Wil Reynolds runs SEER Interactive, one of the most inspiring search marketing firms in the country. His strategy in building his firm in its early days, was to go around the country spilling all of his most intimate SEO secrets. The result of the strategy was that SEER has gained thousands and thousands of links from the webs most prominent sources, which resulted in its ranking for every SEO related keyword that could be imagined.
For new companies in crowded niches looking to make a fast ramp-up by getting as much traffic as possible, one of the best ways to distinguish yourself is to be the first company to tell all of your secrets. The ironic chicken and the egg problem is obvious.
How does a company with no real accomplishments share the secret to their success?
Here are a few suggestions on winning in your niche with some examples from Alarm Grid, one of my favorite projects.
Partner with companies that aren’t too big to notice you, but aren’t so small that they are irrelevant… then get them to notice you
Sometimes, the big dogs don’t have the best products. A lot of new companies are coming out with awesome products that are every bit as good (and oftentimes better) than those that are made by bigger companies. Every company we’ve had the chance to partnership with has an incredibly impressive list of clients, but aren’t so big that this brand new company is ignored. Alarm Grid has been incredibly transparent with their analytics, which has given them the opportunity to get coverage on the blog of their partners like Olark, Onsip and I wrote a guide on optimizing the Spree platform for search which was run on the Spree blog.
These case studies help our SAAS providers sell their services and the SEO guide that was run on Spree helps the open source community that provided the software that allows Alarm Grid to even have the store. We were delighted to provide the content, and they were delighted to run it.
Do some creative things internally, and then tell people about them in the most public way possible
The target market for Alarm Grid is DIY alarm enthusiasts. This won’t necessarily always be their market, but for the time being it is. One of the ways we’ve grown the site is by putting together a huge database of security FAQs in order to help that target market. First thing we did then, is share with the world how we built our huge Q&A database on one of the most important, trafficked marketing blogs on the internet. To date, the post has been read by more than 10,000 people and it received more than 1,000 tweets and 250 Facebook likes.
What’s more, the post itself got tons of great links.
The obvious problem with sharing these strategies is that it gives competitors a giant in, allowing them to replicate it. But if you’re the first company to share the strategy, and you can share it in a big way, no one can replicate the strategy in the same way.
Get reviews to build trust
One of the most important things a company can do to get noticed in a crowded niche is to build trust. Reviews are the most important way you can do that. Also, you want to do what you can to control the search for everything having to do with your company (just as much as you want to be able to control the search for everything within your industry). A lot of people were searching for “Alarm Grid reviews” which prompted us to put up a blog post listing all the places people could post Alarm Grid reviews. As a result, Alarm Grid has been able to put its best foot forward, get a ton of reviews on a wide variety of sites, and increase the trust projected to users who are researching the company.
Look better than everyone
Don’t skimp on the look of your site. If you’re new, you need to make sure site is fit and finished. That’s all.