Having contacts working in SEO for larger companies and comparing these to myself, I’ve noticed a number of points I thought it would be interesting to share about the discrepancies of working in these different environments.
Comprising similar elements but on a micro level, there are certain techniques that should form part of all SEO strategies; link building, social media, site optimisation and content creation to name a few. When focussing on small business however, of a lesser importance might be the day to day ranking of their chosen keywords/phrases – likely to be aiming for lower competition keywords, constant monitoring of these is perhaps not so necessary when competition is less fierce and targeted for a specific, smaller demographic.
More obviously, another more prominent difference when comparing SEO for small businesses to large businesses is that larger companies can frequently have a full time SEO monitoring and managing their campaign. The effort and dedication taken for the bigger sites can be immense and with more aggressive targets, this level of effort and attention is often necessary, resulting in a higher pressure environment.
Larger companies can also potentially enjoy more rapid growth and initial success with their SEO strategy resulting from a good reputation and brand name that’s been built up off-line over time. Growing your social media following and broadening your link profile may also be easier with a bigger team, bigger budgets and more existing connections to utilise.
A possible negative of not having large amounts of dedicated time spent on your SEO strategy as large companies do is the risk of your campaign being neglected and losing ranking for your chosen keywords. Site and social media development may be slower too as can SEO techniques such as link building or content production. However, not taking on too many clients when working with small companies solves this issue.
At my most comfortable working with small businesses, I find one of the main advantages of working in this manner is the close client contact; the ease and speed with which you can make changes and updates to a smaller client site helps the project run swiftly and site edits can take place often almost immediately. With no email chains, approval processes and specialist teams involved, work can be completed more efficiently.
As previously mentioned, lower competition for keywords creates less work and stress for the SEO and client; also, with a greater number of smaller clients, industry and campaign experience grows quickly. Knowledge gained from working with multiple teams and on many different sites gives you that all-round experience that you can use to benefit future clients and broaden your knowledge.
As an SEO, I find working with multiple companies improves my skill and scope, allowing me to be in control of all aspects of the strategy and monitor the campaign closely which I enjoy. I am fortunate to work with a number of wonderful companies and keep my work challenging and varied. The obvious downfall of this is a lack of specialisation, the inability to become an expert or authority on a particular aspect of search engine optimisation however the rapidity with which I learn how best to optimise a site or link build is a benefit, my adaptability allows me to take on different projects and deliver a high level service.
Any other major differences I’ve missed just leave a comment!