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There’s a lot of competition on the internet. Developing a content strategy that has a shot at ranking well can be a challenge.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you’ll always have at least one competitor who has more resources to build their visibility on the internet and in search engines.

So how can a small business with limited resources compete with that level of online domination?

Trying to outrank a competitor is comparable to a "David and Goliath" scenario. Engaging Goliath on his terms things likely would not have fared well for David. However David realized his niche; that he was good with a slingshot. This is the tried and true method underdogs have used ever since to counter the strengths of a stronger opponent. Instead of competing with someone on their terms; define your niche and distinguish yourself from your competition.

A keyword strategy involves understanding the market and that means understanding keyword competition. Knowing how difficult it will be to rank certain keywords is important to ranking success.


Trying to rank for “attorney” may be too competitive. Instead try ranking for “pittsburgh area attorney”. Now you have significantly narrowed down your competition. You will want to narrow it down even more by including your practice area. Anticipating how people may access your site also helps when developing a keyword strategy. (Like including the keyword “lawyer” as well as “attorney”.)

A keyword strategy is how you define your niche. This can be accomplished by including a long-tail keywords strategy.

With long-tail keywords, you’ll be sacrificing minimal ranking potential with highly popular keywords for maximum ranking potential with less popular keywords.

Long-tail keywords are extended phrases Google looks for, such as “pittsburgh criminal defense attorney specializing in slingshot related injuries” instead of the much shorter, more popular “pittsburgh attorney”. Ranking highly for long-tail keywords is much easier than ranking high for shorter keywords, so even though they bring in less traffic, they can provide more value for small businesses.

Local search is becoming more relevant and more important. This is another way to beat the competition who may be operating on a national scale; by targeting a local audience.

Analyzing your competitor’s websites can also give you insights. Ask yourself what you can do better than your competition and how you can provide a more personalized service to you clients.

Google provides a great tool for building a keyword strategy. - “You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.”

Moz - “Keyword Explorer” is another handy tools that can generate a list of keywords and provide analytics on keyword volume, difficulty, opportunity, and potential.