3 SEO Strategies to Compete Against Big Brands Online

It can seem utterly hopeless.

Major brands already have millions of links to their pages and a large customer base. Not to mention that Google tends to favour name brands in the search results. Competing against them online can seem like a hopeless situation and one that you cannot win at all

Regardless of the industry you are in, there is likely at least one major competitor who seems to rank for every term in your industry. They have likely been around longer than you and have the resources to continue building their online presence.

The good news is that sheer volume alone is not enough to rank online.

Google strives to deliver the most relevant results. Factors such as link quantity or domain age aren’t always deciding factors in terms of rankings. So with limited resources, how can you compete online against your biggest competitors?

Here we look at the SEO strategies that make it possible to compete against and even outrank bigger brands.

1. Make Local Search a Priority

Bigger brands tend to focus on more global keywords.

If your business is locally based, you can gain an advantage by targeting local search. With the release of the Pigeon update, factors such as distance and prominence are now ranking factors. This makes sense as someone searching for “restaurants in Perth” expects to see results in their area and not across the country. What it also means is that your business stands a greater chance of ranking for local searches.

Target local keywords and optimise the following on-page factors:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Headers
  • Image ALT text
  • Body

Big brands may dominate some of the more competitive terms but you can easily outrank them for local searches.

2. Target Long Tail Keywords

Another way to beat major brands in the search results is to focus on long tail keywords.

Most brands tend to focus on shorter keywords such as “running shoes” or “outdoor furniture” but they often overlook longer phrases. The latter are not only more targeted, they also have less competition in the search results.

Target Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords may not generate as much traffic as their shorter counterpart but they are more likely to result in a conversion. Someone searching for “Canon digital cameras under $500” is farther along the buying cycle than someone searching for “camera”.

Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to find long tail keywords and get additional ideas.

Once you have a sizeable list of keywords you want to target, create content around them in the form of blog posts. Publishing engaging content that provides value is one of the best ways to compete against bigger brands and drive targeted traffic to your pages.

3. Get on Social Media

A strong social media presence is a must.

As networks such as Facebook and Twitter have grown exponentially, more consumers are turning to these platforms to find businesses. One study has found that 7 out of 10 consumers prefer businesses that have social media profiles. This is likely due to the fact that consumers are able to confirm the legitimacy of a business. Social media also opens up a channel of communication and potential customers are able to read reviews.

Invest in social media and keep your profiles updated with engaging posts to attract followers. Doing so can give your business a competitive advantage against larger brands.


Online marketing is key to driving targeted traffic to your landing pages and increasing sales. If your business is local, focus more of your efforts on local search and target long tail keywords. Be sure to also incorporate social media into your marketing. It can seem hopeless competing against major brands but it is entirely possible to outrank a large competitor with these measures.