When the internet first became popular, the name of the game for small businesses was search engine optimization or SEO for short. These are the techniques web builders can use to improve the odds of their websites being ranked high on Google, Bing!, Yahoo and other popular search engines.
Beginning in the late ’90s and continuing until just a few years ago, most people used these search engines for school, work, and social purposes. But most importantly for businesses, they also used Google and the others to find the products and services they wanted.
So using SEO to get your business ranked at the top of the search engine results pages for the keywords that best describe your business was critical to your online success.
The Rise of the Mega Monsters
Flash forward to today, when a handful of big online retailers have essentially taken over the marketplace. Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, and a handful of others are the go-to websites for the majority of consumers who want to buy products. And apps like Uber, StubHub, Tinder, and other big players have taken over specialized online services.
So where does that leave your business and SEO? Does it even matter anymore?
The answer is: Yes! While most small businesses are never going to be able to compete with the scale or variety of products offered on sites like Amazon, they can still use SEO to attract local customers looking for specialized products and services that are specific to their business.
SEO in the past few years
For example, a consumer seeking to buy a new winter coat, might simply use Amazon or Wal-Mart. But if your business offers a specific brand of coat or coats that serve a certain audience such as long-distance runners, or customers in your specific geographic region, you can still use the web to capture that core customer using SEO techniques.
Mega online retailers may have exploited the internet to attract the lion’s share of web customers, but your business can use the same SEO techniques Amazon and others use to find the prospective customers and clients who are seeking the specific products and services you offer.