SEO and the Level Playing Field

One of the great things about the internet, from the point of view of business, is that it levels the playing field: small companies can find their place on the net alongside large companies. That may not be true for prime time TV ads, billboards, print ads, or trade shows, but it’s true of digital marketing.

We generally see that as a good thing, because we see it from the point of view of a small company. But we were reminded, as we met with a company for whom we’re building a new website, that there’s another side to that story.

The company we met with is the largest contracting company in the region, with 500 employees in offices in two states. They’ve worked for all the major companies in the area, but also for companies nationwide and on projects in Europe and South America. They have seven major divisions, including one that does something I’d never heard of before.

I was completely surprised by this. Not because I hadn’t explored their website thoroughly but because their website didn’t reflect the stature of their company at all.

Just as a website can make a small company look more substantial than their offices would lead you to believe, a website can also make a large company look much less important than they really are.

It’s not just the look of the website, which the client described as “generic WordPress.” It’s also the way they look on the search engine results pages. They’re at about #8 on the first page for most relevant queries. They don’t show up on the map for local businesses. Their meta descriptions say things like “We do it all. Call today!” Their Google My Business Information is sparse and in conflict with the information in the meta descriptions.

The team shared that they get most of their business through word of mouth, and that’s no surprise. The problem is that they’ve allowed their smaller competitors to level the online playing field to a degree that’s downright inaccurate.

Does your website reflect the stature of your company? If you’re the big dog in your town (state, industry…) in real life, Google would like to show that reality. If you don’t communicate it with your online presence, the search engines won’t know it. Neither will prospective customers.






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