensuring that every penny of your available SEO budget is spent wisely. Once you realise that success is possible, nothing should stand in your way.