How to compete with SEO and big database companies

My ranking on google for certain aspects of my business is very good (music tuition). But there is always about 4 entries above me at the top of google from these companies that have music teachers subscribing to them, so these database companies tend to land at the top of google all the time.

How can small business deal with this without paying for google ads etc. I do have a good ranking, and I’m in the process of constantly tweaking content on the website etc, but I would just love to knock these big companies from the top of google!!

Any thoughts? Is it even possible??

I have found that by filling out with good details ‘Google - my Business’ and including good photos and descriptions on ‘Google - my Business’ this comes higher than the database companies, that is besides any paid ads. So Google maps that is shown on the search listing, with Google my business details completed with good reviews does actually work.

Another just discovered interesting fact is… I rank higher on DuckDuckGo than on Google. The database companies don’t do so well in DuckDuckGo - go figure!

This extra info may help some of you - it’s worth a try!

But I would still like to come up top organically at the top!


There is unfortunately no one answer to SEO questions, beyond what Sparkle does on a technical level it’s all about what your topic/niche is.

If you wanted to position your site for “new york hotel” you would most likely be spending lots of money to get traffic. But even here from time to time there are genius campaigns that approach things in a way that puts them in the minds of people without actually spending much money.

Your niche is sufficiently narrow that you can probably improve your organic results.

I stand by what I wrote in this article:

Essentially you need to be at least monitoring a few phrases you feel you should rank well for, and build content around those. There might be some keywords/phrases for which you have no chance, and rather than focusing intensely on those you might be better off focusing on a few variations that individually catch less traffic but together bring you the same or more.

I don’t know anything about music teaching, but perhaps there are forums you can participate in, articles you can write on our own site or podcasts you can either guest in or you can author, to establish yourself as an authority in the field. Your Sparkle-built site will be then waiting for your audience when they come of their own volition :slight_smile:

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@duncan thank you for the response. One other thought that I have been having is this:

We teach the following instruments: Piano, Keyboard, Singing, Guitar and Drums.
As I said earlier we already have pretty good ranking on certain key phrases so that’s good but…

I have been thinking off creating single page web sites for each instrument category and linking those micro sites to my main web site. In your opinion, do you think this would work as far as increased ranking or do you think I would be waisting my time doing this.

Also If I create a blog page on my main website using Sparkle, then maybe that would help as well? (depending on the content of course).


Search engines try to offer the best possible result to people searching, and a domain name, page address, page name or header text containing query terms can be interpreted by the search engines as specificity.

So that’s to say if you want to target “piano lessons”, a domain name that’s might be in the eyes of search engines a better match than “”, and both might be a better match than “” which has “piano lessons” in the header text on the page.

Blogs fit in here in that not so much for the blog technology or idioms (comments, rss, etc), but freshness and updates to existing articles to better answer questions are what make the content more successful, and search engines more likely to promote them.

So if you set up a few domains that are more relevant to some potential searches, do consider the burden of keeping them fresh and up to date as well.

@duncan Thanks for that. I am prepared, I have purchased a ton of relevant domain names I can use! Now the hard work starts!! Haha!!!

I have had my painting business rank number one for 5 years with few simple tricks fresh content. Mobile ready, and fast to load. This year I got lazy and did nothing so I fell to third. That is why I am using sparkle now complete rebuild

Google is a business and it want to provide there customers the most relevant newest content. The more content the better pages filled with keywords or synonyms of your keywords. The most important is creating energy or juice that flows back to your homepage.

Also use Google business and all there other software such as blogger and make a few page that point back to it main page that then points to your Google business page. But fresh relevant content is king today backlinks are still relevant but not as much as “Relevant Authority Content”

Authority means you have more content than your competition this is really hard when it comes to Yelp Craigslist BBB Yellowpages

Most calls too your business will come from Google business pages so make links to that from Pinterest Instagram Facebook Blogger and your own website. I do not pay for any Ads or Advertising of any sort Google does it for me.

Good luck

Thank you @Izhane. I have been making the most of google my business, it’s taken a while to set up, but using it a lot know and linking to it as well. Also creating posts from google my business and linking those to the relevant pages on my website. It all takes time, but I think it will be worth the effort.


From what I understand of SEO, it’s helpful to have a paragraph of about 75-100 words on your homepage. The paragraph should be full of keywords that relate to what you are all about. Yes, it can sound rather self-serving, but hey, that’s kind of the point, to toot your own horn loudly enough to get noticed.
Here on Cape Cod, MA, USA, we have quite a few artisan glass blowers. One of them, was ranked #1 in Google for several years after I wrote this on his homepage:

On Cape Cod, glass has been made for generations. The town of Sandwich, Massachusetts, has been famous for over one hundred years for its “Sandwich glass”. Today, glassblower Michael Magyar continues this proud tradition in his “Glass Studio on Cape Cod”. Located on historic Route 6-A, Michael invites you to watch as he creates new handblown glass daily in his studio… glass that fits well in any museum or private collection, yet is reasonably priced. Michael Magyar glass is found across the United States and in Japan. Michael Magyar also creates sculptures of steel, concrete and glass. View a video interview with Michael Magyar. Watch as he creates a signature “splash bowl” in this YouTube video. Read an article about his “Giants” sculptures from Cape Cod Life Magazine.

His son has since taken over the site, using Square, so no idea how it’s faring at this time.

We can try to outwit Google and the like as much as we want but there is always a payoff!

Google has incorporated AI as of two years ago and is bit by bit bringing it online. The latest phase is that AI can now discern whole phrases (including the small talk within in it like, no, far, than, before, after, etc…) and that means by keyword-stuffing (which Google and the likes clearly flags) your web pages to suit the bots has no place then naturally talking to humans which Google AI favours!

I tend to believed people want to read natural flowing words telling a story on a website instead of repetitive words which is a total turn-off and conveys the site has not been built for them!

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@greenskin I think I will need to revise my copy content. I have stuffed to many keywords into the copy and it doesn’t read very well. So at some point in the future I need to experiment with the copy etc.


Or better yet, break it out in multiple topics (if applicable), and make a page dedicated to each.

The key is keeping each page fresh and relevant.

@duncan Yes I have separate pages but also yes I need to reference them better on the home page. Good idea. Thanks.

The bigger companies are changing out content consistently changing links on pages as well as keywords then change what page it is pointing to this is happening weekly or more. Kijiji as well as Yelp have been doing this. Also they have users adding new content. Even if really is the same, blah blah blah content look at my business. Call me

This makes Google Ai believe that it is new fresh relevant content coming from older authority pages as wells new fresh links pointing in.

I would assume they are using an automated system to do this as it would be very time consuming.

A big franchise in my industry does this by creating four pages new every month and randomizing links through out there website. each page is 1000 words or more.