How To Focus Your Brand To Win At SEO
Going head to head with competitors in SEO is scary, learn how to focus your brand to edge out your competitors.
SEO is hard.
Winning Google searches is hard. It just is.
Oftentimes, when brands begin to pursue SEO they quickly get a sense of what kind of competition they’re up against and then get intimidated and drop out of the game.
You sell software for marketers? So do 1000 other vendors and they’ve been doing it for 10 years and they have the kind of budget and resources that you can only dream of.
You sell home home decor? You sell kids toys? Same story. If you’re the little guy and you’re new in a space, you might be wondering how you can possibly compete with the powerful brands that seem to effortlessly dominate the space.
You can compete with these companies, though. In this article I’ll share some examples and recommendations that will hopefully teach you how to rework your product or service offering in order to focus your brand messaging to win at SEO in your space.
Commit To A *Very* Specific Audience
As you have probably heard, long-tail SEO terms are the key to getting started with SEO and ramping up your website’s organic traffic. The best way to play this game is by narrowing down your product and making it extremely specific to a certain audience. Don’t just make your product a “me too” brand and do what everyone else is doing, specialize your product, your brand, and your brand messaging for a target audience that is underserved.
Maivara, for example, a company that sells facial steamers for people who want to bring the spa experience to their home, by no means is the first company to try and market facial steamers. Very large and powerful websites control most of the market. They are, however, the first company that aims to specifically serve essential-oils lovers who also want to treat themselves to a facial. As you can imagine, there are a lot of untapped keywords in this region and with their on-point branding they’re already capturing a slew of valuable keywords around aromatherapy, essential oils, and facial steaming that no one else has given attention to.
Whether you sell web dev, hot tubs, or just pairs of pants, think about how you can capture a very small, but loyal subset of the larger audience. If you need to make adjustments to your product, do it. It’s better to serve a very small audience that loves you rather than a large audience that just sort of likes you.
Niche Audiences In Action
Say you sell swimsuits. Naturally, when you think about what kind of Google search terms you want to compete for, some of the basic examples that come to mind might be things like, “Swimsuits”, “Swimwear”, and “Cute Swimsuits”. The trouble is that to win these impressive keywords you’re competing with stores with the likes of Target, Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret. Afterall, just the keyword “swimsuits” earns 160,000 Google searches per month. Do you think that these big brands are going to let you get anywhere close to their organic traffic? Not likely.
To your benefit, however, these enterprises have to focus on capturing broad swaths of the population, and with their broad strokes, it’s possible that some pretty significant opportunities have slipped through the cracks. Your job is to find these opportunities. That’s what a small swimsuit company called Geode Swimwear did back in 2017 when they decided to narrow their keyword pursuit to “modest swimsuits” and other closely similar terms. Although this niche is much smaller, it’s a lively community and Geode Swimwear recently have found themselves at the top of many Google searches around these keywords, raking in more than 13,000 organic searches every month without having to put hardly any SEO work into their website. That’s the power of making your product offering more specific.
Only Cater To Your Audience
Narrowing down your keywords and your brand is just as much about what you add to your product and your site as it is about what you remove from your product and your site. Focusing your audience means that you intentionally exclude yourself from competing for off topic keywords and for other audiences. If you spread yourself thin trying to capture every small audience that comes in sight, you run the risk of confusing Google about who you are and what you do and making it so you don’t appear in the searches you actually want to be in. Furthermore, you also risk confusing potential buyers who don’t feel comfortable with your brand because they can’t nail down what you’re all about.
So whatever audience you go for, if you’re new to the SEO game in your space, make sure to focus on niche audiences and small keywords and build up from there. If you have to significantly rework your product to make it more specifically tailored to the smaller group you’re catering to, it’ll hurt at first but you’ll be glad you changed in the long run.