Google weighs relevancy quite heavily. In fact, the goal of all search engines is to determine which of the millions of pages on the web are relevant to whatever you are searching for.
To quote Merriam Webster (2005), “Relevance [is]: the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user.”
The better a text or the content of a page matches a search query, the more likely it is that it will achieve a good ranking.
Large websites (think Wikipedia) and those that have been around for a long time, often have an advantage in the competition for the top search result spots in your favorite search engines.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot though. And that’s what you can use to your advantage even as a small guy.
Be Specific – Go After The Long Tail and Niche Down
Don’t go after a top keyword for your niche.
Let’s say you’re selling blue widgets. Don’t go after the term “blue widgets.”
Yes, it gets the highest search volume, but not everyone searching will be ready to buy blue widgets from you.
Maybe they are looking for blue widget images because they are curious what they look like.
Maybe they are looking for instructions on making their own blue widgets, or they want to find someone who can manufacture a lot of these blue widgets for their own shop.
Instead, go after the long tail.
What are long-tail keywords?
- Long tail keywords are search terms with relatively low search volume and competition levels.
- Also, long tail terms tend to be longer in length (3+ words) than most other keyword types.
- They tend to convert exceptionally well.
Instead of using “blue widgets,” use key phrases like “where to buy blue widgets online” or “best place to buy blue widgets in Roseburg.”
Even better, find a way to set yourself apart from the competition by becoming the place that sells blue widgets for bicycles.
Make yourself the expert.
Relevancy is all about staying on topic
A small website dedicated to share great content exclusively on one topic will rank higher than larger sites that share everything.
That’s why, despite its huge authority, Wikipedia doesn’t rank for everything. Even though there’s a page on just about everything on that site.
Let’s say you decide to build a site about gardening. Pick a niche within that and stick to it.
That’s how you may become one of the authority sites about something like rose gardening, or building a year-round herb garden.
Each time you work on a new piece of content, ask yourself if it is on topic.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Go Local Where It Makes Sense
Where it makes sense, it can be very beneficial to make your content local.
Instead of becoming one more seller of yellow widgets online, you could become the seller of yellow widgets for your state or your town and rake in the profits.
Of course this doesn’t make sense for everyone.
But let’s say you are great at email marketing.
Instead of putting up yet another site and offer yet another course to everyone in the English speaking world on the topic, go after the small businesses in your area.
Become the expert for email marketing in Roseburg, or in Oregon.
Not only will it be much easier to rank for this longer tail keyword, it also opens up all sorts of new options for local marketing.
There is no relevancy if someone lives on the other side of the country from you and they want to come to your store front.